WERE it not for the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Olympic Games would have come to a close in the Japanese capital of Tokyo last Sunday.
Skateboarding was supposed to make its debut in the competition and our retro snaps show just how popular the sport has been in south Essex over the years.
Essex currently boasts 56 skateparks, including in Basildon, Leigh, Rayleigh, Shoebury, Billericay and Canvey.
The Covid-19 outbreak has resulted in the Olympics being pushed back until next year, so that leaves time for some of south Essex’s skateboarding enthusiasts to get their practice in now.
If any youngsters show the same ability as some of the skateboarders in these photographs, south Essex may have a future gold medallist on its hands.
Scroll through our retro snaps of skateboarders at our local skateparks below.
Ramping up the fun – Southend-based skateboarders come together to show off their colourful boards in 1987
Confident – skateboarder Ian Noble in November 1977
Flip side – Richard Dove, 15, showcases his ability on his board
Hang time – a youngster takes to the air in Southend
Tunnel vision – skate buffs hitting the decks in 1988
High ambition – a lad competes in 1992
Showing off – Southend skaters show off their handstand skills
Steady – Alan Hodge, 12, skateboarding in Southend in April 1978
Beaming with delight – Mark Franklin from Southend in 1978
United – a group of skateboarding lads in the 1970s