Filmed by: Eric Barerra, Shane Darnell & Garrett Sutton
Edited by Garrett Sutton
Music: “Why can’t I touch it?” The Buzzcocks
Intro by Kareem Campbell
When I hear the name Ryan Strader the first thing that comes to my mind is stratosphere, he is out of this world. Ryan is the definition of a real skater he eats lives and sleeps skateboarding to the fullest. He has a natural talent on a skateboard and can skate anything, anywhere at anytime. He’s a mellow guy but he has an aggro mental state when he has his mind made up to get a trick. I love the guy as a person because he lives culture free and he can adapt to any environment and feel at home. When I moved to Dallas, Tx there was always your key skaters from each city and like Ke’Chaud Johnson was to Dallas, Strader was to Austin, Tx. When I finally saw him on his board he was so smooth, but explosive and there was no obstacles that he didn’t demolish with an array of tricks, from super tech to old school, it just amazed me. Ryan is and will be an industry superstar and he will surely blow your mind the way he did mine. Stradersphere is off to the moon…
Interview by PJ Thebeau and Dave Appleby
You made the move to Dallas a short while ago, how’s that going?
It’s going great for sure, I’m working, skateboarding a lot and getting footage with good friends. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Where were you living before?
I was living in Georgetown, TX before I moved here, It’s a small town that I actually started skateboarding in. I would skate a couple miles a day from my house to what at the time was Williams Elementary, they filmed that movie Dazed and Confused there. I used to skate on the slides that were fire escapes at the time.
Slides that were fire escapes?
Yeah man, literally old school fire escapes, that’s why they took them out. You can watch Dazed and Confused and see the kids sliding down it, it was so fun!
Your roommate [PJ Thebeau] said you only showed up with some clothes, 9 aquariums and a twelve pack. Skateboarding, fish and beer, and you’re good?
Ha ha ha ha, yeah, I showed up with minimal necessities at the time, it was actually 2 aquariums though. It eventually turned into four.
4 fish tanks?
I’m not obsessed or anything. It’s just relaxing to come home to after a long day of skating or working.
PJ: He takes his fish pretty seriously, when one of them dies he makes me wear a suit and have a proper burial ceremony in the backyard.
Ha ha ha, yeah man, at least 10 times already. Really though that didn’t happen, it could’ve if the fish that died didn’t get eaten soon after their death.
Ok. So how often do you shop for new fish? How does that usually work?
I don’t really shop for fish too often, it doesn’t really work like that, you can only have a certain amount of fish in a certain tank and they have to be compatible with each other. They can be cannibals for sure, it doesn’t take long either, not much work involved.
If you didn’t find skateboarding what do you think you’d be doing?
I have no idea, I might’ve gone to college or moved somewhere out of the country to run a shrimp boat or something random like that. I’m so glad my cousins Jack Hemmingway and Mark Shane got me into it, they would take me and my little brother Matthew to this skatepark called Ramp Ranch in Liberty Hill, Tx.
Ramp Ranch was your local park growing up?
I grew up skateboarding there. My good friends Allen Dehn, Gene Ward and I went to Ramp Ranch almost everyday, or I should say Gene would give Allen and I a ride there everyday because we couldn’t drive at the time. Those were the days man, it was so much fun hanging out with them and skateboarding all day. It got so hot in the summer time at the ranch it was like a 20,000 square foot oven. They had a faucet in the back of the park next to a field that we would turn on to drench our heads to cool down, it was a necessity for sure.
Is that where the S.T.S. tattoo came about?
Yeah it did, more so from Georgetown, Tx. Allen and I started S.T.S. like a year after we met and it kinda blew up around the town, all the friends that skated in town were on at one point during that time, which was from 2001- 2003. We made shirts with the iron on transfers you can print out from the computer, ha ha ha ha!! I’m to this day the only one with an S.T.S. tattoo, Allen, your slacking on the tat man!
What does S.T.S. stand for?
Small Town Skaters
How’s your car?…seems like it’s been through a lot.
Ha ha ha, of course, I have a dark green ’01 Ford Focus and it is a beast for sure. I’ve driven it all over Texas for the past 6 years, to demos, contests, filming expeditions, etc. I love driving it.
Any stories about the green machine you’d like to share?
I have plenty of stories with the Focus, one time I drove from Georgetown to Dallas to skate some spots and film. We got done skating around 11pm and I was giving Michael Tang a ride to Eisenberg’s Skatepark so he could get a ride home from there. On the way my car just started to die on the highway, so I exited and pulled into some little parking lot on the access road. Tang was like “What the hell just happened?”, I was thinkin’ the same thing, so I called PJ (Thebeau) to come and pick us up.
There was a demo the next day and I had to be at work in Georgetown the day after, at the time I was working at Inner Space Cavern as a tour guide, but I ended up getting fired for being unreliable. I still love that cave though and all the people that work there that I knew, no harsh feelings at all, ha ha ha.
You were a tour guide in a cavern? How long did that last?
Yes, for about 3 years, Inner Space Cavern is located right next to I-35 South if ya’ll want to check it out. I would guide up to 40 people through the cave, there were 14 rooms that I would explain to everyone, the tour took about an hour and 15 minutes. I loved that job, it felt good to educate so many random people about such a cool cave. It was also great to work there in the summer time because it stayed a good 72 degrees year round.
Any goals or projects lined up?
I have a bunch of goals to meet in the near future, big ones and little ones, I want to do as much as I can in the skateboard world. I just have to get with my sponsors and make it happen one goal at a time.
Any shout outs?
For sure, PJ Thebeau, Clay Keys, Mike Crum, Oliver Bradley, Gene Ward, Allen Dehn, my parents Rick and Elizabeth, my bro Matt and my sis Ashton, Kareem Campbell hit me up!, Chris Osborne and the whole shop team, Jason Maxwell, Gabe Clement, Scott Vodrey, Sean Rakos, The Shop in Oak Cliff, Citystars Skateboards, DVS Shoes, Silver Trucks, FKD Bearings, Gnarbro Clothing, Goodlife Wheels and anyone else I didn’t mention thanks for all the help to keep me skateboarding throughout my life.