“Who is Ryan Paul??” Since this unknown kid popped up and won both the Volcom PBJ Finals and West Coast Invitational, the question’s been asked over and again. Another Minnesota-bred rail rider has come out of the woodwork to try and make his mark, this time netting himself 2 wins and 13 large in cash in under 10 days – the one known as “86″ must have a story to tell. We’ve seen the tricks, watched the Sunday in the Park edits and maybe heard some of the HCSC lore; what we don’t know is just who the hell the kid actually is – until now. Ryan Paul – World. World – Ryan Paul.
I’m pretty sure that Ryan Paul – aka “86” – is beaten in a cage every night and then let out to go snowboarding. He came up to Mount Hood last summer, slept in his piece of shit car, dug everyday and destroyed High Cascade’s park. He’s probably the hungriest kid I’ve ever seen ride a snowboard. Keep your eyes peeled for 86, because he’ll blow your mind.
~ Chris Grenier
Name: Ryan Paul
Age: 19 years young.
Hometown: Cottage Grove. Minnesota, baby!
Home Mountain: Afton Alps
Currently Riding: Afton Alps or whatever’s clever.
Set-Up: Burton Whammy Bar 150, Cobrashark! bindings and size 8 Grail boots.
Sponsors: Burton, Summit Boardshop, Anon, Coal Headwear, Gravis, Bald E-Gal Productions, House of 1817, La Bodega, Midwest Represent!, Knowbuddy. I’ve been sending Mike ‘n Ike and Powerbar Gummys “sponsor me” videos for years now, but they just ain’t catching on… Them things are awesome!
“86: My New Favorite Snowboarder” by The Dirty Kids
Ok. Let’s start with the obvious question: Who the hell IS Ryan Paul, anyway?
I’m just a kid that loves to snowboard a bunch! Let’s see… I’m from minnesota, like 5’8″ish, sandy brown hair… ha! Um…
Ok, ok. Sign? Virgo.
Religious views? Christian.
Tell us about Afton Alps.
I’ve been riding for like 8 or 9 years now. I grew up riding at Afton Alps, which was the funnest place ever to grow up. I was on the developmental team there and my favorite coaches were Pauly and Nick Terry. They started a group for a bunch of little punk ass D-Team kids called the “P.L.a.a.S.F.”, which stands for “Peoples’ Liberated Army for Afton Snowboard Freedom.” We all wore bandanas dangling from our belt loops and things on our wrist that said “PLaaSF” – ha my bandana had bugs on it. We used to get those gothic metal spikes from Hot Topic and put them in the fog vents of our goggles… looked so cool! Growing up at Afton was so rad – I would ride there everyday. It was my world; that’s all that ever mattered to me. I loved it – still do!
Walk us through a day in the life.
Around this time of year, the average dad consists of frolfing (frisbee golfing), skating at Summit or Pakdale, and longboarding down some hills with my friend Ricky. But I got this broken collarbone right now, so I gotta kind of keep it mellow… Maybe I’ll pick up fishing; I can be lazy and outdoors at the same time!
How has everything changed since graduating High School?
Now that I’m out of high school, I’m getting to go to all these far-away places like Hood and Mammoth. Back then, they all seemed like mystical lands somewhere off in another galaxy… It feels so cool to go to the places I dreamed of riding as a little kid.
In a week’s time, you took both the Volcom PBJ and the WCI titles, pulling some 13 grand. Now that you’ve had a few weeks to let it set in, how the hell are you feeling?
Dang, dude… pretty good! It was cool to go out there and win money, because I kinda took a leap of faith – ha!
I quit my crappy dishwashing job back home before I left. I borrowed some money from my mom, and was just like, “I’ll pay you back!” It feels really good knowing that it all worked out!
“86: Boss of All Bosses” by Mark Dangler
“The trick” is pretty well-known at this point. Front flip onto a down rail/donkey dick, back 180 out. What the hell were you thinking?
Ha! I just like flipping – it feels cool! This sounds kinda weird, but I like, fantasize in my head about doing weird tricks, and just think about how cool it would feel to land them. I had that trick on that rail playing over and over in my head… They called out that there was 20 minutes or something left of the Jam and I was just like, “here goes nothing…” Took a deep breath, dropped in from the top, and just went for it.
What would you like to say to the kids who were hating on that ballsy feat? Ha this is your chance…
Ha I don’t know… I don’t care what they think. I ride because it feels good and if I feel like doing something, I’m gonna do it.
You get out and celebrate post-comps? That should be $1300 for the friends, 10% rule and all.
Yeah, I took my friends out for tacos! It was probably more like .30%, though… I got some dues to pay yet.
How’s the life changed for you, since then? Every kid in snowboarding saw your trick at WCI, youtube crazy, Sunday in the Park edits, etc, and now your first TWS interview. Are you stoked, excited, tired – what?
I’m sure you want me to tell you I’m like dating a movie star now or something crazy, but it ain’t really like that… ha. Hmmm… Yeah, definitely stoked, though! Not much has changed really, still just loving life, man. It’s springtime back in Minnesota; all the flowers and plants are blooming. Smells good. Been giving my pup, Oliver, a lot of walks – he loves to sniff stuff.
What celebrity chick are you most hoping calls the cell?
Dude… Miley’s pretty cute, but me and Taylor Swift are meant to be together… haha.
Any interesting phone calls to add some stickers to your board?
Naw… No new stickers, which is okay by me – leaves more room to draw cartoons and stuff all over my boards. Burton’s doing they’re thing, Frankie and Billy from Marketing are sending me some apparel and stuff, Bradsell’s helping me out with some binders to test and my reps, Bobby and Mindy, are supplying plenty of hippy food! Midwest Represent is still the SHIT! So yeah, I’m not really sure when the whole team thing is gonna happen, but dude! I just won 13,000 dollars and I have an awesome snowboard company backing me up! What more could I ask for??
Educate us: What is Midwest Represent?
Midwest Represent is a crew of Midwesternerds who love to ride on boards. Their lives pretty much revolve around it! Some of them are snowboarders like me and Shane-R, skaters like Casey Anderson or reps like Hoffman, Jay, and the Bindy bunch! Check out the website at: www.midwestrepresent.com.
Why do you think so many kids are coming hard out the the Midwest right now?
Ha Probably the tiny hills – a blessing in disguise! You get way more runs and the hills stay open for twice as long as out West. Most of them have tow-ropes, so you can get thousands of runs in a day. And there are a lot of rails and urban stuff to hit in the Twin Cities, and all throughout the Midwest.
What’s next for you? Summer shred?
Yup! I have a broken collarbone at the moment, but once that’s all healed up I’ll be heading back out to High Cascade! For now, it’s just chillin’ with friends and editing my video part. Listening to Led Zeppelin right now. Thought I’d throw that out there, for all you Zeppelin fans.
You mentioned editing your part. Who’d you film for, what movie, etc?
Well, I filmed for Bald E-Gal this year. Sam Fenton and Riley Erickson pointed their cameras at us a bunch, as did Josh Labaw and Sam Larson. Mike T and Petit produce it and some of the reps pitch in as sponsors to produce the DVDs. It’s cool, because Bald E-gal also puts on a bunch of local contests, too. The other dudes you’ll see riding in the video are: Austin Young, Shane Ruprecht, Cody Beirsdorf, Krister Ralles, Brandon Larson, Viktor Simco, Matt Faust, Nate Lavik, Jordan Michilot, Tony Young, and some bigger name riders, as well. The video’s gonna be called “Poachers 10.”
Last thing. You gotta explain the “86” nickname…
Ah, yes. So, just to clarify what “86” means… Say you’re in a restaraunt and you don’t want tomatoes on your burger (which really, why wouldn’t you want them? They’re delicious! But hypothetically…). You say, “86 the tomatoes.” Anyways, now that that’s out of the way… I was digging-to-ride at HCSC this past summer, and was really new to it. One fine day, I had a delicious PB&J packed in my lunch. The diggers and I were doing a noon-rake and all of a sudden I realized that the other diggers were nowhere to be seen. I stumbled up to the zone and remembered about my big, juicy PBJ. I forgot all about the digger situation and dug into my lunch. A few minutes later, I was being chewed out by “Beef” of the diggers. It turned out that the reason I couldn’t see the diggers before was because they were inside the Superpipe, raking. When they hiked back up to the zone, they were really mad that I didn’t help them and was eating my delicious sandwich instead… ha. So, they 86’d me for the day – kept calling me “86” all summer, because half of them didnt know my name. Don’t think they liked me for a while… ha. But, we eventually all became friends and now all of the diggers and a lot of my other High Cascade friends call me “86”