New Line Skateparks would like to welcome the newest member of the team, Andy Stone – who will be taking on the role of Director of Engineering. Along with his professional accreditation and acumen, Andy brings a strong knowledge of the civil requirements of modern integrated concrete skateparks along with the youth action sport park’s application as a keystone amenity for the community at large.
Andy’s wealth of knowledge in the field is a product of his experience both on and off the board. Coming of age in Virginia and inspired by the legendary skate scene of Washington D.C., Andy went on to spend the majority of the 90’s navigating the globe as a professional skater. Riding for some of skateboarding’s most iconic brands (101, Element, and Capital just to name a few), Andy toured as a professional skater, filmed numerous video parts, assisted in team management, art direction, along with board production and advertising. All these experiences forged the platform on which Andy would build his expertise as a Professional Engineer with a full understanding of the skate/action sport user experience.
After receiving his degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia’s George Mason University, Andy has been intimately involved the design and construction of over 50 municipal skateparks and countless public infrastructure projects over the past 20+ years. Of particular significance is his experience in infrastructure rehabilitation, LID storm Water Management and matching the civil requirements of a variety of public sector projects with the expectations of his municipal clients. Andy’s transition to New Line Skateparks will allow him to marry his passion for skateboarding and building community while contributing the creation of sustainable and accessible public recreation infrastructure.
First of all, welcome to the team Andy!
Thanks so much. I’m really excited to be here. It’s been a long time coming.
How would you summarize Andy Stone the Skateboarder versus Andy Stone the Civil engineer?
Well, I’m definitely the same dude. A lot less hair and a bit more gray as I’m approaching 50 years old this year. My style of skateboarding was technical, and engineering is pretty technical. I was always good in math in high school and as I got into engineering, the precision and logic really drew me to continue learning.
What are some of the highlights of your career as a skateboarder? We know you got the cover of Slap Magazine, are there any other memorable take aways?
Traveling to various countries and exposure to other cultures significantly different from the US was absolutely the best part of my journey. I can also say without a doubt, that my skateboard friends are friends for life. As an adult, I still have more skateboard friends than I do engineering friends. I think the other major takeaway was the personal self confidence I got from skateboarding. It was really incredible to set that goal of becoming professional, work extremely hard, and then achieve it, but it’s not much different than setting the goal of learning a trick and them achieving that goal. One of the things all skateboarders share is an appreciation for how hard it is to ride a skateboard proficiently. We can all use that self confidence and sense of accomplishment in other aspects of our personal and professional lives.
With a lot of experience on Civil Infrastructure projects, what has led you to working on skateparks?
To be honest, I did my first 3D model of a skatepark when I was still in college, probably 2003 on a very early release of AutoCAD; R12 or R13 probably. I had just taken my first technical drafting course and prepared plans, sections, and isometric views for a local ramp guy who was selling plans for people to DIY various ramps. Soon after I started doing more intricate surface models and then just kept on learning and adapting skatepark modeling as the software packages were improved.
Are there any lessons from skateboarding that have helped you in your career as a civil engineer?
I believe the most important take away from skateboarding that has helped me in my professional and personal life is self-confidence. Skateboarding is really difficult. Learning patience and perseverance to be able to achieve what you set your mind to do is one of the most important life skills anyone can have.
What is a harder career to attain, Professional Skateboarding or Civil engineering?
For me, Engineering school was far more challenging than skateboarding. Skateboarding was an expression of me as an individual. I was fortunate to not get derailed by any significant injuries while I was trying to become professional and avoided significant injury down time throughout most of my career. Engineering school is a tremendous amount of studying and college professors don’t care if you show up as long as your check clears. I had to overcome multiple failures, academic suspensions, and there were many times when I thought I didn’t have what it took to make it through. That’s when that dedication and self-confidence is most important. The ability to draw on past failures and incredible challenges, and know that with enough work, we can achieve our goals.
What are your thoughts on the future of skateboarding and skateparks compared to Skateboarding in the 90’s?
I am so excited to see where skateboarding goes. In the 90s, it was a “counter-culture” sport, and anyone who rode a skateboard (at least in my area) knew they were doing something that wasn’t considered “cool”. We banded together as outsiders, and formed bonds and friendships that transcended cultural, socio-economic, age differences, and many other differences in our backgrounds. Skateboarding is huge business now but I see those bonds remain in the younger generations. It’s amazing to see the talent of the younger skaters these days and I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of providing a safe and challenging environment for skateboarders of all ages to find friends, build self-confidence, relive old memories, and enjoy a sport that has brought me so much enjoyment and fulfilment throughout my life.
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