It's safe to say that nobody outside of Minnesota, and maybe the diggers at High Cascade Snowboard Camp, knew who Ryan Paul was before he did a flip onto a rail last year at the West Coast Invitational. Ryan isn't a one trick pony, though. If you watch his High Cascade video edit from last summer you'll know that kid can do every trick in the book -- not just the one no one else can do. So here is Ryan Paul, the rail killer, not the Governor of Wisconsin.
What are you doing?
Not much. Just driving to my aunt's house in San Francisco.
Where did you grow up riding?
I'm from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, so I grew up riding at Afton Alps.
Didn't all the cool kids ride at Hyland?
Yeah, probably, but I grew up at Afton.
Maybe if you got some skinnier pants and told everyone you rode at Hyland you would be able to film with Videograss.
Do people ever get you confused with the Governor of Wisconsin who wants to take away teacher's retirements?
Is his name Ryan Paul or Ron Paul?
No, his name is Paul Ryan.
No they never do, but they think we're related.
What's been the highlight of your winter?
Going to Japan for sure. We went up to the north island and did some filming and rode down a volcano. We found some sweet spots, rode some street and watched a crazy big air contest.
Did people in Japan expect you to back flip onto rails?
No, there were no expectations. No one knew who I was.
Do people expect that here?
Yeah, totally -- especially at contests people will ask if I'm going to flip onto the rail.
You can do other tricks too, right?
Yeah, and sometimes I actually shy away from it because I don't want to be known as the guy who flips onto rails or whatever, but I'm starting to think of it as any other trick. It's just like a cab 270 or whatever. It's just a hard trick that people do in contests.
Snowboarders always talk about progressing, but when a game changer like that comes along they are actually afraid of it.
Yeah, they don't want it. Lots of people hate on it so I know what you mean.
That's just because they don't want to have to learn it. It's scary, and who wants to flip onto a piece of metal?
Yeah, it's scary enough with snow underneath you. The metal makes it really scary.
Do you widen your stance at all for powder or do you keep the narrow rail kid stance and look all awkward with the straight leg?
Usually I set it back a little bit. Sometimes it gets a little wider. I try not to ride the super narrow stance no matter what.
In your High Cascade edit you're riding some weird board with no nose or tail. Isn't it just kind of cocky to do those kind of tricks on that board?
[Laughs] Maybe. Naw, it's just fun. Some tricks are easier on that thing to be honest with you.
It really hurt my feelings.
I don't know what to say. Sorry? I have an extra one at my house I can send to you.