Ryan Williams Rode a Mega Quarter. Your Move, X Games!

We’ve been covering Ryan Williams’ quest for an X Games Big Air spot for a while now. Regardless of your stance on the debate, Ryan just took a huge step in making his dream a reality. He took a trip to a gigantic quarterpipe and showed the world that he is absolutely capable of blasting it. I’m not shocked. Nobody should be.

We caught up with Ryan for the latest on his position.

Ryan did his part. If this doesn’t seal the deal, I don’t know what will. Your move, X Games!

I'll be completely honest - I had no idea there was a Mega Ramp in Melbourne. Is this new? Who owns it?
I didn’t know the Mega Ramp existed until a few months ago. It isn’t new, however where it’s located is in a new spot because the owner got complaints from neighbors and was forced to tear it down and rebuild at a new spot. It’s owned by a professional golfer named Peter Wilson and is officially called The MegaRanch.

What are the dimensions of this ramp?

The dimensions are the exact same as the X Games Mega Ramp. They haven’t completed the bigger gaps on the jump, but the quarter is twenty-seven feet of awesomeness!

How much bigger is this quarter than the one you were riding at Woodward?
The quarter at Woodward East is on a Mini Mega. I think it’s around twenty-one feet, but don’t quote me. This is six feet higher if I’m right.

In the past year, have you had any communication with anyone at X Games, or is this whole "prove you can ride the quarter" stance just reaching you second hand?
I have never been contacted personally by X Games, I have just heard from a lot of the X Games riders that this is what needs to happen to get in. I guess some people think I have just lived my life riding a resi at Nitro Circus and scared to get my hands dirty.

Did anyone at X Games every say anything to you about the "rebel run" in Texas?

I never heard anything from it and I’m kind of glad because I wouldn’t want to stir the pot the wrong way. Looking back now, it was pretty stupid. But, at the time, I felt like I needed to do something to be noticed because I wasn’t being taken seriously. 

In your recent YouTube video, you discussed "understanding" why you haven't been invited to X Games. This is a pretty big change from your previous stance. What prompted this change in your viewpoint?
The biggest problem I had was thinking that they could just add me into the event. The viewpoint change came because I realized that, in order for me to get in, I would be taking some else’s place. It wouldn’t be fair for that person if someone that didn’t have any footage riding the quarter got selected over them.


 


Ok.... so here's what everyone wants to know... how'd it go in Melbourne?
Considering it was my first legitimate time riding the Mega Ramp on BMX, I think it went pretty good. However, because they only had the forty foot gap running, I was racing the gap and pumping as hard as I could and still couldn’t go as high as I wanted to, but I guess that allowed me to shift my mind and start thinking of tricks I could do at a decent height.

Any major takeaways from your time there?
The biggest takeaway is that the ramp is definitely more scary to look at than ride. Everyone was making me so nervous about riding it. As long as you respect the ramp and work your way up slowly, it’s actually really fun!

How long did it take you to get comfortable on it?

I pedaled in from the landing about ten times and was airing under six foot. As soon as I jumped the gap and aired it, I realized it felt even better than the Mini Mega. I think within twenty airs I was maxed out around fifteen feet.

How many times did you hit the quarter before you were tricking it?
My biggest concern was going as high as I possibly could, but if you count a one footed table as a trick, then it was within twenty hits. The only reason I felt so comfortable so quickly was because once you’re going fast enough, it feels the exact same as the Mini Mega. If you don’t count the table as a trick, after that I had some lunch and decided to try a flair on it because I had flared big quarters on scooter - ten foot - an thought it would be similar. Luckily, it worked because the biggest ramp I had flared on BMX before this was probably six foot.

I know beyond just getting invited, you have your sights set on gold. I'm sure you know that, based on the crazy tricks going down these days, a flair or a one footed table probably aren't going to do that for you. Any thoughts on what your "dream tricks" would be on the quarter.

There’s one trick I’m confident will work now and, if anyone has watched my videos at Woodward East, I’m sure they can guess what this year’s “dream trick” is.         (Editor’s note: I think it’s a frontflip flair, but I’m not certain)

The takeoff of the X Games ramp is obviously quite different than the Nitro takeoff. Do you think you'll have any issues bringing any of your big tricks to the X Games ramp?
I was definitely worried about that until my “rebel run” in 2015, so I guess that was one good thing that came from it. I have also ridden the Woodward West Mega Ramp on scooter and my “Nitro Tricks” worked on it, so my hopes are high.

I'm sure you want to be in both, but which event is more important to you - X Games Minneapolis or X Games Sydney?

Minneapolis is my main goal. It’s the big X Games and the one that I watched back in 2002 on the Ultimate X movie that got me stoked on action sports in the first place.

After this trip to Melbourne, do you think you did enough to formally earn that X Games invite and silence all of the doubters?

To be honest, I really wish I had a videographer out there to film the whole session. I mean, I self-filmed a bit and also had people film a bit on my phone. I just hope X Games sees this as what I did in my first three hour session on the ramp. I can only imagine indoors with a seventy foot gap, no brakes, and an X Games crowd. That’s where it will get crazy.

Do you plan on returning to the ramp in Melbourne for more riding?

Yes. I definitely want to get back there when they finish the bigger gaps so I can do some higher airs!

Assuming you get the invite, what are you going to do to prepare for the actual contest?

I feel like if X Games was tomorrow, I’d be ready. My life has been ten times better since I started having full belief in myself. I feel like it’s the biggest key to being the best you can be. In saying that, I will obviously try to get as many Mega sessions in as I can to be as comfortable as I can be for the contest.

It's no secret that, after how difficult this has been in the first place, you may only get one shot - meaning, if it doesn't go well, they may not have you back. What are you going to do to make sure this doesn't happen?
Putting the pressure on, haha! I haven’t even thought about it, to be honest. I guess they wouldn’t want me back if I got too excited and did a twenty-plus foot air to flat or something. But, I’m confident that isn’t going to happen because I feel so comfortable already on the ramp.

It's clear you want this. You want this invite more than anyone I've ever seen in want one in my time in BMX. I think you deserve it. What are your final thoughts?
Thanks, mate! I’m putting effort into it and I hope it pays off. I’m obviously not doing a gold medal run on my first day on the Mega Ramp and I don’t think anyone really does their gold medal-winning run outside of competition. The risk isn’t worth the reward. However, I just have my fingers crossed that X Games and the BMX community can see my potential on the quarter as well as the gap. If I don’t get in, the world keeps spinning - unless you think like Catfish - and I’ll keep riding and enjoying every second doing what I love for a living.

Credit: Ryan Williams
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