Ryan Clements representing skateboarding world-wide.
Ryan, I can say that you are one of the hardest working people in skateboarding today. What is your motivation to keep up this pace of yours and stay stoked on skateboarding?
Thanks for the nice words. I love what I do and I’ve always been very driven and competitive. It’s fun to do things that we think are rad in skateboarding. I also have a hard time saying no, even sometimes when I should be saying no.
You were originally known for your work at the S.P.O.T and all of your contributions to it's success. Time to set the record straight, people want to know what really happened, and why you left such a strong collaboration working with Brian Schaefer.
Dude, this is a long, detailed, and drawn-out crazy story, and I’m down to tell it all someday, but in short it was Brian wanting to not work with me anymore. It wasn’t my decision.
Ryan on the M.I.C at the SPoT
You've since moved on and helped create the Boadr, has your separation from the S.P.O.T been more of a blessing and offered more growth for you?
Just like all of the major trails we encounter in life, they all happen for a reason. Starting with SPoT in 1998 was the best thing ever. Being asked to leave after fifteen years was also the best thing ever.
Who are the people involved at the Boadr?
Our staff is… Rob Meronek – co-owner, Jorge Angel – everything with me Justin Ryan – buyer Bob Freeman – store and whatever we need Casey Wayne – logistics Joe Pelham – video production Amelia Allen – admin Holly Ryan – admin Seamus Gallagher – client management. Everyone is from SPoT directly except for Amelia, Holly, and Seamus. Amelia was a girl that I knew that hung at SPoT. Holly is Justin’s wife and a ripping skater. Seamus was the first manager of "The Bricks", and I worked with him indirectly on that project. But every single one of those people personally asked me to be a part of what we are doing. I not only take that very seriously, but it’s an honor as well as a huge responsibility.
Ryan running things at Grind For Life's Bradenton event, Riverwalk Skate Park.
Tell us about the Boadr's new travel transportation purchase! That thing looks awesome! Congrats!
Although it’s all fancy and brand new, our RV (The Boardr Bus) is very utilitarian and practical, too! We were just renting so much equipment everywhere we went that if you add up the dollars spent, it’s the same cost to get a rig like this and bring it with you everywhere you go. The side benefits is driving in comfort, having an office on site, and just somewhere private to hang out and drink coffee.
You've partnered with Grind For Life on the Florida Bowl Series and it seems to be taking off big time. What have you've realized about skateboarding in Florida during the GFL Series that has surprised you if anything?
Working with Mike is the best and we back the hell out of GFL. He’s definitely taught me a few things along the way, specifically the different demographics of skateboarders out there in Florida and beyond.
Ryan, what countries has skateboarding taken you to in the last ten years?
Oh man…it’s been all over…Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Brazil, Spain, a few others that I’m probably forgetting, and I’ve crossed the United States 100’s of times. I’m on a plane right now as I answer these questions!
Hyping the crowd at Surf Expo's All 80's Day
What is your hectic schedule like?
I’m living a dream, but it’s a delicate balance. I have a wife and daughter that are my world, so I try my hardest to turn it all off when I’m with them. This week I’m in both Detroit and Houston, flying home in between, and then back for a day to spend with the girls before I’m off to Las Vegas and Sydney. It’s nuts, but I do love it. If I start to not like it, I’ll figure out a way to stop I guess.
Your dream driveway is every skateboarder's dream! Will it ever stop growing and how do you get an invite to skate it?
I hope that it’s a continuing project for at least another 10 years. It really keeps me skating with this crazy schedule. You’re always invited, Cleo, but anyone can hit me up on FaceBook to line up a session. I like to have people over.
With all of your traveling, when do you have time to just session a ramp or a street course outside of your driveway?
I don’t skate much outside of my driveway to be honest with you. That happens once in a while, but not often. I do skate our TF at The Boardr maybe once a week when I’m around, too.
Ryan always on the move.
You are representing several skateboarders as an agent, whom are some of those skaters?
We do what we call “business management” for about sixteen guys. In a nutshell, it’s basically running their lives like they are individual businesses and taking care of everything for them. Within those sixteen we do deals for Theotis, Nick Tucker, Boo Johnson, and a few others, including BMXer Chase Hawk. Outside of that we’ve done some deals for Joey Brezinski, Zered Bassett, Mike Mo, and more.
Over the years you've had the opportunity to meet many skateboarders, out of those skaters whom are your favorite to watch skate?
Right now my favorite is Grant Taylor. He just embodies what I call a skateboarder. But man, there are so many guys that I like to watch…from friends like Kyle Berard, to wizards like Shane O’Neill, to guys that I think are super-rad like Austyn Gillette. There are so many skaters that inspire me and make me love watching skateboarding.
So many young skaters approach me all the time and ask how they can get sponsored, what advice do you have for those skateboarders seeking sponsorship?
Probably the best thing to do is just enjoy skateboarding, but if you’re hell-bent on getting sponsored you should be worrying about your marketability in addition to your ability. Take a look at what the best skaters bring to the table and then offer more or something different.
Ryan, did you ever think street skating would be as big as it is?
I watched street skating get invented over the years, and there were times that I thought it was really odd, like during the early 90’s when everyone was wearing giant pants, had tiny wheels, and basically did freestyle on bigger boards. But what it developed into and how it continues to change is so inspiring. What’s really rad is that now we’re at a time in skateboarding where anything goes, and that’s a pretty good place to be.
Ryan reading Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine
Is it really all about the shoes? Is that the best way for a PRO skater to earn money these days?
Well, that money has constricted a bit for many guys out there, but it’s still generally the biggest payday for most. Beverages and energy drinks help out a ton, too. If you’re winning contests like Nyjah, that sure as hell helps add to the bottom line!
What do you see as the biggest contribution to the growth of skateboarding today?
The accessibility of skate parks is a huge plus. That keeps kids riding and develops scenes wherever we’re fortunate to get one built. There are some great builders out there like Team Pain and CA that really give a shit about building good parks and I appreciate that.
If you could wave a magic wand and create the perfect skate park, what would it look like?
If I had the time and money, I’d wall off my entire property and just slowly turn it into my vision of the best skatepark.
What's next for the Boadr in the near future?
Push hard on The Boardr Am and Grind for Life. Continue to try and do the right thing with our management clients. Keep doing contract work with companies like X Games, Dew Tour, Kimberley Diamond Cup, CPH PRO, and so on. Basically just keep doing what we’re doing, while attempting to elevate it as we move forward. You can check the events at TheBoadr.com/Events. And oh…then direct those eyeballs on us over to retail and make some sales!
Do you have any thanks or shout outs at this time?
Thanks to everyone that has personally and professionally supported me and whatever I’ve been involved with. That means the world to me.
Ryan, I'd like to personally thank you for all you do in skateboarding and for chatting with Coping Block SK8 MAG!
You asked some really good questions, Cleo. Thanks for doing this man.
Ryan Clements, Darlene Butler, and Coping Blocks Cleo Coney Jr.