Bryce Wettstein – Juice Magazine State of Skate Interview

Bryce_Wettstein-Feeble-Jason_Kenworthy

Name:  Bryce Ava Wettstein
Hometown:  Encinitas, California
Age:  11
Sponsors:  Silly Girl Skateboards, McGills Skateshop, Pride Socks, Aura Training Facility, Encinitas Surfboards, Sticky Bumps Surf Wax, Freestyle Watches.

What set-up are you riding right now?
Silly Girl Skateboards 8.12” wide, 14.5” wheel base, 32” OAL, ‘Silly Beast’ graphic; Indy 139, 56mm Bones SPF Chris Miller mixed w/ Schroeder wheels; Paradox Grip.

What’s the most fun DIY, skater-built or renegade spot that you’ve skated lately?
Burnside Park in Portland, Oregon, for my first time. I was up there for World Cup’s ‘Sweet 16 Bowl Bash’ in Lincoln City.

Have you ever built something to skate?
I set up fun little ‘street-courses’ in my driveway and cul-de-sac with quarter pipes, curbs, old ramps and other junk wood obstacles. In my backyard, we have the Iguana Bowl, which Aura and Jim Bell built, but I got to help in the design phase and re-mod phases!

Who do you like to skate with these days?
For the months of October and November, my new Japanese friend, Sky Braun, is in town and we are sort of hosting her and having fun skating with her. My favorite skate mate is Brighton Zeuner who also lives closest to me. I also enjoy skating with Sarah Shreds Thompson, Spencer Breaux. Bella Kenworthy and Rockin-Relz who also live close and surf with me too.

Best skate graphic you have seen lately?
Silly Girl Skateboards’ ‘Silly Beast’ graphic by Nicole Dodson. 2nd is the ‘Silly Girl Pool Supply’ graphic.

Best thing you’ve skated in a skatepark?
I love the Etnies park snake-run and cradle. I also love my backyard Iguana Bowl, the Gnardo Ramp (Zeuner Ramp), and the Encinitas/Cardiff/Poods Park bowl. The Aura spined mini-ramp is a blast too!

Favorite skateboarders of all time?
Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Julz (Kindstrand) Lynn, Lizzie Armanto. I have to give it up for Tony Hawk because he lets me skate his backyard.

Is there anything that hasn’t been built to skate yet that you’d like to see built?
I would love to have access to a ‘Skater-Cross’ track. It’s great cross-training for surfing, skating fast and looks so fun! The last one I saw was on a video that Andy MacDonald put out.

Best road trip you ever took?
It’s San Jose for the Tim Brauch Memorial Contest every summer because the park terrain is huge and has so much to offer to skate. I get to have most of my best skate friends in one spot for three nights, and then, on the way home, we surf-check in fun new spots.

Any skate-related charities you support?
My family tends to support all of girls’ skateboarding in general, but I know we directly support Girls Riders Org, Exposure Skate and Benefit, and we have helped some Silly team riders with travel and costs and lodging.

What music have you been listening to?
Walk the Moon, The HeyDaze, Bea Miller, Vance Joy, The Naked & Famous, AWOLNation.

What do you consider the responsibilities of a professional skateboarder?
Be a good ambassador for sponsors as well as the industry as a whole, (although anything goes in skateboarding). Help and encourage younger skaters that look up to them. Do demos and sponsor vendor-booth time. Make video parts, and perhaps enter some contests. Also, once you turn professional, you should forever be Pro thereafter and never compete as an Amateur again. It’s not fair to the AM-girls coming up behind you and sets a bad example. Likewise, if you take prize money at a contest as an amateur, when it could be going to support a struggling Pro, that sets a bad example as well.

Which skate shops do you support most?
McGill’s Skateshop Encinitas because I am a team rider for them. McGill’s always has everything in stock and they are so helpful. They help me with set-up recommendations as well. Also Pink Widow Distribution because they stock and distribute for Silly Girl.

Favorite skate photo of all time?
The Bones Brigade video series. Also the annual Exposure Skate & Benefit Calendar of all the girls and many of my peers and inspirations.

What is your take on girls skateboarding?
I don’t like to get caught up in all the drama of it, that actually the parents create. All of us girls actually all get along. There is nothing like skating with a bunch of your friends. I just like to skate with fun, happy people who are typically girls, but some boys too. At the same time, I appreciate what the older girls have done before me to help pave the way for me and have broken many gender barriers. I have been taught that good skating is good skating, and not to try to “skate like a girl”, but at the same time, there is nothing wrong with dressing girly, wearing bright colors, or having some ‘feminine style’. At its roots, skateboarding is about not judging and being yourself. The core culture embraces being different and adhering to no rules, which always make the contest-scene a bit paradoxical to skateboarding. I compete a lot, and at contests I do prefer to compete against my peers and same gender, and, to have equal time for the girls to skate, with a dedicated girls’ division. Unfortunately this is still not the case at many contests, where sometimes my family and I will travel eight hours, pay for accommodations, and only get 90 seconds to compete, and then be judged only on that – while the boys will get not only a jam portion added but also a Final. However, I don’t think companies should be forced to sponsor girl riders or include them in their media, if they don’t want to or can’t afford to. The bottom line is that we live in a free-market society, and all companies have tight budgets for their teams, but with the current ability level of the girls and the rate of progression of younger girls, as well as the number of new girls coming into skating, I think there are now more opportunities for girls than ever before. Part of this is because the skateboarding industry is bigger than it ever has been in its history of existence, so all of us are riding the wave crest. Even though most skaters don’t want to be considered mainstream, it seems all companies and brands are benefiting from this boom, and skateboarding is no longer a niche past time of a few rebels.

What skateboarding memorabilia do you have that means the most to you?
One year I placed third U15 Amateur at the Vans Girls’ Combi Pool Classic. I was riding a set of Indy trucks during that contest and for many months prior, during many other contests. They were so grooved out because it was the first year of my skating life that I really started doing heavy grinds. After the Combi contest, we stepped up my set-up because I had been growing, and there was a break in the contest season. I saved those trucks and use one as a paper-weight on my desk and one is hanging on my wall, to hang stuff on. They mean a lot to me.

Who contributes the most to your local skate scene?
The parents actually do, honestly. The parents around here support skating so much, and not just the girls. Also, the City of Encinitas for sure loves and respects skateboarding. Within a ten mile radius, we have about six skateparks. Three of the original Bones Brigade live in this zip code. Tony Hawk lives right behind me and, in general, I know he has done so much to get new skateparks opened up all across America. Amelia Brodka and her lifetime work to produce Exposure Skate & Benefit, going into the fourth annual year, is perhaps one of the largest and most fun for all girl skaters who wish to enter. Every girl is invited regardless of age or ability. Again, many parents are helping this contest thrive behind the scenes.

Top three favorite skate tricks?
In the bowl or on tranny, front lip slide, 50-50 to Revert and 270 Feeble.

Do you think skateboarding should be in the Olympics?
Yes. While skateboarding is a culture, lifestyle and art form, first and foremost, in my mind, it is definitely a highly technically skilled, athletic feat. I like contests and enjoy competing. To me, skateboarding is also a sport and there is nothing wrong with that. It requires one to be as much of an athlete as any other Olympic sport, and just as much commitment. The problem may arise when trying to come up with fair and unbiased judging criteria, and contest formats. For many core skaters, skating is all about ‘style’ and only about style, which by definition is subjective and personal. This makes skateboarding hard to judge or grade, and core culture tends to reject the idea of judging or competition in general. I skateboard for fun, but I also work really hard and it is nice to have competitions to shine at your craft and test your character. Plus, the bigger contests bring all my favorite skaters together in one venue. Only competitions seem to have the gathering power to get all the girls together. Also, If skateboarding or surfing could ever lead to a college scholarship or being part of ‘Team USA’, to me that sounds awesome!

What is your proudest moment in skateboarding so far?
I don’t know about all time, but so far, this past summer of 2015, at the Tim Brauch Memorial Contest, with all my favorite skater girlfriends and teammates, I was able to land my best run. I skated for myself that day and stomped my runs that I put together by myself. In my heart, I was able to do my best and that felt good.

Bryce_Wettstein-Feeble-Jason_Kenworthy BRYCE HAS THE RIGHT ATTITUDE ABOUT SKATEBOARDING AND CAN HANDLE BIG TRANSITIONS LIKE A PRO. PHOTO BY JASON KENWORTHY


 

ABOUT THE JUICE MAGAZINE STATE OF SKATE:

When we started Juice Magazine 22 years ago, you could count the number of skateparks on one hand and grindable pool coping was mostly a distant memory. Now there are thousands of skateparks all over the world, along with a vast quantity of DIY spots built to skate. In 1993, the majority of skateboarders listened to punk rock or hip hop exclusively. Now skateboarders listen to almost every kind of sound created. Two decades ago, skateboarding related charities were non-existent. Today, there are numerous non-profits giving back to skateboarding in many ways. One of the most important differences between now and then is that, 22 years ago, there was a clear division between old school and new school skateboarding. Now that wall of separation has followed the same path as the Berlin Wall, allowing for an unprecedented unification of skateboarders all over the globe. Great strides have been made for girls that skate as well as the acceptance of skate history and long overdue recognition for skateboarding’s pioneers and its artifacts. At the same time, the current generation of skateboarders is taking skateboarding to new heights, previously unimaginable. As the landscape of the skateboarding industry changes on a daily basis, and the topic of skateboarding in the Olympics rears its head once again, along with the disturbing subject of who controls skateboarding being tossed about by corporate entities, we decided it was time to take a good look at the State of Skate. We asked 20 questions to 100 skateboarders, ages 8 to 58, and found that skateboarding is as diverse as the skateboarders that are addicted to it, no one controls skateboarding except skateboarders, and the State of Skate is savage and strong. Now get out there and skate tough!

JUICE MAGAZINE STATE OF SKATE features interviews with 100 skateboarders including: Tony Alva, Dave Hackett, Chris Strople, Duane Peters, Steve Olson, Dave Duncan, Steve Alba, Tony Magnusson, Pat Black, Jesse Martinez, Bill Danforth, Jim Murphy, Ric Widenor, Lester Kasai, Glen Charnoski, Bryan Pennington, Peter Furnee, Jeremiah Risk, Ryan Smith, Jason Jessee, Omar Hassan, Cam Dowse, Jen O’Brien, Depth Leviathan Dweller, Brett Roper, Travis Beattie, Chris Gentry, CW Dunn, Chris Albright, Charlie Wilkins, Cairo Foster, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, BJ Morrill, Dr. Lenore L.A. Sparks, Sid Melvin, Jesse Irish, Packy Fancher, Greg Lutzka, Jimmy Larsen, Adam Dyet, Luis Tolentino, Greg Harbour, Frank Faria, Ryan DeCenzo, Dave Bachinsky, Johnny Turgesen, Casey Meyer, Edward Sanchez, David Gravette, Ben Hatchell, Brian Geib, Felipe Gouveia, Eric Santos, Kyle Smith, Cameron Revier, Josh Stafford, Justin Grubbs, Etienne Eden Archila, Sanzio Piacentini, Josh Elder, Eddie “Mighty” Moreno, Kevin Kowalski, Otto Pflanz, Jeremy Smith, Adam Wiggins, Jimmy Wilkins, Danny Gordon, Jake Hilbish, Corey Blanchette, Adam Legassie, Nick Santos, Trey Rounds, Curren Caples, Justyce Tabor, Andy Anderson, Sarah Thompson, Coral Guerrero, Collin Graham, Derek Scott, Ace Pelka, Sonny Rodriguez, Jarren Duke, Mikayla Sheppard, CJ Titus, Noah Schott, Emily Earring, Julian Torres, Wyatt Wisenbaker, Josh Forsberg, Nathan Midgette, Roman Pabich, Yago Dominguez, Jack Winburn, Jonas Carlsson, Kiko Francisco, Bryce Ava Wettstein, Desmond Shepherd, Matty Jessee and Luke Kahler.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, ORDER ISSUE #74 BY CLICKING HERE…

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