In 1978, the city of Vancouver, among many other places, viewed skateboarding as a kids fad. If you wanted to skateboard, you'd have to have a DIY approach to it. Luckily for us kids, there were still a few adults down for the cause. Monty was advocating for the city to build parks, and Bruce Mathie, a fireman in his 20s nicknamed Gronk with an impressive skate history and feathered quaff, went out and created the infamous "Ripping Squad", an elite demo team from Vancouver, BC. The Ripping Squad consisted of Mike Blake, Rich Lien, Mike Lien, Al Harrison, Drew Morrit, Dave Morrit, Niko Weis, Rob Leshgold and Kevin Harris, accompanied by a 10ft high mobile folding ramp dawning the Yin and Yang symbol with no flat bottom. By the first year of The Ripping Squad, Gronk managed to prebook some of the biggest skate demos in Canada. The group did demos in Stanley Park, the PNE, schools, malls, grocery store parking lots, the Pacific Coliseum and many other non-skate orientated places. At the end of the day, the Ripping Squad was a glorified half-time show, but without knowing it we were creating new skaters with our guerrilla marketing approach. You may have been out with your family, grabbing a bite to eat, not knowing by the time you got home, little Johnny was about to be begging for his first skateboard. By 1980, the Ripping Squad ramp transformed from a 10ft x 8ft no flat bottom ramp to a monster portable 10ft H x 12ft W with 8ft of flat bottom ramp. The ramp came apart in 5 pieces and was transported by a flatbed trailer. The team put on half pipe, freestyle and high/long jump demos from 1978 to 1981, when the Ripping Squad disbanded due to a rapid demise in skateboard popularity.