We're pleased to welcome Ryland Bell to the Patagonia Ambassador lineup. Ryland is a snowboarder who has spent all the summers of his life on boats in the Alaskan village of Elfin Cove (population 20), where his parents fish commercially. He can't think of a winter growing up when he wasn't riding on sleds, skis, inner tubes or whatever could slide downhill, preferably fast. When Ryland was first strapped into a snowboard at age 12 though, he knew he had found it. The 25-year-old rider now spends winter in Lake Tahoe's Squaw Valley and spring in Haines, Alaska. We caught up with him to find out more about what it was like growing up on a boat in Alaska - not to mention riding some of the steepest, most remote lines being ridden in North America today, some of which were featured in the film Deeper.
TCL: What stands out the most about your life growing up in Alaska?
Ryland: The amount of wilderness, and wildlife.
TCL: What's your favorite and least favorite thing about life as a fisherman?
Ryland: Favorite thing, being on the water, and the amazing views. Least favorite thing, getting up at 3 in the morning for weeks on end.
[All photos: Abe Blair, courtesy Ryland Bell collection]