Bryce Wettstein a sixteen-year-old girl from Encinitas, California.She is a skateboarder, surfer, singer-songwriter, ukelele player, dreamer, a pro athlete, and many more. So many talents there must be a great story for us to read, so we wanted to get to know her better and asked her some questions about her wonderful life.
You are a multi-talented girl, you skate, surf, play music instruments and sing, when did you start with all these sports and hobbies?
I first began to skateboard at the age of about five, when my dad made an announcement that he was going to skate in a pool, and I was beyond fascinated with how this could be physically possible. After all, I thought pools were supposed to have water and them! I tagged along with him, and was introduced to the crazy concept that the pool was empty! And it was the YMCA bowl!
My curiosity got the best of me, and all of a sudden I had started carving around in this little bowl structure, in my little world. Simultaneously I began surfing, which I did little Rob Machado contests in. I competed in little skate contests too. This was all at the age of about seven! I was convinced I wanted to be a professional surfer for a while before I developed a passion for skateboarding like never before. On the other hand, at the age of about 13, one day after a skate contest, my mom surprised me with a birthday present of a ukulele!
I was beyond excited. I began to play around with simple chords on the ukulele and started creating simple tunes. Before long I realized how much flexibility there was in music, and how I could combine elements with writing a song with my voice, and the ukulele to create a little piece of happiness. Currently, I dabble around with other instruments too like the guitar, and the piano, but mostly Ukulele! I find the ukulele has a simple yet sophisticated charm about it, where it gives you the amount of room to mix in who you are, with the combinations of how the ukulele is played. An infinite amount of possibilities and experimentation, much like skateboarding.
As for other hobbies, I think the quarantine has brought out old hobbies and new hobbies in me, like running, yoga, archery, a lot of journaling, some painting, reading, and trying to learn new languages. And of course music, some story writing, and skating. There have been a lot of things keeping my family and me busy, and my sister and I have loved trying these new adventures together as well like birdwatching!
Which sport has your main focus at this moment?
At the moment the sport that has been my main focus is skateboarding, because I believe throughout my life, there’s been this invisible path networking my dreams and true passions, and with that, the idea of focus comes into play. I’ve been focusing on skating, almost just instinctively because the love has seriously blossomed organically without question.
I’ve suddenly been overwhelmed with the love for the beauty and art of skating, and how it is so purely unique, like no other. From this perspective of skating, it has begun to open doors to new dreams like the Olympics, or even exploring new adventures around the world, as well as X Games or exploring a new piece of the world and skating it with some of my best friends.
How would you describe the difference between skating and surfing?
I think the connection between surfing and skating is extremely beneficial towards each other because I believe skating was born to influence and imitate the serenity and majestic measures of surfing but began to shapeshift into its unique structure over time, and exploded into a world, unlike anything. Surfing is purely beautiful with the ocean, and the atmosphere, and is often like being submerged within our literal universe on Earth; it is often spontaneous on the surface of a wave, and you feel like you can do anything.
Skating, on the other hand, there’s this phenomenon that soars over you, and rather than being submerged upon a given and provided Universe, it is as if you are being submerged within your own cosmic consciousness on your own planet. You’re constantly experimenting with the crazy ideas of your subconscious and throwing them around on your skateboard spontaneously, as if you’re riding the magic carpet through the intervals of a song, or painting a picture. I’d say it is a different sort of spontaneous than surfing.
Surfing, you’re relying on environmental factors to portray their formations for you to surf on, and play upon. You’re riding on pure energy. With skating, there are millions of magic tricks purely run on your rules. There’s no concrete objective like throwing a ball into the basket. You’re abiding by your rules, and experimenting with your methods, as if it were a science experiment.
As to technicality, I feel there are many hidden galaxies within the planets that people venture off too on a skateboard. At times there are so many spins or flips or little precise movements that can make a person unique and portray their style, as to surfing, although there is are similar characteristics, from my experience, many surfers are subjected to a similar piece of a puzzle, like they all need to throw an air reverse, or do a crazy vertical turn, to feel authoritative, or accomplish a podium result. Rather with skating, I feel at any given point you have the ability to throw your skateboard down and skate the world.
You could come across a tumbled down trash can on the street and I feel skaters see it as a given opportunity to express their crafted language on a skateboard by incorporating all their ideas into their dance. Somehow giving it life. I think the personalities of a person are showcased as soon as you dive into the beauty of skateboarding. You begin to realize that everything is skateboarding. Skateboarding enhances the freedom and creativity of everything. It spins combinations in all different directions and the colors from these explosions begin to translate into all aspects of your life. At least for me, this is a bit of how I see it! The imagination runs wild.
Why did you choose for Vert/Park skating instead of street skating?
For me, my main discipline, or area of satisfaction is the transition type of skating, specifically, park skating, because I feel in my heart there’s this fluidity and contrast visible in the park spectrum that I just adore. For me, park skating has the ability to adapt and adjust to all dimensions of skating. In the parks, there are thousands of different obstacles that could be presented, and I find with the more variety in park skating, the more diversity you see from skaters.
Each of us is able to present our style in new ways and formulate all kinds of choreography because every person is so drastically different. From the elements of our personality, it is phenomenal to see the corresponding factors from how we can all paint the park a different color with all kinds of emotion. I think parks offer the ability to be fearless and chase after anything you want too. If you want to fly high in the air, or spin in crazy directions, or skate fast and backward, or stand on the nose of your board, every single person craves the feeling of showcasing who they are.
Also, when I'm trying a new trick or messing around in a new area of the bowl, sometimes I accidentally fall into a trick that I have no idea what it is, and I'll end up loving how that trick felt. There’s something about the park that sings a self-generated song. It’s like with every trick you discover, the more connections take flight, and suddenly you’re flowing around the park, on your stream of consciousness, sometimes out of control! These are the best moments because I feel the analytical side of me can dissipate and therefore I can be free to let my skateboard communicate to the outside world and me, and this is why everyone can have a free interpretation of what skating is, and what it brings. There’s no concrete definition.
In the 60s/70s the surfers went skateboarding to have that same feeling on the street, is it the same when you ride a wave or in a pool?
Honestly, for me, skating in a drained pool, like a real pool, even a bowl, is insanely similar to surfing when I’m simulating the specialized feeling. But then again, the mind creates these symbolic connections, and therefore there are other times when I'm feeling as if I'm floating on my board or flailing around.
Sometimes mood swings are depending on the day, much like a change of clothes or a certain craving, where skating calls you in another way apart from the usual, and you try changing your perspective. It is insane because I feel imagination is so powerful, you can instantly pretend you’re surfing when you are grinding and carving in a pool. Also, I think anyone can find a relationship between even the most differentiating elements in the world.
Who are your Skate/Surf heroes?
Some of my heroes are Rodney Mullen, as he is the absolutely the most amazingly innovative person ever, and the way he thinks and feels is incredible. As well as Oski Rozenburg from Sweden, who I can’t begin to explain in words as the way he skates is untranslatable. The way he thinks so introvertedly, you can see the love in the way he skates, and Dane Brady, who is like a wizard who contributes everything he sees into his magical world that is so much fun to watch. He’s like magic when he’s gliding down this one red curb at full speed, which is from a video I’ll never forget! And many other people. In surfing, I think Bethany Hamilton is a role model for every person all across the world.
Your sister Summer also skates and surf, will we see two Wettstein's on the tour competing against each other in the future?
Yes! My sister is incredible all around, and is so talented! Her name is Summer and she is eight! She recently just competed in her first skate contest, and I was lucky enough to watch her. Sometimes we’ll laugh and try new tricks together, and she inspires me to try new things too! I’m like Summer! I should totally try that too! Let’s do it together. It’s always a sentimental beautiful thing to be able to do something you love, with the person you love.
My sister is definitely my best friend. As for surfing the water has been cold lately so she’s been taking a little break, but I always love seeing her crouching in the whitewater surfing along. Skating is so bright and animated on all spectrums and appearances, that it's not surprising how many children and adults are beginning to embark on the journey and happiness rollercoaster of skating.
There are so many new inventions and opportunities and skating, and of course, being persistent is the upholding force of living our dreams I suppose. We’re all taken to worlds in our head that we never knew existed. From there, inspiration runs in world cycles from person to person, and it’s like a contagious feeling and expression.
This year we would have the Olympics and it is postponed to next year, how does the qualification process go for park skaters, were you already qualified, will the qualification process start all over again?
The Olympics being postponed is a bit of a bummer because as the months were flying by, suddenly your dream becomes so close, and tangible even! But having it be delayed another year I’d say it’s equivalent to a couple of rainy days:) although I love the rain, rain can sometimes cancel the things you love. With the delay, there’s a period in time where I do some yoga and relax my mind with thoughts of optimism!
I believe sometimes the world needs to reinforce positive and point our gaze to a completely unrelated element of the world to appoint our focus for a split second, and then we come back with new ideas added onto our dreams! The dream won’t change the form, I think it will only glimmer with more passion. I hope my friends and I are taking this time to realize that!
The staying at home has impacted a few hidden thoughts and pushed them to the surface, creating a few things, and engaging with the family! As well as yoga, running, chasing the few open surf spots, and of course, skating, writing a few musical tunes, and coloring in the lines of new things I was too hesitant to do before. Painting in new places. Overall, this time has been a rediscovery of identity and another path on the journey. With qualification processes, all the commotion has reassembled and jumbled a lot of the information we thought we had figured out a little bit over the handlebars.
However, with everything slowly being redistributed according to the new target date of the Olympics in 2021, things are being proportioned a tiny bit more. Hopefully, the details will be presented soon. I don’t want to completely overthink the new dates and possible changes though. From where we left off in qualifications we had about three to five more specific dates to go to the Olympics, but where we are now, is in the hands of the Corona virus and quarantine. I believe maybe it is a message symbolically to take a breath and recalculate all the perspectives we have. Maybe society needs to slow down a bit.
The country-teams are more serious organized with the Olympics on the agenda, do you have coaches who help you to improve and other coaches who help you with exercises and diets?
With dieting, and exercises family has been super supportive of helping me stay on track, and it is more of a mental thing with myself and making sure I'm discovering new ways to benefit physically and mentally. I don’t have a specific coach, but I’m working on being mindful and eating in moderation. Although, I have been attending meetings every Friday with the Team USA family, and we’ve been staying in touch and figuring out necessities to benefit from health there! Like a personal trainer named Jess, and maybe a sports Psychologist!
Which result are you the proudest of in contests and what achievement are you the proudest of in your sports?
My most special achievement was by far earlier last Summer, when I lived my most special dream of placing top 4 in the X Games qualifier and qualifying for my first-ever X Games. Honestly in all five years or so of dreaming of it, mostly three consecutive years in a row, I just knew I would probably cry on live camera if I ever made it there. I honestly never expected it, and this year I designed a little run that was really special to me, and I’d hoped the judges felt the same. As soon as I'd landed the entire portion, I couldn’t be happier. It is one of those moments where there’s no conscious awareness of anything else except how much you want it.
I think the passion just took over, and it was replaced by disbelief when they called my name that I was in X Games. I guess I kind of lost it and tears started sliding down my face like some water slide, and the microphone flew into my face, and I think I said something like, “I can’t believe this is happening.” I know it is one of those moments that speaks to me the most because when I think about it today, the identical emotions roll over me once more, and I feel like I'm going to cry all over again. I guess it’s just crazy for me and I’m beyond thankful to have gotten to live that dream. Especially because I'd gotten knocked out last year by one position!
Another achievement I'm beyond grateful for, and I'm still trying to register is making the USA Team for skating 2019 for I guess the first time in history with some of my best friends since childhood! Realizing it was the first-ever team, I think we are all still trying to process being in the position we are in today. Forever grateful. Being able to travel to places like beautiful France with them, it makes me speechless. Some of the funniest memories I've ever had are with them. :) And of course, there are like a million more things I’m beyond thankful for, but I can’t talk all day. Ha ha!
You are also a singer-songwriter, how would you describe your music and who are your influencers?
I’m so happy to have an opportunity to experiment with music as well! For me, I think music and skating tend to evolve from this similar frequency spectrum, and the value of indirect expression and interpretation conspire from the same wavelength. When I'm writing a song, it’s as if each chord is conveying a thought or a personality trait. And with that personality, each one has a similar designated color, much like a trick, or thought process in skating.
Being able to write a song, is suddenly being completely vulnerable to the composing coordinates in my brain that only choose to speak within the musical languages, and therefore the thoughts are no longer hindered by direct speaking or direct contact. It is purely the subconscious becoming dissected. It’s the understanding of some part of me begging to escape and then that thought or idea is almost evaporated out of me into a little fragment of a sentence, so anyone can have the freedom of interpreting it indirectly or creating their visual interpretation of what it could mean.
I think writing a song is so self-generated because the wider variety of components or emotions dancing around, the more surplus energy and emotion acts as the output on a listener. I think music has this communication as if it were a ginormous run-on sentence flipped in reverse, or some sort of thought being extracted out of you, sometimes unintentionally. And I couldn’t feel this translation to skating more. :) Of course, there are days I want to try something new, and it always takes a bit of stumbling around to reach new grounds or discovery panels. But I believe this art and expression hit a place indescribable at some points, I could go on and on haha. But I adore being able to come up with a new set of attributions from my ukulele and stringing a long line to form a piece of expression from my heart.
There are too many exciting configurations! I recently began recording some of my music in a studio, and wow! It’s like drawing a million-dimensional world and jumping through it, exploring, and exploring. And again I can’t help drawing this back to skating and the tone of how these paths cross. But sometimes my friend Ron and I add some guitar or swell guitar over the song, and with each song, it’s some differing outlook. I’m so thankful to have it in my life.
With influencers in music, I've got to be honest, I am a big fan of Mozart at the moment. There are so many components and intervals and rifts in his music that I honestly think is magical. As well as, Grace Vanderwaal, who exhibits a new kind of music that is truly unique to her. :) I love all kinds of music forms from jack Johnson, The Buggles, Bob Marley, Tiffany, Prince, No Doubt, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, and a bunch more!
Do you see yourself having a career in music?
Honestly, it would be beyond a dream in a dream to have a career in music. It is no doubt one of my biggest dreams. But specifically, a few of my greatest hopes are to give someone a sense of joy or a smile from listening to a song I made maybe, or even to sing to kids one day in places like Africa, or Cambodia even.
Submerge everyone in things like Music and skating and the art forms of the world. I want all people, and all living organisms all over the world to have hope, and live their biggest dreams.
Any plans for the Voice or AGT? (maybe just for the fun of it)
Omg and yes I secretly did a little audition for AGT haha! It was the first one where you’re in a little room with one other person and a few of the contestants. Yeah, it was just for fun, and I kind of got a wild hair and went up with my mom! However, if performed in front of a live audience on stage like that, I think it might be a little replica of that experience with XGames qualifier but maybe differently, haha! Anyway, that would be crazy.
Girls you ride with the most?
Some girls I ride with the most, honestly, a lot of them aren’t always around here in Encinitas, and I often find myself reminiscing and missing some of my best friends. But one of my close friends that lives near me is Brighton Zeuner who lives in Newport. We used to skate and play a lot together as kids and see each other a lot when we travel. We made a little series called the Bryce and Brighton Show on Youtube!
Also Nicole Dodson, Arianna Carmona, and Sarah Shreds Thompson! They have always been like my sisters and I love them too much. But yeah a bunch of other girls always show up around town, and we quickly become really good friends because the community is tight. But some of my other best girlfriends are Poppy Starr Olsen from Australia, she is the best, and is such a talented skater and artist and loves designing little animations and creations! She’s also really talented on the piano. We again met when we were super young and she comes to stay with us in the Summer sometimes, and we’ll travel together quite a bit!
There are so many more like Lucrezia from Italy, Thais from Brazil, and too many more! They all make the world a brighter place with a mix of personalities.
Highest Vert wall you dropped in and would you ever dare to drop in on Bob Burnquist’s Mega Ramp?
The highest vert I've dropped in? Probably about 14 feet. I haven’t been down to Bob Burnquist’s ramp in a while, but I would love to feel the drop-in of his Mega Ramp!
How do you see your future in sports and music?
For my future, there are so many dreams and potential routes I would love to embark on, but what can I say, I want to shoot for Olympics 2021 now! Also in the future, it would be amazing to potentially travel with our Converse Team one day! And maybe do a video with them, like a creative video with multiple fun elements involved!
To be able to continue traveling and do what I love with music, and maybe study to become a neurologist or a linguist in college, and discover the true metaphorical side of how everything is composed of their language! But it is the future... and hopefully, I'll continue to follow my heart in whatever directions the Earth sways.