At first glance, Gus Rymer is your average 15-year-old. Friendy, runs cross country, does well in school, obsessed with YouTube.
But there is a reason why this Southold teen - who frequents Stotzky Skate Park - is constantly on YouTube: he’s becoming one of the top performers in freestyle scooter competitions, and he wants to show the world his moves.
“Gus is awesome,” said Chris Daley of Madd Gear Action Sports, Gus’s current sponsor. “He’s definitely got a little star power in him. One of the best riders on our team.”
Freestyle scootering is on the rise and is even eclipsing skateboarding at certain locations in the U.S., according to this Wall Street Journal article. Rymer grew up skateboarding and bike riding. He got into scootering about five years ago after watching videos of the sport on YouTube. And his parents, Brady and Bridget, caught on to his enthusiasm for the scooter right away.
“When we would go into the city, that’s how he’d get around,” she said. “We started taking him to the skate park and it went from there.”
Rymer practices his tricks on a half-pipe in his backyard and spends a lot of time at the skate park at Stotzky Park — not so much at the skate park in Greenport.
“No one goes to Greenport anymore,” he said.
He spent the majority of his summer at two different scooter camps, one in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania — not as a student but as a professional trainer. And he started his summer out west on a three-week scooter tour sponsored by Madd Gear Action Sports.
“I finished my final exam and was on a plane to California,” he said. “It was pretty crazy, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into.”
Brady Rymer said that Gus is a not a daredevil on the ramp — he’s trained in gymnastics and knows how to fall if that happens, but he doesn’t take unnecessary risks.
“He really behaves himself, but he’s also very good at what he does,” Brady said. “Early on we took him to local competitions and up to Buffalo and New Hampshire, and talent scouts took notice of him.”
Gus has also become a master of marketing his skill on the Internet and has his own YouTube channel with dozens of videos of himself — another venue available for companies like Madd Gear to discover him.
Though his parents said they still get a little nervous watching their son flip upside down with his head inches away from the hard surface of a half-pipe, they remain more than supportive of his pursuits in freestyle scootering.
“We let him go on that tour because we knew he had the confidence, that he won’t do anything reckless,” Bridget Rymer said. “We’ve become big fans of the sport ourselves.”
Gus himself said he gets a little scared when he’s at the top of a 12-foot ramp about to try out a new move. But he said he knows when not to attempt something for the first time if he knows he’s not ready. He did suffer a concussion at one of his camps this past summer, but he learned from that.
“Most days, I do fall, but I don’t hurt myself that badly,” he said.
With an impressive resume at 15, where does this young master of the scooter see himself at the ripe old age of 18?
Check out some of Gus's favorite YouTube clips of his scooter routines:
What do you think of teens and freestyle scootering? Tell us in the comment boxes below.