Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

Conversation With: Zion Wright Rolling Through the Playground

Photos: Andeaux Borunda II

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:

Conversation With: Susan Plus the premiere of their new video, “Somebody New”

Susan is a band, and we’ve been in love with them ever since they let us use their song “Windows Down” in Episode 1 of 4 Cities with Ozzie Wright (by the way, watch that). Comprised of Jessica Owen on guitar, Beth B on bass and Katie Fern on drums, Susan mixes elements of pop…

conversation with yung

Conversation With: Yung Because we’re obsessed with this band

We told you to listen to Yung a couple months ago, and not only are we taking our own advice, but we’re still basically obsessed with them. Their debut album, A Youthful Dream, has been dominating our eardrums since we first hit that play button. So read our interview with the band below, and keep…

Conversation With: Audacity Plus the World Premiere of their new video for “Not Like You”

Orange County’s staple garage-punk band Audacity is pounding on your door with another ruckus album, and you’re bound to fall in pop-punk-love with it. If you haven’t had the privilege of growing up with Audacity records through your punk rock teen years, or had the chance to get high off their endless energy at one…

kera and the lesbians hood on

Conversation With: Kera and the Lesbians Elvis, that name and their new record

Kera Armendariz, the frontman and lead singer of Kera and the Lesbians, is, and ignore my cheesy cliché, in it to win it. “I see myself as a longevity artist,” she says with calm confidence. She’s been writing and playing music since she was young, when she discovered what would become a lifelong love for…

what youth conversation with robbie simon

Conversation With: Robbie Simon “If you’re happy where you are, every step along the way was right.”

Robbie Simon, the Los Angeles-based artist, is modest when speaking about his talent. “If you would’ve told me even three years ago that I would be having a show of paintings, I wouldn’t have believed you.” He’s most recognizable as the designer for Allah-las posters and flyers and merchandise, essentially their contributing art director. But…

what youth issue 13 william strobeck

Conversation With: William Strobeck Filmmaker behind Supreme’s Cherry, Joy Ride and more

William Strobeck is a filmmaker. And he’s the kind we need. A creative mind so rooted in the world he documents that he cannot help but document it exactly the way it is. With an attention and attraction toward the colorful world it exists in. Unfortunately, this is a rare thing. He wants you to…

what youth night beats music

Conversation With: Night Beats “We’re just playing music that makes us feel good”

Danny Lee Blackwell, singer and guitarist of the soul/psych band Night Beats, chooses his words wisely. He speaks softly, humbly, almost like a musician who’s been asked the same question one too many times. And with good reason. The band he formed with drummer James Traeger back in 2009 has been incredibly busy lately, and…

Conversation With: Billy Changer Salty mutant pop from the bassist of Corners

We’re big fans of the dudes over at Crap Eyewear. They make great shades, sponsor our parties like a bunch of bosses and have great taste in music, which, for me, is a major turn on. So when Brand Manager Tony Accosta sent me Billy Changer’s album, I couldn’t wait to swallow the jams. Billy…

Death Valley Girls, Music, Conversation With

Conversation With: Death Valley Girls “Rock ‘n’ roll is how you say I love you.”

Death Valley Girls look like they moonlight as a biker gang and sound like a combination of riot grrrl attitude mixed with Link Wray fuzz appeal. If it weren’t for their contagious smiles and supernatural predilections, I probably would’ve been too scared to even talk to them. Just last year, the band – currently Bonnie…

Conversation with: Javier Mendizabal Catching up with European skate royalty

Javier Mendizabal is European skate royalty. He’s been appearing in Cliché and Quiksilver ads since the beginning, and we recently had the pleasure of traveling with him during the filming of our short film Postcard Oregon. He’s a wealth of knowledge and we wanted to share just how legit the man is. WHAT YOUTH: Javi!…

Conversation with: Meatbodies On Sabbath, Opera, Martinis and more with a good rock band

 Chad Ubovich has been a musician almost all of his life. He grew up surrounded by instruments – his father was a music teacher – and by the end of high school, had battled in Battle of the Bands and found his way in the LA music scene. He’s toured with Mikal Cronin, Charlie and…

what youth conversation with jamie brisick

Conversation with: Jamie Brisick Author of Becoming Westerly talks about his new book on transgender surfer Westerly Windina

I’ve always loved Jamie Brisick. For many reasons, but one important reason being that along with Derek Hynd and us, he considered surfing to be one of the most conservative, uptight and close-minded of all the sports. This should sound baffling, because surfing was born of rebellion and outcasts and characters, but it’s changed.  A good…

Sign up for letters from What Youth

By enabling this page, you are acknowledging and accepting our privacy terms and conditions.