In the heart of the super city lies a hidden gem. This gem has sat quietly since long before our sacred Victoria Park Skate Park was built and perhaps even before the creation of street skating itself.
When I was 5 years old, the story of a concrete truck crashing at the end of the cul-de-sac was told. Being the gullible 5-year-old I was, I believed it. This concrete truck created the reason that I and many other Central Auckland skaters started skateboarding. This imaginary concrete truck created the Tole Street Bowl. The Tole Street Bowl is responsible for some of my earliest and greatest skate memories. It all started with my sister’s wager that I couldn’t make it around the bowl from top to bottom. For a week straight, blood, sweat and tears were paid in sacrifice to the skate gods. Soon after, I was hooning down that thing like Lee Ralph in bare feet and I was hooked on skateboarding!
The Tole Bowl is basically a giant snake run going down a hill, consisting of two large but mellow bowls and linked together with various corners, mellow banks and a super fun hip. Finding the right line is key to having fun here. The Tole Bowl also holds down a variety of proper gaps. Firstly, there’s the mini gap from the first bowl to the footpath. This is perfect for the young buck that loves a good flyout. Just watch out for that curb on the other side, many kids have taken that one to the chin. Secondly there’s the big gap. This gap is from the lower bowl to the footpath and its size is very deceiving. Any trick over the big gap is an achievement. Thirdly, there’s the infamous mega ruthless gap. This thing is no joke. This beast of a bowl to bowl gap would give even Danny Way the shivers, and has only been conquered by four people in Tole Bowl’s history. The first to do it was Matt West, with a heavy melon grab. The second was Chris Wood. Third was Colin Provost and the fourth was Sam Williams with a gnarly ollie at the Tole-A-Rama event held a couple of years ago. Go and check this gap for yourself, you’ll be amazed at how giant it actually is!
I was hooning down that thing like Lee Ralph in bare feet and I was hooked on skateboarding!
Aside from mega gaps, the Tole Bowl is the perfect summer spot to go for a chilled roll with your mates and a young six-pack. It’s one of those rare skate spots where even the girls will be happy to hang. Just don’t go there when it’s wet ’cause that shit’s slippery and you may have to PAY THE TOLE!
Published in Manual #60
Text by Willy G
Photo by Isaac Matz