Skateboarding is the true fountain of youth, and anyone who has had the courage to ride one for the past 15-plus years is a hero. Skaters always talk about paying their dues, but to live through every era of modern skating has been a blast with no regrets except for the fact that you could have put more blood, sweat and injuries into it. I know my homey Troy can attest to this. We have been skating together since the 7th grade; now we’re in our thirties and well past our prime. The one aspect of skating that has never changed is its positive effect on our life. Sure we might not skate as much as we did in the past, but when we do skate nothing else matters and we feel the same as we did when we were kids. Except now there is a lot more frustration (it sucks when you can’t land a trick you did over 10 years ago). But hey, how many people find their passion in life at such an early age and know they’ll never give it up to anything short of the wheelchair?
Here is some insight into the life of one of Utah’s elite skaters. Sure, Troy ”ROIDS” Johnson might not be hurdling himself down 15 stairs with the trendiest flip tricks possible, but he’s already been there and done that. Don’t get me wrong, Troy can still hang with the best of them, but with more style and grace. Plus Troy works full time and has a family to attend to and that’s not even mentioning that his body is plagued with a lifetime of injuries both on and off the board. If you’re 18 and looking at the photos thinking “I can do all this shit, where’s my interview?” you are a hater. Troy is you, but only 15 years farther down the path of life. Johnson you’re the shit. Oh yeah, he shot all of his tricks in less than a couple of hours—just another day at the office for “ROIDS”.
SLUG: Heard you just went to the Black Pearl Skate Park in the Cayman Islands. How was it, was it better than sex?
ROIDS: Well, it’s the only sex that I am getting right now, so I would have to say yeah, it’s better than sex. I just got back a few weeks ago and I miss it already. The “Black Pearl” was so huge and it had everything imaginable to skate. Cayman is a great island with lots to do and super cool people. If you make it down there, be sure to stop by Calico Jacks and ask for Marty or Melissa; you won’t regret it.
SLUG: When was the last time you threw yourself down a set of stairs or onto a handrail?
ROIDS: Why do you have to bring up the past? I try and suppress hurtful experiences. I don’t know does South Jordan count?
SLUG: Who have been some of your favorite pro skaters over the years?
ROIDS: Which decade? I guess in the 80s I was into the vert scene so I liked Jeff Phillips (R.I.P.), Chris Miller, Lance Mountain, Gator “Surf Bag” Ragowski. In the late 80s and early 90s I liked Gonz for obvious reasons. The early Blind Team was so sick (Guy, Rudy etc.) Ray Barbee and Matt Hensley make my top-ten right now. I like a lot of different skaters for different reasons. Ronnie Creager is my all time favorite. Greg Lutzka can do anything. Joey Brezinski is a technical god and I like E-Man for his ability to destroy everything. [There are] way too many good skaters nowadays.
SLUG: Who have been some of your local favorites?
ROIDS: Okay, you have to allow me a little room here because I’ve been skating so long. In no particular order: Andy Wright, Andy Savar, Jerry Nuelle, You, Benny, Steve Fischer, Mark White, Jersey, Gabe D., Aaron Reeber, Tom “The Man” Blosch, Jason Grimes, Jason Murphy, Jeremy Jones, Steve White, Adam Romney, Ryan Marriot, Willy Syllvester, Dan Jones, Curtis Johnson, Chris Iba, Steve Richards, Andy Pitts, Joey Peck, Kurt Condrat, Ross Bangeter, Shane Justus, Aaron Taylor, Brandon Gregorson, Mark Winn, Isaiah B., Adam Dyet, Jared Smith, Dirty, Lizard, Jimmy Atkins, all the Ogden Heads, Tim Jones, Pat Stamps, Mike Sweet. I know [I] left out so many people who have inspired me to ride a skateboard (please forgive me).