CHROME BALL - RYAN HICKEY INTERVIEW
Posted: Aug 27 2016
The Chrome Ball Incident is a blog that focuses on interviews with Skateboarders from the 80's until now. We fucking love this blog, as it covers skaters from back in the day, who we grew up idolising as teenagers. Common Dust isn't, never will be, nor will we ever try to be a Skate brand but it was our life when we were younger. We lived and breathed it, we were Skaters. So it's only normal for us to want to share things that inspire or interest us and Skateboarding is one of those things.
As a native of Brooklyn and long-time staple of the City, how would you describe skateboarding in New York?
That’s a hard one because skateboarding is always changing and it’s a lot different now than it was when I was young. We didn’t have skateparks or nothing like that. The City was way sketchier back then. A lot more raw. We were basically a bunch of delinquents coming together from all different boroughs. Skateboarding was all we had. All the skaters in my crew had family problems, which is probably why we bonded like we did.
Skateboarding is just a totally different experience here. For one, you gotta deal with being limited in the winter so many months out of the year. I mean, I remember being out in zero degree weather with gloves on and three pairs of pants. When you’re young, as long as the ground is dry, you’re out there… and for us, we’d be out there sometimes when it wasn’t dry. We’d go skate a train station if we had to. That’s how it was.
We didn’t have “skate fashion” in New York back then either. We just dressed how we did in the neighborhood. You might’ve worn a Powell shirt or something but that was it. You couldn’t really get that stuff because there were hardly any skateshops.
It’s just a different type of energy.
With all the tourism and transplants, I imagine you constantly meeting “New Yorkers” claiming the City after only moving here a year or two ago, right? Would these kids have lasted back in the day?
No way. People actually tried to do that back in the day and they couldn’t hang. People would come out from Cali and want to skate with us but they’d get too scared. Our energy was too nuts. It’s not that we were out doing things to people, we just weren’t your typical skaters. Our attitudes and how we dressed, we were different. My crew was a bunch of street kids from the hood, we just happened to ride skateboards. We were always on that hood mentality: constantly looking over our shoulders, waiting for something to happen.
I always say that you have to be born in New York to be from New York. You other guys, you just live here now. Brooklyn’s the mecca of that. Everybody always moves out to Brooklyn when they first come here and they always try to claim that’s where they’re from.
“No, no, no… where are you really from?”
I can tell by your accent. You’re living in Brooklyn, but you’re from Ohio or something. You’re not fooling me.
Read the full interview HERE.All photos and words via The Chrome Ball Incident.