Ryland West is a true gentleman. An 18-year-old snowboard savant from the upper cauldrons of California, he enjoys the finer things in life – shredding sweet jumps with soul, totalling subarus on black ice and bangin’ broads on Tinder. With a deep bag of tricks, style for miles and a stick your thumb out and get it done attitude, the God damn shred world is Ryland’s sampler tray of delight to dig in and get weird with. Shred and get weird, friends. We know Ryland will be diving on it with delight.
Who is Ryland West?
Ryland West is just an 18-year-old snowboarder who lives in Truckee. I go to school full-time and I’m just trying to snowboard as much as I can.
You grew up in Milford, California. Take us there.
I don’t think it’s a real town. It’s just a made up little village in the middle of nowhere. Tiny, tiny, tiny town outside of Susanville, California. Which is another tiny town outside of Reno. Tiny little village of hillbillies and random people. There is literally nothing where I came from. I was close enough to Tahoe to come up every weekend. My mom would drive me up. Pack little sandwiches and come up and snowboard Boreal every weekend.
Crail blunts at Boreal. Photo: Paul Heran.
Do you remember your first taste of shredding?
Back in the fifth grade I was going to this private school in Washington state. They made us wear sweater vests and uniforms. Everyone there was a little brat who had rich parents except for a few of my friends who were really down for snowboarding. We went up for a class trip and they showed me some stuff. We went to Snoqualmie. That place was really intimidating the first time I was there. I remember an instructor wouldn’t even let me go down the chairlift the first three sessions. Really bummed me out. Had my mom take me up on a different weekend just so I could go down the chairlift by myself. After that every weekend we were going. My mom at first rented me this really shitty K2 plastic snowboard. It was really old. I used that every single weekend as much as I could. Constantly doing all the hits on the side but never landing anything. Having the most fun ever!
What was a bigger accomplishment – losing your virginity or snowboarding for the first time?
Probably losing my virginity. That was a way bigger deal. You can’t do that more than once.
Chris Wilmoth recently described you as a true gentleman. How does one achieve true gentleman status?
I don’t know. That’s a really hard one. Let me think about it for a minute. I guess I am just not an asshole. I can’t really answer that but I find it to be a complement.
I heard you have a rad mom. Tell us about her.
She still is working three jobs to support me. Not like random jobs – she is a teacher, but teaching at three different schools to make enough money to support me and snowboarding. I am very very thankful for that. I can’t believe she’s able to do that for me. I couldn’t snowboard without my mom and dad at all.
Photo: Kieth Rutherford
You were pretty addicted to BMX.
At one point in my life I was. I spent junior and senior biking and I recently started skateboarding again and it’s way more fun. Skateboarding is way harder than any other thing I’ve ever done.
How did going off sweet jumps and constantly racking your nuts prepare you to be a snowboarder?
I think it made me not a gigantic pussy. That’s probably about it. You go off a 20-foot bike jump and then you go off a 60-foot snowboard jump and neither of them are comparable. I actually think it’s a little more scary to bike then to snowboard quite honestly. Snowboarding is a little bit more easier for me. Biking can be really really scary.
Have you found a place to live yet?
I am getting a truck tomorrow to live in the back of that, but I am going up to Hood and then I’ll come back and we’ll see where I live after that. Homeless at 18.
What kind of truck do you want to live in?
Maybe a Tacoma or Tundra. We will see whatever I can afford when I go to the dealership tomorrow. 7 inch lift on the truck with gigantic tires! That’s what I’ll get.
A very phallic method. Photo: Paul Heran
What makes Ryland West a good roommate?
I don’t smell that bad that’s for sure. I clean up after myself, plus I am never home. I only need a room to sleep in because the entire day I’m out trying to do things. Snowboarding, biking, skateboarding – doing whatever I can to stay outside, plus I will be at school the entire time, too.
You recently totaled your Subaru on old Highway 40. Take us there.
Well, I needed to go down to Reno that day. I had been snowboarding all morning. I look at the freeway and it’s just all backed up. Gridlock! There’s no way you’re even getting on the freeway. So I just said I’ll go the back way, old Highway 40, like the true genius that I am. Every person that I told I was going that way said, “No, don’t do that it will be sketchy.” So, I didn’t listen. Why would I listen to people with reason? So, I took the back way by Sugar Bowl. I was going as slow as I could. Taking those turns real slow. I didn’t want anything to happen. I am almost down. I have two turns left and I see a road flare. I hit the brakes just a little bit and I start to slide. Could not stop at all. Traction control kicked in and the tires wouldn’t catch at all. I couldn’t steer out of it. I just had to watch my fate as my car slowly drifted into this tow truck. It demolished my car. Everything was just fucked. The whole front of my car just exploded all over the road. So yeah, that happened. Since then I have just been hitchhiking around with really weird people.
Hitchhiking is quite normal in the Tahoe Basin. What have you learned about your fellow human being from hitchhiking?
That it’s actually a lot harder to hitchhike than people say it is in Tahoe. Last week I waited an hour and a half at an exit to get picked up. I guess it’s tourist season and old people don’t want to pick up grungy kids. A lot of people that do pick you up are really cool or scary. I got picked up a dude who was telling me how he wanted to get these felonies removed from his record. I was really afraid he was going to kill me. He had a giant jar of weed in the cupholder. Felonies, really stoned, and super sketchy on the road. I made it out alive and it’s just fun to go on these little adventures.
Crails down stairs, why not? Photo: Kieth Rutherford
What do you love about Truckee?
Everything. It’s a small little town in the mountains. You don’t have to deal with a ton of people. I cannot deal with cities. I just freak out. All the angry people and loud noises. I like it quiet and nice. The mountains are right there so you can go up and hike whenever. It’s really easy living here with everybody and it’s really close to Reno! With Tinder if you want to hook up with the sorority girls they’re just right there.
You’re pretty into Tinder.
It makes meeting girls a hundred times easier. You don’t even have to talk to them you just swipe left or right. It takes all the trouble out of trying to meet a girl. You are just swiping left or right on your phone. You can say whatever you want and still most likely get laid.
How many girls do you think you’ve taken on dates with Tinder ?
Taken on dates? Not on dates! I just meet up with them. I would not take a girl out on a date from Tinder. It was the Underdawg’s premiere and after that we went to Max Tokunaga’s house for a little after party. We were partying and everything was starting to wind down and everyone was going to bed. I was like, well, okay – everybody has a place to sleep but me and I’m kind of horny and I want to get laid. So, I just got on Tinder and I match up with this girl I have been talking to. I think it says that her age is like 20. I’m like, “Cool! This is rad.” I have her come pick me up. She drives a half hour across Reno to come pick me up. This is happening! I get in her car and I am hammered. I am almost blackout drunk at this point. She drives by the party again and all my friends are just out front chilling smoking and I get out of the sunroof and scream, “I love Tinder!” She takes me home. She tells me about going to a football game and I think she’s talking about her brother and then she tells me she’s a senior in high school. Luckily in Nevada 16 is legal and she was 17. I get the hell out of there as quick as I can in the morning. I have glitter all over me and I smell like high school girl. Make sure you know who you’re hooking up with before you hook up with them on tinder.
Swipe right, ladies.
What makes snowboarding so rad?
Friends. Snowboard is all about going out with your friends and having as much fun as you can.
You grew up riding at Boreal and still do. What sets Boreal apart?
First of all it’s a skate park. Second of all there’s so many people there that you literally know everybody there. Even if they’re new to the mountain you treat them like family. And you can lap the park like it’s a skate park. So many different lines! It’s just not a rail line here, or rail line there, it’s jumps, it’s a half pipe . There are so many things. There’s a new line everywhere you go. It just has the homey feel. Afterwards you can just go to the skate park at Woodward.
How do we make snowboarding more radical?
I don’t know. I guess you try and get people to hate us again? I guess that’s what it takes. Snowboarding is just such a friendly sport nowadays and needs to go back to being more scummy and gnarly.
But you are so not that. You are so nice.
I know, it’s hard. Some of us aren’t the Brendan Gerard’s of being so gnarly and so core doing hand drags without gloves. But some of us aren’t like that.
You’re still a badass.
Thanks. I appreciate that.
Deep in the press, Ryland doesn’t have crabs. Photo: Kieth Rutherford
What are you going to do to take your snowboarding to the next level this summer?
I don’t know how to answer that serious, actually. Just trying to be the steeziest snowboarder that I can. People don’t want to see cool tricks anymore, right? They just want to see steezy snowboarding.
What’s Ryland West’s perfect hump day?
Get up early go to Jax on the Trax for breakfast. Go snowboard for a little bit with all my friends on a nice sunny day. Go to the park. Hit some jumps. Come home. Hop on Tinder for a minute and find the perfect girl. Go meet up with Tinder chick then come back. Go party with my friends a little bit and that would be the perfect hump day right there. Getting humped on hump day.
Words of wisdom for the Yobeat faithful?
I want the Yobeat readers to keep hating. You guys have gotten soft on me lately. I don’t see enough hate in the comments. All I see is love. It’s bumming me out, so now I have to start hating. Really good critics, too. I just want people to tear people apart. That’s what I thought Yobeat was all about. Let’s keep it going. Is it Yobeat’s thing hating snowboarding since some year? No wait, making fun of snowboarding, right? So make more fun of snowboarding. Shoutout to Lemi I hope you are getting better!
Thirtytwo, Yes Snowboards, Von Zipper, Eternal Snow, Homeschool, Union, Outdoor Tech, Steezy Beanies and Mom and Dad, of course.