Over the past couple years, skateboarding has progressed to a level of insanity, being pushed mostly by the up-and-coming youth. Nyjah Huston has been throwing back-lips down handrails since he was 11, Chaz Ortiz makes double flip feebles look effortless, and Tom Schaar recently pulled the first 1080 on a skateboard ever. If you’re thinking, “Who on Earth is Tom Schaar?” that’s normal, because he is 12. Having first set foot on a skateboard at the age of 8, Tyson Bowerbank is a prime example of the up-and-coming. With a resume including Fuel TV, ESPN and a repertoire of high-profile amateur contest finals, Bowerbank has some pretty high credentials. Now, at the age of 18, Bowerbank is a solid, humble skater who just loves being on a skateboard. With a bag of tricks that most kids only have behind an Xbox controller, this baby-faced Sandy native is on a tear of a come-up and shows no signs of slowing down.
Bowerbank has been on a skateboard for just about a decade now, and continues to progress every day. “One day, I started messing with a skateboard at my mom’s friend’s house and, eventually, I got my own. I liked it from the start. I would just ride around in circles at the house,” says Bowerbank. He started entering contests at age 10, competing in the Phoenix Am and making it into the Dew Tour’s amateur Gatorade Free Flow tour when he was 11 years old. Bowerbank is far from being strictly a contest skater, though. “My motivation comes from my friends more than anything,” he says. “Skating with the homies is what pushes me. It’s motivating to see one of your friends stomp something tight, and it makes me want to stomp something right back.” This mentality really showed as I witnessed him stomp banger after banger at Fairmont, skating with his friends and fellow Sk801 homies.
Bowerbank has the raw ability to send a huge stalefish out of a more than fair-sized transition, and the board control to get a back three kick flip over a relatively crusty Fairmont step-up that is not for the meek. With skills like this, it’s no wonder Bowerbank is backed by companies like Monster, Bones, BC Surf & Sport and Darkstar, who brought Tyson on the team with an experience that will be hard to forget. “At first, [Adam] Dyet just asked me for all of my footage and then showed it to Chet [Thomas], and they started hooking me up with boards. With the help of my parents, they surprised me at my house to bring me on the team, and I got a big cake smashed in my face from pretty much the whole team,” says Bowerbank. “Skating with the team is rad. We all just get super hyped on each other and everyone is always throwing down.”
Skateboarding has also given Bowerbank the chance to travel to places like Tampa, Fla. for the popular Tampa Am, as well as skate trips to California. “California is definitely my favorite place to skate,” he says. “There are so many street spots and there’s always good weather.” Bowerbank even got to take his skateboarding international this summer. “Monster sent me on a trip to Paris for a contest. That was definitely the highlight trip of my summer,” he says. That’s pretty amazing considering that, besides a bunch of good times with my friends, skateboarding has taken me to places like hospitals, back seats of police cars, and the bottom of more than a couple Hop Risings to ease whatever body part I banged up that day. Bowerbank is still a Utah native, through and through, regardless of his travels, and you can see him at his favorite spots at SoJo and Sandy Park when the weather’s nice.
With the SK801 video just dropping along with the release of the Darkstar video, Bowerbank had a pretty busy summer. His full part for the Sk801 video will be available online Dec. 1, but until then, grab an extra pair of underwear and check out Darkstar’s Forward Slash promo video online at darkstarskate.com. With eight and a half minutes of straight hammers, this promo takes a couple watches to really sink in, and may leave you having to scrape your jaw off of the keyboard, with Bowerbank throwing some aerial maneuvers that most people need bindings to pull off, and putting down some favorites. “Back 3s are probably my favorite trick,” says Bowerbank. “Back big spins are super fun, too.”
When it comes to life away from skating, Bowerbank likes hanging out with his family, friends and girlfriend. Growing up and living through these Salt Lake winters, Bowerbank enjoys snowboarding when he can up at Brighton Ski Resort. Unfortunately, he has reached the age where a season pass gets a little more costly, and he’s not sure what the upcoming winter season will hold for him, besides traveling to sunny California on more skate trips. With all of these things going on, Bowerbank is also on his last semester of online schooling. Brains and board control—I told you these kids were getting good!
As far as the future is concerned, Bowerbank’s is a bright one. “I’d like to put out another video part and just keep filming and shooting photos for magazines,” he says. “I also want to move to California when I graduate.” He doesn’t plan to stop the contest circuit, either. “I’m down with whatever. I just want to take advantage of whatever opportunities skateboarding throws at me. I’m just going with the flow and having a good time!” With the motivation of his friends, family and fellow team riders, Bowerbank is ahead of his time and seems to only move forward.
With many great years of skateboarding ahead of him, Tyson Bowerbank is a name to know. When asked whom he thanks most for his success, he had to bring up good old Mom and Dad. “My parents have backed me 110 percent my whole life with skateboarding and everything I do. They drove me to all of the contests and have done a ton for me. I owe a lot to them. I also want to thank my sponsors as well.”
If you are living in a cave in the middle of the woods, with no access to the World Wide Web to catch Bowerbank’s edits, you can catch him ripping some parks around the Salt Lake area. Make sure to keep your head up because this kid is only going bigger.