International News/ Australia

Australia-With plenty of skateparks popping up and new companies emerging, there are no signs of an industry downturn in Oz. Also being home to Melbourne-one of the world’s most skate-friendly cities-skateboarding in Australia is looking pretty peachy.

The world’s most picturesque mini ramp-the six-footer down at Bondi Beach-will finally be getting a complete skatepark courtesy of Chad Ford and F-Beat Productions. This should be a doozy and will be completed over a decade after the mini ramp’s conception-25 years after the Bondi skatepark petition began.

Onset, Jamie Fackzackerly’s new DVD, is on the shelves. Earlier in the year, Fackzackerly premiered Onset, but due to budgeting constraints he was unable to release it. Now you can finally pick it up and have a gander at the antics of Ben Gauci and Jai Smith, two of Sydney’s most raucous up-and-coming street skaters.Longtime Melbourne vertical annihilator James Kennedy recently became team manager of Quiksilver Australia and has already secured Tristan Walker as the first-ever Aussie Quiksilver rider to receive a salary.

ASM (Australian Skateboarding Magazine) has recently suffered a great loss-Sydney legend Michael Davidson’s popular column “Yo Davo,” as Davidson is now living in Tokyo. Maybe he’ll get a column in TransWorld SKATEboarding Japan.Aaron Rowe and Chris Wood, two of the world’s most underrated skaters, are heading over to the U.S. for a quick bash. Keep your eyes peeled for these two shredders.Skateboarding legend and reclusive New Zealander Lee Ralph is rumored to be returning to Australia to drink the pubs dry, eat all the food in everyone’s cupboards, and have 30 cups of tea per hour. He’s also got an exhibition of artwork. Ralph’s wood carvings are amazing, so this should be an absolute pearler.Thirteen-year-old Juice rider Chima Ferguson is now the world’s youngest Boost rider, after being added to the Australian Boost team list. Yes, he is even younger than Sheckler.

Ex-Slam Editor Dave Adair has joined the Concrete Skateparks crew and just completed work on Kettering, Tasmania’s new concrete gem.

Simon Oxenham, owner of Convic Skatepark Productions, has recently secured distribution of Circa footwear in Oz. He has been busy assembling a crew of representatives down here in between the pouring of parks. Convic is currently pouring three parks a month.

Western Australia’s renowned Momentum Skate Shop has recently released Sons Of Bitumen, the shop’s fourth video, which contains most of Western Oz’s rippers as well as a few East Coast lurkers.

On Saturday August 30 Peninsula Events hosted Australia’s international junior skate comp. It went down at the Frankston Art Centre. The grand prize was an all-expenses-paid trip to Woodward Skate Camp in the U.S. Check peninsulaevents.com.au for details.

Potty, daddy of skateboard.com.au (formerly sk8parx.com) and all-around Canberra ruler, is set to marry his longtime sweetheart Alexa later in the year. The Caloundra Bowl Jam in November will double as his bucks bachelor party.élan skateboards is a new board company out of Adelaide. There have never really been enough Aussie board companies, so it’s always good to see a new edition. The élan team is Stuart Hines, Andy Walker, Sid Tapia, Joe Pease, Adam Chan, and Jamie “Webster” Kidd, as well as flow-team riders Pete Solvyns, Daniel “Dook” Deck, and Anthony Macguire.

As Sydney is now considered the third Hollywood (with Vancouver the second), it is not suprising that several feature films are being produced here at the moment. Currently there are rumours of a film called Deck Dogs featuring Tony Hawk, and another production featuring Ryan Sheckler and “Sk8er Boi” crooner Avril Lavigne.