Atlanta has always been known for its working class skate scene. We work hard and we play even harder. After a quick little sit down with our very own Stormy Pruett, I’ve come up with a little piece of Atlanta skateboarding history to share with you.
Some recognizable names that pioneered Atlanta skateboarding might include; Jimmy O’Brien, Load, Fred Reeves, Mark Jones, Andy Howell and Thomas Taylor. A lot of this information comes from before my time, so forgive me if I missed a name or two. Most of these dudes still rip to this day. If you hang out at the Old 4th Ward Skatepark enough, you will definitely see some of these dudes drop in and kill it! If you do see them around, make sure to thank them for paving the way for the rest of us little turds.
For those of you who are not familiar with the 40 Yard, it was probably the first DIY (Do It Yourself) spot in the city of Atlanta. Located off West Peachtree street, the 40 Yard lied within the heart of the city. It consisted of a long ledge and some banks and quarter pipes, with other obstacles coming and going. It is safe to say that the 40 Yard was the beginning of a long tradition of DIY spots, including the Freedom Parkway Foundation, the Coop, etc. Chris Head was a large contributor, along with many MANY more. So many awesome stories come from the 40 Yard or Cruddside as some called it. They even had a resident homeless person staying at the spot, his name was Troy. Troy would protect the spot from anyone trying to steal or ruin any of the ramps. The locals might include, but are not limited to; Stormy Pruett, Chris Head, Scott Mckenzie, Shawn Beeks, Jeremiah Babb (Owner of Bender Hardware), Jay Buck, Mike Summers, Brian Hutch, Ryan Flynn and Steve Young. Although their recent fame would lead you to believe otherwise, Sidney and Therman Sewell, more likely known as The ATL Twins, became very familiar faces there as well. Even Yelawolf was a frequenter of the 40 Yard. As we all know nothing truly good or awesome lasts forever, in early 2000 someone purchased the land the 40 Yard had been built on. A fence was put up around the spot, which did not stop people from skating, but soon after that a high rise building was built there. R.I.P. 40 Yard.
Recently, Ryan Flynn over at AtlantaHatesUs.com received some resurfacing footage from the 40 Yard. This video is from a contest held at the 40 Yard in 1999. Check it out!
For more super awesome Atlanta Skateboarding History, stop by and have a chat with everyone’s favorite sideburns, Stormy Pruett, at Ambush Board Co.