LOOKBACK #6: Ryan Jacklone is The Riggler
“Then I heard from Jose that Ryan’s a little bitter toward skating; he’s actually angry at skating I guess right now, because a lot of people don’t really remember him. And that’s our fault, you know?” — Billy O’Neill in ONE #16
Ryan Jacklone from “It’s All Good”
Interview for ESPN
Ryan Jacklone’s skating was always fluid; nothing about it seemed forced. Watching his skating, you can see that his style evolved from spending long days on blades cruising through traffic, dodging taxi cabs, and weaving in and out of pedestrians on the busy sidewalks of NYC, improvising along the way. We remember the huge airs, corkscrew spins, misty flips (which he is credited with inventing or being the first to bring from a snowboard to blades), and his swagger. When people say “rollerblading needs more personality” they might as well say “rollerblading needs Ryan Jacklone.”
“Style is the most important factor in anything you do. Style is what carries you through life. You need style in the way you dress, the way you chill, the way you skate — basically, the way you got your thing going. You gotta finesse it.” — Ryan Jacklone
1995 X-Games run
I believe Ryan is remembered more for his real street skating, but he did win contests, and was ASA Street Champion in 1995. The focus at the time on competing and winning from his sponsors led to him becoming burnt out on the industry.
“There’s nothing left for me in skating. I see a lame industry surrounded by lame people. I really feel like I don’t fit in. I don’t have anything in common with anybody. I feel alienated by the industry, but I still love skating; I love to skate.”
“The biggest problem with rollerblading is the pressure. All of a sudden, if you don’t win, they freak out. Like, I used to win, leave me alone. I lived. You can’t expect me to be around forever. Relax and let me do my thing. Instead they (K2) fired me.”
The interview below was in a 1999 issue of Box Magazine. (I think it was #23, but I don’t have it in front of me so I’m not sure. Chiaki Ito is on the cover.) By this point Ryan Jacklone had already disappeared from the rollerblading world. He speaks with Paul Malina about what he had been up to, and his problems with the rollerblading industry. I don’t think a lot of people were ready to hear a lot of the things he had to say in 1999, but there was a lot of truth in his words.
“Certain companies are stupid. They don’t understand what they can do to you. Everybody fucks everybody over and nobody does anything about it. I just went away.”
“There are about 60 dedicated people in rollerblading, and that’s how big it’s going to stay. People who skate need to run the companies.”
(The competition issues section starts at 14:39, or tune in early at 14:10 to see Tim Ward fight Paul Malina.)
“This is street competition? There is no coping in New York.”
The video “Perspectives” was the last time the Riggler appeared in anything, at least to my knowledge. In the “competition issues” section he watches and gives commentary on the Gravity Games, from the course, with another NYC O.G., Med Abrous. Med was one of the original members of the Fr team in 1993 and an early city-style innovator. In this age of dudes sporting fedora hats, Med was probably the first.
Rollerblading never forgot Ryan Jacklone. You can find traces of Ryan Jacklone in skaters like Billy O’Neill, Mike Johnson, Brian Aragon — even Joey Chase has that outwardly confident attitude that Jeff Frederick and Rob Thompson had, along with an entire generation of kids who grew up skating on the east coast in the ’90s.
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It’s very true, I started blading in 2000 and know nothing about the dude besides his name. Watching his runs from the x games is pretty cool. Dope to see that they were already doing fakie 7 and forward 7’s back then.
Awesome post, brings me back and it shows how bad the industry had gotten years ago.
Thank you for this.
Seems like yesterday!
the man is a hero, a true timeless legend.
I kicked it briefly with Ryan Jacklone when I was in NYC in 2004 for the IMYTA. Myself, Chris Mitchell, and Jason Hines were out on the town with none other than Rawlinson Rivera.
I even have footage of the encounter. It’s on an unreleased ‘Behind the Scenes’ bonus DVD (covering the entire 2004 IMYTA travels) that was to come with the IMYTA 11 DVD, but it didn’t happen.
Rawls and The Riggler had the ins at all the big NYC night spots, and from what I remember, Ryan was actually putting on parties in NYC for nightlife/business/celebrity big wigs.
Regardless, an iconic personality whose impact is obviously still felt today.
Favorite trick: “The Houston Twist.” (Named after his beloved Houston Rockets basketball team) A fakie 720 spin over a launch box.
-From an old INLINE or Inline Skater Magazine.
Jacklone is the truth.
Heads up on where he is nowadays
if you dont know who ryan is check this out… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNFLNgiDcwk
DUDE THIS ARTICLE IS CLASSIC. I USE TO SKATE FOR K2 WITH THIS GUY AND HE WAS DEFINITELY AN INSPIRATION. I REALLY THINK YOU SHOULD DO MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS SO THE KIDS TODAY WILL KNOW MORE ABOUT THE ROOTS OF ROLLERBLADING. THE PROBLEM WITH TODAY IS KIDS DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHO PEOPLE LIKE RYAN JACKLONE, SHAWN ROBERTSON, DAVE ORTEGA, MATT MANTZ, AND MYSELF(WESTON KRAMER) ARE BECAUSE NOBODY REPORTS ANYTHING ON ANY OF US ANYMORE. BUT I REALLY THINK IT’S COOL THAT YOU GUYS ARE REALIZING THIS AND DOING ARTICLES LIKE THIS. THUMBS UP FROM ME AND KEEP THESE ARTICLES ROLLING!
p.s. Perspectives is the best rollerblading video ever.
holy crap weston kramer! i remember that name, you were on FR yeh? and you won a fairly big comp back in the day?
def need more articles like this!!
I still consider Ryan Jacklone to have one of the best styles of all time! There are others on that list of course, but Ryan had attitude too, I guess you would call it swagger. Us old-schoolers will ALWAYS remember you(and that goes for anyone who has had an impact on the sport we love), and now the kids can be enlightened as well! Good job ONE!
ASA world champ right chea…. You still skate Weston?
I thought this was an interview… dammit Ben Rogers, good article, but an interview with him would have been greatly appreciated. The first time I saw the Riggler was on that MTV special about aggressive inline skating in NYC and skateboarding as well, that was so proper. It had stair bashes and that famous kinked C rail that someone busts their shin open on. And Rawlinson Riviera…
I wanted to do an interview with Ryan. I tried to get in touch with him through Jose Disla, but never heard back from them. Hopefully in the future we can do an interview and another piece. I wanted to include a few other video sections, but wasn’t able to get them in time.
ace coverage on this one loved it
basically this guy is the reason i started skating.
fk yea! know your roots;)
this guy was always my favourite blader
in fact I painted that lui kang air in high school. Im now 29 yrs old LOL
Wasn’t Med Abrous the inventor of the med spin? I remember hearing something like that’s just how he learned to spin initially… cos he couldn’t throw a 5 properly or something.
Tom, I believe you are correct. The name makes sense with that explanation and that was the type of tricks he used to throw.
Loved this. Love the legends. Thank you ONE!
Take it from someone who knew him when – he was the best!!
It’s dope that you did suck an sick article on Ryan, I remember seeing him on VG3 doing that 720 in NYC. It’s nice to hear that the old schoolers like Dawn and Weston still keeping an eye on the sport. The true skaters will never forget where the sport started and who the original innovators were.
What is that deleted video? the one where you say at 14:10 Tim Ward gets in a fight. thanks.
I see me blunt smoking and drinking the. Skating like they use to in videos . I’ve been skating for twenty years works for n.i.s.s tour till they went under . It is so sad no one really knows the history of the sport or the legends like aj Jackson and Dave Ortega nick riggle mo sanders Marco hintz Matty mantz
Oh, David, I was there….. Talk about NISS, try going back to Slant 6, the corporation spearheaded by Mark Shays (which I did most of the financial underwriting of) used to create the rules for the inline, skateboard and BMX segments of the first X-Games. I skated, but at 17, was more involved with much of the back end of the independent skate world…. Stapling Senate grind plates into plastic bags for sale, financing portions of NISS and Slant 6, both integral in the development and legitimization of the sport, housing skaters from Japan and New Zealand so they could compete for the summers in LA (the infamous pimps & hos party), worked with Box, Daily Bread, was in Big Brother….. I know the history of which you speak. Good times.
I always thought this guy was arrogant but I also thought his style was dope! It’s cool to hear from old bladers such as Jacklone. Now it is a bit easier to know what they are up to on Facebook, Instagram, and all those social networks. I just found out that many of them keep shredding and have very different lives like the ones they used to have. For instance, Matt Lindemuth is a brewer now! Josh Petty works on bikes, Kevin Guillan works for Kryptonics, and so on…
It’s is cool to see what your idols are doing now after almost 20 years. I still roll and I still do it like I used to 16 years ago, and all the legends like Jacklone are still my inspiration to blade at least once a week.
Dario from Quito, Ecuador.
you should see him on a snowboard
The Riggler was a huge inspiration for me back when I was skating heavy as a teenager. I’m from NJ and would often skate some of the Riggler spots in nyc as well, this was cica 1995-98 or so. Well in those days my favorite skater hands down was Jacklone. I also was skating K2 skates & FR wheels at that time and also bitting his style heavy when bitch slapping my own mysty flips. When I was about 15 I had a brief chance to meet the Riggler in person even. It was during the X games out in Cali and it was the time he was still recovering from a knee surgery. Me being from NJ and being out to visit family in Cali was wearing the infomous FR wheels “your wheels suck t shirt, when Jacklone came over to sign autographs for a crowd of people he says “wow man I gotta sign the dudes shirt with the FR t shirt on. I thought it was cool as hell that he did that and that type of Loyalty and energy was projected into his skating. He is a skater that should never be forgotten. Hope someone gets something out of my story…
Ryan was the man. I still have the Mr. Mooseknuckle video that he had an awesome part in.
If my memory serves me correct, I am pretty sure he basically invented the misty flip.
My Ryan story… I was on a school trip to NYC when I was in high school, probably ’98 – ’99. Our group was walking somewhere, I was bored out of my mind, but I happened to be rocking a Senate t-shirt. Then out of the blue I hear some guy say, “Yo! FR bro, not Senate!” I looked up with an angry stare, wondering who would be calling me out like that, and of course it’s none other than Ryan Jacklone!
All I could muster was a confused… “You…. your Ryan Jacklone.” I kept following my group and he disappeared down the busy street before I could realize what just happened. Probably the only time I’ve ever felt star struck and it was because of this dude, true legend.
He was walking with some chick, so I like to think that me recognizing him scored him some celebrity points with her and helped him seal the deal.