Ryan Smith – Juice Magazine State of Skate Interview

Name: Ryan Smith
Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas
Age: 43 Sponsors: Cockfight Skateboard Co.

What set-up are you riding right now?
Cockfight Soldier board, Indys, Bones SPFs and Bones bearings.

What’s the most fun DIY, skater-built or renegade spot that you’ve skated lately?
Lately, Tres Losas, RIP, and before that Alien Pod, RIP.

Have you ever built something to skate?
We built a ramp when we were kids. 12’ wide, 8’ tall, 7 1/2’ tranny 6” vert. We cut it down to 6’ later.

Who do you like to skate with these days?
My friends.

Best skate graphic you have seen lately?
Sieben does pretty cool stuff.

Best thing you’ve skated in a skatepark?
The horseshoe thing at Ocala, Florida, the snake run at Kona and the capsule at The Turf.

Favorite skateboarders of all time?
My favorite skateboarders are Neil Blender, Dan Wilkes, Chris Miller, Jeff Phillips, Tom Groholski, Jason Jessee, Ben Schroeder, Pedro Barros, Raney Beres and Ben Raybourn… I think Mark Gonzales might be the best skateboarder ever.

Is there anything that hasn’t been built to skate yet that you’d like to see built?
I’d like a combination of Indian School ditch, Kona snake run and Lincoln City down the side of a mountain with 30-40-50’+ walls. Something that is so fast that you have to grab your rail to stay on the board.

One of the best road trips you ever took?
The early ‘90s trips out to Florida to ride all the concrete parks were lots of fun. Pipe mission trips are always good too.

Any skate-related charities you support?
Whenever there is a contest, session, board sale or whatever to raise money for a fellow skater, it’s always nice to be able to help out. Yes! I guess I’m not aware of any ongoing skateboard-related charity events. I’d love to learn about some.

What music have you been listening to?
New Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Slayer.

What do you consider the responsibilities of a professional skateboarder?
Support their brand? Rip?

Which skate shops do you support?
No Comply, Apparition, Carve and the Surfhouse in Houston.

Favorite skate photo of all time?
The picture of Jay Adams on the cover of Thrasher 1989. “Skateboarding is….” I remember getting that magazine and thinking “Alright, this is the most current thing going on in skateboarding and this is it!” It was the most cutting edge thing. Jay Adams doing a grind in a pool! With everything going on in skateboarding at the time, this was it! 1989. This is what skateboarding is! It was awesome. I was thoroughly satisfied, and stoked with that being what was coming from skateboarding. It was something that I could totally relate to – getting a frontside grind in a backyard pool.

What is your take on girls skateboarding?
It’s great!

What skateboarding memorabilia do you have that means the most to you?
Little chunks of concrete, tiles and bricks from various spots and a box of stickers.

Who contributes the most to your local skate scene?
Joe Dirt and the DIY crews.

Top three favorite skate tricks?
Trucks grinding on concrete and rough surfaces, the ollie and the frontside rock n roll.

Do you think skateboarding should be in the Olympics?
Skateboard racing would make sense. Slalom and downhill. You are racing someone and there is someone that gets there first. Vert, street, and bowl… they already have the X Games. I don’t really care either way.

What is your proudest moment in skateboarding so far?
One morning at work, my old boss’s son came into the office and was giving me shit about not being able to do a kickflip. I grabbed his board, threw it under my feet and did a perfect kickflip, in work boots. He walked away pissed! It was maybe the fourth kickflip I ever did in my 30 + years skateboarding. It felt pretty good.

Ryan_Smith_-Jack_Newkirk Two trucks on in a tight and sketchy backyard is the proper way to hit a pool, just like Ryan Smith does here. Photo by Jack Newkirk

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.


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Juice is an interview magazine featuring skateboarding, surfing, art and music. Since 1993, Juice has been independently owned and dedicated to the core. Juice Magazine specializes in coverage of core skateboarders, surfers, musicians, skatepark builders, artists, photographers, rock n roll, metal, hardcore, pools, pipes & punk rock. Keep Skateboarding A Crime.
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