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Old 07-18-2006, 08:18 AM
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Default INTERVIEW: Paul Noworyta, author of Transplant to Handplant

I met Paul at the 2002 ASA Amateur World Championships. I remember how friendly he was at the contest and after our first practice before the contest I was already hoping he would do well. I was stoked to see him throw down a great run and turn pro.
It�s inspiring to see someone well over a decade older than myself who still loves the sport and has the drive and passion to try turn pro... More inspiring was he did turn pro.

Paul is the kind of pro that the sport lacks. People worry too much about what�s trendy in rollerblading. Paul�s skating is genuine. If you ever want to see a picture perfect Invert look at Paul�s. I�ve seen Paul do a Hip-Hop Invert over the 10� water fall on the ASA travel ramp. Crazy!

At the Gravity Games in Cleveland I remember Paul talking about some kind of surgery he had in Cleveland years before. I had no idea it was as gnarly
as it had been. I�ve been dealing with a lot of injuries this year -- 3 surgeries plus a knee injury. I haven�t skated in months but I feel this book has helped me keep my perspective and my head up. Definitely support your fellow vert skater and pick up a copy of Transplant to Handplant.

You turned pro and released your book, what are your goals now?

I released the book in hopes of inspiring others to pursue their dreams no
matter what obstacles they may face in life. One of my never ending goals is to
motivate and bring out the passion to those who want to turn a seemingly
impossible dream into reality. I plan on working with many great organizations such
as The National Kidney Foundation to promote a healthy and active lifestyle
for those patients facing an uncertain future. Another goal I'm striving for is
to turn this book into a T.V. movie. And if and when that happens, you can
bet I'll be looking for HIGHROLLAZ to be a part of it somehow.

What do you think it will take to get more kids involved in vert skating?

First and foremost every skatepark needs a vert ramp. To leave out such a big
part of the sport is to deny many a great athlete of his or her yet undiscovered talent. Who knows how many Takeshi's or Fabiola's we have out there in this world, but without access to a vert ramp, we may never know. I encourage those without one to speak to your local skatepark manager to find out how to get one in your park. Another way to get more kids involved is for those of us who are already more experienced at skating vert, we should take the time to mentor anyone who shows an interest in the big ramps.
Pro vert skater and fellow HIGHROLLAZ member Elmer Pillon, is famous for having 3 or 4 proteges at the same time. He's been doing it for the past 10 years and has opened the
doors of vert skating to so many who otherwise might have never known the incredible
feelings and passion it instills. One positive thing occurring right now, even though the emphasis is not on inline vert, is how much air time the media is giving to vert riders around the U.S. Television is such a great medium for vert and can reach hundreds of thousands if not millions of kids out there. That alone can make a big difference in the future of vert skating. Let's work hard to get inline back at the major events and back on the airwaves.

You were a skateboarder many years prior to in-line skating.
What made you make the switch?

This is true, inline comes at the end of a long list of vert sports in my life (BMX, Skateboard, Snowboard, Rollerskates, etc ...). As I wrote in my book, I had not been on a skateboard or a vert ramp in 5 years after my operation. The that fateful day at my dad's house, when my ex-girlfriend Susan was flipping through the channels and I caught a glimpse of something very familiar to me, vert skating. It was the finals of inline vert at the first X-Games. Had it been the skateboard vert finals, well .... I may have pursued that path.
But I believe in my heart that I was meant to skate vert on inline skates. Every
once in a while I'll bring out the board (which I keep in my trunk) and ride
some mini or an occasional pool with some of my skate friends. It brings back some good memories.

What pros did you idolize the most in your career and why?

Wow .. there are so many that I've looked up to over the years. Just going
back to my skateboarding days I knew that Tony Hawk was someone special
and I was amazed at the progression he was making in the sport. He's been an
inspiration to so many skaters around the world and has been a great vert
ambassador. When it comes to inline, skaters like Chris Edwards for his innovation and
promotion of the sport, Mike Budnik for his strength and style, Cesar Mora
for his drug free attitude, Matt Lindemuth for his passion, The Yasutoko brothers
fortheir raw talent and humbleness, Fabiola for inspiring so many other women
to skate, Shane Yost for his kindness, and Elmer Pillon for his unconditional
friendship and support over the years. We really do have some great athletes in our sport.

I was amazed that you were in a hip-hop group. Ever see the possibility of
doing something like the Diversity Tour that Chris Edwards did a few years back?

The Diversity Tour was great. And yes, I did throw down a windmill or two
along the way on that tour. Chris Edwards really showed his support and respect
for the Ams like no one else has. I'm all for the Ams as well. And for
someone who spent more than half their career on the Am Circuit, I know their
struggle all too well. If an opportunity presented itself to get involved with
something along those lines, I would really like to be a part of it. I'm open to discussion.

I really liked how you were so stoked on vert from the beginning. What is
it about vert that you loved so much more than park or street?

I talk about this in the book as well. When I laid eyes upon a halfpipe for the first time, I was mesmerized. I can only describe it this way: watching someone ride up a vertical incline, break free of the top, perform an awe-inspiring maneuver, and reenter without killing one's self fascinates me. I don't know if it's the shape of the ramp, the vehicle used to ride on it, the mechanics of the body when doing it, or just simply the tricks performed ...
whatever it is, it's created a passion in my life like no other before or since.
Being the Star Wars fan that I am, I always liken vert skaters to Jedi Knights:
We are far and few in between but those who have the true passion live and
die byour actions on the vert ramp, metaphorically speaking of course. Just for
the record, I have participated in BMX street and skateboard street events in the past as an athlete.

What impact would you like to think of yourself having on the action
sports world?

Just to show that with a true passion for the sport, anything is possible!

How do you feel about the relationship between all the Action Sports?

I'd like to address an unnecessary bias happening in the Action Sports
world today. A bias that's occurring between the athletes of some different
action sports. Mostly at the amateur level. As an athlete who's been lucky enough
to participate in BMX, skateboard, snowboard, and inline competitions, I know first hand about living and breathing each one of those sports. And I can tell you that no matter how many wheels are beneath your feet, two, four or eight, we are all the same people, there is no difference among us. Don't be a fool who's blinded by prejudice. Treat all your fellow Action Sports Athletes with kindness and respect. You may be surprised that you've just made a friend.

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Old 07-18-2006, 10:15 AM
David Schexnayder David Schexnayder is offline
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Haha I like the Star Wars comparison, Nice interview.
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:50 PM
Paul Noworyta Paul Noworyta is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Hurricane Central
Posts: 53

Thanks David!! Anyone interested in getting a copy of the book at the HighRollaz special price should send me an email to T2HBOOK@aol.com. Let me know if you'd like a paperback or hardcover version and your city and state and I'll email you the info ... no obligation. I appreciate the support.
The only book for Pro Skaters:
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:10 AM
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well said Yoda!!!!!!!! lets skate Saturday and Sunday at BP
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:21 AM
mjoebe2 mjoebe2 is offline
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soak up the sun?....ya, you do that while I soak up the vert.

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Old 08-14-2006, 01:30 AM
mjoebe2 mjoebe2 is offline
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i got ideas for it too
soak up the sun?....ya, you do that while I soak up the vert.

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