Skating on a Gammy Ankle


Photos and words by Cameron Markin

For someone barely out of his teens Ryder Lawson’s been in the skateboarding public eye for a really long time.

We caught up with the Cronulla local to find out what he’s been up to lately, and how he’s been dealing with the occupational hazard of skating with a lingering injury.

Morning Ryder. How’ve you been lately, honestly? Between injuries and illness you haven’t been able to join us in the streets as much as you’d like to…

Hey mate, I’ve been real good. After tearing an ankle ligament in February I’m finally nearing the end of the road to recovery. I’ve been spending a little more time in the skateparks than the streets, focusing on easing my way back into the swing of things and getting full ankle movement back before jumping down anything too large. Definitely still attempting to keep my footage to a standard that I’m happy with though.

On the bright side, you’ve got some pretty amazing support helping you on the road to a hundred percent. What’s the training/rehab program you visit and what have they got you doing?

Twice weekly I’ve been driving out to Olympic Park to visit Precision Athletica, an elite level rehabilitation centre. It has been working wonders for the ankle. We run through a mix of physiotherapy, muscle training and building exercises, while also making sure my body is twisting and turning in all the right ways. They have a dietician, which has really helped me wrap my head around foodwhich is not of the fast variety. Until getting stuck into this program I was clueless. It’s the support I’ve needed while waiting out this pain in the ass recovery time.

How do you keep busy while being injured and still try to skate to your full potential?

It’s tough, some days are definitely better than others pain/flexibility wise. Sometimes it’s better to fight a little pain than sitting at home all day resting thoughfor the brain sake, not just physically. I tape it up before every skate. Tight enough so that if I do manage to randomly roll my ankle it restricts it from doing any damage. It limits what I can do on a board, but I’d like to think I’ve been super productive considering how long I’ve been dealing with it. I’ve got a bunch of footage stacked and have done alright in a few contests over the recovery period. Couldn’t ask for too much moreexcept maybe a new ankle.

Growing up who influenced your skating and why?

Shane O’Neill was for sure an influence on me. I would always watch James James’ clips of him while he was younger, I got sucked into the snapback phase through this, as well as growing to admire 360 shuv-its (maybe a little too much). Internationally I’d say Sheckler, I can recall watching his Almost Round Three part on repeat all the time; he was someone I looked up to. That song was forever stuck in my head, “Why Can’t I Be you”. Pretty ironic (laughs). I’m still growing up though and the list is constantly changing, I skate nothing like my favourite dudes: KB (Kevin Bradley), Nak (Nakel Smith), Miles (Silvas), Tyshawn (Jones). They’re all super sick. Chima has been a favourite since a young age toohuge inspiration.

2020 Tokyo thoughts, see ya on the podium?

If the opportunity presents itself, why not? I’m sure anybody would have a hard time turning something like that down. The torch would be firing, it’d be so lit.

Speaking of the future, where do you see yourself in five years?

Enjoying myself, hopefully travelling the world with my board under my feet. Regardless, the board will be under the feet.

What tricks are you hoping are put to bed within five years?

Any technical ledge trick, I can’t seem to do any of them haha.

After our ‘Free Day in Paradise’ when the 5-0 rolled up? Will you respond to allegations that you are in fact a snitch?

I guess it was just perfect timing on my behalf. I had to bail to Olympic Park for physio so I climbed the stairs and drove up the road. I saw a couple dressed in suits, I thought they were just rich property owners from somewhere on the street or something, turns out they were the undercover police. No snitches ’round here, I’d say it was a bit of good karma from spending the day draining the pool only to bail before giving her a ride.

Who is Jack Paterson?

I dunno.

Check out Cameron’s work on Instagram @itsapirateslife and Ryder Lawson @ryderlawson

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