Ryan Brynelson says he came into freestyle skateboarding quite by accident.
About six years ago, he was a street boarder, riding sloped roads and performing standard manoeuvres. But he was frustrated with the limitations of street skateboarding.
“Everyone was learning the same tricks.”
Then, the Delta teen fell and broke his arm. During the time he was sidelined, he was introduced to Monty Little and Kevin Harris, organizers for the World Freestyle Round Up, which will be held at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds during the May long weekend.
It opened up the world of freestyle boarding to Brynelson.
“All you need is your skateboard and a good piece of flat ground,” Brynelson said.
Harris took Brynelson under his wing.
“He’s my mentor. He got me into this and taught me everything I know,” the 21-year-old said.
He couldn’t have picked a better teacher. Harris holds the world record for two-board 360s.
With a foot on each board, he spins. In the world record case, he did it 1,032 times.
“The doctors couldn’t figure out how he did it, because he was spinning for 20 minutes,” Brynelson said. “And the blood should have rushed to his head and he should have passed out.”
Harris and Brynelson will be at the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair this weekend, which runs May 17-20. The audience will see an assortment of hand-stands, spins, and tricks.
Harris told The Leader that Brynelson is one of the best amateur boarders out there, and will likely go pro next year.
Brynelson will be keeping an eye on the competition – 40 of the better freestyle skaters from around the world looking to take home some of the $10,000 prize money.
In particular, Brynelson is watching the six-member Brazilian team.
“They’re very, very talented, so definitely, they’re going to be big competition for me,” Brynelson said. “I’m definitely hoping to do my best and just come out on top.”
The skateboarders will be inside the curling rink at the fairgrounds all four days of the fair. The World Freestyle Round Up is appearing at the Cloverdale Rodeo for its second year.
It’s all part of the 67th rodeo and the 125th year of the county fair, which includes five rodeo performances with finals, and a midway with rides.
New to the rodeo this year is a Youth Live Band Stage in the Alice McKay Building, featuring nightly live entertainment from 6-10 p.m. (See story page 44).
There will also be a new Aboriginal Gathering Place, a pavilion with live entertainment and a colourful celebration of drumming, dress and dance.
Also watch for a new Go-Kart Cone Zone, located near the Kidz Zone. It includes a learn-to-drive circuit designed for ages 10-16 that resembles a real-world roadside work zone.
Riders will drive one of four ex-racing go-karts around a large course, passing life-sized road maintenance vehicles and construction equipment and obeying the direction of certified traffic control personnel, just as they would in a real-world situation. Once the course has been completed, each participant will be entered into a daily draw to win an iPad mini. The Cone Zone campaign is a road safety initiative that encourages drivers to take care when driving near workers.
For more information and a full itinerary for the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, go to cloverdalerodeo.com