Dylan Rieder: 1988-2016

The following statement was released by Dylan Rieder’s manager: On, October 12th, 2016, surrounded by family and friends, Dylan Joseph Rieder passed away due to complications from leukemia. His passion for life, art, music, fashion, and skateboarding has always been contagious. Dylan will be remembered by all as a loving son, brother, and friend. In lieu of sending flowers, the family requests donations be made in Dylan’s memory to Dr. Stephen Forman. Please address checks to “City of Hope” In memo line: “to Dr. Stephen Forman for Dylan Rieder.”

City of Hope

Attention: Philanthropy

1500 E Duarte Rd.

Duarte, CA 91010




[Interview from February 2013]

The gift of a goofy footer,
To have a style is kinda cool, too.
To be able to rip, is a blessing…
Can I get an Amen, brothers???
Settle down, it’s time to tell you,
This is about Dylan, and not Bob.
From behind the curtain,
And I do mean ORANGE…
The great escape…
On the adventure only dreams see possible…
Living it and being it…
This is “Dylan.”

STEVE OLSON: Where’s the booze?
DYLAN RIEDER: What do you want? I don’t drink anymore.

Oh, you don’t drink anymore? Okay, so they call you Switchblade?
[Laughs] No.

What’s your name? Obviously, I know your name. Can I have a shot of whiskey?
[Laughs] Oh, yeah, I have a bottle of whiskey stashed under my pillow.

Wait. What is your name?
You know my name.

Just tell me your name. It’s so simple.
Do you need a glass for your whiskey?

Whiskey is high in protein.

Everything about whiskey is good for you.
It’s probably organic.

Anyway. What is your name?
You know my name is Dylan.

Bob Dylan?

Where do you come from?
Okay, I’ll play along. I come from Westminster.

So you were born in Westminster?
Yes. That’s where I was born.

How did you ever get into skateboarding? Did you surf before you skateboarded?
I think I started surfing before I skated. My dad surfed and my dad skated.

Oh, really? Your dad skated and surfed. Do I know your dad?
I don’t think you ever met my dad. He was not in the scene. You know what? Maybe. He surfed Huntington. He’s 50.

What is his first name?

Joe Rieder?
Yeah. He probably follows you on Instagram. [Laughs]

[Laughs] No, he doesn’t.
He definitely does.

Guaranteed he doesn’t. What was it like growing up in Huntington?
It was cool. It’s a beach town. I’d go to school, go surf and go skate.

Did you finish school?
No. I didn’t finish school. I dropped out after 11th grade. I went to high school for a month and then I started home schooling and then I stopped doing that. I could have finished, but I was skating. I was traveling and living it up.

How did you get into skateboarding? What was that process?
I did it through the neighborhood kids. I played sports and stuff.

What sports?
I played water polo and swam. I was doing water sports and training for the Junior Lifeguards. I was doing that and skating too.

I know your drill. I played water polo and swam too. What was your stroke?
Breaststroke. I’m really good at the breaststroke, in both ways, now. [Laughs]

[Laughs] What did you play in water polo?
I was the sprinter.

You were the guy closest to the wall where they drop the ball.
I was the dude.

You did well then. I used to not be able to play because I wouldn’t go to practice, but I could play because I lived in a pool my whole life. The coach would tell me to go in when we were down and I’d go make a couple of goals. He was like, “I can’t play you all the time because you don’t come to practice.” I was like, “Who cares? It doesn’t matter.” I was going skating, but I liked water polo.
I did too, except for the Speedo thing. That was harsh.

The Speedo thing was messed up. I would go and wait for the substitution and I’d have my gym shorts on. The coach was like, “You can’t do that.” I was like, “Yeah. I can. I’m really not feeling the Speedo thing.”
It was a pretty homoerotic sport. [Laughs] You’re guarding dudes and you dunk them by putting your legs around them and dunking them.

I don’t care. I love to go and swim against anyone. So you got into skating from rolling and cruising as a little kid?
Yeah. When I was young, my dad would drop us off at Merdy Park and we’d skate there.

What was Merdy Park?
Merdy Park was the first skatepark they built in Huntington. I think it’s the one that Ed Templeton designed. It looks like an ashtray. I skated there with my friends after school. Then my dad built us a kick ramp in the garage. My neighbor down the street, his dad was cool and he surfed, and his kid skated, so he had a flat bar and we skated that.

So you really skated?
Well, when you’re a kid, you’re doing kid stuff. Then water polo got weeded out, but I still surfed and skated and did some snowboarding. I did all that because my dad would take us to all that shit. My uncle owned a surf and skate shop too.

Which one?
K-5. It’s down in San Diego. I just grew up in the realm of action sports. What a better place to do it than Orange County?

How was it growing up in Orange County?
It was awesome. Honestly, when I was 13, I was already getting sponsored, so I was traveling. I’d spend the rest of my time at the skatepark, as any skater would.

When did you realize as a kid that you’re good at it and then there comes a point when it all starts happening?
I think I was 11. That’s when I started doing the CASL contests. At the time, I had a few buddies that I skated with at home, but they started to get interested in other things and I started to focus on skateboarding. I started to see myself progress faster than they were when I was doing the CASL contests. When I was 11, that’s all I did. I pretty much lived at the Huntington Park. During that transition from middle school to high school, I wasn’t really going to school that much. I was at the Huntington Park all day every day.

Who were the cats that you thought were really good skaters?
At that time, in 2000 and 2001, the Baker dudes, like Reynolds, were doing it, and Reynolds was still coming to the Huntington Park. I’d see Tom Penny there occasionally. That’s when Tosh Townend was starting to get really big. I thought he was super sick too because he was from Huntington and he was skating Huntington Park. Ed Templeton was around. I looked up to all those guys that were living in Huntington. It was more Reynolds though. He was a big inspiration in my life.

Why? Was it just because he ripped?
That was when the Birdhouse video, The End, came out. That’s when I started watching videos and paying attention.

Yeah, but look, I’m old and I saw The End and it was done well. If I was a kid, I’d be like, “That looks good. I want to be like those guys. I want to have chicks around me and be good on my skateboard.”
Yeah. It was Jeremy Klein and Heath Kirchart. That shit was sick when they had the chicks in lingerie setting up their skateboards. That was awesome. That’s when I started to pay attention. Andrew was skating big rails, so that influenced me.

What is a big rail?
That was 2000 and everything was big. Andrew was frontside flipping over 12-stairs and that’s still big. That was when it started to get big. Misled Youth came out. The End came out. Sorry came out. That was all within a few years time zone.

Going big was the thing.
That’s still around. That was just on the cusp of my time.

When did you start to get sponsored?
Well, I rode for my uncle’s skate shop, K-5, and that was my first sponsor. I’d enter the CASL contests riding for K-5, when I was like 12 or 13.

Who did you skate against then?
Bryan Herman was in CASL.

It blows my mind when I do these interviews and these dudes talk about the CASL contests, I can’t imagine them as little kids. I just don’t see you as this little kid in a CASL contest. I just know you as Dylan. It blows my mind to think of you and Herman as little kids. Even when I talked to Duffy, I can’t think of him as being a little kid. I trip on it.
CASL has been around forever. They used to do the tours with Vision.

Sonja and Jeanne have been around for a long time. When I was skating in contests, I was skating in the U.S.S.A., which then became CASL. Those broads have been doing it forever. It blows my mind because I just think of you guys as these dudes, not as kids that came up through that ranking system.
A lot of us were in it. I was in it. Sheckler was in it. Torey Pudwill was doing it. Paul did it.

I took my kid, Alex, to a CASL contest out in Victorville and homeboy just freaked. He was little.
I was thinking about that. Alex was not in CASL.

He was not having it. We were trying to bribe him. I was like, “I’ll give you $100. Just enter the contest.” He was like, “I’m going to the car.” It was crazy. How did you do in the CASL contests?
I never won anything, but I didn’t do too badly.

When did the transition start happening and you were starting to get sponsored by companies?
I started getting stuff on flow because I used to skate the Vans Park a lot. Remember that guy Adil Dyani? He was a vert skater dude. He rode for that shoe company PTS. They were a random shoe company and they started giving me shoes.

How was that to get free shoes as a kid?
It was the shit. I was in sixth grade, so I was going to school with brand new shoes every day. It was sick. I didn’t care what they were.

They were free.
Exactly. I was getting shoes from them and then I won a contest at the Vans Park. They had a finals contest in New York, so I got flown out there and I skated in the contest and did okay. The dudes from Zoo York were at the contest and they were like, “Hey, we want to flow you boards.” So I went to the Zoo York offices with my mom. I was 12, and they sent me a box of Zoo York boards.

How was that?
That was sick. It was super random to get picked up by an East Coast company. I didn’t know anything about Zoo York. That wasn’t my coast.

Getting a box of boards was good though?
It was sick. I was stoked, but I knew that wasn’t who I wanted to skate for.

img_2117 Dylan Rieder accepts the Award for Best Video Part in “Cherry.” January 2015. Photo by Dan Levy

Who did you want to skate for?
At the time, I wanted to skate for Birdhouse, Zero or Toy Machine. Those were the teams that I looked up to. I ended up getting flow from Birdhouse through that dude Brian Sumner.

Oh, he’s totally cool. I like Brian.
He’s a good dude. He hooked a lot of us up.

So you rode for Birdhouse and PTS?
I rode for Birdhouse and PTS for a little bit and I was getting shit from them, and then I ended up meeting someone that worked at Quiksilver. I did a look book for their youth catalog. It was a skate shoot, and that’s when Oblow first started working at Quiksilver, so he started taking note of my progression and he took me under his wing with Quiksilver and then he hooked me up with Osiris.

You rode for Osiris?
Yeah. Osiris and Quiksilver were pretty much my first big sponsors.

Did you think you were going to be doing all this when you were a kid?
Well, I knew that I wanted to be a professional skateboarder. When I was in sixth grade, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I wrote, “I want to be a pro surfer. I want to be a pro skateboarder.” Looking back on it now, I wish I’d have gone the surfing route, but it didn’t happen that way. Skateboarding is harsh. I mean I’m thankful I became a pro skater, but the surfing lifestyle seems like fun.

Why does that lifestyle seem better? Professional surfers cruise from island to island and then they have to wait and the waves are flat. It’s just a different vibe.
I’m sure they get sick of the same things that we get sick of.

I mean, they could travel to France and it’s flat. All of a sudden, it’s like, “We have this window to surf this contest and there is no swell, so we’re going to surf in two foot waves. This sucks.” It’s probably frustrating.
I’m sure it’s annoying, but on a beach, there are chicks hanging out. There are no chicks in skateboarding. Now there are, but the chicks that go to Street League are not my type of chicks, you know. I like chicks in a bikini on the beach, or a chick in a bikini in the middle of the street or wherever.

Let’s just talk about the chick in the bikini. Really. You’re going to roll up and say, “What are you doing?” And she’ll say, “I’m sun tanning.”

[Laughs] Oh, please. You’d get so sick of that.
I’m sure there’s bullshit over there as well. I’m sure they get sick of being on the beach and want to be in the city, just like a kid in the city wants to go to the beach.

I get it. So you were riding for Osiris, Birdhouse and Quiksilver. How old were you then?
I was 13.

You were a little kid.
I was a little shithead with braces. My first trip, I went to Miami with Oblow and the Quiksilver dudes. It was Reese Forbes, Tim O’Connor and Stefan Janoski. My first trip was to Miami, which was pretty funny.

What did you guys do?
We skated a lot. We got high on the beach. I had never seen naked chicks on the beach, but in South Beach you can go topless. I was a 13-year-old kid just tripping out, like, “Where am I?” I was at that age where all I wanted to do was skate. I ate, slept and breathed skateboarding.

Totally. Let’s go skate.
Those dudes were smoking weed the whole time and I was oblivious to it. I remember I wasn’t allowed to ride in one of the cars because all those dudes were smoking pot. I was like, “They probably don’t like me.” I was just a little kid and it made me totally insecure, but they were just smoking pot and I wasn’t old enough yet to be around that. I got more exposed later on down the line.

We’ll get there. Did you get to go all over the world with Quiksilver?
I went to Australia a couple of times. I did a couple of contests in Europe.

Did you like riding in contests as a kid?
Yeah. I liked them. At the time, I was still struggling with skating street. I could skate rails and stuff, but I was not really good at flipping my board. For me, I was used to skating in contests and I was doing okay in them, and I liked skating in them. I had that competitive thing going.

That probably comes from water polo and swimming and whatever else?
It comes from being a kid and wanting to win. I would get all bummed if I didn’t win and I’d break my board. I’d get pissed.

Now that you’d had a taste of it, it was insane, no?
It was great. At that point, I was still in school.

Daniel Lutheran and Dylan Rieder at the Asphalt Yacht Club Launch Party 2013. Photo by Dan Levy Daniel Lutheran and Dylan Rieder at the AYC Launch Party 2013. Photo by Dan Levy

What was school saying?
I think it was summertime, so I did a couple of big trips in the summer. When school started again, that’s when I started high school and I didn’t hang out with any of the kids that I used to hang out with.

You were on to something.
That’s when I was only focused on skateboarding. I didn’t talk to people. That’s when I totally closed in on myself. I was super introverted. That’s what skateboarding can do to you. I couldn’t relate to the kids anymore. I was like, “High school kids are screwed.” I was already getting paid to skate, so I was like, “Why am I in school?” I was battling with my mom, like, “Just let me travel.” I ended up getting my way and going to home school for a year and a half. I just couldn’t go to school. I couldn’t take a two-week trip and come back and try to get caught up on Spanish class. No way. That wasn’t going to happen.

Yeah, but you did get to travel to Spain. Whatever. It’s a harsh one, but you’ve done ten years of school. Then you’re traveling and you’re not missing school because they’re not teaching you shit about the real world.
Right. I was like, “Why do I have to be here?” When you’re a kid, and you’re making a little money doing something, you think you’re above it. I probably should have finished school, but whatever. I don’t regret it now. I mean, I regret some things, but…

Whatever you want to do in that world is whatever. I’m just not the biggest fan of school.
Alex stopped after eighth grade, right?

I pulled him out after ninth. I was like, “Don’t go there. You don’t need it.”
Was his mom pissed?

No. He did home school.
Did he really do home school?

Sure. I looked up shit online and there were all of these different curriculums. For me, I split school in the 11th grade because I was traveling and getting paid. I’m not against learning, but I don’t think they teach you everything you need to know. That’s just my opinion.
I think kids should go to school, but if you have something going on that’s a potential career path, follow it.

Education is education. It doesn’t mean that they are the only ones that can teach you what’s going on. They help. Learning is cool.
Learning is cool. [Laughs]

When did you step over from amateur to pro? You were young when you turned pro, right?
I was 19.

I thought you turned pro at 15, but you went through the ranks.
Yeah. I switched sponsors and put out a video part.

Who did you put out a video part for?
I put out a video part for Transworld. At that time, I was getting shoes from Nike and I was riding for Deluxe for Rasa Libre. It was Matt Field, Nate Jones and Reese’s company.

Matty Rodriguez. How was that?
It was cool. I was growing out of that phase of only skating rails and the whole tight pants thing. I was changing.

You were growing up.
I was 16 and I started to smoke pot. I was hanging out and getting accustomed to skate tours and skate life. I was growing into what I thought was cool at the time. I look back on it now and I was just growing into myself. Birdhouse wasn’t what it used to be. All those dudes quit. Heath quit. Andrew quit and started Baker. It was just the ams, which was cool, but I was growing out of it. Reese asked me to ride for Rasa Libre. It was a new company and I was like, “Yeah. I like Deluxe.” I rode for Spitfire and Thunder. They put Omar Salazar on the team. So I was doing that and going on tour with those dudes. I was living with my dad in an apartment, and I was just traveling and doing my own thing. I was starting to live the life of a skateboarder.

That can sometimes be self-destructive.
Yeah. I was doing whatever I wanted because my dad didn’t really care. He looked after us, but at that point, I was uncontrollable. I was making my own money.

How old were you?
I was 16. I was making my own money and traveling with older dudes. Everyone that I traveled with was at least five years older than me, always.

Did you have a fake ID?
Yeah. I had a fake ID. I was smoking pot, drinking and getting laid, having a good time and living the life. As cliché as it sounds, that’s what happened. I started filming for the Transworld video and I was coming up to L.A. a lot and skating with Jason Hernandez. I put that part out and when I was filming for that, I quit Nike and started riding for Vans. To this day, I think I’m the only person to ever quit Nike. I don’t know anyone that has ever quit Nike. Before Spain, I put a pair of Vans on and filmed a line in Vans. I was like, “Why am I wearing Nikes? I can’t even feel my board wearing these.” I can actually feel my board in Vans. I had never skated Vans before because I always had a shoe sponsor.

You could feel the difference.
In Vans, I could feel my board and they looked good. I got a box of Vans, and then I called Nike. I appreciated it, and they gave me an ad and took me on a couple of trips, but I was still growing up and developing and knowing what I liked. I liked what Vans was doing. I liked Vans shoes, so I quit Nike and rode for Vans. Then the Transworld video came out.

Did that Transworld video blow you up?
Yeah. That was the one where people started noticing me. When that video came out, Rasa Libre was going out of business. I was on Vans at that point. That’s when AVE was on Vans and he said, “Come ride for the Workshop.”

Workshop had a cool team.
Yeah. It was Dill, AVE and Heath… Heath was always someone I looked up to. He was a big inspiration, and he was one of my favorite skaters. I’ve always watched those dudes skate. At the time, they were my favorite skaters. Then Jim hit me up to ride for AntiHero. Workshop and AntiHero were my favorite companies, so I was kind of stuck in the middle. I didn’t want to bum the Deluxe dudes out because I had been riding for Deluxe, but I didn’t feel like I fit in with those dudes at AntiHero. I liked what they were doing, but I didn’t see myself as an AntiHero guy, so I started riding for the Workshop.

You were more of a Workshop guy.
Yeah. Those dudes took me under their wing and that’s when I started skating with Greg Hunt and that’s when they were filming for the Mind Field video. I think I went pro in those two years of riding for Workshop and that video.

Then you started to get paid. Did you ever think you were going to get paid to skateboard?
When I first started getting paid, I didn’t know about skaters being rich or any of that. I didn’t think about those kinds of things really. When I turned pro, I was like, “Boom! This is what I’m going to do.”

You followed the path to it.
I climbed the ladder. I put in a lot of time. It’s crazy to think about it now. I’ve been a sponsored skateboarder since I was 13.

What trucks do you ride?
Thunders. I tried to ride Indys and I couldn’t do it. I really like Thunders. They just feel different. I’m used to light, quick-turn trucks. Indys don’t do that for me.

Do you ride your trucks loose?
Yeah. I don’t take out bushings and they’re not rattling, but I don’t ride tight trucks.

“Loose trucks save lives.”
Exactly. “Loose trucks, loose women…”

There is no incrimination happening right now. Okay, all of a sudden, Mind Field comes out, but before Mind Field, there was a lot of other stuff happening.
To me?

Like what, the drug thing?

I don’t care about that.
I don’t care if we talk about it.

I don’t care either. That’s not my angle. I’m more interested in your transition in skateboarding. Being a sponsored kid for a long time, there definitely had to be burnout periods.
Yeah. When I was 15 to 18, I was going to San Diego a lot to skate. I had a couple friends that lived out there and filmed, so I was staying with my friend Russell. I was still super into skating, and they were smoking pot all day, so that’s what I did for the longest time.

Why do you think you smoked weed? It’s just out of curiosity, more than trying to depict your character.
I guess my friends were all smoking pot, so I wanted to know what it was like.

It relaxes you, right?
Yeah. I was growing up and I wanted to try new things. I was going on tour with these kids. When I was riding for Birdhouse, they were all smoking pot. It wasn’t like peer pressure. It was like, “I want to try smoking pot.” I tried to smoke pot for the first time and I didn’t get stoned, but the next time I did get stoned. I was like, “This is great. This is way better than drinking.” I was kind of drinking, but not that much. I just really liked being stoned, so I started smoking pot. I was making the money so I could buy the pot, so I was getting high and smoking weed.

Do you think weed affected your skating for the better or worse?
I think it changed my skating. For me, it got me out of my skate rails phase. When I started smoking pot, I started skating more transition. That really influenced my Transworld part because it had a lot of transition in it. I always skated transition. I grew up skating the Vans Park with the combi bowl and the black bowl. That was super fun.

The black bowl was so fun.
It was great. I always skated that, but that wasn’t what I was focusing on. Once I started smoking pot, I skated more ditches and really developed my all around interests in skating. Then big rails started to look bigger stoned. [Laughs] I didn’t like skating rails stoned. Then I started honing in on my skill set. I started flipping my board and doing other things that I got into. Not to promote smoking weed or anything, because I don’t smoke weed anymore. At the time, I was into it. I’d take a bong hit and go skate or roll a joint and skate around. I was really into that mentality. It’s funny because the kids that I skated with at home didn’t smoke pot. I was the only one that smoked pot. The kids I would go on tour with like the Birdhouse kids, they all smoked pot. Once I quit Birdhouse, the kids I skated with every day, didn’t smoke weed. I got tired of going to skate spots and always being stressed out because I always had weed on me, and roaches in my pocket.

You were thinking if the cops rolled up on you, you would get busted.

But you didn’t get busted.
No. I never got busted for pot.

What about injuries and slamming and all the stuff like that in skateboarding that’s obviously inevitable?
Knock on wood. I’ve been lucky.

Have you had any gnarly accidents?
I’ve broken my arms a couple of times, but I’ve never had a broken leg. I’ve never had any huge injury where I was out for six months. I’ve had injuries that have kept me out for a couple months, but never that long. I’ve been pretty fortunate.

How do you keep the passion going for skating?
It’s because it’s kind of all that I have. I look at it more now, as I’m getting older. I think, “What if I didn’t have skateboarding? What would I do?”

Skateboarding gave you a life, in a cool way.
It’s what I’ve always done since I was a kid. It’s always been there. As hard as skateboarding is physically and mentally, it’s just as mental as it is physical. I think that’s what a lot of skateboarders struggle with, when it becomes a job, and they’re too cool for it. For me, I feel like I’m pretty professional when it comes to skateboarding. I know what I need to do. Now you have contracts with companies with certain obligations in it, so you go on tours that you don’t want to go on, but you do it because it’s part of your job. I’ll still bitch and complain about it, but, at the end of the day, it’s my job. I don’t have work any other way. I think that motivation of it being a profession helps. Skating is still fun to me, but it’s just different. It’s not how it was when I was a kid. I don’t go to the skatepark now to hang out and socialize. It’s not that kind of community for me anymore. I go to the park and skate a couple nights a week to train for whatever I want to do on the streets that weekend.

It’s more of a discipline to do what you’re expected to do because you’re getting paid.
Yeah. Don’t get me wrong. I love going to Arto’s and grinding around the bowl. I also like the feeling of putting in the work of trying a trick for two hours and then landing it and getting that high and satisfaction off of it. That still really excites me.

Do you still get the high or do you just get the satisfaction?
Well, it just depends if it’s something I’ve been thinking about and really want to do. I like doing things that have never been done in skateboarding before, like the impossible… I don’t want to sound self-centered.

Well, there are certain goals that one sets. Of course, you’re trying to take yourself outside of what’s normal and mundane. It’s more of a personal goal. If you set a goal and you do it, it’s just that much better.
It’s like completing a video part. You put in two years of hard work, and I’m never satisfied with everything I did, and I always feel like I could have done more or done it better. After seeing the video part put together, I liked that feeling of, “Yeah. Damn, I worked my ass off… Look.”

Dylan Rieder and Rob Dyrdek at the Asphalt Yacht Club Launch Party 2013. Photo by Dan Levy Dylan Rieder and Rob Dyrdek at the AYC Launch Party 2013. Photo by Dan Levy

You work for two years to get four minutes for a video part. It’s insane the ratio of the time put into it to what goes into a video. I think that’s a huge commitment of your life as a skater kid.
It takes time. If you’re a street skater, there are a lot of variables that work against you.

When you’re filming for a video part, do you think about what you want to accomplish and the things you want to do, or do you just go do it? Is it a thought out thing or do things happen because you go to a place and you have the thought that you could pull a trick there?
I have premeditated things that I want to do. These days I haven’t been going on street missions because my head is not there, but I like to skate a bunch of different things. I’m doing lines and not so many gnarly single tricks. I’m into things that have more of a flow. That’s where I am now.

What is it like on a street mission? Take me through it. I don’t know this world. If you go to a place and you’re thinking of doing something and there’s security or a cop and the spot is taken away, that would piss me off.
That always sucks. Skating in the schoolyards, I have to wait all week until Saturday and Sunday. For now, we have this one schoolyard that we skate, but it’s not going to last forever, because we’ve been destroying the tables. I’m sure the janitor is fed up with us not putting the tables back, because we drag them into the middle of the playground. Eventually, that spot will be gone after the neighbors complain about the noise, and the tables will all get locked up. The tables have been locked up before, but we got bolt cutters and got the tables back out. So I wait all week for that. I go to the park during the week and train, and then wait for the weekends to get the trick, and sixty percent of the time I don’t get the trick.

How frustrating is it to not get the trick?
It’s annoying. It sucks. I get pissed. I have anger issues. I snap my board. If I try a trick for two hours and I don’t get it, it will send me into a state where I could punch an old lady on the side of the street. I probably wouldn’t do that, but there have been times when I’m so frustrated that I’m waiting for the cord to snap in my brain and I’m not coming back, you know. I’m angry and then I go get wasted.

But you don’t do that anymore.
I don’t do that anymore, but I did. I got a line the other day that I’ve been trying. I went there like eight times and then I got it and I was like, “Yeah! Let’s go to the bar and celebrate!” But, I don’t do that anymore. I don’t do anything anymore. I’m just a recluse these days. I’m only a social person when I drink.

When you’re not drinking, you don’t want to go out?
Yeah. I’m in a thing where I’m trying to get healthy. I grew up living that lifestyle and now I’m like, “Wow, I’ve done that for a long time and I really haven’t been focusing on myself.” Now I know what it is to feel everything. That’s the thing with not drinking. I’ve always dealt with problems by masking it through drinking or partying. Now I’m at the age where I can’t do that anymore. I’ve done it, and I still want to be a professional skateboarder for a little while longer, so I’m figuring out what there is to do besides not sit at a bar and drink. I’m doing other things like working out. I have to learn another skill soon because my skateboarding career won’t last forever.

How do you deal with that?
I struggle with it. I’ve always been good at skateboarding and I’ve made that my career. Now I don’t know how to start something else. I don’t know how to put in the time and make that first step. Say I wanted to be an artist. I haven’t been to school or an art class. I’ve never done that before. Now I’m trying to figure out what I want to do and how to do it. I could say that I want to take music lessons, but that’s something you can just do on your own time. I’m at the point where I’m about to take Computer Programming classes where I really have to read and learn. I’m not saying that I’m super into that, but I might go back to school and learn that shit.

You can go back on your terms with the focus of wanting to learn computer programming or whatever it is. I think within skateboarding and going through it as a kid, you learned a lot of things that you’re not even aware of, from marketing all the way to design. It’s a good thing. I never wished that I didn’t skateboard. I learned so much more than if I had been stuck in a book that I had no interest in. It’s a heads up and a blessing more than anything.
Yeah. It’s cool. Riding for anybody, boards, clothes and shoes, you see the process of how things are being made, and I look at that now as being a part of a creative process. Designing shoes, I understand now. I don’t know the technical part of it, but I know the construction and how it works. If I want to be a designer or start a board company, I have enough knowledge to do that. We’ll see where it goes. I don’t know what is going to happen. Right now, my life is a bit crazy and intense, but skateboarding is there.

Skateboarding is intense. It seems like skateboarding is on a whole different level of danger, especially now more than ever.
You can’t be a pussy and be a skateboarder. That’s just not going to work.

That’s it. I was just waiting for the right ending. That’s good.

dylan James Ransone, Dylan Rieder, Alex Olson at Steve Olson Art Show at the Hadid Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA. Oct. 2012.. Photo by Dan Levy


  • Rubén October 14, 2016

    Wow!! He was awesome!! RIP?
    How old he where when he starts to skate?

  • The Legacy rolls on December 28, 2017

    […] sits down with the late Dylan Rieder for an […]


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