Category Archives: Blue Ramp

413: Mailbag Friday: Darren Menditto, Tom Groholski “performing” at Great AdventureJeff Jones & The Blue Ramp from Bill Devlin

Darren Menditto 1988

Darren Menditto Ocean City MD 1988

Photo Bill Devlin

Hey Jason-

I stumbled across your great House of Steam blog yesterday, and probably spent a good hour just looking at a bunch of stuff (I think i initially googled Ken old friend of a friend…turned up some hits for your site). Definitely great to see someone in NJ made an effort to document and publish via the web the skate scene here. Some of the stuff brought back some fond memories. I was part of crew of SJ inbreds who tried to venture out and skate different ramps, etc. on the East Coast, and was always stoked when we’d get to cross paths w/ the likes of Tom G., Murph, Chuck Treece, or get to see and skate w/ some of the truly rippin’ guys from ‘up north’. Funny for example, how i know i skated the barn ramp at least once, but barely can remember being there. I do remember skating Great Adventure w/ Groholski when he invited us to skate w/ him between his ‘performances’ there (remember that? think they called it a ‘skateboard stunt show’ or some sh*t). Anyway, everyone was always cool to us, which we all appreciated.
Anyway, i came across a shot i took of Darren M. (pretty sure it’s him) I took during a few trips we got to take down to OC Maryland, probably like 88′. I just remember that ramp being slick as snot, yet all those guys ripped it without any fear. I thought i scan it and send to you for your archives/sake of posterity, since if i didn’t, it’d would sit in a box probably for another 20 years. Feel free to use or post, no need to credit photo either.

Bill devlin Blue ramp

Bill Devlin Blue Ramp, NJ

I also attached a shot of me at what we always called ‘Jeff Jones’ ramp’, aka the Blue Ramp. All i know is we just showed up there one day, and whoever answered the door was kind enough to let us skate w/ no problems. That ramp still there? Back in those days finding a good skateable ramp in Jersey was like a quest for the Holy Grail sometimes.
Great site, and checked out some of your artwork, awesome stuff.

Bill D


Thanks Bill!! Great stuff. I think I will try and get together more of these emails and get them out on Fridays…keep em pouring in! (with pics!)


352: Team Steam 1987 Photo Annual

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Team Steam 1987 Photo Annual created by Ben Cornish

Music Raging Lamos

Photos by:

Ben Cornish

Jason Oliva

Video by Jason Oliva

Try out:

299: Team Steam 1987 Photo Annual

All Photos By Benjamin Cornish (Photo of Bernie O’Dowd by Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

With only one copy left to be known in existence (The Oliva copy) we are fortunate that the Team Steam 1987 Photo Annual (8.5″ x 11″) survives in its entirety. All photo’s layouts and printing(Xeroxing) were done by Ben Cornish and we thank him for it!


149: Derek Rinaldi speaking about the East Coast

Derek Rinaldi Manahawkin 1990 jason oliva the house of steam

Derek Rinaldi Manahawkin, NJ 1990
This was one of the funnest parks (Manahawkin)in NJ. Masonite pool with real
pool coping, mini ramps. et. I forget the guys names who ran it but
they were some of the nicest people ever.

Derek Rinaldi Thradher 1990 jason oliva the house of steam

Thrasher Magazine 1990

photo Ken Salerno

My info ;

Name: Derek Rinaldi

Age: 38 As of May 29

Years skating 23 years

Sponsors over the years – SHUT, G&S,Think, Vision Street Wear, Venture Truck, Spitfire Wheels

First contest Westwood cycle – Steve Rocco & Gonzales judged

Favorite terrain – Bad transitions

General NJ skate words.

The late 80’s were a great time to be a skateboarder in south jersey. One summer a couple kids had build a vert ramp in Silverton NJ, not far from my house in Ortley Beach. At the same time a public swimming pool had been closed and abandoned only a few miles from the ramp in Brick. Not to mention the endless street skating by the beach. It was more than enough to keep a hand full of skinny skaters out of trouble.

And then the migration came. First Mike Vallely and friends were making regular visits to the shore. Jim Murphy, Jef Hartsel & Brad Constable were caravanning down the parkway with Darren Menditto and Steve Herring at the silverton ramp and brick pool. We were alive. We’d been riding this terrain for days on days doing the same tricks. Our eyes were open. Next thing we knew our local ramp and pool were in the pages of Thrasher Magazine. From this summer on, we’d be making regular trips to the Blue Ramp, The barn ramp, Ocean City Md. & New York City. The transformation was on. From street hangers to world travelers. Friendships were made that have stretched years. The skating that went on in NJ during those years were, i believe, some of the most important in East Coast skate history

True Dat Derek! (Say hello to Derek at MySpace.. He always has a good tune goin)

I was going to make a big elaborate post inserting pictures here an there for this but I figures whats the rush! Lets spread it all out. Recently Derek along with Uber Thrasher Photographer Ken Salerno have become key contributors to The House of Steam project. The only thing I have to say about it is I could not be happier…Me hardrive is a swelling wit images of the Golden Age and I am looking forward to bringing them all to you.

So in honor of all that Derek you get THOS long weekend slot (Im going to Eccles Beach, UK…google earth me I’ll be the one lying in the sand in my jumper) i’ll be AFK till Monday.

So dont forget our brand new forums!!! Thanks to all those registered and posting.

and look forward to some sick pic history from Derek’s personal stash.

PS I have received alot of great stuff lately and it will all make it into the archive (trust me) I got to get it all outta email onto the compy then wrap my head around it…So please keep it coming..Let The House of Steam sort it out.

jason oliva

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140: The Blue Ramp NJ being built in the early 80’s. Bernie O’Dowd 85

Blue Ramp Construction jason oliva the house of steam

Blue Ramp under construction in New Jersey Early 80’s

Cant remember who sent me this one but if your out their send me your name again.

Bernie O’Dowd 85 blue ramp jason oliva the house of steam

Bernie O’Dowd 85 Blue ramp NJ

Dig the Police Ghost in the Machine tag…too funny




Bernie O’Dowd and Chris WEEP Blank Dorkin Around circa 1987
Super 8 footage by Ben Cornish

Team Steam at Matt Klein’s New jersey Circa 1987
Super 8 from Ben Cornish

43: Tom Groholski’s Juice Interview


Tom skating his backyard ramp…and talkin bout the Barn.


The Legend of Skateboarder Christian HosoiClick for your copy of Rising Son and support The House of Steam!!

jason oliva


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