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Sponsored by Powell Corporation in early 1978 before George Powell joined forces with Stacy Peralta to forge Powell-Peralta, Ray “Bones” Rodriguez was by default the very first member of the legendary Bones Brigade. (In fact, it was Ray’s idea to round off the edges of the distinctive white wheels from which his nickname derives.) Born in 1962 at Lincoln Hospital in Los Angeles, California, Ray started skateboarding at age three on his older brother’s Black Knight with clay wheels. Growing up in Cerritos, Ray started riding moto-x on a local dirt bike track, as well as skating a pool located there. One day in 1976, Ray’s mom dropped him off at the movie theater to see Freewheelin’ starring Stacy Peralta and even told him he could watch it twice, because she wanted to go shopping. Two viewings of the influential skateboarding flick made a double whammy huge impression on Ray. Funnily enough, a month later, when his dad took him to the Concrete Wave in Anaheim, who should appear but Stacy Peralta himself! Stacy was the first pro Ray was truly blown away and heavily influenced by.
Skating at Anaheim every day, Ray really progressed there, then branched out to other parks like Skatopia and Paramount. He even started skipping school to ride the Fruit Bowl in Garden Grove, where he saw the Dogtown crew shred, which was another huge influence. Around 1977-’78, Ray invented the aerial tail tap at Lakewood, as well as the invert to tail. In 1979, he was also one of the first—if not the first–to jump the channel in the capsule pool at the Big-O. It was around that time he got into the punk rock scene with Duane Peters. At the dawn of the ’80s, Ray ollied over a huge truck tire full of beer bottles in a ditch, prompting Mark Gonzales to quip, “Dude, I don’t care what anyone says, you invented street skating!”
After 1982, as Ray largely disappeared from the contest circuit and his magazine coverage dwindled, many people assumed he stopped skating. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Ray instead opted to skate privately with friends. He loved sessioning the original Vans vert ramp, as well as the Mountain Manor. By the mid-’80s, even though Ray was enjoying a career as a pro surfer, he was stoked on the Powell-Peralta videos and wanted to be in them, but the team was simply too big for Stacy to focus on him. Undeterred, Ray kept skating through the decades, even up to this day, with friends like Christian Hosoi, Jeff Grosso and Omar Hassan. These days, when he’s not riding moto-x with Steve Caballero, you can often find Ray ripping it up at Serenity Park in Lake Elsinore. Ray would like to thank George Powell, Stacy Peralta, CR Stecyk III and everyone else, and he lists getting inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame as the highlight of his career!