Zion Wright Duels His Manager in a Game of SKATE

After a heated game of one-on-one, Zion's manager Ryan Clements dishes out the dirt on Mr. Wright.
By Theo Lewitt

If you've seen all three episodes of "Let's Get it Wright," you know that Zion Wright certainly doesn't lack support. His contagious personality and talent on the bolts makes him an easy friend in the world of skateboarding. At 17, he's got an inner circle that's pushed him to where he is now, and continues to oversee his trajectory both as a skater and as a young man at large. Simply put, his corner is stacked.

One man in particular has been right alongside Wright for years. Enter Ryan Clements, founder of The Boardr. Clements has officially managed Wright's career for the last year or so but has, in some form or another, been involved in Wright's life as a skateboarder for far longer. He first met Wright during an amateur event at the Skatepark of Tampa. Mustafa, Wright's father, had quit his job that day and taken his son to the park to compete. After a full day of cheering on his son with unparalleled spirit, Clements deemed Mustafa the event's sideline MVP — an honor rewarded with a travel voucher left over from a previous contest. 

Long story short, from that day on, Clements would be seeing a lot more from the father son duo, which lead to a growing involvement in Wright's development. We recently set up a friendly game of SKATE between the two (press play above), and chatted with Clements right after to dig up some dirt on Mr. Wright. Keep reading for five things you didn't know about the Jupiter Beach phenom.

5 things you didn't know about Zion Wright: 

Zion Wright, Jupiter Inlet © Red Bull

1. Zion loses more phones than anyone

Ryan Clements: If he wasn’t producing and kicking ass with the best attitude and wasn’t so great to be around, this would be unacceptable. But the fact that he’s just killing it in so many ways makes it almost comical. I was with him after he won the Phoenix Am. We went to a restaurant for dinner — he could’ve gone anywhere, but he wanted to go to this Asian buffet. I thought it was going to be super nice … we get there and it’s all you can eat for $8 a person. Hundreds of people in line and they’re making food by the 5-gallon bucket. He put his phone down while he was getting food and someone swiped it. That was in April, and he’s for sure done it a couple times since then. 

Watch Episode 1:

2. Zion doesn’t have an ID, only a passport

I guess it has something to do with driving — when I was a kid all I cared about was getting my license and a car, but these kids are traveling the world, so whaddya need a car for? The mindset of a normal 17-year-old that’s trying to take girls out on Friday night doesn't really apply here. For Wright, he's being flown around the world (with his passport) to incredible skate spots, so he’s already surpassed those normal teenage goals. In his mind, it's like, "Why would I need an ID?"

Watch Episode 2:

3. Zion once broke his femur

I see kids break bones skating all the time; it's normal. Quite often they won’t come back to skating, or they’ll be a bit spooked and hesitant. With Wright, after breaking something as serious as his femur, he came back like nothing happened. When I saw him for the first time after it healed, it had been a year and I couldn't believe it'd actually happened. He was even more powerful — he didn’t miss a beat, and came back even stronger. 

4. Wright can do every trick second try

When you get that good, you can kind of do everything second try. Once you reach a level of confidence and skill, it's all just mental. Wright is really starting to tie all of that together, even just in the last couple years. During this year's 2016 Tampa Am, I talked to him before the event to see if he needed any advice, and he's like, "I got this — I know exactly what I’m going to do." That wasn't the case in the past. It's pure confidence in his skill.

Watch Episode 3:

5. Wright's father is very spiritual

After the Tampa Am in 2015, Mustafa (Zion's dad) stayed at my house. As the sun was setting, he wanted to go in the backyard and meditate, and he asked me to join. Not really my thing, but I respect it, so I agreed to do it. We go back into my yard, which is really peaceful — old Florida vibes with a river, lots of trees. It’s really tranquil. He lays out this blanket and lights cow dung on fire in this tiny fire pit he had brought with him. He’s said, "This is what I want you to do: take all your thoughts, goals and anything you want to accomplish and throw them into the fire." So, I went with it, full on, threw all my goals, plans for Zion and everything I want to achieve with him into the fire with Mustafa.

Three months later, shit just took off with Zion: Red Bull contract, Nike contract, Real was going to put him on the team ... all this intense shit right away that they didn’t see coming. His dad freaked out, screaming, "What did you put in the fire?! What did you put in the fire?! This is crazy!"

In case you missed "Let's Get It Wright," peep all three episodes above.

 

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