Small Talk With Ryan Dodge


You know how there’s those guys who you can watch skate and make you realize just how fun skateboarding truly is? Equipped with the ability to make a spot out of pretty much anything and a very positive attitude, Ryan is definitely one of those guys. With over a decade of skateboarding under his belt and a great understanding of the skateboarding industry, Ryan Dodge brings back to skateboarding what we all miss. That youthful and exciting feeling we all got every time we sat down our boards.

You know the ropes behind this whole interview bit. Let’s be extremely unoriginal and start this by letting everyone know how old you are, and where you’re from.

I’m 27 years young and originally from Boston, MA, but grew up near the beach in Florida.

What made you move down to Florida?

The folks made the choice, but I’m hyped they did.

Did you skate yet when you lived in Boston, or did skateboarding come along with the warm Florida weather?

We left Boston when I was 6, but we had a skateboard in the garage as soon as we got to Florida. I rolled around on it as I grew older, but really got into skateboarding around 12. “Concrete is always there, we dont always have waves though.”

Damn, so you’ve been skating for what… If my math’s right, 15 years now?

That’s about right. It’s taught me more than I ever thought it would. Good stories, great friends, and the list goes on… WOW. I have been skating more than half my life.

Back Tail - Campbell. Circa 1996

Yeah, skateboarding can really change people. Out of all of the stories you have from skateboarding, what’s the one that sticks out in your head the most? Keep it G-rated, we’ve got kids on here! Actually nah, any story works. Those kids need to grow up sometime!

When I lived in Tampa, I was skateboarding at ASTRO with all kinds of great skateboard friends. I was warming up on a 5-0 on a box, slipped out and broke my leg. I stayed there while everyone else continued skating, while I was in denial. 1.5 hours later we left for the 45 minute ride back towards Tampa. Five dudes in a VW Golf, I sat in the middle with my leg on the middle arm rest. When we arrived home, the guy in the front seat blasted the chair up and it wacked my leg. Ahhhhhhhh it sucked. After a day of denial, I went out for a beer with my friend Rob. I hit a rug with my crutch, then laid my foot on the ground with agonizing pain. It was then I knew we had to go to the hospital.

Damn that’s crazy. When you picked up that skateboard at 12, you probably weren’t thinking that someday you’d be working for skateboarding companies. I know you’ve worked for a few companies in the industry. Who were they?

I had NO idea. It just felt right. I have been worked hard and been given some great opportunities in my young life. Working at Skatepark of Tampa was the start of it all. From there I moved back home working for Ocean Avenue Distribution. Moving on from there to start my repping life working at Nike SB, Alien Workshop (DNA Distribution), In4mation Clothing, and then settling in at The Park, a local hometown skatepark full of amazing employees and a great owner full of support.

Coming in hot 10 years later with a switch back 360 - Meronek

That’s quite the rap sheet. Working at The Park definitely seems like a lot more calmer life than working as a rep. I mean, the only downfall I can see of working at the park is having to work so closely with Jon Hadley…

Nah, he’s a great kid!

Haha yeah that was complete sarcasm. Jon’s my good friend. Anyway, tell me a little about planks, and explain to me why I don’t have a shirt yet.

AHHHHH, PLAnKS! An apparel company my roommate and I started. We wanted to take my artwork, his photos and local artisans, and give them a progressive outlet to produce fun clothing. We have alot of fun with it. I hope it keeps progressing and people reading this can pick it up at the finest skateboard outlets in FL. I’ll have one for you by the end of March, I PROMISE!

Thanks, good deal. I’m stoked to see what the future has in store for it. So you used to skate with Heister back in the day. Way back before the Focus days. What was that like?

Not many know this but there exists this guy called “The elusive MATT HEISTER.” He had donger pops when we were kids. He since then has become an amazing musician. But myself and close friends would skate the super steep, three foot mini ramp in Justin’s front yards as teens. It was mad fun but that is when i met mister FOCUS Justin. His girlfriend has an amazing lunchbox collection in case the readers did not know.

Hahaha. That’s quite a wide range of information you just let out. On a completely different note, what’s the best part of owning a scooter? Besides saving your pockets at the pump, there has to be some other perks to owning one. I’ve been looking into getting one.

It’s effin’ cool to be a geek on the road next to Harley guys. I shine her up every Sunday I get.

Well Dodge, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for your time! Drop the names of those you want to thank.

I want to thank the entire effin’ world, my, your, his and her problem… Every company I mentioned in the above lines, Nike SB family still supports me, 561 Skateboarding, Skatepark of Tampa, local bartenders (you know who you are), Julie Cain, Matt Leach, Cheyenne Leach, Lanky Jon, my family, and anyone who rides their skateboard for fun. If I forgot your name, text me and yell at me digitally. Ohhhh and to S Oliveira for a last minute shout out. He had to deal with me through this interview.

Dodge is still cruising with this present day Ollie - Oliveira