TURF – MELVILLE HIGH

Parry, Parry and Rosenthal designed Melville High School in the late 50’s. The school was opened in the February of 1960 to years 8 and 9 students. A few years later it grew to include all years 10, 11 and 12 and was renamed Melville Senior High. In 1970 and 1990 parts of the school were destroyed by fire. In 2014 it made international headlines due to a student spiking his teachers coffee with laxatives! Us skateboarders know Melville differently. There was that time Kye ollied through a window. And that one winter when we both skated the pool. Primarily the school is known for two ferociously kinked pieces of steel.

After a few years at John Curtin I moved across to Melville High. It was just around the corner from my house. Melville also had a few weeks of skateboarding available if you studied Physical Recreation. This, was admittedly a drawing card towards my move. Skateboarding at school in 1989 was unheard of. Funnily enough the campus was home to quite a few spots too. I remember walking around the school tripping on all the stuff to skate there. The most transfixing were obviously the rails out the front. They were the lowest rails I’d ever seen. But they were kinked. One ‘the double kink’ was down a two-flat-three (which later changed to be a one-flat-three). The other: ‘the triple kink’ was down three sets of three stairs. I was obsessed by them both. I remember drawing the triple kink in maths class – wondering if it was possible to go down the whole thing.

Before long I had boardslid the end of the double kink. Taking my run up from the base of the first set. It was my first ever handrail. Soon there were tales of Kye Stanley boardsliding the whole double. If there was a guy who could do this, I had to be skating with him. That’s kind of how we met actually. Through a rail. Think this was right at the start of the 90’s. Once the gates opened with that first boardslide the tricks were getting reeled off relentlessly for the next twenty years or so – first with the double kink and eventually the triple kink.

morgan campbell noseslide – 1993 – photo: simeon trewenack (as seen in asm)

The Double
The double has two ‘down bits’ but you miss the first. So you just have to slide the flat and take the three and absorb the kink. The kink is the crazy bit. The first time you hit it you almost do a back flip. I’ve seen boards launch off into the distance from the kink. It harnesses a lot of power. People who didn’t skate there would often mock its gnarliness by looking at the height of the thing, but it could serve you. I once had a video grab of a slam on the rail run in Australian Skateboarding Magazine and they said something like “Morgan takes the hardest of slams on the smallest of rails.” Sure they were small. But their force can’t be underestimated.

zac willmore – lipslide 2008 – photo: luke thompson (as seen in staple mag)

For as many successes as there were on the rails, there were at least twice as many slams. Standout tricks on the double kink over the years were JB Gillet’s back tail. Westgate’s front blunt, and MJ’s front nose. I once saw Kareem nearly crook it first try! Pretty much crook pop over. School was on and my ex-Phys Rec teacher kicked us out. What a dick.

jb gillet – backtail – 2006 – photo o’meally (as seen in transworld)

The Triple
The triple was always just a dream. But in 1992 Plan B dropped Questionable, our minds were blown by Duffy and thanks to our everslick boards Kye and I thought we could maybe boardslide the triple. We went down there the night prior practiced on the double kink. Kye crashed at mine and we stayed up late watching every kinked rail ever done on VHS. Gonz, Duffy, Frankie Hill you name it. We had both boardslid it by ten the next morning. Not before a good superman slam each though. The only other person I know of that boardslid that one was Paul Maynard (aka Track Man). Paul tragically left us last year.

In 1996 I was in Glasgow and I heard (in a hand written letter) that Muska and Creager had grinded the triple. Muska frontside and Ronnie was backside! Another ten or twenty people must have grinded it over the years following. In 1999 I was there with Jeff Williams and the rest of the Juice Team. We did 50/50 doubles down it. Later Aaron Jenkin joked to Jeff that he should grind it switch. He did. We were out of video camera battery so he came back and did it in 2000 as well. Seeing him navigate those kinks backwards was hectic to say the least.

jeff williams – switch 50/50 – 1999 – photo: aaron brown – as seen in asm

Now the triple has been removed and the double is still there. It has skate stoppers across it and blind bumps to boot. Who is going to tackle it in its current state? – MC