At home with Ryan Nyquist
Ryan Nyquist in Nor Cal
On a recent trip to the Santa Cruz, Calif. area, XGames.com met up with longtime X Games BMX Park and Dirt competitor Ryan Nyquist to get an inside look into Nyquist's approach to riding when he's not traveling. This year, Nyquist is on the X Games Austin invite list for BMX Park and Dirt, but his approach to riding isn't all about training. He's still having fun while progressing.
Ryan floats a stylish 360 one-handed toboggan at the Post Office Trails in Aptos, Calif. This is the quintessential Ryan Nyquist move and also part of the reason why Nyquist's riding is so recognizable and timeless.
The switch-hander has flown under the radar in BMX for almost 20 years now, making rare appearances more often on the vert ramp than dirt jumps. And you normally don't see Nyquist throwing them out in huge 360s, but he manages to make it look good.
With a full list of family obligations, Ryan mostly rides in the middle of the day when most people his age are at work. Ryan doesn't mind riding with the younger kids because not only do they rip at the trails, they are actually pretty dedicated diggers. Here, Connon Gallart puts in some moves on his 26".
Lasting the test of time, Derby, built in 1976, still exists in its original form. Nyquist couldn't think of much he wanted to do here besides bring his kids. "But since my bike was stolen, I had to seize an opportunity to ride, even if it was on Ryan's bike," cinematographer and photographer Aaron Nardi said. That's Nyquist fully padded on a skateboard and filming behind Aaron.
When Nyquist moved to town, he agreed to donate wood and time as long as he could have some say in the layout of Fun Spot, his new local park in Santa Cruz, Calif. His dedication paid off, because lines like this 360 no-hander to big one-handed x-up over the hip are pretty typical to any session here.
"Nyquist is so good that while I was shooting this selfie [not seeing what he was doing] he said, 'Now,' when he wanted me to shoot the photo. He actually had perfect timing, compensating for the latency between him saying it, me hearing it and my finger pushing the button to capture the one-handed x-up fully clicked. We actually only had to try this twice and even the first one was perfect timing, but I needed to adjust the framing a little. It's not that easy when you aren't looking through the viewfinder," Nardi said.
Nyquist has always had a knack for taking certain tricks that were very popular for a short time and converting them into timeless, stylish BMX institutions. That can be said for the suicide no-hander, a Nyquist trademark since the mid-'90s. Here he floats a perfect suicide over the big hip at the Post Office Trails.
You might not see Ryan Nyquist blasting tabletops in X Games competition, but that doesn't mean he can't get stylish with the best of them. Here's the Nyquist version of a classic tabletop over the hip at the Post Office Trails.
Nyquist finishes a long line at the trails by launching out of a lip, riding up a short-slanted launcher and then popping off a no-hander .
Nothing can-cans shouldn't really be possible, but Nyquist doesn't seem to care. No one else in BMX executes this move with as much consistency as he can.
Here's a unique Nyquist quirk: If the sun is in his face, he tends to just close his right eye.
The Post Office Trails
Now that Nyquist lives in Santa Cruz, the Post Office Trails are one of his favorite local spots, and it shows -- he kills this place.
The rocket air, invented by Ron Wilkerson in the '80s, doesn't really make an appearance in BMX anymore, but Nyquist, who has long rode with four pegs on his bike, isn't afraid to throw them into his day.
For more than a decade of X Games competition, Nyquist has had perfect Superman form: seat to chest, legs straight and toes pointed.
Toboggan at height
And when he's had enough dirt riding for the day, don't forget that Nyquist is one of the most dominant BMX Park riders to have competed at X Games. Here is a boosted, casual toboggan air by Nyquist.
And to cap off Nyquist's day in Nor Cal, he casually hangs out in a few toothpick variations. He can stall these for as long as he pleases. Look for Nyquist at X Games Austin in early June.