RAF Woodbridge

I actually couldn't find any old pics of me skating or with my boards but I do have most of my old decks around and they always generate so many memories for me whenever I pull them out so I took this picture of them. Aside from the new Natas (obviously), the Staab (top row, third deck... was actually my brother's), and the Powell Steadham (can't remember exactly how that came in my possession) this pic pretty much shows my deck purchase history. My first board was actually a Variflex with a snake graphic that came with orange rails, noseguard, and tailguard in which I got the basics down. My first pro board was the Blue Welinder Streetstyle in the pic... I got it with Indy 169 trucks, white 90a Powell Crossbones wheels, and white griptape (Doh!). As you can tell, I was pretty much a Powell and Santa Cruz snob in my day.

I got into skateboarding when my father was stationed in England from 1986 - 1990. There were several reasons I got into skating but I think the main one was the fact that our base, RAF Woodbridge, was a skateboarding MECCA. We had so many spots at this base; the elementary school had nice launching embankments, grind-able curbs, and some low-height walls and the high school had these embankments that transitioned to walls, stairways, and this waist-high wall that we always tried to ollie up and/or off... not to mention the many ramps, funboxes, railslide apparatuses, and various other contraptions we built, to boot. Yeah, our base was pretty damn rad that even the local English kids would come skate with us regularly. We were also only an hour and some change away from London which had some pretty awesome skatespots itself and right outside of London was Romford Skatepark which we would visit at least once per summer as a group. One day, finally, the youth department at our base got tired of us stealing wood and supplies from the construction sites and decided to build us a a 4-foot high 12-foot wide mini half pipe. At first, they coated the ramp with this lacquer that made it very slippery and we actually avoided skating it for almost a year until one of my fellow skaters had the idea to use plain old red paint over the lacquer - problem solved! Turned out to be the best and longest-lasting ramp we ever had (I'd like to thank the Airman who basically built it for us) and that's when I really started sinking my teeth into ramp-skating. We had some very great times at that base and it produced friendships that I have to this day. When I came back to the states, the town I moved to was not very skater-friendly (bad roads, limited spots, and constant police harassment) so I eventually walked away from skating... a decision I regret every day of my current life. I recently started getting back on my old board just doing basic carving at a train station parking lot on Sundays and not trying anything risky because I wanted to take on a physical activity that I actually enjoy... hence, the purple Natas in the pic.

Just a little about me...

Getting a little back one Sunday (weather permitting) at a time,

Raymond Clark