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Getting to Know: Heimana Reynolds

Getting to Know: Heimana Reynolds

In 2020, skateboarding will debut as an Olympic sport in Tokyo. This Hawaiian hopeful might just be U.S.A.’s best chance at gold. Here, 20-year-old professional skateboarder Heimana Reynolds shows us some of his sickest tricks in our spring/summer Brand That Unites streetwear collection.

Q: First things first, what does your name mean? 

A: Heimana is Tahitian for “power of the haku lei.” The haku lei is a powerful head lei in Tahiti that refers to Jesus’ crown of thorns when he was crucified.

Q: How did you get into skating?

A: My dad was a semi-pro surfer in Hawaii but as a young kid, it was always cold or windy and I wasn’t into it. There’s too many variables with the ocean. When I was six or seven, he introduced me to skating and that was it. I fell in love and never stopped.

Q: Do you get nervous before big competitions?

A: For a big contest like the X Games or something, I get a little nervous before the practice. I look around and I see all hundreds of people just staring at me and I’m like, ‘Whoa, what the heck is going on.” But the, it sounds weird, but I try to be one with my skateboard. Once I stand on my board, get the flow going in the park, I zone in on that and I don’t see anybody else. I don’t hear anybody else, I just see myself and I see my skateboard.

Q: What does skateboarding mean to you?

A: It’s everything to me. It’s my livelihood. Now that it’s in the Olympics, I feel like people are going to recognize the good in skating.

Q: How does skateboarding relate to art? 

A: Skateboarding is its own art form. A painter has his canvas and his paintbrush. Our canvas is the skate park and our paintbrush is the skateboard. We find a skate park and paint our own lines, paint our own tricks, and add our own flair to it.

Q: Talk about some of your goals.

A: My goal is to definitely make the 2020 US Olympic team for skateboarding. They announced the national team already and those people are set to go. I’m on the developmental team, which means I can earn a spot on the US Olympic team, I just have to earn my way doing specific contests throughout 2019 to make enough points to make the team.

 

Q: What’s your favorite trick?

A: A front side invert, which is also known as a frontside hand plant. It’s kinda like my signature trick. I do it in every contest. A lot of people know me for that trick. I actually have a tattoo of it on my leg.

Q: Tell us about the skate school you started.

A: Proper Ride Shop is an indoor skate park for kids in Honolulu. We offer camps, competitions, lessons, and work with kids with disabilities. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall, small, whatever. The school brings together everyone into this strong skate community. It’s awesome.

Q: What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?

A: Just keep going. If you love it, stick with it. This little wooden toy will take you far if you let it.