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Golden Era - Pete Dalmer

Caricature - Forrest Eddington Photos - Matt Lee

Adam Harris posted an old video part of Pete Dalmer’s on to the socials. The part was from an old Kiama homie video from the early 2000’s and as with any Pete footage it created a stir. Comments came in thick and fast and emojis were thrown around with true disregard. Pete himself commented on the post with three simple words, The Golden Era.

Ryan Grant and myself, Kane Horspool, caught up with Pete at the Mavs DIY spot in Wollongong city. It was a windy day so the three of us took no heed to social distancing rules and hid out in my car to conduct the interview. Like a bunch of stoners sitting awkwardly in a motionless car at a random lookout we discussed the so-called Golden Era and spared no detail as we nerded out on a sparkling time in Wollongong’s skateboarding history.

Kane - In your mind when was the golden era?

The exact year and time…is ah…filming for the truth vid. When was that?

K - Oh man don’t ask me. Years are a blur with me mate.

Probably 2003 to 2006 … seven maybe. I kinda came back to skating about that time that you started filming for it so that’s how I remember it. I was about seventeen, got into cars and that sort of stuff, stopped skating for about two years and then I came back and started filming for the Truth vid.

K - I was gonna ask you about that, the Pete hiatus. Because I do remember around that time there was a red Honda Civic that was lowered.

Yeah there was a red Honda Civic.

K -And you had to open the doors to go over speed humps (laughs).

Sometimes depending on how many people were in the car (laughs).

K - So the video part we are gonna talk about is your part from the Mass Consumption vid from what we think is about 2005. In that there’s the kickflip manual kickflip out at Shellharbour TAFE at the long curved manual pad, that was the first time back wasn’t it?

That was. That was the first day and the first trick back and I went out filming with you guys and I got that.

K - So you hadn’t been skating for two years and then you come back and film that on this long arse curved manual pad that had all pavers and shit as well.

Yeah, yeah, I remember that. That stuck out in my mind as well. I remember I was wearing these heinous jeans that had a little logo on the back of the jeans.

K - (laughs) Oh yeah full Ecko style.

Granty: Probably Ezekiel.

Yeah Maybe Ezekiel. Something pretty bad. I remember those jeans for sure.

G - What made you wanna come back? What sparked it?

Yeah, I don’t know. Sounds a bit cliché but something was missing, I just ah… You know when your young you get into certain things and drift apart from them but um yeah, I felt like I needed to come back for it. From being a young kid and getting into cars and that sort of thing.

K - So who were some of the main instigators of that era? Who stands out?

Age Proud for sure. He sticks in my mind for sure. Everyone. That was the best thing about that kinda era was just everyone kinda contributed a little bit and um, also with the filming we didn’t try too hard. It was just hand the camera to ya mate Forrest, Cam, yourself, Ray even sometimes it was just like Yeah film this. That was the best thing about it, was there was no pressure it was just ah. It was just simple.

K - Yeah it didn’t matter if you cut off someone’s head or the entire board mid trick (laughs).

Nah it was acceptable. As long as you landed on four wheels that was a make. That was it.

K - You mentioned Age (Proud) in there, I was gonna ask you about him. I think he was responsible for a lot of the spots we skated … and the missions as well.

He was. I remember this pretty clearly; I think we were at the water tanks or something like that and we stopped in at Corrimal um Court. We stopped off to get some woodies and he’s like Oh where to next boys. And then he pulled out his spot list and he had this big A4 book full of spots, labelled with um Suburbs and spots in those suburbs. I remember that clearly. I remember Age Proud just being so on to it.

K - And that takes a bit of effort. I remember trying to make a spot book back in the day and it never eventuated.

We had a go at it.

G - Do you remember what you were watching back then? Was there something video wise that pushed you to think I’m gonna be that manual dude? Amongst other things but manuals for sure. I wonder where that came from?

Nothing really. I didn’t really idolise anyone in particular if that’s what you’re getting at. I did like Deawon Song and Ronnie Creager and all those dudes of that kinda era. Eric Koston, all those techy kinda guys, I did like them.

As far as videos coming out around that time, I remember Almost ‘Round 3’ came out just as I was getting back into skating, I guess. I think Daewon rubbed on me a little bit. I’d say that and what else came out in that kind of era? Blind ‘What If?’ 2006ish. A lot of vids came out around then. ‘Skate More’ (DVS) came out, it might have been after.

K - I do have memories of you and a young Nick Cat skating. Tell us about him?

Nick Catrovesis. Yeah, we used to skate a lot. In high school I guess that was the other main dude I used to skate with. Yeah everything, Kiama Primary we used to skate a lot, the long wooden bench. We’d go down to the IGA, no the Franklins. There used to be a Franklins in the mains street. We’d buy one-dollar hot chips from the Coolabah Café and then go to Franklin’s and buy a litre of soft drink for like ninety cents and then go up the primary school for like six hours a day. That used to be where we would skate.

K - I guess that’s the thing kids don’t realised now with so many parks around. There was nothing back then. There was nothing between Fez and Ulladulla.

But yeah Nick Catravessis he had such a wild style, kinda almost like I think someone like Ty (Jeffery) today. You know different, outta the box.

He did dabble in a bit of freestyling as well. He used to love doing a bit of hand stand stuff, bit of primo, the Rodney Mullen style flicks and whatever.

K - It was always a very interesting combination watching you two, he was always so out there doing different stuff and you were very technical and very consistent.

Yeah right. He ollied the eight-footer, in his school uniform.

K - Wow. Was he the first?

Yeah, he was. He was the first. He would have been in year ten. Ah there’s footage of it somewhere. Dan Kelly would have it.

K - Dan Kelly. There’s another name from the past.

Yeah Dan Kelly would have it. I’m pretty sure they wagged school one day and I think he ollied it in his school uniform.

K - Dan Kelly would have started it. He was the first one to film, wasn’t he? He made a couple of little videos.

Yeah, he did. Right when Kiama (skatepark) first opened. I have a VHS tape at home somewhere. Yeah it was just little tiny parts. But I think he used to record them with two VCR’s. Dubbed them onto another VCR and do it like that. I don’t think there was any like skating sound, just music only.

G - Yeah back then you could only, you could dub music onto it, there was no way you could have both. You could if you had the right VCR you could switch it back to just the skating noise but yeah you couldn’t have both.

What about for the Truth vid would you think about laying out your part?

Not at all. It was just. I had a camera; Kane had a camera and Age had a camera. It was just, go out, clip on that fish eye to it and if someone’s got a trick you just film it. It wasn’t in anyway thought out too much.

That’s was the best thing about it. It was so simple. The golden era mate. We never refilmed a trick I don’t think. You just land it and move on.

For more gritty details on the Golden Era checkout the audio recording (don’t call it a podcast) linked in to this article or search Beatniks Mag on Spotify.

Listen to the conversation here:

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