Looking Back with Al McKee 1990-1995

Looking Back with Al McKee 1990-1995

Thanks to Al McKee for bringing these to the table. Al is one of the guys we've known since the late 80s/ever since the Plymouth West Hoe skatepark opened as in the pics below. It's been great to see Al get back into skateboarding around our Old Man Monday sessions in recent years. Check out his bag of memories around the old West Hoe Skatepark.

Al McKee Plymouth Skateboard Roots Archive

Al McKee Plymouth Hoe Skateboard Roots Archive

Plymouth West Hoe Skatepark

Plymouth West Hoe Skatepark in the '90s

Plymouth Skateboarding Archive 1990Here's some other southern Parks in the late '80s. St Newlyn East Old Concrete Bowl/Park - Late '80sSemi bulldozed in '93 as seen in RAD Mag pages.

Millendreath Skatepark - Prime Plymouth ArchiveAlthough this spot is not in Plymouth, Millendreath was one of the few skateparks in the late '80s, so we often went on day trips to skate there. These pictures are pretty rare. I remember how frustrating it was when the first bowl was permanently blocked and full of water. The concrete was super harsh, making it a tough park to skate.

Check out Dan Joyce- Fronside Ollie from Sidewalk Mag 1999

Al McKee at Millendreath Skatepark - Prime Plymouth1990-1995 Pics from Al McKee.

Als' Story

Prime Plymouth Skateboard Archive

My first skateboard was in 1978, California Sun, which I rode up and down the shops. There was a skate club at the local youth club for a bit but it ended when the skateboarding trend faded. For almost ten years, I rode that skateboard on the village pavements up to the shop & back without learning much until my brother Rob started skating in 1988. I built him and his mate a basic ramp and he gave me a worn but decent setup, an old Salba witch doctor deck.

I moved to Plymouth to go to the Polytechnic, met some skaters and started to take it more seriously. We would skate at Plymouth City Centre at 2 am, hitting all the usual spots, Civic steps, white walls, curved flower beds, Theatre Royal car park 5th floor, try to slide the entire length of the middle curb. Barclays Wall and the Anchor Bank were always on the route, as was the occasional run-in with security guards. 

If there were a vehicle, we would go for trips down into Cornwall, Perranporth, Mount Hawk, St Newlyn East Bowl or head up to Paignton YMCA and then always over to a nice wood mini ramp in Kingswere tucked in some woods, no idea who built it, big thanks to whoever you were, but we spent hours there on countless visits.

When the Hoe ramps were built, they helped with regular transition riding and gave a fairly decent area that we utilised building obstacles. We would go on trips to the abandoned dock warehouses, strip plywood from walls and gather materials to build. We built a basic fun box, some little slide boxes, a manual pad, and anything we could with the limited material and tools. I recall getting a long section of yellow gas pipe from some workmen who were laying it up the road from the ramps, it was about 10-inch diameter and maybe 20ft long, screwed some feet onto it, and that thing slid well.

I skated regularly up to around 1998, then working more took its toll on my spare time and it went down to the occasional roll around the street or try some ollies in the garage until I turned 50 and decided I needed to skate ramp again. So I came to see Nick at Prime; went well for the first few sessions but promptly ended when I broke my wrist. 

The itch was still with me, and in December 2021, I started to go to OMM each week; the bug had me tightly in its grip again. Mondays are looked forward to; catch up with friends and have a good rolling session. It might take longer to recover now but I am eager each Monday, calling up the old moves and unexpectedly still learning new stuff, I could never do FS rock before, but I can now, mostly.

Al McKee skating Prime Skatepark Plymouth
Al McKee - FS Rock August 2023
Please contact us if you have something to share.
Back to blog