Ten years ago I was lucky enough to get put on 686. I was in Big Bear Lakes filming for Sundays in the Park, riding around hanging and Will Redd approached me and asked me to join the team. He told me about this local Bear Mountain grom, Ryan Tarbell. He must have been 14 at the time (I was 24). Since that day, Ryan has never strayed from his path of destruction. In an industry where people evolve style and change groups, Ryan has stayed the course. When he came up to Mt. Baker with me he was in heaven. The massive jumps did not scare Ryan; he stepped up and sent it. While Big Bear is where he has honed his skills, lapping the park doesn't define his riding; he transitions easily to other types of terrain. In the streets, Ryan's style has evolved, yet once again, never changed. He makes everything look effortless, from simple ollies to tech combos and crushes monster features in the urban environment with epic style. Ryan has had amazing influences like Chris Bradshaw and Lucas Magoon to help shape him into the snowboarder he has become. These individuals, along with his family and friends make Ryan the person he is. I am insanely proud of the rider that Ryan Tarbell has become over the years and I'm looking forward to strapping up again with him, stomping and smiling the whole time. Thanks for always being you and staying the course, G! Welcome to the 686 Pro Team.
– Patrick McCarthy
What's your name and where are you from?
Ryan Tarbell. Big Bear Lake, CA, represent.
What was it like filming for 686 Seconds?
Filming for 686 Seconds was an amazing time! We got to make it out to some dope cities and it was a super fun crew to be around and film with for the season. It was a lot of fun working with Ian Post! Ian is always easy to work with; it's always a good vibe when filming with him, so I liked the way it worked out.
What was your favorite trip this year while making the movie?
I would have to say Quebec City, Canada was my favorite spot this season. It was my first time ever there, so it was a dope place to get to experience.
How many days did you get to ride at home at Bear Mountain last season?
I don’t know exactly how many times, but I went up every day that I could when I was around town. When I was not filming, I would hit the resort as much as possible with the homies.
Who are your favorite riders to go out and film with?
Mostly all the homies, but my two favorites to always have around are Chris Bradshaw and Lucas Magoon!
Growing up riding at Bear, who are the riders that influence your style?
All of my homies I grew up with have a huge influence in my style of snowboarding, but a few people that really caught my eye at Bear growing up were my brother, Bradshaw and Johnny Miller.
What do you think it takes to film a sick part?
To love snowboarding and to just get up and go film it. I’d also say it takes a lot of shoveling, time and dedication. You have to put a solid crew together and just go out and make it happen.
OK, let's discuss the infamous crash clip. Who was on the look out when you smashed into that car?
Nobody was really. We were at a spot that was tucked back in a parking lot at a school where there wasn’t any Main Street traffic. A car just happened to pull into the landing in the parking lot at the same time I was being winched into the stairset, coming into the parking lot from a football field above. By the time anyone had noticed the car and yelled out, "Car!" it was too late to stop so I just went with it and held on for my life! It was a freak accident!
Do you remember what kind of car it was?
I think it was a Nissan.
Describe exactly what happened when you were ollieing the stairs when the car pulled into the landing. At what moment did you notice the car?
Well when everyone yelled, "Car!" and it was to late to stop I just went with it because I would have ate shit if I tried to stop by then. As soon as I popped, I noticed the car out of the corner of my right eye. I didn’t know what to think. In midair it felt like I could possibly land on top of the car. Then as I started to fall towards the landing, I realized the car was further away so I tried as much as possible to just land on my feet so I could go with whatever was going to happen. Once I knew I was on my feet and riding away, I turned my back because I didn’t want to go through the window face-first or get my feet caught under the car at the same time, so I used my back to try and prevent anything really bad from happening. It turned out that it couldn’t of happened in any better way for the situation it was.
What exactly does it feel like to t-bone a car on a snowboard?
Imagine the feeling you get while being in the car while it’s happening. It’s that same feeling but ten times worse. Basically imagine t-boning a car, but you are the car. That’s about how it feels, not good at all!
What happened after you collided with the car? Were you knocked out? Just dizzy? Did the driver get out? Were they nice or were they pissed?
I didn’t know what to feel or think. All I knew was that my eyes were open and that I could still breath. The driver got out and it was a young French Canadian girl around my age and she freaked out in French, so I had no idea what she was saying. Luckily she had a friend with her to calm her down and understand what was going on or else it would have been a shitshow.
You left a sizable dent in the car, do you think the specific type of car it was made hitting it better than say, hitting a Volvo or a Tundra or something like that?
Oh yeah! That’s all that I could think of after it happened. Thank God it was a small car and not a big truck or else that thing would have taken me.
How do you psych yourself up to drop in again after a crash like that?
I tried to just forget about it and realize that shit will always happen whether it’s that crazy or not. I was just happy to be alive and be able to strap into a snowboard still.
Did that car crash put you out for a while?
Yeah it did. I was out for the end of January and the whole month of February.
Did you have any idea that you were going to turn pro at the Los Angeles premiere of 686 Seconds?
No, I had no idea at all. It caught me by surprise which was dope. Hyped that Patrick McCarthy and 686 have my back!
Tell us, in under 686 seconds, why you like being on the 686 team.
686 has just always felt so right to me from the first day I started riding for the company about ten years ago. From the people who work for the company and down to the team, everyone is like one big squad who has always had each other’s back. They have had my back since day one and that’s the shit that matters the most to me!
Finally, any thank yous?
All of my sponsors, 686, Academy, Flux, Electric, Gnarly, and ThirtyTwo Boots. All of my family and friends, and anyone else who has had my back along the way.