Welcome back to the off-road industry, Clifton! For the last twelve years, Clifton Slay has dedicated his life to other pursuits, now it’s time to return. Founder of Poison Spyder Customs, Clifton shares how that began and his history prior to. Jumping back in with both feet and his new venture, Hoplite VentureTrek, we can’t wait to see where it goes!
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6:26 – Shout at the Devil!
16:26 – it was either art school or the military
31:53 – connecting to Steve Remore
38:09 – what we needed didn’t exist
48:14 – it was like a sonic boom!
53:22 – the pulse of Poison Spyder was function and style
1:03:49 – it’s hard to watch because there’s no learning curve
1:14:16 – I made some catastrophic mistakes
1:32:57 – Medic Clifton and Valkyrie
1:42:36 – the next step back to off-road
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
[00:01:40.720] – Big Rich Klein
Today on this week’s episode of Conversations With Big Rich, we have Clifton Slay. Clifton is a father, a paramedic, dirt pilot, Special forces, canine handler, search and rescue, and founder of Poison Spider Customs. Clifton, it’s great to have you on board here and talk about your life and history and offroad and before that and how you got into offroad. And I like to say I’ve known you for a long time and hope to get to know you a lot better with this conversation. So thank you for coming on board.
[00:02:18.130] – Clifton Slay
Yeah. Thank you, Big Rich. It’s an honor to be asked to be on your podcast, so I do my best memory of all these years and see if I can get it as accurate as I can remember.
[00:02:32.970] – Big Rich Klein
Yeah, no worries. One of the things that I’ve realized myself is that I can remember stories, situations, things that happened, but I cannot necessarily put an exact date on things. And as we get older, it’s like, oh, it happened 22 years ago, but I couldn’t tell you what day it happened.
[00:02:55.370] – Clifton Slay
Yeah, no doubt. Well, I’ll try to stay in the right decade. Let me know.
[00:02:58.690] – Big Rich Klein
There you go.
[00:02:59.340] – Clifton Slay
[00:03:00.190] – Big Rich Klein
So the first thing that I need to ask you is where were you born and raised?
[00:03:05.750] – Clifton Slay
I’m from Denver, Colorado. Raised here mostly. I spent some time in Arkansas. My father is an archaeologist there and stayed there, and I was in the military. I traveled around and the different army bases and stuff, but came home to Colorado and still here.
[00:03:25.790] – Big Rich Klein
Okay, cool. Where did you primarily go to school? Say grade school to begin with.
[00:03:34.670] – Clifton Slay
Oh, gosh. Let’s see. Polon elementary, which is in Aurora, Colorado, that area just around the Denver area, all through school and then. Yeah, College stuff as well.
[00:03:50.960] – Big Rich Klein
And then you said your dad was an archaeologist, so you were moving was he doing like dig site type stuff?
[00:03:59.270] – Clifton Slay
Yeah, my dad was a huge influence on me. He specializes in Native Americans and pre history. So I grew up with my dad on dig sites and the dirt, full bandanas and arrowheads and all that kind of stuff. So definitely groomed me to a life in the dirt, for sure. And just the appreciation, the outdoors.
[00:04:29.110] – Big Rich Klein
That’s awesome. I love the I guess you’d call it the neo American history. Anything that happened on our continent through the years and the study of how man evolved here, I find that quite fascinating.
[00:04:50.150] – Clifton Slay
Yeah. It made for a unique childhood for sure, and I appreciate it, but I appreciate it more as adult now, just realizing the exposures and his perspectives. And like I said, it ties into off road as well, not into the jeeps and stuff necessarily, but just the appreciation of being outdoors and mountaineering and that sort of stuff. And how I still sort of tie all that together is huge influence from my dad. READ MORE