ATHLEISURE MAG: When we grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, we remember that after school, even though we didn’t skateboard, but we had friends that did. You could see how fun it was. Living here in NY, you see it all the time from a transportation perspective or just people being out having a good time! How were you introduced to the sport?
HEIMANA REYNOLDS: Well, I’m born and raised in Hawaii right? I mean, my state is known as the surfing capital of the world! Originally, my dad he was born and raised as the board sports rider from surfing, skating and snowboard riding when he could. At first, at a young age, he introduced me to surfing. From there, I was very young like 4 or 5 years old and at that age, there are so many variables that have to do with surfing – it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s this and that. So I didn’t fall in love with it at that age. When I was 6 or 7, my dad was like, “ok what’s the next best thing? Skateboarding. Let’s try this. He introduced me to skateboarding and I just fell in love with it. He would take me all day, everyday, after school, before school and weekends! It was just history from there you know?
AM: When did you realize you wanted to be an athlete and be a professional skateboarder?
HR: I remember the day that I realized that this was something that I want to be able to do. My very first contest my dad took me to was in California, it’s this contest for all 12 and under skateboarders. He took me out there and I got to meet so many people, I got to compete for the first time and I actually did well for myself even though it was the beginners division! And I actually won a few divisions! I thought, “woah this is cool, this is awesome and I want to be able to do this for the rest of my life!” And hopefully I can! So far so good you know?
AM: You have won so many things from World Championships to being at the X Games and all of these different events. What has that journey been like for you?
HR: Oh my gosh, it’s been amazing! All I can say is that I’m so blessed to be able to travel the world and to meet all of these amazing people and get to do all of this because of skateboarding. Who would have ever thought that I could be traveling the world, I could be competing, I could be winning, I could be making money off of this wooden toy with wheels? You know what I mean? This journey has really been amazing and it’s not done yet! I mean, I’m super excited for Tokyo and it’s going to be the most amazing thing ever.
AM: That is going to be insane! I know you were talking about growing up in Hawaii and you live in California now in San Diego, what’s the skating scene or community like in terms of similarities and differences between where you grew up and where you are now?
HR: Honestly, there are so many similarities and differences. Growing up in Hawaii, I mean the similarities – well the reason why I moved to San Diego is that pretty much it’s the closest thing that’s like being in Hawaii without being in Hawaii. I’m able to still surf and skate every single day. I moved out here mainly because of the skate park and the skate scene out here you know? The cool thing about being out here is that you can stand in a certain area like my house let’s say and point in any direction and I can tell you where the skate park is. I think that is the coolest thing ever because there’s so many skate parks and not only is it about the quantity of skate parks but the quality of skate parks that are out here! Compared to Hawaii, it’s off the charts! Being out here and being able to skate, be at all of these different parks, being able to be out at the entire skateboarding scene out here is honestly the best thing for my skate career.
AM: That’s awesome! What’s an average day like for you when you’re training or doing your tricks? How many hours are you actually on your skateboard?
HR: Haha! Well a normal training day for me would of course be waking up at about 7:15/7:30am, getting out of bed, getting my day started and going straight to the NAKOA Gym where I meet with my personal trainer, Brandon Glade. We run through a bunch of – not so much body-building exercises but building muscle around my joints to prevent injuries. So we do all of those exercises for about an hour. I go home and I get a nice breakfast in me and I go straight to the California Training Facility which is the Olympic Skatepark for us. I go there and my first session will be about usually 3-4 hours just running tricks that I want to work on, trying to learn tricks and hone in on tricks that need work on and I grab some lunch after. Then I go back to the skate park and then I run lines to get my stamina up, to do the tricks that I learned earlier that day or those that I need to work on. Just kind of running my legs together so that’s another 3-4 more hours!
AM: That is definitely a lot! What are the specific workouts that you do to optimize you in your sport as I know you’re focused on building the muscle around joints? Do you have go-to’s that you do?
HR: We’re always changing up a lot of stuff. We do stamina work, we do cardio, we do a lot of agility stuff, landing hard and trying not to land hard on your bones! Also doing lightweight stuff. I don’t know the exact names for everything, but my trainer, he’s awesome! He’s the best in the business in my eyes.
AM: Prior to COVID-19, what was your year like in terms of your competitions just to give people an idea of what your schedule was like and how much you traveled?
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