Open House Perth 2018 isn’t just about stepping inside venues and locations you don’t usually get the chance to, it’s also about getting insight into the city from people who might see it a little differently to you. Skater’s Eye is a special tour that shares how the landscape of Perth looks to a skateboarder. There are spots you might walk down every day that are viewed very differently for those on wheels and according to local skateboarder and tour host Morgan Dyson it’s a dynamic playground that is changing all the time with the city’s rapid development.
So if I was a skateboarder visiting Perth, how do you think I would rate it’s ‘skate-ability’ compared to other cities?
To be honest, Perth’s skate-ability probably wouldn’t score too high compared to European cities like Barcelona and Copenhagen. A lot of those cities are either planning and implementing skate-friendly infrastructure, or retroactively designating skate zones because of continued usage. But this perhaps provides an added challenge for skaters in Perth to work with a limited tool kit and be creative enough to find skate-able locations.
And what is it you think that makes Perth unique in that sense?
One advantage is that Perth is reasonably compact and easy to get around by skateboard, so you can traverse a lot of terrain from West Perth, down into the CBD and over to Northbridge easily within a day’s skate. A drawback of a smaller size is a lot of spots have been discovered, skated and then skate-stopped (metal caps added to ledges/rails) or there’s an increased security and police presence. Again, this essentially forces skaters to find new ways to approach old spots or find new spots altogether.
Do you think there’s still great skating locations to be discovered, or conquered around the city?
There are always spots to be found if you look hard enough, but one advantage of a lot of construction that has happened around the Yagan Square/Perth City Link project is the creation of new places and interesting architectural features to be re-appropriated. Sometimes these are even unfinished construction sites, which adds the interesting dimension of being temporary, transient places of skate-activation until “official” businesses move in and skaters are usually kicked out.
So what exactly can people look forward to on the Skater’s Eye tour, will they be able to have a go at skating themselves?
The tour is primarily aimed at informing and educating non-skaters, so that they may gain an appreciation of the creative re-interpretations skaters enact when they engage with urban architecture. I’m hoping this leads to a more open discussion regarding positive alternate uses of Perth’s public spaces. There won’t be any official skating lessons, but by all means people can bring their own skateboards if they want! There’ll be some guest speakers sharing some different views, and I’m happy to be showing my short documentary on skateboarding, architecture and public places at the end of the tour on the big screen in the James Street Amphitheatre.
The Skater’s Eye tour is running as part of Open House Perth 2018
Where: Meet at Beyond Skate Perth – 15 Howard Street, Perth
When: Saturday, November 10, 11am – 12.30pm
Learn more here.