For decades it seemed that only a select few skateboarders from the U.K ever made it to the dizzy professional heights in the United States. In the late 80's and 90's it was unusual for many British Skateboarders to breakthrough to professional level beyond their homeland. There was however Steve Douglas who turned pro in 1987 for Schmitt Stix (later to become ‘New Deal Skateboards’ and close friend Hugh 'Bod' Boyle who went on to win the Skateboarding World Championship in 1990. In more recent times we seen legends such as Tom Penny and Geoff Rowley really making a name for themselves via Flip Skateboards.
John Rattray is another success story and hailing from the East Coast of Scotland, it can be said he had a fairly difficult path before carving out the successful career he had in the United States. John grew up in a country where the weather, difficult terrain and lack of skateparks made improving in skateboarding ability somewhat challenging.
John is known for his aggressive and fearless style, dropping many classic parts riding for British Skateboarding company Blueprint and it was the impression he made on Zero owner Jamie Thomas that secured his vocation and move to Southern California. John also then began appearing in iconic skateboarding video magazine 411VM and eventually found himself on the official Zero team.
In the latest 'Looking Sideways Action Sports Podcast,' John who now resides in Portland working for Nike SB, discusses topics such as depression, mental health and suicide, racism, fatherhood, skateboarding events as well as the various fundraisers he is involved with. Over the past three or four years John has also been using instagram as a platform to create awareness to increasingly prevalent issues regarding mental health and the podcast offers a very open, honest and really interesting conversation with the Scotsman.
Check it out below.