Zion Wright knows what’s up. The 20-year-old is no stranger to traveling abroad and searching for spots to stack some clips, especially around Los Angeles’ diverse terrain. Between skitching cars, getting slingshotted into traffic and doing back threes up and down Melrose, Zion, and Alex Midler, linked up with some friends from the night before to grab some lunch. After this afternoon escapade, we rolled around a bit, ate Chick-Fil-A and hung out to discuss some of his past, surfing, the Olympics, You Good, and other projects on the horizon for Z. – What Youth
WHAT YOUTH: How was your New Years?
ZION WRIGHT: It was good dude, super mellow. With all the boys we kept it together. It wasn’t too hectic.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Los Angeles?
Just about everything you can get into from the during the day to the night. There’s a lot of homies and places to skate for variety throughout LA, and at night there is always something going on. It’s a big playground. You have to know how to use the playground, some people abuse the playground.
Did you have any mentors that showed you how to play?
This one kid William Kimbal did showed me the ropes and also how to surf.
That’s how you were introduced to surfing?
My dad grew up with William’s sister in LA doing ballet. He was like, ‘We gotta get him in the water.’ Then I went to a surf camp and was hooked on it from there. I remember when I caught my first wave; I was in the water all day. Our instructor was trying to push me into waves and I was like, “No, no, no.” I kept telling her to stop, they were whistling everyone to come in. She was like, ‘I am pushing you in, I don’t care… you’re going.’ Boom, she pushed me in, I went right, stood up and took it all the way to the beach and was freaking out. So I went back out there and got one more.
Sick, where was it?
It was in Jupiter, Florida.
“You have to know how to use the playground, some people abuse the playground.”
Growing up in Jupiter, where did you get your first board?
The first deck I got for Christmas was a little Walmart set up. The first time I ever got a complete board was at the skate shop Maverick which was the local shop in our town of Jupiter. We went there every day, then they gave my brother and me a set up. It was a pink Maverick board, with Krux and Autobahn wheels. That’s when I really remember getting my first set up.
Do you and your brother still skate a bit?
Yeah, he was just out here and we got to shred. Once he moved to Colorado he got back into it.
What was the first thing you ever jumped down?
Dude it’s crazy, obviously growing up I didn’t start street skating that early but the first memorable thing I remember doing was setting up some boxes and doing tail drops off it into the driveway. I had this little rail that was built with PVC pipe and it was a little ride-on-rail. I was able to set it at the end of the garage and ride on and grind. That was the first time I really got a feel for grinding and jumping off stuff was all at my house.
What do you think about skateboarding in the Olympics?
It’s going to be sick and it’s also going to change a lot of people’s lives.
Do you have your eyes on it?
Yeah for sure, it would be sick to represent the U.S. in the first-ever Olympics with skateboarding. Just go with the flow and have fun.
Favorite thing for lunch?
Probably a sub. To be honest I don’t eat too much throughout the day. Like if I wake up and if I don’t have any energy I’ll eat a good breakfast. Normally I’ll go throughout the day with one or two meals… it’s kinda hectic.
You said you went snowboarding, how was it?
We went to Keystone Resort, I was with Nike so our crew was [Eric] Koston, Ishod [Wair], Kevin [Terpening], Nicole [Hause], and [Sean] Malto. It was epic.
Any upcoming trips?
I’m about to go to Hawaii for the first time. So I’ll be able to check that one-off.
What would be the dream trip and crew?
Indo would be sick with Shane Borland, Wil Reid, Tyler Gunter, Midler, Nolan Rapoza, Dylan Hord, Andrew Jacobson, and Matt Tromberg. All the boys and maybe some other people too.
Where is one place in the world you would like to go skate?
Probably China, there’s a lot to skate out there. People don’t go out because it’s hella far.
You and Alex [Midler] go back to the Woodward days, how was putting together You Good?
It was great to have Redbull provide the opportunity to do a project like this and have everyone involved. Being able to travel with Alex, Jamie [Foy], Ira [Ingram] and Tom [Curran] we all had plenty of good times on the road. We’re almost at three million views.
What other projects are in the works?
It would be sick to do a Spitfire and Thunder part in the near future. But right now, we got our friend Devante working on a video called God Speed so we’ve been working on that a bunch lately with the boys getting out and having fun. Pretty much keep doing what I have been doing.
For more of Zion check out the time we hung a bit out in Venice: