Meet Ryji Masuda, RVCA’S Pint-Sized Prodigy


Photos by Arto Saari

‘A new age is upon us. Skateboarding is returning to its roots and there’s a new breed of shredders that can skate and surf the way it was when it all got started. Ryji is part of that new breed that can rip on both man-made concrete and the forces of mother nature. keep an eye on this kid, he will be pushing the limits of gnar.’ — Arto Saari

Name, age, and location?
Ryji Masuda, 13, and Malibu, California.

Give us some background on these photos Arto took.
Last summer in southwest France, Arto invited me to shoot on the last two days of his stay. The surf in Anglet was kind of a gnarly shore break and was a bit too much for me to do airs or turns, but it was fun. Then we went to skate this DIY called Ramputene in San Sebastian, where the skaters responsible are actual freeway (motorway) builders, and they used the leftover concrete and rainwater to make an incredibly smooth park with amazing features. We also drove out to Bilbao to skate La Kantera skatepark. It was a jampacked day and a half with such an amazing guy.

How long have you been surfing?
As long as I can remember.

How long have you been skating?
Same as above.

Favourite wave and why?
Small day Pipeline/Backdoor. It’s perfect for barrels and airs. I love surfing with my Hawaiian friends out there.

Top 5 surfers of all time?
Dane Reynolds, John John Florence, Andy Irons, Ian Crane, Nathan Fletcher.

Top 5 skaters of all time?
Curren Caples, Greyson Fletcher, Raphael Ueda, Lincoln Ueda, Christian Hosoi.

What’s the best thing that has happened to you as a result of surfing?
I made so many friends around the world and I get to go on trips as an advocate for RVCA.

What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?
A Swiss surfer, Adam Bonvin, built a board riding heaven in his hometown of Canton du Valais. There is a wave garden at Alaïa Bay, and an indoor and outdoor skatepark with an airbag, pump track, and an acrobatic trampoline zone up the hill at Alaïa Chalet. In the mountains, there is Alaïa Park with a halfpipe and kickers during the snow season. He also has a MasterCraft wake surfing place at the lake, too.

An evil wizard tells you that you can only have one: surfing or the internet. Which do you choose and why?
Definitely surfing, because I’d rather hang with my friends and go surfing in person than chat with them online or surf the net.

What are the best and worst things about being 13 years old in 2022?
The best is that now I can go surf and skate wherever I want, without wearing a mask. The worst is that we are living in a world with the threat of World War III.

Are you a good older brother or a lame one?
I think I’m a pretty good one, but I hope my sister agrees.

A significantly more evil wizard than the last wizard tells you that you have to choose between surfing or skateboarding—you can’t have both. Which do you choose?
I choose surfing because I could try and surf like how I skateboard.

But then what if the wizard said you can keep doing both but your little sister has to be turned into a frog? Now what do you do?
I’d choose to keep my sister as is because my human sister is as much as I can handle.

 

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You ride for Team Hosoi. Do you know how rad that is, or is Christian just another older skater dude to you?
Team Hosoi is like a big family. Christian really helps each of his riders to develop their individual style, which is super rad. The team sessions together all the time too.

Frontside or backside?
Frontside.

Lefts or rights?
Rights.

Burritos or burgers?
Burgers.

Carrots or motorcycles?
Cars.

What’s up next for Ryji Masuda?
Slight moustache and a deeper voice? Otherwise riding with friends when and wherever possible.

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