Walker Ryan: Perpetually Proper Extended Interview

Walker and Dave Chami spent several 8 a.m. missions to reserve the parking spot in front of this house so the rail would be skateable. Parking tickets and six months of determination finally granted them access and a picturesque SF backside 50-50.

How would you describe the value of traveling to someone who has never left The States?

It’s so important to gain a perspective of what the rest of the world is like, because any place you live, especially the U.S., you get stuck in a bubble. The worst result would be taking things for granted that you have here. The U.S. has its problems, but compared to a lot of other places in the world, it’s remarkable what we have at our disposal everyday. I think that’s just one crucial gain. As a skateboarder, it’s cool to experience this global network and this global community. You meet people from all over the world and you meet once and maintain contact, you can go live with them in their country and experience life through their eyes. I think that’s a great value in that.

How’d you go on international trips before companies sent you? Before they were free?

I inherited the travel appreciation from my parents. They were never wealthy, but they made sure we went on one interesting world trip a year. For example, The Dominican Republic when I was little. My parents moved to Paris just after I was born and my dad worked a wine making job there. He ended up living in Europe and the former Soviet Union for five years off and on when I was three years old, until I was eight. That instilled an appreciation for traveling, and I just feel like I can deal with it well. I dealt with all that when I was little, and I hated it, and now the stresses that come with travel don’t affect me much. I was really fortunate to have parents that appreciate traveling. That’s part of the reason that skateboarding gripped me too, you read magazines and you watch 411 Around The World and you just say, wow, that makes it that much cooler. Give me an excuse to travel around the world and I’ll take it.

Financially, would you get the student airfares, or stay with people you know, or hostels?

I still gotta run it hostels and staying with friends. I make these trips happen out of my own pocket and then try and work it out so my sponsors will be psyched and I can maybe some reimbursement. I’ll run it student-esque or just gypsy style if I have to—I don’t care. I’ll stay on floors anywhere. I’m not raw enough yet to just pull camp-mode travel, like just have a bag and a hammock, but maybe one of these days. Those are the gnarly dudes out there. Talking to Javier Mendizabal and some of the people that have done those Cliché Gypsy Tours—oh man those sound intense, I’d love to do it.

Have you seen the last issue with Julian [Davidson]’s cover?

No, I can’t wait. I only saw a little glimpse on someone’s Instagram. I’m so psyched on Julian, he’s one of my favorite dudes out right now.

Do you have a banger for a cover yourself?

I don’t know, I’ve always wanted something gnarly. I’d like to have something one of these days.

Where do you see yourself in your career right now? You’re having a TransWorld part and then your first pro shoe is dropping this year.

I couldn’t be more humble and stoked to be where I’m at right now. I still can’t believe I’m getting a part in a TransWorld video. I still watch TransWorld videos everyday, they’re still so sacred to me. Even up to The Cinematographer Project and the one Wes (Kremer) closed out. I can’t wait to see this one finished. I don’t know how to answer that question—I can’t be happier but there’s so much more I wanna do. Video parts are never a satisfying process, because you’re left feeling you could’ve done so much more. I like that though, because there’re still more video parts I want to film. I’m also down to do more contests. I feel like outside of Street League, there aren’t that many contests, but those are so fun. It’s like a different side, like if you’re not in full filming mode, you should train or practice, but that’s something I definitely don’t have in my routine right now. Half of me just wants to keep filming video parts, going on weird trips, travel as much as possible. The other half of me wants to explore the contest world a little.