by Cleo Coney Jr.
Todd how long have you been skating?
Let me think, I’ve been? How long you been skating C?
Ah, I’ve been skating since I was nine!
Long time man, I’ve been skating twenty- five, twenty- six years man.
I dunno, the first time I picked up a skateboard I was in middle school,
So I had to be; I had to be about eleven.
Wow! Were you a street skater or did you go straight to parks?
No, I rode the sidewalk!
What were you pushing?
I was pushing goofy foot, what was it ah, a NASH GOOFY FOOT!
Hey, I bought it at school, I saved my lunch money, a whole weeks worth to buy it.
A boy sold it to me, I kept it in my locker, took off that day right after school and hit a rock, and it sent me far, and I was in love with it ever since. And as soon as I hit the rock, my bearings shot out! That was the end of that wheel. So I had to go home, I actually put BB’s in it to get it back rolling.
Wow! So you were rolling on BB’s?
Yeah I put BB’s in it.
You’ve come a long ways since BB’s Man!
Yeah, but soon as I crashed I was like WOW! You know I like this!
So that was the deal right there?
Yeah, that sealed it right there.
So you owned this board for a while, then eventually got more boards later…
Oh yeah, I’d go and nag mom you know, and pretty soon three months later, two months later I had a Free Former, a plastic Free former.
I think everybody our age had to go through the Free Former to get to the next level.
Then I got a couple of others that I really can’t remember, and then it was the LOGAN EARTH SKI with Bennett Trucks and OJ wheels.
I always wanted a LOGAN EARTH SKI or a G&S Fibreflex!
I never got a Fibreflex; I got that Logan with Bennett trucks and OJ wheels!
You were stoked!
I got it at Earthin Surfin.
Yeah, I bought it at Earthin Surfin and they gave me a free session when I bought it.
Todd and Son Inde, Photo by Cleo Coney
Earthin Surfin was the first skate park I ever skated!
I was stoked, brand new board and everything.
That’s were Michael Daly was a local.
Yeah, but I didn’t know him then.
They had the eight bowl there.
Yeah they had the eight bowl, the big down hill course, the little freestyle and banked areas. I skated that little part most of the day. I made it to the big course, but I was scared, I mean I started half way down. Then at the end of the big course they had this little bowl and I skated that.
I didn’t know you skated that man! That’s where I met Grigley!
That’s sick man!
Todd riding high on the glass Photo by Cleo Coney
That was the first park I ever rode.
So when did you go to Clearwater? When did that open up?
At least a year in a half after that, it was a while.
You were stoked on skating, you got there and who were some of the people you skated with?
I skated with, let’s see man, all kinds, I skated with you man, you guys used to come there. I skated with Rademaker, Fisher, and George.
GBM and his brother?
Yeah, his brother and ah who else? , Shoemaker, Womble, Adams, ah Tim Hubbard, some other ones man. I really got to think about it, ah, Hubbard, and ah, Robitusson…
ROBITUSSON! I Forgot about him! Ah man!
There’s some other homies over there too man, they all get kind of put away at this point.
What was your fondest memory of Clearwater Skate Park?
Just skating from sun up to Midnight. My mom would drop me off literally when the park opened in the morning and I’d ride all day and all night. I’d call her when it closed. They closed like at eleven or eleven thirty. I’d call her up, I’d get home around Midnight. I’d wake up the next day and do it all over again. That’s my fondest memory man, just riding that whole time man. Not even be sore, jump up ready to go again, not no worries man.
Todd launching back in the bowl Photo by Charles Crank
I think that’s the first time I saw you skate was there, you and Bill Procko.
Oh yeah, Procko was always in the mix over there.
He was always over there skating. Who were the Clearwater Skate Park team riders back then?
Oh the team riders? Fisher, Shoemaker, Hubbard, Marcus was on the team, a lot man.
Were you there that day when Tony Alva and Shogo Kubo showed up?
That was a nice day, that was a good day right there. That was a good day in Tampa Bay.
That was a good day in Tampa Bay, plus Folmer was in the house!
Yeah! All the big dudes were there!
Todd Webb rode all these decks and more. Photo by Cleo Coney
Yeah, but you were shredding man! You got up there fast man!
Why do you think you got good so fast?
That’s a good question, I dunno, I think it’s just determination. I get, you know you get to where, especially when you’re little like that, you get tired of being picked on and what not. And you want to get up there with them, cause you want some kind of respect and you want friends and stuff and so you know you work at it till you get there. When you’re good enough, then they except you more cause you’re good, you know. You don’t want to stay squirrelly, you know what I mean, you got to keep progressing.
What was your favorite part of Clearwater Skate Park?
My favorite part of the park had to be the half-pipe. I definitely like the concept of the bowls all running into the snake run bowl thing. That was the sickest concept if they would have done it right, you know?
If that would’ve been like a vert bowl, all down hill with a big bowl at the end like that you couldn’t beat it with a stick. You could hold anything you want in there. I really liked that concept. I would ride over there and always dream that it was like it was steeper walls with coping. Brent Rademaker and I would have our own Hester Series and stuff. Brent would say, “Ok Todd Webb’s up at the Hester Series”, and you’d go down the bowl and we’d have a couple of other dudes and they’d be judging you. Ok, where going to give him an eight and a half, you know it was funny man! We’d do all our little tricks in there and stuff and you could never do that stuff in like “Upland”. But we thought we were really doing something.
Todd Webb Pool pivot re-entry. Photo by Cleo Coney
I know back in those days there was a little music scene, ah Space Invaders and the music scene. How did you get involved in the music?
I think it was because all the skate parks closed and I kind of lost interest.
Because they all closed and ah, Grigley's ramp, I don’t think it was running yet.
If it was, it was very low key, I was kinda on my own, and I was reaching for something man. There was nothing left. I looked around and all the parks were shut down. They all kind of folded up. So I picked up an instrument you know, well I’ll try this and messed around with that and ended up playing in some bands and stuff. You know Brent Rademaker is one of my best friends and he pushed me you know, and I watched him all the time and I said damn, if they could do it I could it do it.
What was the name of the band they were in?
“A New Personality” was one of them, and then they had ah,“U-Boat” and ah, damn, ah.
Now you were in a band?
Oh, I was in a few bands.
What were some of the names of those?
“Party of Two”, and ah,“Terminal Fun” ah,
Ah, you guys played locally?
Oh yeah, we played at Ms.Lucky’s Club and all that.ah,
Ms. Lucky’s Club! I forgot about that!
Yeah, and down in Ybor City at the Cuban Club.
What was the sound like?
(Silence followed by big Laughter)
I don’t really remember dude!
Probably not too good, but we tried really hard.
Now, at some point did you get on Clearwater’s team?
Yep, I was on Clearwater’s team and ended up going from there and, ah
ended up over on Rainbow Waves team. After that, they got me on Dogtown.
So that’s how that worked out. Now me and Brent, we both, well Brent got on Rainbow and he was like, “come on with me”. So I started riding over with him right across the bay. It was like Brent, me, his brother and like Crystal. They all kept giving me rides across. Then Kit was like, damn you’re ripping dude, and you might as well get on the team too. So I got on the team, the next thing I know Kit was like here’s the scoop. I got Dogtown Skates knocking and I got Flite Skateboards knocking, which one you want?
I said, “I’ll take Dogtown”! So he gave me Dogtown and Brent got on Flite. www.dogtownskateboards.com
Wow! That’s how it went down?
That’s how it went down. Exactly like that.
I never knew that.
Yeah, just like that.
Todd Webb Blind Grind at Stirling Skate Park. Photo by Ed Womble
So it was like Ray Diez, Brent, You, McGill, you guys were like the leaders in the scene man.
Shoot, I don’t know if I was up with them, but I mean McGill man, whew, he used to stay at my house. We had good times back then man. Back before he was a celebrity.
Back before McGill’s American Express Commercials huh?
Or his Wal-Mart Commercials!
So after Rainbow Wave closed down, did you go to Gainesville or any of those places?
Yeah, I still tried to ride, but skating got so scarce man, everything got so scarce, all skating got so scarce and the music scene was taking off. Brent and Darren they were such good friends that I ended up playing music and kind of set skateboarding down for a little bit and worked on that. But I never really quit, I just set it down you know. And then I saw Grigley at a thrift store and he was like, DUDE my ramp is going off. I told him I didn’t even have a board anymore. He said they’d get me a board going, so I drove over there and started hanging out. They got me a little set up going and I started riding again and that’s how that went.
Now were you in the Karmann Ghia then?
Yeah, yeah, I was in the red Karman Ghia man. First I was in a Gremlin!
( Lots of Laughter)
I ended up wrecking that. I was doing the Dukes of Hazards out in the woods and I pulled the whole back end out of it. I ran over a stump, I slid sideways into the stump; it took off the entire rear axle. I was doing about forty-five flying around a turn, Brent, Darren, and me, I’d get them all in there and go flying through the woods. We’d beat it down and finally I lost the back wheels off of it. Then I ended up getting the Karman Ghia.
Did you keep the hood ornament off the Gremlin?
Todd Webb relaxing after a long skate session. Photo by Cleo Coney
No! But I should have though!
You should have kept that!
I should have that would have been nice.
Now when did you first get into some pools around here?
Ah, my first pool was ah, do you remember Lonnie Reiter?
Yeah, Lonnie and me rode a pool back when I had my Free Former. My first pool was actually before I hit a skate park.
Yeah, went over the light on my plastic Free Former down in St. Petersburg. Lonnie was there, he will testify.
I wonder if that was Dunlap’s Pool?
No! that wasn’t Dunlap’s, I rode Dunlap’s with ah, Michael Daly and George McClelland.
McClelland comes over and I thought I was hot shit you know. McClelland comes over in that big van with the mags. I’m a little kid fresh out of momma’s pouch, cookies and the whole bit. He comes over with dang RUSH playing, one twelve blaring. We cruise down to this huge pool. The first time I dropped into a pool was Dunlap’s. It was huge! The deepest damn pool! Ended up doing that and then the next night, or it might have been the same day, I went to Clearwater skate park and dropped the Plexiglas.
No way! After dropping Dunlap’s?
After dropping Dunlap’s I was like, I got this! This ain’t nothing, I dropped the Plexiglas.
Todd Webb Backside Air over the St. Pete Ramp
That was like a serious level right there.
Yeah, that was the booster, that was definitely a boost.
Did you ever rock n roll the Plexiglas?
Oh yeah, front side rock n peddie’s, lazy boy’s on it all the time, on lock, all the time.
Backside roll out roll in on the concrete extensions into lazy boy’s on the Plexiglas extensions, and then from a lazy boy on the Plexiglas to a front side roll out roll in to an invert.
Todd Webb flying of f the Glass at Procko's Ramp Photo by Cleo Coney
I entered that little Pro – Am they had there and I was scarred as hell man! Alan Gelfand was like, you got it man, you shred this park up! And I did, I was totally confident. But I tell you what, I got in there and locked up so bad I think I got second to last.
I ain’t ever been so scarred in all my life.
Gelfand was trying to boost you up.
Yeah, yeah, oh yeah, he was good at that you know?
Now after that period you rode Grigley’s for a while, but then you disappeared on us, where’d you go?
Where did I go? Oh yeah, I ended up in Atlanta playing music again. I skated some ramps and pools up there, but nothing serious. I was serious about the music and that took me out the game.
After that I went to Cali, I was Hults side man. Where ever he went I was there too.
How long were you out in Cali?
Five years man.
Do you miss it?
Yeah, I could go get a Big Gulp and walk across the street and skate a nice pool. If I wanted to I could go snowboarding in the morning and then have a rad skate session in the evening. It was EPIC dude! What’s not to miss?
You’re right cause right now, were sitting here with a fan on the floor in the Florida heat and it hovered around a hundred degrees today.
Todd, what people constantly say about you and your skating man is a testament to the dedication you’ve put in. Everybody who has seen you skate say’s you shred. Everybody who’s witnessed you skate says you give it your all each and every run. You are the quintessential “Shut up and Skate” skater, a skater’s skater. People respect you for that. In the bay area you are one of the pillars of the sport. People are proud of you and happy that you’re still skating. How is it that you’ve been able to skate for so long?
I think a lot of it would have to do with my son. Especially the last ten years after I broke my leg.
Yeah, Inde is definitely the prime reason cause after I broke my leg I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to skate again. For three years I limped around. I broke it skating on a day where I went to North Port Skate Park and skated from noon to about seven. Came home and took a shower, then my buddy Matt Harrison called and we went over to the S.P.O.T skating. I skated from about seven thirty to about one in the morning and I already had a pulled groin muscle. You know how it is after a long day of skating.
I stiff legged a five-O grind and snapped it. Snapped my Femur and I got a scar that starts here and goes all the way down to here.
Arrgh! Did you hit it on the coping when you did it?
Yeah, and my leg was actually behind me.
Oh my Gawd!
So, I didn’t even know if I was gonna skate anymore and for three years I walked around with a bar in my leg and it eventually slid down and shot through my knee. I couldn’t even put my heel down. For three years I walked around with this serious mongoloid limp and saved up money to get it fixed again. I’m so thankful for every day that I get to skate; it’s a blessing man. And then I got Inde and he’s such an inspiration to me.
Frontside Roll-in Naples Skate Park Photo by Lilo
How long have you been married?
Ah, I’ve been married for thirteen years.
Thirteen years, and three years into it Inde comes about.
I’ve been watching that rascal skate and he’s progressing man.
He’s getting there; he’s definitely come a long way.
He’s pushing you.
Yeah, he pushes me every time we skate for sure.
Is your wife’s into skating?
My wife loves skating, and that was one of the main reasons we got together. Because the other girls I had been with in my previous relationships didn’t seem to have room for skating. You know she’s never had a problem, she’s never told me one time I couldn’t go skating, ever! Our honeymoon was at the skateboard park.
Get out of here!
Swear to GOD, cross my heart! Went down to North Port for the day.
What! Do you have something special planned for her in the future?
Were gonna have another wedding deal, and I’m gonna have to crack down and give her a real honeymoon.
Ok, so you’re talking about a full ceremony?
Yeah, a full ceremony and everything, because she’s just a special kind of girl you know.
(In walks his wife Kristy)
Hey Cleo! (She hands me a clear plastic bag with a brown object in it)
Yeah! That’s a dead one but I caught a live one when I was in Naples.
Todd’s wife just brought me a dried Bat.
He was just saying how special you were and how much he loves you and stuff, and you walk over with the dried Bat.
That’s why he loves me! (Todd and his wife Kristy kiss)
That’s awesome man! Let me tell you that I’m proud to skate with you man.
I’m proud to skate with you! You got the best style.
For a fat man?
No! You’re far from fat! You got the best style. Every time I skate with you it don’t matter what you do, you could do a kick turn, it’s the way you do it, it’s the way you hold yourself, one of the best styles I ever seen on a skateboard.
I appreciate that man.
Ever. I know cause I’ve seen you do hand plants and airs and stuff and they look awesome.
Tell me what your future plans are for skating?
Just keep going man, keep progressing, as long as I’m progressing I’m down. As long as I’m making new stuff and feeling it, as long as I’m pushing Inde and he’s getting better and I’m getting better and were getting better. I’m still in it and I’m not going to quit any time soon.
Any skaters from the past you want to give shouts out to?
All of them brother, keep it rolling, bottom line keep it rolling man, keep it out there.
When will we see the “Party of Two” skate model?
I don’t know I’d have to get with the other half for that! I haven’t talked to him in probably twenty- five years! I don’t know how’d that roll. I don’t think he ever skated we probably could do that!
Push, Carve, Grind!