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From Hometown Hero to X-Games Icon - Ryan Paul Answers Why Contests?

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After a 5th season in a row of annihilating the contest circuit, we caught up with Sessions MFG Pro Ryan Paul and asked him Why Contests?

Ryan Paul's $10,000 trick. Mammoth WCI (West Coast Invitational) from Top Hat Productions on Vimeo.

What is a list of all the contest you’ve won or seen the podium at since you began your career in 2010?

There have been quite a few contests since then. I've done well in the Downtown Throwdown, Hot Dawgs and Handrails, Xgames Street, Vegas ParkFab Rail Jam, Mountain High's Buck off rail jam, Nike Chosen r

ail jam, WCI and probably quite a few that I can't remember right now. 

What was the best contest you have won? Been apart of? One in the same? 

2011 HDHR had a good set up and I'm still stoked on the way I rode at the contest, I think I rode my best and was really on point that day. The funnest rail jam is the Downtown Throwdown. Hands down. The set up is no BS, just good features and the perfect length. You get to ride more than you hike, the walk/run back up is mellow, so you can take lots of runs and the progression of tricks gets crazy! I think those guys have the rail jam format dialed, I can't say enough good things about Snowboy Productions (the guys who put it on) and the Downtown Throwdown. Best event.

Obviously the cash, the notoriety, the travel are all reasons to compete, but why do you continue after years on top to compete in rail jams?

Yeah cash is nice. It is part of the reason I do them, I'm not gonna lie, ha. I think at the end of the day being pushed past my limits and forced to progress to earn that paycheck is way more satisfying than the money. I keep doing rail jams because I like to see what can be done; its cool to progress and see your friends progress their snowboarding in one session; Thats the best part of it for me.

What do you think of rail jams? Are they the same today as the we’re back in the day?

My first rail jams were the Rome Pre Jib and the Midwest Massacre at Buck Hill. Those were both loose format and high energy, playing music and everyone throwing down. The simple format of a set time limit and as many runs as you can take in that time is best. For the most part nothing has changed.

You’re contest kick-off was West Coast Invitational in 2010. Do you prefer the national big-checkers or the local street cred contests more? 

Big-check or Local Street cred doesn't really matter to me. My favorite contests are the ones where I get to ride my snowboard the most. The best contests have no limit on runs (jam format) play good music and have a nice setup!

What can we expect to see from you as the spring turns to summer, and then summer to fall? For your fans, where can we follow your antics?

In two days Im driving my car out west, Surfing all over the Pacific coast with friends until Hood starts up. I'll be at Mount Hood all summer livin` at The Sessions House and riding High Cascade! Then in the Fall who knows! probably surf some more and see where I end up! Life is a journey!


Another Ryan Paul photo series winning an Burton US Qualifiers. 

All photos: Peter Cirilli Photography

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