Interview with Steve Martin
Steve first encountered skateboarding in 1976 on an entertainment television programme called ’Seaside Special’ or ‘Summertime Special’. He said it totally blew his mind seeing the people on this programme skateboard. He got his first skateboard the day after at Neals toyshop in Bletchley. He used it in the underpass in the Brunel Centre and broke it, so had to buy an upgrade. He explains how the skateboarding scene suddenly ’went ballistic’ overnight. Steve learnt tricks he had seen in American magazines.
Skateboarding for Steve was an ‘absolute revelation’; he had suffered from self-confidence and struggled to find something he felt he was good at. Skateboarding helped him to build his confidence as it gave him freedom, and then in turn, respect. Steve was good at the 360 trick, and almost broke the world record. His fondest memory of skateboarding was when his mother and sister took him and his best friend to Skate City, next to Tower Bridge. His parents were very supportive. Steve talks of the fashion trends associated with skateboarding, such as punk music and reggae music. But he said the skate scene was most influenced by the American surf style, which Milton Keynes was perfect for. Steve and his friends would sneak into Middleton Hall and play cat and mouse with the security guards.
Steve was involved in the campaign to get a skate park in Milton Keynes. He recalls ’storming up to the council offices in Bletchley with our helmets and pads’. Steve has a lasting commitment to skateboarding because it had a profound effect on his life. He is still in touch with some of the friends he made in 1976.