An interview with UNIT 19 founding fathers Eric Hayto; Tyrone White; Harvey Millerchip and Craig ‘Chuck’ Norris.
There are tales of a secret ramp hidden away on the UKвЂ™s south coast and, like all great myths, there is often a story behind the legend.
Regarded, by those fortunate enough to have skated it, as one of the best mini-ramps anywhere, Unit 19 represents an elusive Utopia for would-be shredders who arenвЂ™t prepared to grovel, bribe or offer sexual favours to get a sniff of the action.
How many of us have sat around on cold, wet, Winter (or Summer for that matter!) days and said вЂњWouldnвЂ™t it be great to have our own indoor ramp вЂ“ just for us and our mates?вЂќ
Probably most of us, if weвЂ™re honest. Well, thatвЂ™s just what these guys did, and instead of sitting on their arses and bitching about the weather and crowded parks, they got their heads together and set about building their own private indoor playgroundвЂ¦..
SP В I guess we canвЂ™t talk about Unit 19 without at least paying homage to вЂњThe BasementвЂќ вЂ“ care to bore us with the history, Ty?
TW вЂњUnit 19 is basically an evolution of вЂњthe BasementвЂќ – a 120 foot-wide mini ramp (with a spine and a 24 foot wide 8 foot vert section), situated underneath a large shop in North End, Portsmouth.
вЂњThe BasementвЂќ came about because the original вЂњGrave DiggersвЂќ pub garden ramp was shut down and needed to be moved as the noise caused complaints from local residents.
вЂњThe BasementвЂ™ was a rancid, fungus-infested shit hole, ran in total secrecy. This is where the whole myth / legend of an underground ramp came from.
It was a seriously invite-only (even then you were still treated like an outsider for your first few visits!) deal, with limited access and restricted skate times.вЂќ
SP В Sounds hesh! So, what prompted you guys to build Unit 19, and how did it all get started?
HM вЂњWhen the Basement closed (after about 3 years), we just had to find a new locationвЂ¦..вЂќ
EH вЂњWe were looking for premises for quite a while. Then I got a job to clear out a unit to get ready to rent again and it was while I was doing this that I wondered if we could fit a ramp in it!
I called Tyrone, we took some measurements, and he got one of his guys at work to draw something up on CAD to see what we could fit it in.вЂќ
[Opposite: Harvey Millerchip В | В Bouncer Duty]