Billy Clark

Billy is a classic Prescott skateboarder.  He dealt with the rough spots before the skatepark was built.  We ran with different crews so we didn’t cross paths often, but during the early days of the park we became acquainted.  Even though we didn’t really know each other we always had good sessions together because we were around the same level, but more importantly we liked to have fun.

As time went on he got a skate-van and collected countless stories.  He hung out and went on trips with good kids around his own age and adults that were often questionably sketchy.  As I said, he is a classic Prescott skater.  His skating is strong and surprising.  He doesn’t skate often, but after twenty-plus years on the board he still has the ability to beat some of the best kids in the area at SKATE.  People will never know all the tricks Billy has done, and somehow it is better that way for the man known as Chicken Hammer.

Several years ago I came up with a set of questions about skateboarding.  These were Billy’s answers.

What isn’t like skating?
-Everying else.

You can also watch Billy skate Prescott Park and then take a tour of his classic skate-van.

Name: Billy Clark
Age: 18
Type of Job/Schooling: Highschool, Motorcycle tech, Yavapai College Clerk
Years Skating: 13

What’s your first skateboarding memory?
-Fifth birthday, Grandma bought me a square tail punk nose board.  Haha.

What’s your favorite skateboarding memory?
-Having big sessions, skating pools.  Before everyone moved to Oregon.

Ever quit?  Want to, or say you’ll quit?
-No.

Where did you start?  Did that influence you?
-Southern California.  Don’t think it has influence.

How would you describe the feeling of skateboarding?
-Accomplishment.  Self-discipline, pain tolerance, exciting, adrenaline rushing.  Fun.

Why do you keep skating?
-It’s like a hobby.  Some people work out some skate.  I keep skating because I love it.  If I don’t have anything I would have a skateboard.  Passionate.

Do you care about the history of skateboarding?
-The history of skateboarding influenced my skating.  Like old 80’s vids and shit.  Wouldn’t be here without it.

Do you care about the current skate media?
-Not particularly, but it’s cool to see friends in vids and mags, and just to see what’s up.

What else is like skateboarding to you?
-Nothing.  Not comparable.

What isn’t like skating?
-Everything else.

What was the first hard “trick” you worked for?
-Varial kickflips off curbs.  Haha.

Why work so hard for a trick?
-Why work so hard to get something done and get it done right?  Same reason anybody else would work for something.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a skateboard and why?
-I love to cruise and carve around, but throwing down some street stuff brings back memories.  Skating tranny.

Is there a trick you don’t think you’ll ever be able to do?
-Nollie tre-bomber – back tail – 360 shuv-it – backside grind, revert-reverts, skating a pool with no tranny.

What is most important about skateboarding to you?
-Havin’ a good time.

Is there any maneuver you would purposefully not do?
-Sure.

What’s the trick you can do every time that surprises you?
-Forward flips.

What’s your dream “tricks”?
-Gay-twists.  Stalefishes for now.  Ask tomorrow it will be different.

What’s your favorite terrain and why?
-Tranny.  Gives a rush and it’s not like sticking your hands in a blender.

What do you hate about skateboarding?
-Bad attitudes, poor sports, posers.

Best (worst) injury?  Healing time?
-Compressed disks causing swelling, pinching my sciatic nerve.  Healing forever.

How do you overcome fear.
-Don’t overthink.

Do you remember the details of your first setup?
-Inhouse blank deck, original Phantom trucks, blank wheels, Quicks bearings.

Did you start with friends or alone?
-Alone at first then made friends.

Was it hard or easy at first?
-Easy to push around and ollie but got harder.

Was there anyone or anything that especially inspired you to start or keep skating?
-Tom Fein, an old pro-turned-pastor made me drop in for the first time.

Do your parents ever have a problem with skateboarding?
-Not that I know of.

When did you realize you were a skater?
-Never thought of it that way.  Just pumps through my veins now.

How do you feel about skateboarding now compared to when you started?
-Seems like everyone skates now, but it doesn’t last for most people.

What is most important about skateboarding to you?
-Havin’ a good time.

How do you overcome fear?
-Don’t overthink.

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