Interview: Tony Wood
- 1 November 2021
Interview 29 is with the UK skateboarding’s Oscar Wilde of our wheeled world, Shakespeare of Shred, Poet and Author Tony Wood.
Tony manages to capture the mind of a skateboarder in ways I have not seen written down before. His published books, Procrastiskate and Coping Mechanism (due in any day now) are filled with poems that cover every emotion. tony is a long time skateboarder who in his own words ‘He couldn’t quit skating if he really tried… he did it once before but a piece of him died.’
Anyway, enough from me, read some of Tony’s words below…
Can you give us a brief introduction?
I’m a 47 year old skateboarding, train driving wannabe poet. I started skating around ‘87 I think and stopped in ‘92 when I found pubs! Then I had a little comeback in about 2002 which only lasted a year or two. Finally returned seven years ago in 2014 and haven’t stopped.
What are you currently working on?
With regards a book? I’ve got a couple in process but covid has thrown a spanner in the works by causing my main illustrator some problems. I’m hoping that a kids’ book I’ve been working on will eventually see the light of day and there’s a possibility of a third poetry anthology eventually. Im very lucky to have an incredibly supportive publisher and he gives me the space to do pretty much whatever I want. Writing is and always has been a hobby, it’s never going to be a job.
Favourite skate related possession
This is such an easy answer! I’ve got a deck by Jamie Ridgway (Chalkboard artist) which is based upon the Saiz Feathers but features my old dog Bargin. It was a Christmas present from Sonya (my wife) the year that we lost him.
Something about you that is not related to skateboarding that people might not know?
I can do a pretty good verbalisation of a didgeridoo!
What did you do yesterday?
I actually skated which makes me seem like I skate a lot haha. It was a cracking little session with Hillbilly (the main illustrator of my books and a top bloke) and Simon Jackson who surprised us by announcing it was his 50th! So we cobbled together the worst 50 at 50 ever done! Took all three of us to get 50 tricks and we had to include dropping in and tic-tacs as tricks.
Favourite period in skate history that isn’t right now?
The late 80s. Public Domain, Ban This, Wheels Of Fire. That whole era of guys like Barbee and Natas doing such cool tricks but with so much style. They were so good but most of what they did felt achievable you know? It’s like the pros now are obviously insanely good but their skating feels so out of reach.
Favourite skate spot of all time past or present
That’s so hard! I’m I’m gonna give 2 of each.
Past; Theatre Royal Steps in Stratford East London. The best 4 set ever. And the white bank at St Paul’s.
Present: Rumbles in Colchester because it’s my local and I love it. Channells in Chelmsford because it’s the place where I gave the most fun with the Teabegger crew.
What’s next in skateboarding?
I have absolutely no idea but whatever it is I’ll be there!
Follow Tony on insta at www.instagram.com/skatebard17