Who Is Heimana Reynolds? An Interview With the Tokyo Olympics Park Skateboarding Star

Mariana Salvo

If heritage has a feeling of humor—and it appears to be quite clear it does, even if it operates a small dim from time to time—in about 30 many years people are heading to be having shots with Heimana Reynolds at the Olympics and submitting them to whatever social media platform reigns supreme at the time with tongue-in-cheek captions like, “Whoa, this male seems to be a ton like Heimana Reynolds.”

Yes, which is a Tony Hawk joke. The legendary skater has so a lot of, “Hey, did everyone at any time convey to you, you appear like Tony Hawk” stories it’s turn out to be a meme unto by itself. But which is what comes with remaining the godfather of the very first period of substantial-visibility skateboarding—the guy mustering a before-then-extremely hard 900-diploma rotation on the halfpipe and rocketing a previously less than-the-radar activity into the community consciousness. Now that stated sport is in the Olympics—the freaking Olympics—Reynolds is one particular of the stars set to just take it to yet another degree entirely.

Reynolds, 23, is the world’s range 1-rated park skater. His domain is not the ledges and handrails of road skating, which has by now experienced its Olympic debut, but the concrete curvature of the skatepark, with its deep bowls and sculptural outcroppings, which he flies above (and over) with all the fluidity and speed of anyone who grew up splitting time between skating and browsing. And he is a Tony Hawk fan. Of program.

I try to be like that,” he tells me over Zoom. “I want to have the longevity that he has and to be his age and continue to drive the limitations of skateboard.” We’re speaking perfectly right before the Honolulu-born skater decamped from his existing property base of California for Tokyo, but his focus is already plainly on the online games. Just after a yearlong hold off (he expended it teaching, obviously) how could he not be?

Me, I want to talk about that, but also about style. Skate society is continue to a single of the dominant forces influencing menswear right now. So prior to we get to chatting about the activity, its ascendance, and its future—Reynolds and the relaxation of the U.S. group, which include teammate Cory Juneau, compete in Tokyo this evening—I make him inform me about dressing for the skatepark, the variety of vibes you can discover there, and how he “discovered the difficult way” that he wanted to dress in pants. Study on for our conversation, which has been edited for size and clarity.

Reynolds celebrates after winning the finals in the course of the Earth Skate Park Skateboarding Earth Championship on September 15, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Alexandre SchneiderGetty Photographs

Alright, this could feel like a odd way to kick factors off, but I read you are a major shorts dude, and that it prompted a couple problems for you when you commenced skating in California.

HR: Coming from Hawaii, I would just don board shorts all working day, since I go back again and forth from the seaside to the skate park. So I was like, “Why do I have to adjust if I am just going again and forth?” Coming out to California, I surely discovered the tricky way that I need to have to have on pants a lot of moments.

How do you “learn the tricky way” about pants?

Absolutely everyone helps make exciting of me to this day, but I get cold super simply. So I bear in mind transferring out to California: I lived in my buddy’s driveway in a minor six-by-eleven foot trailer with no heating. It was in Fallbrook in the center of November. All I brought were shorts and shirts and tank tops and stuff. And I was freezing. I remember the subsequent working day I had to go straight to Goal and get a heater that I could plug in, moreover a bunch of sweatpants and things. And I was like, “Oh, this is not what I thought it was heading to be.”

Sunny California in contrast to sunny Hawaii doesn’t genuinely stack up?

It can be a ton unique.

west hollywood, california   november 22 skateboarder heimana reynolds poses for a portrait during the team usa tokyo 2020 olympic shoot on november 22, 2019 in west hollywood, california photo by harry howgetty images
Posing for a portrait all through the Team Usa Tokyo 2020 Olympic shoot on November 22, 2019 in West Hollywood, California.

Harry HowGetty Pictures

Well now you’ve obtained a solid pants hookup because you’re performing Ralph Lauren. What was it that drew you to the manufacturer?

I have generally admired the Ralph Lauren search. There is a whole lot of variety of kinds in skateboarding, and I really like the simple fact that this brand, Ralph Lauren, has so a lot diversity to it. You go into the shop and there is unique sections for each solitary variety of matter you want to do. I do not want to wear the exact thing every working day. I like to wake up and make your mind up what I’m emotion that day. Some days it’s going to be just a normal T-shirt with a pair of shorts. Other days it’s going to be the entire on rugby shirts with all the shades and corduroy pants. I was definitely drawn to just the diversity of the brand name and how I can be just what I want to be and not have to concentrate on a certain look. So I was super fortunate to have Ralph Lauren just backing me and supporting me and holding me warm in California.

You have been skating due to the fact you were being seven or eight, ideal? Have you seen significant shifts in how individuals dress for it in that time?

I assume that a great deal of the coolest component of skateboarding is that we’re accepting to any design. You know what I necessarily mean? I can assure you, I can go to a skate park right now and I’ll see every single one model all over each generation of skateboarding. Yesterday I was at the skate park and there is certainly a dude wearing skinny denims, punk rock hair and things like that. And then on the other side of skate park is some dude carrying the most colourful tank top rated with small shorts and super extensive socks. And then yet another dude, I saw this kid, he was 14 yrs old sporting sizing 42 pants, the baggiest things you’ve got at any time observed. And no one at the skate park is judging them in any way. Nobody at the skate park is like, “Oh, seem at that kid.” A whole lot of them are like, “Oh, sick! He’s received sizing 42s cuffed all the way up to his knees, a hundred instances cuffed.”

doha, qatar   october 15 heimana reynolds of the usa in action on his way to winning the mens skateboard competition at aspire zone during the anoc world beach games on october 15 2019 in doha, qatar photo by bryn lennongetty images
On his way to winning the Men’s Skateboard competitiveness at Aspire Zone for the duration of the ANOC Globe Seashore Game titles on Oct 15 2019 in Doha, Qatar.

Bryn LennonGetty Photographs

Trying to keep with that idea of acceptance but modifying gears a bit, you’ve talked a little bit in the past about your stress with the concept that skateboarding is viewed as a thing you “grow out of” as opposed to a sincere athletic pursuit. Why do you consider that occurs?

I have a lot going into that, but I think a whole lot of it has to do with variety of what society thinks of skateboarding 1st of all. How it form of sights skate boarders as kind of just delinquent kids. And the fact that skateboarding, before the Olympics was at any time a detail, failed to have that demanding outlet you try for. Let’s say this kid would like to join basketball. Their dad and mom are like, “Oh, certainly. Let us go for the NBA just one working day.” If you want to get into soccer, the NFL, which is in which you are going to be. Which is what you have obtained to get the job done hard for. With skateboarding, it is really challenging to fully grasp how to make a vocation out of it when there is nothing at all like the NBA or the NFL out there. So I feel that with the Olympics bringing skateboarding in, it’s going to unquestionably open up the eyes for a large amount of persons who can see there is a area that you can try for now. “This is what you want to do? Let us go for the Olympics. You can be there just one working day.”

And the coaching is just as intense.

We wake up, we coach, we extend, we acquire ice baths, we take falls, we have bruises, we are sore. There is so considerably that goes into far more than what you imagine of just jumping on a skateboard and heading and acquiring enjoyable.

doha, qatar   october 15 heimana reynolds of the usa in action on his way to winning the mens skateboard competition at aspire zone during the anoc world beach games on october 15 2019 in doha, qatar photo by bryn lennongetty images
Inverted and elevated in Qatar.

Bryn LennonGetty Pictures

I go through that you do six to 8 hrs a working day on the skateboard plus your standard training, suitable?

Yeah. This is my schedule. I indicate, most persons they go to get the job done 9 to 5, appropriate? It truly is standard, it is really 8 hours. So this is my task, this is what I appreciate to do. I’m blessed sufficient to be in a position to go skate for eight hrs a working day. A great deal of men and women are like, “You happen to be insane. Which is crazy.” But I selected this as my career. I want to do this relaxation of my existence. I like performing it. I am fortunate more than enough to skate for eight hours a working day, you know? So it is really truthfully a blessing to be equipped to phone this my job.

And now, with the introduction into the Olympics, it feels like the trajectory of the activity just onwards and upwards, ideal?

Heading into the Olympics and thinking about wherever skateboards arrived from, where it truly is likely, and what’s likely to come about following… Truthfully, if I ended up to chat to a kid… If I were being to talk to myself, when I first started off skateboarding, I would explain to him, “Make absolutely sure you really don’t listen to what everybody’s telling you. If you adore this sport, if you appreciate skateboarding, carry on to do it. Never let anyone convey to you otherwise. This activity is heading to get you to the most remarkable places you’ve got ever been.”

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