It’s your turn to take the mic! Our Patreon subscribers are in control, firing off questions directly to the sports stars of this issue. Get an insider’s perspective as athletes open up about their favorite foods, tips from their trades, and personal stories. Join the Patreon community to be a part of the conversation and get the answers you’ve been craving.

Paul Ryan taking a photo.

What is your go to chairlift pocket snack?

Chocolate chip cliff bar, probably.

Are there any unexpected logistical challenges to ski photography videography?

All kinds of logistics. Keeping your lenses from fogging. This season in particular we had a really unstable snow season in Revelstoke, and placing yourself in safe ways so that you’re not at risk of kind of getting caught up in a slide if anything were to go down. I think that’s maybe the biggest one. All the other stuff you can get used to. You learn how to move kind of quickly and efficiently and put everything away. But I think that’s probably the most unexpected thing that you’ll ever have to deal with, is keeping yourself safe.

Do you think that working as a director has changed how you observe the people, places, and things around you now?

When I was only doing photo, I would see things based off of a snapshot. If I was driving and I’d see something, I’d be like, that’d be a beautiful photo. Now it’s more so it’s been a shift from photo to video where I’m like, oh, that’s like a really nice scene, or the way someone’s moving or the look on their face or something. Things that I wouldn’t always be interested in photo wise. I’m not so interested in certain beautiful light or anything, rather just how people are. Behavior is definitely more of an interest to me now.

Clara Soh climbing.

What is your favorite climbing snack?

They have these honey roasted pecans at Winco. That’s my favorite. What I bring most often, I actually don’t like to eat a lot when I’m climbing. I like to snack all day, so I do lots of crackers and peanut butter, baby carrots. They have these protein bars at Costco. They’re called Simply Protein. They taste like Rice Krispy treats. They’re like little soy nuggets. They have three different flavors and the texture is fun.

If you could teleport anywhere in the world right now to climb, where would you go and why right now?

It’s a little early, but I really want to go to Patagonia. I can’t find people to go with me and go for long enough. October (the time of this interview) is a little early, but it’s coming soon. I have this dream route that I want to climb. What I love more than anything is really scary trad that’s under my limit. You know, physically you can do everything, but you’re like, there’s a 60 year old piton between me and death. The focus you get from that is so different. I love the sheer physicality. Pushing your body while pushing your mind, I love that more than anything.

What has been the most rewarding part of climbing for you so far?

Honestly, I would say the community I’ve met. I was born in America and my family, my parents are very confused that I’m American. But I have this other family that I’ve made. I travel so much, but I have a family that I can come back and slot back into and I love it. I feel like that’s when people go from friendship to family is when you can just leave for a year and then come back and it’s like you never left. And they start off as people you met through climbing and then you become really close with them. When you think about intimacy, how often on a daily basis do you trust someone actually with your life? I do ten times a day climbing. It’s an implicit trust.

Mia Bolton waxing her surfboard

What is your most chaotic or unexpected fav food combo?

We don’t have Trader Joe’s in Hawaii. And so Devin, my partner, her parents will send us for every holiday a Trader Joe’s gift box. They’ll have about 18 things of Everything Seasoning in it. I will put that on basically everything except for cereal and coffee. That shit goes on everything I eat. And the pickle popcorn. Which I think not everyone likes pickle popcorn. I love pickle popcorn.

Over your entire history of surfing, what is your favorite surfboard you’ve ever had?

It was the second board I shaped, and I called it Lady Log, and it was nine two long board, single fin it had on the bottom. It was half dark purple and half goldish yellow. I was really into getting fabric, and my friend would glass it into the surfboard. The deck of the surfboard had a cutout of this fabric that I found in San Diego that was mostly black, but it had purple and yellow and turquoise flowers on it. I surfed it throughout California, and then I surfed it the whole time I lived in Portland, and it was just my favorite surfboard. You know when you just get so comfortable with your equipment that you know it and it knows you and there’s this symbiotic balance and it’s effortless? That’s how it felt. When we moved to Hawaii, I sold it. And when I sold it I made this poor girl watch a slideshow. I pulled up all the photos on my phone of the surfboard, and I was like, here we on the beach, here we are in Tofino. I’m pretty sure she was like, yo, this girl is crazy.

Was there a moment in your life when you could feel that you were changing direction. Did you recognize the change at the time and how does it feel to reflect on that change from distance?

To be really candid, like very recently I did. I told you I figured out I was queer later in life when I was closer to 30 before my road trip. Then recently I did my 23 ANDME and realized that I am half Ashkenazi Jewish, which I didn’t know I had such a big part of my identity as Jewish. And I’ve been recently reflecting and just thinking a lot about my own identity and my story.

I also had this narrative in my mind of like, I’m just a privileged white person and I don’t have any reason to be here. And I had this big moment recently where I heard this woman who’s the founder of Black Voters Matter speak. Her name is LaTosha Brown and she gave this really powerful speech about how the world is on fire and it’s going to take all of us to use every tool that we have in our toolbox to reimagine a place where everyone feels valued and respected. That made me turn the lens inward and think that I need to value and respect myself, my story, how I got here, all the work I put in, and stop making myself feel small. Dismissing myself or my own story as less valid. I’m really good at telling other people’s stories, but I don’t think I was as good at doing it for me.

I need to want to own who I am more. Back to your original question of did you know what was changing in the moment? I think I feel the shift of myself, maybe giving myself more credit or owning my story or owning my own power more. Like most things in my life, I don’t know where it’s going to lead, but it feels right. It’s great to tell other people’s stories, but I have had to learn how to tell my own, too.

Mattisen Dimler looking cool with skateboard.

What is your favorite snack to take with you when you go skating?

I don’t like to eat when I skate because it makes me feel like I’m going to puke. After skating, I like to stop at Manhattan Bagel and get myself a Nova Locks bagel with the works. So that is my post skate fix and a decaf coffee.

What is a mental blocker you did not expect to face while learning to skate?

I think that the thing that keeps me most from trying tricks that are above my pay grade is that I’m going to come home and be like, you’re never going to believe what I broke my arm doing. And then I have to explain that to the other half of me, who is going to be like, you are so dumb, you are 41 and you have a daughter and now you can’t do anything because your arm is broken, because you’re a jackass. I’m always thinking about that.

Is there anything you’ve learned while skating that has helped you in your journey of motherhood or vice versa?

Of course. So many. Parenting is learning to fail, learning to repeat something that is just like a dead end and do it anyway and enjoy. Skateboarding has taught me to learn to enjoy the journey, not the destination. Yeah. More than anything, it’s just taught me to be a kid, feel young, and I think it’s the place that I can go to feel playful. I just think as adults, we lose that. It’s so easy to lose. Yeah. It makes me such a better mother to be youthful and fun. And the mom who skates, I’m not like the other moms. I’m a cool mom.


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