The Life of a Rad Dad

With Father's Day upon us I decided to chat with Ryan Theobald and see how fatherhood has played into his skate-life. When I first met Ryan many years ago he was one of the main guys out there in the Coastlongboarding scene. He raced hard, threw down at all the skate sessions and did it with style. Since then he's settled down a bit but when he hops on his board I can still tell that he's the same Ryan "Motherf*cking" Theobald that I met many years ago. - Billy Meiners


BM: Can you tell us who you are, what your role is at Landyachtz and what your history is with the company?


RT: I'm Ryan Theobald, I run the marketing and sales team at Landyachtz, I started skating on the Landyachtz team in 2001, and then started working for them full time in 2006


danger-bay-1-skateslate-archive-photos-by-lori-dixon-16 Ryan racing hard at Danger Bay over 15 years ago. Photo by Lori Dixon

BM: So you've been with the company for quite a while?


RT: Since the beginning pretty much.


BM: What role did skating play in your life before you were married and before you had kids?


RT: It was the main focus of all of my recreation. From the time I was a teenager until I was a dad.


BM: It was the biggest thing going on for you?


RT: Yeah, totally. It's what I grew up doing and I always had a lot of different interest but skateboarding always was the main one.


BM: How often did you skate back then?


RT: When I was in mid to late high school I skated all the time. I wasn't like a 7-days-a-week kinda guy because I was into lots of other stuff too but I was definitely skating 3-4 days a week and then more so in my early 20's until I was skating every day. Then as you get older you kinda branch out a bit and now I'm lucky if I get to skate a day a week.


Ryan with the groms. Ryan with the groms.

BM: Now that you're a dad has your approach to skating changed? Is it less focused on big gnarly races or how has that shifted?


RT: Definitely. I've totally taken myself out of the "big gnarly" category and I just do what really is the most fun for me which is exploring the city, going different places and finding different ways to skate it.


BM: I don't even have kids and I'm already starting to take that shift.


RT: I think it's kind of funny because you don't really skate that much differently, it's more that the time you do get to skate is ultra-valuable and ultra-cherished. That one night or day a week is the best. I know some guys who have kids and they've got their few nights a week they are out skating bowls or ramps or whatever and that's pretty important to keeping you sane. At times kids can really drive you nuts and it's important for parents to have something that they love that allows them to unwind from parental-mode.


BM: So your wife (Michelle) is cool with you getting out and going skating?


RT: Totally. She encourages it! She plays volleyball a couple nights a week as her kind of escape and she always makes sure I get out and do my thing.


BM: Rad. So do you think your kids (Levi and Nova) will take up skating? Or have they showed much interest in it?


RT: Yeah, I think that they will. When I was there age I don't think I had a skateboard around the house. I think I was a little bit older, closer to 10 or so when I got my first board. But since they were born they've had boards all around the house so as soon as they could crawl they were crawling on boards and dragging them around the house. And I've always had indoor boards and outdoor boards so I don't really treat it like an outside toy. So if Levi wants to cruise around the house on a skateboard, "Great!" As long as he's not smashing the walls up he's fine. So I think they'll grow up naturally grow into enjoying it in whatever way they want.

Levi's form is spot on! Levi's form is spot on!

BM: How do you think the short mini-missions play into your life? Whether you're going to the coffee shop or skating around to get lunch.


RT: It's huge man. Skating to get lunch or even to get out for a rip during the middle of the day is awesome. It makes me feel super good and I know most people here feel the same. It feels great just to get out and push around. At the end of the when you get home and you're like, "Oh we need some milk, some bread or even a six-pack of beer." That can be the highlight of the day. I live at the top of a hill so it's downhill to the grocery store or beer store and then uphill back which is perfect when you're carrying a bag of groceries.


BM: Yeah you probably don't want to be bombing down a hill with a big thing of beer or milk.


RT: Totally. It's also rad when you're getting out to go to concerts or stuff like that. I always skate and then take the bus or train just so you can get out in the evening and have that time to rip through the streets. It's super fun.


BM: So what kind of advice would you give to some of the dads out there that used to skate but now they've got kids and they are wanting to integrate skating back into their life?


RT: Well, I think it's mportant to have skateboards around the house all of the time so that it's not like this foreign thing that comes in when you want to get back into it. You should just always have a good board around that the kids can play on and then every now and then you'll be that much more inclined to be like, "Hey, I'm just going to grab this and head to the store real quick." That kind of thing. And some guys will take their kids to the skatepark which is perfect because you can get out there and roll around and it's super chill. If the kids learn at a super young age rolling around in a park they're going to be that much more comfortable as they grow up on it. If they skate around in the street a bunch then go to a park it can be pretty intimidating. But if they go the park from day one and get used to it then they're gonna excel way quicker and that'll make it easier for you to get out and go skating too.

Photo by Jacob Lambert Photo by Jacob Lambert

BM: Do you have any recommendations on a good skateboard setup for somebody getting back into it?


RT: Probably something similar to what you skated when you were last skating. But I would hazard a caution to anybody thinking they'll pick up where they left off. Some guys can do it obviously but if you haven't skated in 5-10 years then you're probably better off starting with something with soft wheels that's not going to get wheel bite. That you can just cruise on a bit and then build on it. Then build your skills and quiver from there.


BM: Sounds like solid advice. Since today is Father's Day shout out to you and all the other rad dads out there! I hope you and the kids get to keep skating for a long time.


RT: For sure man. We will!


Photo by Jacob Lambert Photo by Jacob Lambert


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