The Ryan Lay Interview by Joshua Pollina
Ryan is an incredibly gifted skateboarder and all-around awesome human being. He eats vegan, attended art school, and works with his non-profit spreading the gospel of skateboarding to kids who otherwise may have never started rolling. On top of this, he’s been on a tear across the U.S., touring and accumulating footage for future projects. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself riding a deck with his name on it in the near future.
Who do you ride for?
Enjoi, Coalatree, Huf, Pig Wheels, Krux, Freedom Boardshop, Rawr Superfoods
Who was your first sponsor?
Stussy and then Krooked/DLX.
How did you start getting hooked up by enjoi? How did it evolve to getting fully on the am team?
Cairo called me right after I quit Rasa Libre and I was on flow for a little under a year before I got on. It was really just a matter of getting on a trip with the dudes and getting weird if you know what I mean.
Where all have you lived in your life?
I grew up in Mesa, AZ and moved to SF when I was 18 for school. After that, I moved back to Tempe for a couple years and then to Brooklyn, NY where I reside now, more or less. I’m making the move back to the west coast after the summer, though.
What made you want to ride a skateboard? How old were you when you started?
My older brother got me into it. I started skating right around the time of “Mouse” and “Jump Off a Building” and was lucky enough to have a brother that was into that stuff at the time and could influence me with all the right resources.
Whose skating has influenced you the most since you started skating?
Keenan Milton has always been my favorite skater. I always seem to like guys with a lot of personality and heart, both on and off the board. Rick Howard, Keegan Sauder, and Cairo are some other notables.
Do you have another job or is skating paying the bills? What job would you have if you didn’t skate?
I was working until November of 2012 around New York… Now, I’m fortunate enough to pay my bills from skating and focus 100 percent on it. I recently cofounded a non-profit called “Skate After School” where we work with underprivileged kids at a couple schools/orphanages so that has kind of fulfilled some of the responsibilities that have been missing from my life. I think it’s good to add as much structure/routine to your life when you’re skating; otherwise, you get lazy.
Top 5 Huf models
Choices, Genuines, Mortons, Southerns, and we’ll just go ahead and throw those new Wu-Tang boots on the list.
Top 5 things to do when you’re not skating
Strength-building exercises, swimming, cooking/eating out, hiking, croquet
Top 5 go-to tricks
Nollieflip, backside grind, switch front board, switch backside 180, back board
Top 5 tricks to beat people in SKATE with
nollie bigflip, switch body varial, switch inward heel, switch dog flip, nollie cab flip
Top 5 enjoi teammates
HA HA! I hate favorites but the dudes I skate with the most are Cairo, Nestor, Clark, Zack, and Ben
Top 5 U.S. cities
New York, San Francisco, Tempe, and generally just the small mountain towns scattered throughout Colorado and Northern Arizona.
Top 5 International cities
I’m gonna go skate-related on this one; Guangzhou, Barcelona, Valencia, Paris, Bordeaux
Top 5 ways to spend your money
Traveling, food, gifts, books, kitchenware
Top 5 skate videos of all time
Welcome To Hell, Modus Operandi, Misled Youth, Photosynthesis, Bag of Suck, and special mention to Epicly Later’d: John Cardiel
Top 5 albums of all time
Dan Deacon - America
Built to Spill - Carry the Zero
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane over the Sea
Bedrich Smetana - Ma Vlast
Laura Stevenson and the Cans - A Record
Top 5 skate companies when you were a kid
Girl/Chocolate, Aesthetics, Zero, Toy Machine, Real
Top 5 foods
Ooh…. I like this question! Artichokes, tabouleh, hummus, steel-cut oatmeal, coconut cream
What’s the worst you’ve been injured?
I broke my wrist in SF a few years ago skating that red kinked rail in the Sunset in SF… stuck at the top and fell back onto my extended arm.
8.25 Enjoi spectrum board, 52mm Pigs, Krux 4.0. I usually carve an arch in the griptape in between the screws on my nose.
If you could bring back any ex-enjoi rider to the team, who would it be?
Tony Manfre! I’ve always been a big fan of that guy.
Follow Ryan’s Tumblr http://ryanpunchylay.tumblr.com/ Thanks again to Ryan for hooking this up!
Magnus Hanson and Ryan Decenzo, Vancouver drop in ! spring 2007.
Snacked on some Toys for my friends #Jade and #Begr in Oakland this afternoon. Cheers @they_will_bleed