At Home With Trey Jones
A closer look at the backyard of a boy called Ora...
2 Jan 2015
Words and Photos by Wes McGrath
When I first had the chance to meet Trey I was living in California and frequenting the Cult ClubHouse every other week. At first hand shake, he wasn't at all the person I've grown to know and respect today. A little bit stand-offish at first glance, yet not one bit shy when it came to his riding. I've always been under the impression that Trey was much older than he is, with his aged riding style and taste in music that dates back to the early 80's punk scene, it's kind of hard to believe he was born in the year 1992.
What intrigued me the most about Trey is his ever-changing backyard ramp, for the last two years I've seen the ramp evolve via Instagram and small videos here and there. So once I had the opportunity to stay at Trey's home and enjoy the ramp's offerings first hand, I had to share it with you.
"The main reason I wanted a ramp is so I can have all my friends over to hang out, ride and have a blast… That’s it!" - Trey Jones
How old are you... Ora?
I was born July 31, 1992 so I'm 22 years old. My real name is Ora Francis Jones III, but I’ve gone by Trey my whole life.
How long have you had the house?
I bought my house in January of 2013.
How long has the ramp been in existence?
I've been slowly working on it and adding to it since the day I moved in.
Where did the ramps originally come from?
I got the American flag quarter pipe from the Banned in the Backyard Jam, that some friends and myself did in Apopka, Florida. We did the jam a month before I bought the house so as soon as I moved in we brought over the quarter and split it in half and framed the 8 ft. quarter in between. The metal quarters on the other end of the yard I got from an older guy named Wayne, he had to get rid of them for insurance reasons, he made the quarters as a high school welding project in the late 80s. Ronnie Bonner and Rob Nolli told me they used to ride them back in the day when they were growing up, now we can shred them!
What is your favorite part about having your ramp?
The main reason I wanted a ramp is so I can have all my friends over to hang out, ride and have a blast… That’s it! A lot of guys around here are older and don't want to pay money to ride a skate park or battle it out with kids so I wanted to have a place we all can ride whenever and have a good time.
Recently you installed a makeshift type of loop attached to the box jump, why exactly did you build it, strictly because Lahsaan asked you?
I’m not sure how it came up exactly but Lahsaan told me that he has always wanted to do a loop. I told him next time he came to Florida I would have a loop waiting for him. So when I found out he was coming to Florida for the Sparky's Jam I hit him up and said, "hey are you still trying to get looped?" and he said "HELL YA"! You have to wait to see the Shadow video to see the results!
I know the ramp has gone through changes; can you give insight on any highlights?
For instance the swimming pool addition…
I started from the 8ft quarter side and slowly worked my way across the yard with the ramp. My dad and I would build about 16ft of flat at a time until it was done. While it was getting built it went through a ton of different changes, random metal ramps everywhere, using recycling bins as ledges, flipping a box jump lip on its side to be a curved wall. Me and my little brother actually dug a 4 ft. x 10 ft. swimming pool by hand and that lasted a few months until it turned into a tadpole and snake infested swamp. We later filled in the swimming pool with pallets and an old couch because we wanted to finish the pump track. It was fun while it lasted.
While I was staying at Trey’s house, I heard a lot of random facts about the ramp. I asked him for more info on a couple topics I needed to hear for myself…
Steve Crandall staying under the box jump and his infected spider bite?
Eric Holladay and Steve Crandall came down to Florida last winter to escape the cold of Richmond, Virginia. They actually showed up maybe a week or so after I had finished the box jump, we met up in Tampa and later that night we all ended up heading back to my place. Holladay slept in his tent on the ramp and Crandall slept under the box jump on the new couch I had just put under there. Originally the plan was for there to be a room for people to stay in under the box jump, there was a couch, some lamps and a TV with some old VHS vids. Crandall stayed under the box and everything was fine. This past summer at the Vans HB bowl contest, Crandall told me that once he got home from staying at my house, he had to spend 2 days in the hospital because he got bit in the forehead by a black widow while sleeping! I quickly found out that it was really hard to keep the box jump from leaking with it raining so much in the Florida weather. So after about a month or so of having the couch under the super hot/wet/moldy environment the couch started to grow mold on it so I ended up using the couch to fill in the pool. Problem solved.
"I grew up listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd every single day of my childhood... It's pretty much in my blood!" - Trey Jones
What’s up with ‘Bongwood’?
If your not from Longwood, Florida (or even if you are) you probably don't like Longwood and if you do like it then its probably only for a short amount of time. Starbucks are not very common, there are no healthy vegan eateries, there are a lot of fast food establishments, and most of the neighborhoods are filled with candy kids and old redneck folk. Seriously though, I mostly love Longwood just because I've been in Longwood my whole life. My grandparents actually bought their house across the street from my house 55 years ago so my family has been in Longwood for a while now, its just home. Longwood became ‘Bongwood’ when my dad spray-painted it on the water tower 30 years ago.
Caste Shoes buried under the quarter?
I used to live in a duplex up the street from where my house is now. John Paul Rogers lived in the duplex before me and I took over the lease for him, he left a bunch of stuff in the shed in the backyard including about 20 pairs of sample shoes from a company he was going to start called ‘Caste’. When I moved out of the duplex I asked John Paul if he wanted me to take anything from the shed and he asked me to keep all the samples of those shoes and he was going to come by and get them because he didn't want to see them thrown out. John Paul did come by about 2 years later and grabbed 2 pairs of shoes out of the 20 pairs that were there. All the samples are my dads size so he found a pair that are the same model but with 2 different soles and he wears them all the time. There's still a ton left under a quarter.
Between traveling and filming for your sponsors, do you feel your ramp keeps you motivated/on top of your riding?
I don't think it keeps me "on top of my game" but I do ride a lot more. Whether it be just messing around with my brother or trying to learn something new.
You recently hurt yourself, shortly after I left Florida. During times like these, being off your bike for an extended amount of time, it seems as though you have come up with a side project that keeps you busy… How did ‘Black Dad’ become to be?
Black dad is a collection of visual art that I do, including photos, videos, zine’s, clothing, accessories etc. Black dad is just something fun that I've wanted to do for years. I'm also lucky that my good friend Aaron Sarkisan screen prints for a living and helps me out a ton when it comes to making shirts and other clothing ideas. I love making new pieces and supporting dudes that I'm personally super psyched on. Every piece of Black dad product is made by hand, either made by myself or made by someone who really cares about creating something with an actual meaning behind it. The main visual blog is BLACKDAD.NET and you can buy all products at cracked.bigcartel.com
Despite self-motivation in BMX, there are other deciding factors in a riders career that can have a tremendous effect toward their sponsorships and all around good name. Trey Jones for instance is one fortunate person, riding for companies such as CULT, Shadow, and Vans he has been graced with some seriously established entities... To end this story with Trey I had to ask... Ronnie Bonner and Robbie Morales have both had huge impacts on the industry for decades, each in their own way. How does it feel to be riding for these two icons?
I definitely wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for Robbie and Ronnie. Even though they both run their companies completely different, they are both awesome brands that truly care about what the riders want while also being smart on the business side. I couldn't be more proud to be riding for 2 companies like Shadow and Cult… Robbie is controlled chaos when it comes to business and Ronnie is much more of a predictive business plan where he knows what’s going to happen. Both guys are completely out of they're minds but I love them more than anything. Also shout out to Scott Towne at DansComp and Jerry Badders at Vans, thanks boyssssss. Oh yea, Chadwick… You suck!
Featuring Joe 'Butcher' Kowalski, Ian Morris, Brian Castillo, Jason Enns and Keith Terra
"I was put to sleep without knowing if I would wake up with one less leg."