Saturday, June 25, 2011

Inside Interview with Ryan Upchurch (Brand new edit at the end)

A huge up and comer in the past two years, and one of the most diverse riders in the sport, is Ryan Upchurch. In the short time that Ryan has been in the sport he accomplished quite a lot. I've been close friends with Ryan for some time now, and it was a pleasure to finally be able to sit down and get an interview done with him. Check it out below.

Steven: Well damn, it's been over a week since I decided I wanted to interview Ryan Upchurch...getting together proved to be quite the challenge, but I finally got him here...and we're gonna get this done. How you been Ryan?

Ryan: I've been really good man, just really busy! I just got back from doing a huge 4-day tour to Virginia Beach with Shopecx.
 It's been a bit hectic, but I'm happy to finally be sitting down to have a talk with you! Thanks for taking the time to sit down and interview me!

Steven: Haha yeah dude, like wise. So Virginia Beach, that was the first stop of the tour correct?

Ryan: Yeah man, It was 4 days long, and packed full of riding, hanging out with the rest of the Shopecx guys, and even some late night seshes in front of the hotel. We got some pretty gnarly footag over the past few days, and I really think that the footage from this tour, along with the many others following during the Summer will really put Shopecx in the spotlight. The official Shopecx Summer Tour 2011 will be available this holiday season!

Steven: Wow.. that sounds epic. Summer Tours, and Tours in general are something I think we need more in our sport. With so many legit Teams in the sport, what's stopping more companies from throwing there riders out there you know?

Ryan: Honestly man, I think it's because many teams add so many riders these days, that it's hard for any single team to set up, and carry out any kind of tour. On top of that, mst teams get guys from all over the country, or world for that matter, and it becomes to expensive to have the whole team travel at once. The reason I feel Shopecx has done this so efficiently is that we a small group of guys, that live relatively close to eachother. This cuts down on the travel costs, and allows us to travel as a team more frequently.

Steven: That's really sick that you guys get the chance to travel as a Team like that. I know a lot of other Teams would probably envy you guys. So let's be honest some point, you were just starting out like everyone else, and you probably sucked pretty bad. Tell us about your early experiences riding.

Ryan: To be completely honest, in the beginning I wasn't even close to being good. For the first year or so I didn't do much more than a few whips, bars, and basic stalls. At this point, I was only half-committed to scootering because I was still skateboarding. One day I realized how much I really enjoyed riding, and decided that it was something that I was going to work hard at uninterrupted. From that point, I went out and bought myself a pro model, dropped my skateboard, and started trying any trick I could think of. I blame my quick progression on my carelessness to get hurt. I have had multiple concussions, shattered knee caps, a broken growth plate in my wrist, and sprained ankles and wrists. Every time a friend told me to try a trick, I just said why not, and went for it whether I thought i would get it or not. Sometimes by chance, I would get the trick, and then perfect it.

Steven: So I'm guessing you'll have no problem with my posting one of your first videos right here, right??

Ryan: I wouldn't mind haha. I sucked, but we all had to start somewhere lol. But i think it will be a bit of an eye-opener to kids just starting out that everyone isn't the best when they start. Every expert was once a beginner.

Steven: So you start out, you basically suck, you drop the board, and start pushing yourself on a scooter. How long did it take before you got noticed by ECX, and how did you eventually get sponsored by them?

Ryan: After dropping my board, It took about 6 months or so for me to get noticed and picked up by ECX. I had bought my parts from there since the beginning, and once I started taking things seriously, I made it my mission to get
on the team. My friend Walker Crouch,(who was a big inspiation to me back in the day) was on the team and I wanted to ride along side him on the team. So over the course of 6 months I worked hard, and did all I could to prepare myself for the first ECX Competition at my local in Newport, Delaware. I entered pro division, in spite of my unsponsored status, and managed to place 4th. It wouldn't have been anything more than mediocre if I weren't riding with my hand duct-taped up because I had broke the growth plate in my wrist earlier that day. Mike Lashbrook, the owner of ECX recognized my committment to the sport, and later offered me a spot on the team. I more than gladly accepted.

Steven: That's awesome brother, true dedication. On another note, I need to go take a piss. So.. umm. Take five!

Ryan: Alrighty haha,  I'm gonna go grab a bowl of ice cream then

Steven: All right dude...Where you at?!

Ryan: Here haha

Steven: So Ice Cream? What flavor?

Ryan: Coffeeeeee :) I love any kind or form of coffee haha. It's amazing aha.

Steven: Hahaha... Coffee? But what about this addiction to Arizona Ice Tea I've heard so much about?

Ryan: Man, everyone knows I can't live without the stuff. On every single trip that i go on, i usually buy anywhere from 10-20 arizona iced teas. I drink iced tea at home too, so I prety much live off the stuff hahaha
Steven: Hahah too good. So, You really started to get known throughout the sport while riding for Eagle-Sport, and District....can I ask what was it that led to you making the decision to leave the two companies?

Ryan: Up to this point, I have not really told anyone the full story on why I left, so IS readers, feel privleged to be the first to know the whole story. To be honest, I loved the companies, but over time I felt like it was in my best interest to leave them. I broke alot of the decks, and sometimes had to buy decks, which i had trouble affording since I was unemployed at the time. In other words, they couldn't supply me with enough parts frequently enough for me to ride all the time. This was not completely there fault though, every companies first batch of parts has their flaws.

But over time, there were too many changes being made, and things just seemed to be unstable. For example, Gino with C4 came and gone, team managers came and gone, and there was also long spans of time that i had no contact at all with the companies. Again, this is not completely their fault, especially since Marcel was so busy with everything. They did take care of me overall though. During the last few months of my sponsorship with the companies, there was alot of people leaving, and the family that the team once was had broken apart. This was the event that really did it for me, seeing that there really wasn't a team at all except myself. During this period I was also having troubles again with getting parts due to a number of issues over in China. When the newer parts came in, I was not comfortable on them, and there was nothing they could do about it.

As a result, I parted ways with district and eagle after almost 2 years. So long story short, I just wasn't comfortable on the parts anymore, and I was ready for a change.     I would also like to add that I am very thankful for what they did for me over the span of time I was on the team, and I am in no way trying to call them out. I am just stating why exactly that i left.

Steven: I hear you dude. That was nice to give everyone that PG Version. Oh snap. In all seriousness, this answer just goes to show how much of a professional you are dude.

So, next stop for you was Blunt Pro Scooters. How has that been so far bro?

Ryan: Honestly man, things could not be better! After being on the team just a week, they paid for my tickets out to SD5, and I did a whole tour with
the australian guys that came over for the tour. Blunt has a small, but very close team whether it be in terms of one country, or internationally. It was a great experience meeting Dinny, as well as all of Aussies that came over for SD5. It was definitely one of the best trips I'd ever been on. Just months after, they sent me back to California for the Woodward West camp, which was also a hella fun time. But all in all, they always have me on the parts I need, and take into account my opinions as a rider. In the more recent months, I was in need of an income, and asked them if there was anything I could do. Kindly, they replied to my e-mail and offered me the job as Team Manager. Ever since, I have built the team up, and have even bigger plans with them for the future! Blunt will be doing it big with this next batch of parts, and I think the quality of the products will speak for themselves in the coming months.

Steven: You say Woodward West, I think Double Backflip. You landed your first one at the camp, tell us about that experience dude.

Ryan: My way to describe it is, "Lean back... ALOT!" The first time i attempted double flips was without the use of a foam pit, at my local a little over 2 years ago. I tried it twice, and got wrecked both times. My goal as a rider was to land a double backflip by the time i stop riding. When I went out to Woodward, I had no intention of doing it yet, but Terry Price was eggin' me on to do it into foam. After getting one solid one into foam, I felt confident in bringing it to the resi, which was right next to the foam. I must have tried it and whooped out 20-30 times before actually getting it, but my persistence paid off! All thanks to my man Terry Price that is ;)
    It was kind of ironic though, seeing that I landed a double backflip because of him. Terry, along with Jesse Macaluso were the two riders that I looked up to when first starting, and Terry's huge mini video with the double flip was really the reason I started riding in the first place.

Steven: Well big congratulations on that accomplishment man. So, as most people know by now, you also ride for Inside-Scooters. What made you so down to ride for us here at IS?

Ryan: To me, it was a no-brainer! I have been getting on inside since it was just started, and the only writers were you and Jordan. I still, to this day hop n there every time i open up the internet on my computer. When i was offered the spot, I felt there was no reason to even hesitate. I would be supporting something that i believe in.

    and in the end, that's all that matters to me. Riding for, and supporting a cause that I feel is for the better of the sport as a whole.

Steven: Well I'd be lying if I said hearing that doesn't get me stoked haha. So unfortunately it's about time we get this wrapped up. Before we wrap things up, tell us about some plans you got this summer.

Ryan: This summer will be packed full of trips and events! I will be traveling with Shopecx throughout the summer, and producing the summer tour 2011 dvd for the holiday season. In addition, I will hopefully be making over to England in July for a competition. As for the rest of the days, I just plan to ride everywhere i can, spend some time with my girlfriend, go to the beach, and enjoy my time off of school! After all, with my school, and probably many others, this year I only have a 2-month sumer vacation...

Steven: Jam packed for sure bro. So do you got any last words or shout outs you want to get out before we wrap this up. Got some friends waiting for me, and In n Out Burger is calling my name, I gotta roll soon!

Ryan: Dude you should def pick some up for me! It's been too long since I've had In N Out haha. But I would like to give a shout out to Mike Lashbrook from Shopecx for being there for me since the beginning, Dinny and Blunt for being the best sponsor i could ever ask for, Dave Ward from DSA for being kind enough to let me crash at his place quite a few times, and Inside Scooters as a whole for keeping me informed on everything that has to do with scooters. Without inside, I would never have the time to find all of the best videos and info! So thanks Steven, for doing this interview with me. I really appreciate it, and I'm expecting some In N Out the next time i see you haha! Take care bro!

And Ryan's latest work.. "It's Summer Again" can be seen below..


  1. Nice intervew. the new edit was really sick

  2. half cab triple down set was so good

  3. Ironically, i am wearing an "in n' out" burger T-shirt.

  4. I can't believe he used to be a heelwhipper. Very disciplined to change his stance.

  5. one of the best interviews i've ever read on inside

  6. go home you suck bitch
    Tom K and Kelly Z


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