Introducing Ryan Nyquist's New Backyard Skatepark

When BMX legend Ryan Nyquist said he was gunning for an Olympic spot, apparently he meant it. Between an impressive performance at FISE: Hiroshima and this - his brand new backyard skatepark - things really seem to have kicked into the highest gear. We caught up with Ryan to learn about his new spot and the effect it has had on his riding thus far -


Congratulations on the new ramp! How long has this beast been in the works?

The idea had been around for a long time, but it’s gone through a lot of different designs. Basically, once I knew The Unit was going to close, I wanted to have something to ride on the daily, in my town, that would be similar to what we compete on at the UCI/FISE events.

Was this an addition to something you already had back there or is this whole thing new?

Not really an addition, but it was built in addition to another ramp I had already build. But, this one is separate and the old ramp will soon be converted into a foam pit.

How long has it been complete?

Maybe a couple of weeks. I was riding it before it was finished for about a month, though. Pre-Skatelite and coping.


Where did all of the wood come from? Any leftover from The Unit?

The original plan was to use a lot of the wood from The Unit, but none of that wood was treated and, as humid and muggy as it gets here in North Carolina, I realized I’d be building something with material that wouldn't last more than two-to-three years. So, I bought all new, treated wood had it built properly. I did save foam and resi from The Unit and I have a foam pit that’s ready to fill up in the yard as well.

I know Skatellite ain’t cheap… Explain yourself.

Skatelite is the best! I’ve always had a great relationship with Skatelite. In fact, I used to be sponsored by them back in the day. So, they helped me make it easier to get the ramp covered, which will help it last for much longer. Skatelite isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it if you want your ramps to ride as good as possible.

I assume you designed everything yourself. Am I correct?

I did, but I ran the designs by a lot of people and listened to their input as well. I had to really figure out what I wanted to achieve with this set up. I did a lot of 3D modeling in Sketch Up to figure out where things should sit and how much room I would need. I put a lot of thought into it and I’m very happy with the end result. It’s basic and simple, but it rides amazing.

The funny thing is that it closely resembles the first park I grew up riding, which was the San Jose Ramp Club. And after all these years and many different backyard set ups, I’ve kind of come full circle and I’m back to where I started. 

What key features were important to you when diving in on this new project?

Building ramps to do awesome tricks on! I wanted a legit box, spine, seven-foot quarter, and ten-foot quarter with a mellower quarter/landing next to it. The vert wall makes sense to get speed for the box. Like I said, it’s basic, but super fun and keeps me feeling good on my bike and also progressing.

Does the wife love it?

Not sure if love is the right word, but she’s come back a few times and has appreciated the setting it’s in and the peacefulness of it all. It is pretty magical. A skatepark in the middle of the woods. Kind of a rare thing.


Does it take up your entire backyard or is there still some free space?

There’s still space. We have a decent amount of land and I tried hard to place it in an area that wouldn't be an eyesore.

Who built it?

Ron Kimler from Live Wire Construction along with Mean Gene and Alan. They killed it. I’m so happy with the end result and the quality of the ramps.

Any sponsors help out or was this 100% a Nyquist Family investment?

Skatelite helped with the top finished layer, but other than that, it was funded by me.

Outside of contests and social media, I need this as an outlet. After riding and jumping, it just makes me happy, which makes me a better husband, father, and person. So, it’s a bit of an investment into myself.

Are you already noticing a big increase in the amount of time you’re able to spend on your bike?

Yeah. I’m usually riding pretty early in the mornings. Once the kids are all dropped off, I have two-or-three hours to make it count. But, I feel pretty good on the bike again. It’s really more about riding these types of ramps on a regular basis that has really helped me.

Compare this new setup to The Unit…

It doesn’t. The Unit was a very special place. I love my new ramps, but The Unit was one of a kind.


Does it have a sexy name - like The Unit did?

I haven’t really named it yet, but I did have a series of ramps in California that I was calling the Boostyard. I had the original Boostyard in San Jose and Boostyard V2 in Santa Cruz, so I guess this would be Boostyard V3.

Have you mostly been riding it solo?

Yeah. Because I’m mainly only able to ride in the mornings mid-week, it’s hard to find someone to ride with. So, I’m motivating myself to do things that scare me or make me nervous almost every day. That way, it keeps me excited and makes me push myself farther that I normally would.

What can we expect from you in the rest of 2018 now that you have this beast at your disposal?

Hopefully cool tricks and a more dialed Ryan Nyquist. That, and more instaclips! Follow me - @RyanNyquist!

When Dad Nyquist gets a new toy, so do the kids.

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