Last Days Of The T-1 Ramp Part 6: Tom Dugan
The Duganator talks about good vibes and figuratively growing up amidst some legendary Skatelite...
Words and photos by Rob Dolecki
In the years since Tom Dugan moved to Austin as an unknown kid from Wichita, Kansas who could boost to the moon on any transition, a lot has changed for him. He's got a laundry list of top sponsors, has a huge following, and travels the world.
One of the key catalyists for those changes was getting to ride the T-1 ramp on a regular basis, as well as regular talks about riding and life in general with one of Tom's first sponsors and the guru of gurus, Mr. Joe Rich. With the ramp's demise, there's no telling how much things will change for Tom, but from the sounds of it, Tom might be having his own transition paradise right out his own back door soon enough to help fill the void.
This is the final part of our DIG series celebrating this infamous structure but you can find all 5 previous feature articles in the 'related' section below.
"The 9-foot quarter is my all-time favorite quarter."
When was the first time you rode the ramp?
First trip down here was for a Halloween jam in 2007. We rode it for like 20 minutes.
How do you think the ramp has affected the Austin scene?
For the better. It gave it sort of an elite thing. Before you ever ride the ramp, you’re kind of hesitant to talk to Joe. It has a good feel for Austin, having the good vibe.
How are backyard ramps different from a public park?
At T-1 usually everyone on the deck knows each other. At the park you might only know one person. You aren’t really as glued to watching everyone’s lines and how they ride the ramp.
How do you think Joe and Corrigan being good riders played a part in the evolution of the ramp?
Joe has got to have the best ideas for ramps. He’s really good at making the best of what flows; Ryan too. They have both been around so many ramps. Everywhere you go, there is a whole other line to get locked into. Not to mention how perfect they built all the transitions.
What was your favorite part of the ramp?
The newest addition- the 9-foot quarter, is my all-time favorite quarter. But just the mini; you can’t fucking beat the transition. It’s perfect.
How were the recent sessions there during the etnies filming week?
It was a really good reason to get everyone together. Usually you can come back to something, but this was coming down to the wire. This is the best ramp, and the last time anything will get to happen here.
Are you going to miss the ramp?
This is the closest to a skatepark feel, not have to leave and have a good session. Joe has been always so cool with everyone coming here. I used to ride for T-1, and that connection was always cool.
"A lot of people connected at the ramp."
You’ve been living here for eight years, and the ramps been here that whole time. What is Austin going to be like in the future now that the ramp is gone?
I’m really interested to see. One time I got stuck in a trail rut and didn’t come ride the ramp for like four months. I got here, and it was not as easy as I remembered, from just not coming here. I decided I could never go that long without riding the ramp. It will definitely jump-start me in getting a ramp in my yard. It’s tough to say about the scene; a lot of people connected at the ramp. I hope people will be on it at another spot. Sad to see the ramp go; will be interesting to see.
After all the years riding T-1, what’s the one thing you’ve taken away from there?
It’s hard to say one specific thing. This has helped me grow so much. I was damn near a baby when I first moved to Austin, and it’s been pretty awesome having this as a go-to place, and the knowledge of Joe here. You usually get to chat with him whenever you come ride. Also a shitload of good memories.
"Joe has been always so cool with everyone coming here."
"I'm just an average dude riding left foot forward and spinning naturally to the right."
"BMX is an addiction. Its like a drug, I need to have it."