Matthew Ratliff has been defying gravity for most of his life. While growing up in a small town like Rochester might have taught most kids the importance of keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground, Matthew found his muse in motion via skateboarding.
“I put skateboarding before everything growing up, and knew when I first started, it was all I wanted to do,” he explains. “It's something I’ve always been good at.” Being good at something and making a career out of it is an aspiration that many people dream of, but many fall short of accomplishing. But Matthew’s commitment, drive and skills would not be denied.
“Skateboarding has brought me so many places I wouldn’t have been able to go, and I’ve
accomplished more than I could have imagined through my dedication and love for it. I’ve managed a few skate shops over the years, worked for DC Shoes as a sales rep, and am now running the only indoor and non-profit skate park in Nebraska.”
That skate park, The Bay, is located in Lincoln, Nebraska, and has been a labor of love for Matthew for the past decade. A few years ago, he took a full-time position as the director of running programs that featured things like CLC after-school programs, skate camps, ‘skate school’, skate contests, and an event called 'Femme Skate Night' to name a few. One of the most satisfying aspects of his job is it gives him the opportunity to share his skills and knowledge with new generations of skate aficionados.
“The best thing in the world is working with/teaching my son. He’s almost ten years old, and loves skateboarding as much as I did as a kid. There’s something special about seeing a young version of yourself, learn and progress through skateboarding and through life.”