Spinning To The Top w/ Ryan Brynelson
StarBeat checks in with Freestyle Skateboarder Ryan Brynelson from Canada on his top tricks, how he got started in skateboarding, and his surprising linguistic skills.
SB (StarBeat): On Board: How did you get started in Skateboarding?
RB (Ryan Brynelson): I started when I was about 14 years old, just pushing around and doing basic tricks like most teenagers starting out did. About half a year into it, I had the opportunity to go to a wrap up party for the 2007 World Freestyle Skateboarding Championships, which is what really stoked my interest and passion for skateboarding. I saw so many different types of tricks that I had never seen before and was completely blown away.
SB: Definition: For those who may not be aware, what is Freestyle Skateboarding?
RB: Freestyle Skateboarding is the very first style of skateboarding. Unlike other styles of skateboarding there are no obstacles and it’s just you and your board on flat-ground. There are many types of tricks involved such as flip tricks, handstand tricks, rail/primo tricks (tricks that are done on the side of the board), trucks tricks and multiple 360 spins. Many skaters will try to combine these different types of tricks creating new variations and sequences to the point where it almost looks something like a dance.
Because freestyle skatebaording is so old and so few people do it, it’s almost been completely forgotton, so when people see me doing handstands on my skateboard or doing 360 spins on flat, they think I am doing something completely new and innovative, when in reality these tricks were done way before Ollies were invented, or even before people rode skateboards on verticle ramps.
SB: Trickster: Do you have any favourite Tricks?
RB: My favourite tricks by far would have to be 360 spins on flat. I like to do different variations of the trick such as doing them with 2-feet, 1-foot on the nose or tail, doing them with 2-skateboards and moving in between those variations mid-trick. I also like doing 360 spins on Steel Wheels, which allows me to reach high numbers such as 70+.
SB: Spinning Top: We noticed a lot of 360’s aka spins in your videos. Why have you focused so much on these?
RB: Multiple 360 spins on flat and their variations are such a core and difficult skateboard trick. In my opinion, 360 spins were the first difficult trick ever done on a skateboard in the history of the sport. I was always very fascinated by this trick because it’s a skateboard trick that takes a lot of time to learn, but almost nobody does them anymore. Not even many of the modern day freestyle skateboarders under the age of 40. To me, learning all the different variations of this trick has been like digging up an old relic from the past, and I always just found that really fun and interesting.
SB: Resume: What are your top accomplishments so far in Freestyle?
RB: In 2013 I won the World Championships as an amateur and from there I had the opporunity to enter the 2014 Japanese Freestyle Skateboarding Championship where I took home 1st place. After that I went on to win 360 spin contests at a variety of World/National events and then this year at the 2018 World Championships I was fortunate enough to take home 3rd place in the Pro Division.
SB: Linguist: We hear you can speak Japanese – when and how did you learn that?
RB: I studied Japanese on and off for a bit when I was in high school since I was 13, but it was a school trip to Japan when I was 17 that really motivated myself to study the language more. I found that being able to use the very basic Japanese I had learned in high school in a conversation with people to be very exciting and when I returned to Canada I spent a lot of time studying the language and making friends with many Japanese people living in Vancouver.
In 2013 I made the decision to go to school in Japan to study more of the language and to pass the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT N1). After that I took a working holiday visa and stayed for another year doing many different types of jobs working as a Translator, Interpreter, Working in a home electronic store, and even working at the Japanese Language School that I studied at helping students and newly landed immigrants to Japan get used to everyday life in the country as well as helping them hone their language skills.
SB: Bonus: Favourite thing on wheels other than a skateboard?
RB: Trains. Truth be told I hate driving, but I love going places by train just because it lets me sit down and do other things such as reading and studying. Unfortunately I can’t do that when I’m driving.
I tried to avoid driving for as long as I could and actually just got my license about 2 months ago.
Ryan on Social:
Watch Ryan’s Run at The 2018 World Round Up here – http://skateboarding.starbeat.tv/videos/view/671