Tag Archives: early 80’s

Rat Bite zine….issue 1

3 Apr

Rat Bite number one coverRat Bite number one 7
Rat Bite zine was put together by Twiss throughout the 80’s. I thought it would be a good idea to reproduce issue 1 in full. This is an introduction from Twiss…….
“I wrote the first issue of Ratbite in 1985. The reborn Swansea scene was at an early stage then and the mag’s content reflects that. There are photos of some of Britain’s top pros and write-ups from contests that a carful of us had travelled to in Banbury and Kidderminster, some blurry shots from Derwen Fawr, a spread of Chris Miller at Del Mar that John Dymond had taken while on a surf trip to the states… you get the idea. From the start, I wanted to have regular features, so I included local gossip (” Rumours and Lies”), a comic-strip (“Down in Rat-Town” ) and information about skate-spots (“100% Rad Terrain”, later ” Killer Terrain”). At the time I wasn’t trying to consciously contribute to the promotion of our “scene”, that notion didn’t exist! I just skated as much as I could, wore only skate clothes, hung out at the ramp, played bass in a skate band (The Boneless Ones)… the ‘zine was another way of being a skater. I think I learnt a lot from doing the mag, though. I always had plenty to write about, but the visual look of the pages had to be right too. I requisitioned my mum’s old typewriter, but the ribbon was worn out, so I used to type stuff up and then write over it in biro, the effect was cool, so I kept doing it. I spent hours cutting bits and pieces and trying to make interesting-looking backgrounds for the articles and photos. On the inside cover of the first mag, for example, “BMX?” is written in a large font, with a picture of Thatcher and the words “let them eat kicktail” written around it. I never had money for film, so I relied on others and had to try to make whatever pictures I had fit in with everything else. Pretty soon I had competition from Tomsk (“Gnarly”) and Phil Thomas (“Mutant”). I kept travelling a fair bit and once Skin started really getting into skate photography, the quality of the mag improved. By the time the last issue (#16) came out in early 1989, Swansea was very firmly on the international skate map, Skin was working for RAD and I was looking to go to uni to study media and English.”
Click on the images for a better look! I have most of the issues of Rat Bite so I will be posting more on here when I get them scanned.
Rat Bite number one 1Rat Bite number one 2

Rat Bite number one 3
Rat Bite number one 4

Rat Bite number one 5

Rat Bite number one 6