Ron Deily has one of the smoothest styles on the planet. Always has, always will. We have been fortunate enough to call him our friend and our brother for these past 20 years. He is also the first of our 'kids' to go pro; now he's a grown man with a kid of his own. To celebrate his new Square Up bro model we caught up with Ron to discuss his Zoo days and life as he knows it now.
What a long strange trip it has been. Talk about how you first became part of the NJ family and what the last 20 years of friendship have been like?
Ha, What a trip, indeed! Couldn’t imagine this journey without you guys!
I was a bushy haired/blurry eyed teenager looking for someone to like my 12-minute sponsor me tape. You guys quickly took me in as your own and steered me in the right direction, which I will be forever grateful for. After chopping ten minutes off the tape, per your advice, we started rollin!
NJ truly is a family and the past twenty years have brought countless memories, trips and parties I’ll never forget. Hawaii, London, Portugal and the parking block at Sayreville shop have special places in my heart! You and Steve do so much and have touched so many. The world 100% would be a much shittier place without NJ Skateshop. Still so honored to be a small part of the journey and legacy.
What was the experience like for you when you first initially went pro for Zoo York? What was that time like for you?
It wasn’t ideal! Ha. A broken leg requiring surgery foiled plans we had for a couple interviews/possible cover and a vid to come out with the board. I wasn’t sitting on any photos or clips so I was useless. A shift in management saw the board put out anyway with no content to back it up. Not our best decision! Ha. I was still excited , everybody wants to see their name on a board, but the motivation needed to come back strong and validate the bump was gone. Had a good 3 years of celebrating it tho! Ha. The feeling of unwarranted achievement would stick with me for years and be one of many catalysts for my drunken routine.
You were on a Zoo team stacked with rippers. What were some of the highlights of your Zoo days with those teammates?
So many good times! Cross country Hell Tour still takes the cake! Don La was the keymaster & the gatekeeper! Pump fakin Welsh out of his boots and stickin the three is burned in my memory. Z in Amsterdam was a hoot! And my guy Matt Mills was always a treat.
You're regarded as having one of the smoothest, sleepy styles on the East Coast. Who were some people's styles that you looked up/respected over the years?
The Ny/NJ/philly skate scene was electric in the late 90s/early 2000s. Loved all of it. Wenning, Quim, Fred, Tim O. I wanted to be a blend of all four.
How and why did things come to an end with Zoo?
It was a slow death but the original blow was in 2010ish when the powers that be chose contests over the streets. Z and Eli leaving was rough and Zoo never recovered. I was being payed well at the time to live at the beach and skate once a month so I wasn’t leaving! Ha. There was little joy with sticking around so getting smacked and doing nothing on their dime was my go-to. Leaving was never really an option either tho, I was far too comfy and hammed to be a hungry dog in the streets. Knowing the companies imminent fate killed any sparks of motivation. Like a maggot pirate, I went down with the ship. Still, good times we’re had towards the end with some fresh blood, making the most of a slow demise.
What have you been up to lately?
2023, for me, was about getting right. Finally off the booze, bad choices and shitty moods had been piling up for years. I now have a 2 year old so being a positive constant presence in her life lined up mine. I would shy away from responsibility/commitments during my skate career thinking it would weigh me down but now I know I was a dummy & that the power of family and positive thinking is everything!
What does this Square Up retirement deck mean to you?
It was a pleasure working with Chris (Sarte) doing something fun to honor 20 years of the greatest skateshop in the world! Sarte is a silent mainstay in the NJ skate scene! As far as retirement, feels strange to say. Ha. Don’t know if I was ever working?
Lastly, is it true that you have one of your boards signed by Bruce Springsteen? What's the story behind that?
My most prized possession! Ha. My friend’s sister was dating Bruce’s son and somehow worked it in one night. Bruce said no originally but after watching our Hurricane Sandy NJ video with 10th Avenue freeze out setting the tone, he obliged. First skateboard he’s signed, he said. Still in shock! We love you Bruce!