Olympic skater Wettstein donates personal green ramp to Encinitas skate park

ENCINITAS – Olympic skateboarder Bryce Wettstein asked a few young skateboarders a simple question this week at the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA Skate Park in Encinitas.

“What is your dream?” inquired Wettstein.

Thanks to Wettstein and his family’s recent donation of a hand-built green ramp from their backyard to the Encinitas YMCA, a young aspiring athlete who dreams of becoming a green pro skateboarder can get closer to his goals.

“This ramp can speak so clearly to someone,” Wettstein told The Coast News. “Someone could see their life change forever because of this.”

The 17-year-old regular skateboarder and X-Games bronze medalist is a free spirit with a myriad of creative opportunities, from surfing to songwriting. But maybe no outlet is greater than his love for skateboarding.

And there is nowhere where she feels this love more than the place where she learned to skate. For Wettstein, it was an easy choice to give back to the local skate park.

Bryce Wettstein, 17, of Encinitas, chats with a young skater this week at the Encinitas YMCA Skate Park. Photo by Bill Slane

“If I don’t give, I don’t get a lot,” Wettstein said.

Wettstein’s father, Max, said the homeowners association allowed them to keep the railing in their backyard while his daughter trained for the Tokyo Games last summer, but now they must remove it .

While the ramp is still being reassembled at the Encinitas YMCA skate park, Mike Wilson, director of skatepark transportation, is confident it will be ready soon.

This is not the first time that the park has had a green ramp. Until 2019, the skate park had a ramp used by professionals and amateurs alike and known to skateboarders around the world.

However, the ramp began to be used less when professionals started using their own homemade ramps, according to Wilson.

“We kind of stopped giving him love and then he started to rot,” Wilson said. “And if we were looking to invest some money in it, it would probably cost around $ 30,000 to do it all completely.”

After the removal of the green ramp two years ago, the park built a new mini ramp for a younger population learning to skateboard.

Wettstein enjoys a number of activities ranging from skateboarding and surfing to ukulele.  Photo by Bill Slane
Wettstein enjoys a number of activities ranging from skateboarding and surfing to ukulele. Photo by Bill Slane

Wettstein, who is well aware of what it’s like to grow up skating at Encinitas, is happy to give a new opportunity to a local skater.

“Someone could grow up all their life here dreaming of a green ramp and then one day it’s here,” Wettstein said.

The park wasn’t looking for another green ramp until Wettstein gave her a smaller version of a ramp for the park that she and her family built themselves.

“It’s 10 feet and those green sized ramps really don’t exist anymore,” Wilson said. “It’s not an ordinary green ramp, it’s a mini green ramp and what really is about it is getting kids to learn and getting them started and maybe eventually getting them on a larger green ramp. It’s perfect.”

Wilson is excited about the potential for restarting the green scene in the community, especially with the Olympics slated to include green skating at the 2024 Summer Games.

“I think it’s going to prepare the next generation, put them on green earlier and take them to a high level at a younger age,” Wilson said. “I’m not saying that in 2024 an athlete will be out of here but maybe in 2028, who knows?”

Wettstein spends much of her free time skating in different San Diego County parks, but said she often ends up at the YMCA where she made her debut.

She is well known to young skaters who consider her both an Olympian, a mentor and a skating partner. Wettstein’s welcoming spirit and passion for the sport were in the spotlight this week as she spent time skating with a few amateur skaters, focusing on cheering them on rather than practicing.

When a young skater attempted a trick he was struggling to land, Wettstein shared a few simple words of wisdom.

“We’re never going to endorse anything,” Wettstein said.

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