Featured rider: Dicky Ward


Nice chat with the fastest grom in the UK, winner of the under 18’s race at the first IGSA Euro race: Bo Peep, Crash & Burn. All this on a board he made in his shed!

Hey Dicky, where are you from?
Hey, I’m from Exeter in Devon, England.

When did you start skating?
I started skating about 5 years ago when I was 11, just on a small half pipe in my local park with some of my mates.

What’s it like skating in Exeter?
Pretty good. We have some gnarly hills such as G-spot, which you can reach about 45mp/h+ and a few other smaller hills that are quite technical. Mostly just freeride hills.

Do you still skate half pipes?
I do still skate the half pipe from time to time just to add some variation to my life and a few of my mates skate it so it’s good for me to catch up with them that way.

When did you start riding longboards?
I started riding longboards about 3 years ago for general cruising around town and getting to places quicker and cheaper.

Is there a longboard community way out there?
Yeah there are quite a lot of people that skate around Exeter most of them only just starting but there are a few great guys such as Olly Goodwin, Tom Stevens and Will Stevens who are always a laugh and up for a skate. There are a few guys I know from North Devon who are also great and organise some pretty sick events.

Do you guys have a crew?
Not a big group, only about 10 guys that I skate with quite regularly but nothing too big as its hard to get 10 guys together let alone any more.

What sort of skating makes you happy?.
Fast, technical, downhill is what gets me stoked the most.

When did you start riding hills?
I started downhill as soon as I got my first board which I made out of a plank of decking with some cheap skate trucks and oval Sims wheels I found.

Is there an abundance of happy places around you?
There is only one happy place being ”G-spot”, but it’s always wet and quite a trek to get there.

Your first board was home made?
Sure was. It was probably the sketchiest thing I had ever ridden. I then went on to buy a Lush Kilima, which was soon ridden over by a bus and snapped the rear truck in 2.

Why didn’t you just buy a deck like everyone else?
I’m not like everyone else! But more to the point I had no money.

What did you learn from your initial frankenstein?
That you can get speed wobbles leading to some pretty sick bales.

Have you had any epic injuries?
The worst I have had was coming off into some gravel at Hog Hill a couple of weeks ago taking the skin off my right shoulder, hip and some pretty mad road rash on my leg which I could smell burning as I slid across the road.

Did you get back into the lab after that initial foray?
Sure did. Made about 3 other boards out of decking which were up to 6ft long! I now make all of my own boards and have set up Dickies Decks.

Where is your lab?
My very nice new shed on the side of the house. Cheers Mum and Dad!!!

What is Dickies Decks?
It’s a company that aims to produce the best hand made longboards in the UK. We do mainly downhill freeride boards and downhill speed boards. It’s only in the early stages, but things have been picking up fast and I have had lots of help from my family and friends. Why did you decide to set it up?
Worked with my mate but thought it would be better if we worked separately.

So what’s special about your decks?
They are made with fairy dust to give you wings. They all come with custom graphics.

Aero wings?
Too right!

Who is doing the graphics?
My good friend Dom Ditchburn

What’s your long term plan regarding your company?
I have just been asked to join Team Vortex, who are interested in getting some of my decks in the shop. But for the meantime I will be selling them through Facebook. The site will soon be up with more boards.

How many models do you have now?
At the moment I have 2 boards. Only one called the ”War Pig” is fully published and the next board will soon be published but I’m mainly doing customs then getting the top 5 models to use for production.

Where have you been riding these boards you make?
I have rode my first board at about 3 or 4 races being Hog Hill, Bo Peep,and some local events and I am now making the improved model which will go into production.

When did you start racing?
I started racing about a year and a half ago at a Bournemouth outlaw through a park.

Are there many outlaw races in the UK?
There is a group called the Southern Fairies Outlaw League (SFOL) which are based in the Bournemouth area. Anyone can set up a race. It all gets put onto a leader board with points, pretty much like IGSA is laid out.

How did you do in your first race?
I came 6th out of 24. The weather was really bad, the path was like a river.

Who organises the SFOL?
Anyone can organise a race but Lj Leme does all the points which we are all very grateful for. Cheers Lj!

Have you organised a race?
Not yet but I am in search for a hill on Dartmoor.

How have you done since you started racing?
Pretty well, I came first in my second race which was “Ride The Dragon” in Wales organised by turn360, second at “Hog Hill”  at the end of last year,  first at “Bo Peep” this year and then third at Hog Hill a few weeks ago. (This is all for under 18’s)

Are there many other groms who turn up to these?
Most people at the SFOL are groms, then a few people who are older. Bo Peep had about 13 groms and everywhere else is about the same maybe more at Hog Hill.

Sounds like a big gang, are you all friends?
I don’t know them all but those I have met are pretty sound especially Tom Buck, we have our own little race league.

Did you win all these races on one of your boards?
I won them all on one of my boards except Dragon, Bournemouth and the first Hog Hill.

How do you do in the races against none groms?
I have never really tried if I’m honest.

What has been your favourite race to date?
By far it would have to be Bo peep, just what I like.

Were you nervous before?
Very! I must have peed over 3 times.

What did you expect it to be like?
Wasn’t really too sure what to expect. But it was possibly the most fun I have ever had. The first corner (Carnage corner) was pretty fun, coming into it at a reasonable speed, then chucking out a massive slide then full bomb the rest.

What did you ride?

Dickies Decks Pro model, Caliber 44’s and Venom Cannibals.

How did it go?
Well, we camped at the local pub and all bundled into the back of the van to get to the hill. There was quite a lot of waiting in the morning before the van arrived so filled the time with eating bacon! Eventually got to the hill with some waiting around getting everything sorted. Once that was all done, we all jumped into the van for 2 freerides before racing.
It was a laugh as I was still half asleep. Once racing began, we all went to the top of the hill then we raced whoever paired up with us according to the qualifying times. Had 2, maybe 3, heats of knockouts then went on to semis and then the final.  The semi was a close one with Tom Buck coming into carnage corner – he didn’t stop sliding as we both went way too fast into the corner so I was really close up behind and as we went round, he slid out.  I hit the back of him but luckily my board was close to me so I grabbed it and just went for it and came first. On the finals it was me and Deen Mondt who was very good, he won the King of the Hill the day before! We were on top of the hill ready to go so I pushed as fast as I could, beating him with the push so he took an extra push, got wobbles, hit his hand onto the grass bank and took him off leaving me a good amount of space down the straight to get ahead which led to winning!

What was the highlight of the race for you?
Winning the under 18’s.

Did you keep in touch with any riders you met there?
I keep in touch with Tom Buck and Jonathan Braund who also ride for Team Vortex. I see Josh Monk on occasions and have a chat with him.

What are your plans for the rest of the season?
Go to as many outlaws as possible and other races that pop up in the UK and just shred hard.

Will you go to any more IGSA races?
Next year I am planning on going to Kozakov, Bo Peep and maybe Peyragudes.

Choose 3 numbers from 1-36
12, 15, 24

12 – What’s your least favourite movie?
Dirty Dancing. There is nothing worse than listening to that when you are trying to work.

15 – What was the last book you read?
Grow Up by Ben Brooks.

24- Favourite movie?
Big Wednesday, Such a good film.

Thanks for your time, great to talk to you bro. See you around!
Sure will do man. Cheers!

Any thank yous?
Thanks to Mum, Dad, Rachel Goodwin and Ali Smith for taking me to races as well as my Bro: Simon Ward for taking pictures with my Dad and not to forget my good mate Olly G, Tom S and Will S for being great skate mates!

dickeis decks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dickiesdecks/

Vortex: http://www.vortexkitewakenski.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=154&Itemid=114


Discussion1 Comment

  1. something. So sick. i just bult a 9 foot ladder bdigre drop in my yard. its almost done. i need to make the landing though. Im a little bit iffy on hitting it for the first time. but once i do and it turns out good it’ll be so sick.

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