Catching up with Dickies’ skater Ronnie Sandoval
Catching up with Dickies’ skater Ronnie Sandoval
Ronnie sandoval has been an integral member of the dickies skate team for a decade and a loyal dickies fan for even longer than that. His no-nonsense approach to life is reflected in his skating, always airing high and grinding long.
He’s one of us! Not afraid to get his sleeves rolled up and his hands dirty, he’s as comfortable building DIY skate spots as he is skating them. Not to mention all the work he’s done on vintage cars and motorcycles over the years.
It’s no surprise then that we’ve given him his own Dickies Signature Collection.
We took the time to do a long-awaited catch-up with the man himself. Read on to find out more.
Hi, Ronnie. Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us. Let's kick things off at the start. When did you start skating, and why?
I started skating when I was six years old, in a small beach town in San Pedro in front of my house. Why did I start skating? My friends in my neighborhood would skate around and do ollies and kickflips and stuff. I was just super into it. My stepdad's friend Jeremy, nicknamed germ, would come over to the house, and he would always do these crazy tricks, like caveman off a wall, wallride or like ollie. He showed me how to caveman off walls, it was pretty cool! My stepdad put my first board together after my older brother stole it from someone's yard. He changed the grip tape and lubed up the wheels, making sure the trucks were mellow. My stepdad had to switch some things up for me. But yeah, that's pretty much how it all started.
You grew up skating Channel Street. How important do you think DIY skate spots are for local communities?
I honestly think they're very important for a lot of reasons: it teaches you how to pick up after yourself, fix things, how to rebuild things, how to build new things like tying up rebar, measuring framework, how to how to put dirt in sandbags and set up a wall, how to set up your perimeter, how to flatten the dirt. It teaches you to pick up after yourself, respect others, how to meet new people, you know, I still have friends that I grew up skating Channel street with, and you know, they'll always be my friends and always be close because we grew up skating that park. DIYs are important for local communities as well because it builds character and makes people feel safe. It's not like any other regular skate park that was built by regular park builders. Channel Street was built by dudes that work hard jobs, like port dudes that are fishermen and everyday regular job people, they just decided to get together and build a skatepark for the community and for themselves as well. So I think it's very important.
What do you get up to when you're not skating?
When I'm not skating, I ride motorcycles. I also recently started learning how to surf, so that's a new thing. It's actually really hard to do, but I'm getting there. And just raising my daughter with my lady.
Congratulations on your Dickies pro collection. What does it mean for you to be on the team and have your own collection?
First of all, thank you for the congratulations. It means a lot to me. I've been on the team for about 10 years now. It's always meant the world to me because I've worn Dickies all my life. I'm so excited and grateful for my own pro collection. I still can't believe that I have my initials on Dickies clothing after being such a fan my whole life. It's pretty awesome!
What's your favorite piece in the collection?
I like the flannels and motorcycle jackets because they are essential. The motorcycle jackets are actually very nice because they have pockets on the inside and a nice liner, you know they have a lot of buttons and a nice kind of stretch around the sides so you can carry a little bit heavier and wider and it still fits you.
You've been a very productive skater in regards to putting footage out over the years. Which clip of yours are you most stoked on?
It's in between a couple of tricks. I feel like it'd be the alley oop bluntslide over the bank at Malmo skatepark in Sweden, or the cab to nose bluntslide at Santo Domingo or it could be the roll in off the roof into the bank at Glendale. I think it's between those tricks because they're all gnarly mentally. The roll in was probably the scariest thing I've ever done in my life. The bluntslide was the second time going back and I knew if I didn't get it that time, then I wouldn't have got it, you know, I probably would have got it on video but it would have taken forever to get back there, and the crew was too sick to not try and land it, and the nose blunt yeah that that that was the same thing, I remember Jake Phelps screaming at me like you want to drive four hours back wishing you would have done it just do it already, I was like oh my god he's right, I don't want to drive back, so I just gave it my all and ended up walking away with the win.
You often talk about longevity being a focus for you. Do you do anything to aid this?
Stretching every morning, going on walks at night and going on bicycle rides, just keeping my blood flowing and myself going. I don't really slow down that much. I just keep going in any way I possibly can.
Any advice to the next generation of skaters?
Yeah, come into this skateboarding world with a humble heart. You know, take every compliment, every piece of free gear or whatever stuff, you know, with a grateful heart and have respect and respect yourself, don't get peer pressured into doing stuff you don't want to do, be yourself, don't be somebody you're not, we already have too much of that. Have pride in where you come from and what you do. If you really want to pursue this, then don't let anybody stop you, don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it because they're wrong. You can do whatever you want! And yeah, have fun. Don't take it so seriously.
What's next for you?
Just gonna skate and ride motorcycles more and raise my daughter with my lady. And yeah, take it day by day, whatever comes my way, I guess.