How about a quick trip to France ? Just turn to page 15 for a lively skateboard tour of Paris with crack Franch surfer-skateboarders Arnaud De Rosnay and Philippe Gérard. Arnaud and Philippe really tear up to Paris sidewalks at such celebrated tourist landmarks as the Arc de Triomphe, Place Du Trocadero and traffic-jammed Place de la Concorde. Elsewhere in this issue, blonde Pat McGee-who’s on the cover-tells what it’s like to travel around the country as skateboarding’s prettiest goodwill ambassador. For a close look at a skateboard champion, there’s an interview withe Brando “Woody“ Woodward, only triple winner at the recent International Skateboard Championships. Cartoonist Rick Griffin takes his famous character Murphy on a funny search for a skateboarding news story and Rodney Dangerfield, skateboarding’s secret agent, mixes with more international spies. Skateboarder is really packed this issue !
page 6 : Skatepost
page 9 : Skateboarding's Rights and Duties - Jim Bishop
page 10 : Profile - Pat Mc Gee : The Lady is a Champ
page 14 : Skateboard Tips - Bill Cleary
page15 : Skateboarding France - Joel de Rosnay/Joe Babout
page 24 : Murphy Gets A Story : Cartoons by Rick Griffin
page 28 : Woody Woodward - Skateboarding's 4 foot 7 inch Giant - Bill Cleary
page 34 : The Moscow Adventures Of Secret Agent Rodney Dangerfield -Fiction by John Severson
page 36 : Big cartoon Contest - With lots of prizes
page 37 : Getting Around
page 42 : Wheelies - Cartoons by Ed Munter
by Joel DeRosnay : Photos by DeRosnay and Joseph Babout
French President Charles DeGaulle, who often boasts his country has everything, now can really make that claim stick: skateboarding is the rage of Paris.
Skateboarding had a modest start in Paris with a skateboard mailed from the United States to French surfer-skateboarder Arnaud DeRosnay. Arnaud had been stoked on skateboarding since he had seen a visiting group of California surfers perform briefly on skateboards last year. When the skateboard finally arrived at Arnaud's apartment, he decided to try out the Paris slopes immediately. Arnaud rounded up his brother Joel and Philippe Gerard, France’s 1964 senior surf champion - and off they went.
They packed into Arnaud's small English made Mini-Cooper and drove around Paris looking for outstanding slopes. As Joel remembers it: “Arnaud suddenly screamed, ‘Sidewalks up on the left!,’ and we saw a fantastic slope not too steep with real slalom poles! It was the framework for the canvas covered stands of an open-air market that are common in Paris."
So Arnaud, Joel, and Philippe jumped out of their tiny Mini-Cooper and spent an hour slaloming through the empty market's gates. It was perfect practice. “Let's find a better hill," said Philippe, and they sped away in their little sedan through the crowded Paris traffic.
At the tourist-famous Place de la Concorde, Arnaud got out and tried it again through what is probably the busiest traffic square in the world. Arnaud soon realized that skateboarding in traffic is not only dangerous – it’s no fun. So they got back into the car and began to search for a better hill. “Where to?" asked Joel. “Let's try the Champs Elysees," said Arnaud.
The Champs Elysees is a broad avenuethat leads from the famous Arc de Triomphe down a gradual hill to a pretty garden called the Tuileries. The broad avenue is dotted with sidewalk cafes, smart shops and plenty of pedestrians - but that didn't stop Arnaud and Philippe. They decided to take off from the Arc de Triomphe, the gigantic monument that Napoleon ordered built in honor of the French armies in 1806.
While amazed pedestrians watched, Arnaud took off down the smooth Champs Elysees sidewalk. Arnaud had a good run and used his slalom experience at the outdoor market to hold down his speed. An excellent surfer as well as snow skier, Arnaud quickly collected a large crowd of curious Frenchmen. The crowd got so large that they spilled over into the streets and a traffic jam resulted.
As frustrated motorists began honking horns, Philippe shouted: "Attention les flics!" This means in French argot, "Here come the cops." But it was too late and a French gendarme was there in an instant and demanding to know what was going on. Shaking a finger at Arnaud he said: "Rollerskating is expressly forbidden on the Champs Elysees."
But Arnaud and Philippe were stoked so they decided to look for one more spot before calling it a day. After driving along the Seine river they found the glassiest pavement in Paris at the Place de Trocadero across the river from the famous Eiffel Tower. Trading off the skateboard, Arnaud and Philippe performed several of the tricks that they had read about in SKATEBOARDER Magazine: wheelies, spinners, and nose-riding. There were several youngsters rollerskating against the backdrop of the 984-foot tower that had been built for the 1898 World's Fair in Paris. The rollerskaters soon were asking Arnaud and Philippe where they could get "the marvelous new skateboard." So from that beginning skateboarding has grown by leaps and bounds in France. American tourists in France this summer reported seeing plenty of skateboards from the Atlantic resort of Biarritz to the Cote d'Azur on the Mediterranean.
''l'm not rollerskating - l'm skateboarding! It's a new sport and lots of fun -you try it."
The gendarme pulled back looking at the skateboard in Arnaud's hand as if it were a ticking hand grenade. He shook his head and that was all the skateboarding that day on the Champs Elysees - the slope had quickly closed out.
There still are no custom-made French boards but there are plenty of homemade ones and many American firms have a good business supplying French skateboarding needs. It is only a matter of time before French skateboard manufacturers get on the bandwagon.
Arnaud and Philippe report that the gendarmes now are used to seeing skateboarders flashing here and there on Paris streets and in the lovely parks that abound in this beautiful city. Arnaud puts it this way:
"In Paris the sidewalks are always up."
Thanks to Daniel Finlay