ADVCT Tyler Bonner Interview

Posted by James Lewis on 29 February, 2016

Interview by James Gee - original post from ADVCT blog

T-Bone's been in the game for an eternity it feels like. He's been extremely vocal on his Facebook page about the whole "SMX" ordeal that is going on. I reached out to him to get some more info about his opinions on the industry, SMX, his life, etc. Hope you all enjoy!

James: For those that don't know, tell everyone about yourself.

Tyler: I'm 23. Live in Everett WA and I ride for Phoenix Pro Scooters, RAD Scoot Co, Elyts Footwear and Shop Mothership and have been riding for 12 years.

James: What is the current living situation like, I heard your family is off living in Canada

Tyler: Well I moved outta my parents house when I was 20 and lived in a loft above the RAD shop for about 9 months. Went from there to renting a house with 4 homies which turned into 8-9 heads at one point.. Back down to 5 of us. It was fun for awhile but way too fuckin hectic and I was super over it haha. I've got the setup right now though! I live in Everett, in apartment underneath Mothership where I work Monday - Saturday. It's rad being able to run downstairs and re-up on coffee or grab some lunch really quick... Love it haha. Cory Mosbrucker (owner of RAD) recently moved in with me and it's just the two of us and my two cats. It's fuckin sweet having a clean, quiet little place as opposed to my last living situation.. For sure! Haha. And yeah so I grew up on a tiny island on the east coast of Canada, and moved here with my family in 2002. My mom was missing her family and decided to move back. In either August or September she packed up the 4 kids, my step dad and the animals and sent it. I miss em of course, and it took a minute to hit me that they were gone. But honestly I hadn't really depended on them for a long time. I've been doing my own thing since high school. I just slept there sometimes and ate all their food.. Haha. But yeah I'm "lone wolf'n it" out here.

James: From being in the game for so long are you hyped on where the sport is currently at?

Tyler: For sure! From the innovation in parts to the growth and legitimacy of events and payouts at those events.. And with myself and so many others being given the opportunity to see the world and even make a living from riding is nuts. I really don't make much from riding. I used to! But yeah, there are plenty of ppl that are making a living from this and most of those dudes deserve it (some more than others). And all of that was only a dream that none of us were sure would happen in scootering, but here we are. We made it! Haha. Another thing is watching riding styles evolving over time, which I feel is finally catching up to be on par with skaters, bike riders and bladers. Still, not quite there yet though! But it's definitely maturing both in most aspects.. I'm going to have to say though, that all of the dudes out there pushing the limits of what can be done on scooters in the streets and being unique, and putting out killer video parts that are actually super enjoyable to watch are making us look much better than the kids living in the skateparks. Most of those kids are all doing the same thing on the same ramps on repeat. Most, but not all! There's plenty of "park riders" I could watch all day and I back 100%! Brendon smith for example. Everyone's out trying to keep up with him and even if they're managing to pull the same tricks... No one does it like that dude! Again he's just an example, there are plenty of others. Nothin against park riding at all. I ride more parks than anything. I just go about it differently.

James: You won basically every competition back in the day. What was that like? Do you miss the competition scene?

Tyler: Haha! Thanks for the credit man! Of course it was awesome. After winning a few contests and building up my confidence I would always show up confident in getting top 3.. But I would always have a good attitude about it even saying what I'm saying now. I feel I was pretty humble in my time. Then Kota came in, and I feel like everyone could agree that it was kind of between him and I, at least for awhile there! Haha. But then Kota just took it to the next level. I'd show up to contests and everyone would tell me I had to beat Kota and blah blah...And I'd know there was a chance, but didn't feel great about it. Even though sometimes I'd pull through somehow haha. But yeah that was a big thing.. Not only feeling, but actually having a lot of pressure on me to do well. Like it was expected. I mean of course everyone gets nervous to drop in at a contest. But I feel I had it a lot worse than a lot of people because of my situation. And I think it was a combination of the pressure people would put on me, and what I made it up to be in my own head. That only got worse as I got older and it definitely took a tole on me. I'm sure plenty of athletes have gone through that.. Feeling or actually being on top, and then having the younger generation take over. That's just a part of it and I knew it was coming even when I was younger. I remember my mom telling me that I had to remember this was all going to come to an end someday. And I really do remember thinking about it way back when, but it seemed like it was light years away until boom! It happened. But I knew it was inevitable and tried not to let it get to me. Looking back now, it's not that I miss it. I'll always cherish those days and I can feel like I played my part. I had my time, and it was fucking rad! And nowadays competing, all I want to do is stay on my scooter and not make a fool of myself. As long as I ride well I'm happy, even if it doesn't match up with what everyone else is doing.

James: Back on your time with MGP, you took a horrific bail to the knee which kept you out for a long time. Was that the worst thing ever?

Tyler: Good times! Yeah we were nearing the end of the MGP east coast tour. Honestly through that whole tour I was feeling like shit on my scooter especially being older than all of those dudes and I just couldn't keep up with where they were at and what they were doing. I was just trying to higher than them the whole time lol. It's a bummer because I did a double whip to invert and a few other tricks almost as high as the fall that took me out. I was straight up trying to mimic a photo Ryan Williams had gotten at his local where he was almost at 180 at the peak of his air while inverting and it just looked rad. Anyways I popped out too far and just landed awkward as fuck and rolled the opposite way I should have, and my knee exploded. I tore every ligament and just about every bit of cartilage holding my knee in place. It sucked man. I remember just breaking down crying when the doctor came back and told me I tore my acl and I basically stopped processing or hearing him speak. I wasn't going to ride my scooter for a year. I definitely started reevaluating my whole life and I even started doing home schooling (dropped out mid-senior year). There was a long time I didn't have faith that I'd ride at any professional level again and I really thought it was over. And that went on for a long time. Even after I was back on my scooter it took a good year of being on my scooter again before I realized I was back. Nowadays even though I don't have full motion, I don't even think about it. My other knee hurts more than my "bad" knee lol. I try to stay in my comfort zone. But my comfort zone has definitely expanded.

James: Do you think that bail help push your riding to new levels? I would say it definitely opened you up to a more street style feel to your riding. Even led you to dropping multiple street parts.

Tyler: I definitely switched up my riding style since then but it wasn't just the fall, it was also part of getting older and I'd say if anything my riding style just matured from what it was. I can't handle watching people doing contest style runs at the skatepark, I think it looks like they're trying too hard and it hurts to watch and I'll probably just look the other way like I'm not apart of it haha. Anyways, I was trying to back the whole street movement and hit rails and stuff but I realized that's not my place nor can my knee handle it. It's part of the comfort zone thing. But I guess through all of this... Like falling off of the contest game, to destroying my knee I was kinda lost for awhile. but I've definitely found my place. I'll be living in the skateparks, but when it comes to filming a video I'm going to wanna go out and get clips at spots. But it'll prolly most be a mix of everything just as it's always been. I ride scooters. Not street or park.

James: You've recently been really vocal on Facebook about this whole SMX (Scooter Motorcross) name change for Scootering. What's your whole opinion on the matter, and what all have you been saying about it for those that don't have you on facebook.

Tyler: Oh hell yeah. Stoked on this one. So usually everyone will agree that everyone is entitled to their opinions and what not... But not this time. They're wrong and I'm more than right lol. No question. Even with as big of a deal those posts turned into, I was bummed on the response of the scooter world. Too many people felt they were too cool to say anything. In the end almost making me feel stupid. But whatever, I stood up for one of the only things I truly give a shit about. This SMX shit is super weak and those dudes need to fuck off with that, as well as with the way they market themselves. They look like douche bags. No one that's relevant or "matters" in the sport backs those guys. If you're reading this... YOU GUYS LOOK LIKE IDIOTS. Idk how they can feel comfortable typing the shit they do in their posts. "The stripped Clamp" wrote a beautiful article on this, check it out. ( Honestly I was always friends with those dudes and I attempted to reach out instead of just talking shit on them, and I even went through the whole thing with Kim Funk and legitimately heard her out before telling her that SMX just wasn't it. That's not what it is. That's not what we do. We scooter. I voiced everything else that matters before, and so I don't have much more to say on this one besides #scootering needs to be backed.. haha. One of the biggest scares for all of us OG's is where scootering will end up. We all need to stay involved and put our fucking feet down in times like this. And it's so fucking disrespectful of them to go against all of us on this, already knowing where we stand. And I'm pissed because I really just wanted to try and talk some sense into those dudes... But unfortunately they can't speak for themselves, and I had to talk to Mommy who basically told me the conversation we were having didn't matter because whether we were with or against them, they would "carry the flag themselves". Well fuck your flag! And fuck "SMX" Thanks for everything you've done Kim, but I think the scooter world as a whole can agree with me that you've played your part, and you can kindly get the fuck outta here and let us handle it. Thanks

James: Who are your biggest influences in riding that have kept you riding for so many years

Tyler: Back in the day it was Cary Mosbrucker, Jesse Mac, Dan Barrett and Casey Corning. But ok, so I'm going to be straight with everyone here. I lost my ways for awhile there. I was scootering because I had to. Once the thing that you love becomes your source of income and you depend on it in that way, you really really do lose yourself and your passion... Just like everyone always said. It's true. I was definitely in denial for a long time and I'd say about 2 years ago I became aware of it. And it's only been over this past year that I've tried to do anything about it. I'm still working through it, but I really am having so much more fun on my scooter now, than I have in a long time. Part of my falling out was being lost like I mentioned earlier. I found my place, and I'm involving myself in the scooter scene as much as possible and I'm doing that in a bunch of ways I don't have to explain. I've got plenty planned and it's all going to unfold. Just wait and see! I'm on a mission to have fun on my scooter and keep having fun on my scooter. My main inspirations in riding right now are Elliot Arnold, Cooper Klaar, Logan Fuller and Jake Sorenson. Elliot's gnarly as fuck just constantly scootering. Cooper and Jake literally just look like they are having so much fucking fun riding their scooters and I envy that. I'm back motherfuckers and I ain't gettin paid enough for anyone to say I'm in it for the money lol. And one last thing to add here. I've never really givin a shit what people think of me, except to all the dudes who are relevant in scootering. You know who you are. I've always gave a shit what you guys think about me and I've always tried to adapt to what's going on in scootering because of it. If you're on ADVCT's blog right now... You're prolly one of those dudes. I just wanna be accepted by the part of the scooter community that I think matters, and that's always been super important to me.

James: Favorite place you have traveled to and why?

Tyler: The 6 week Europe trip COULD have been tight, and it's way sicker looking back on than it actually was but I just wanted to be home since the first week went by. lol. There was plenty that happened to make it a bad trip. Not in the way that makes it a sick trip either.. Haha. I'm going to have to go with Australia. Let's be honest that's everyone's dream besides the Aussies obviously haha. But yeah I was 18 and still in the mindset of a kid. And prolly in my prime. That whole experience was so damn magical and I'm glad I have that video to show for it.

(Here's the video)

James: Best story you can give me throughout your scooter career. Whether it be a hilarious partying story or whatever.

Tyler: Ohhh man... But there are sooo many! And so many that really aren't even appropriate for this blog... Haha! But I'll share this one.. Involving you guys hahaha. Coming back from the Elyts party fucking WRECKED and idk how, but bumped into you guys at THE best western. It must've been 2-3 in the morning... Went in your room as Blake and Evan I believe were in one bed, while you (James) were in the other bed closest to the door with Lil Jon. I came in and flipped your mattress over dumping you guys onto the floor and dragging your mattress outside and throwing it over the railing, or down the stairs I don't even remember honestly. But wow! I was a shit show Hahahaha. And seriously.. Everyone prolly just assumes I'm still the same wreckless drunk idiot that I actually was for a long time there... But really though, I've calmed down so damn much. I don't even know where all that rowdiness even came from now as I look back... God damn it... GOOD TIMES THOUGH! No doubt.

James: Pretty sure I wanted to kill you that night. And you chucked the mattress off the 2nd floor into the parking lot haha. We got fined for it, but Madd Gear paid for it LOL. Any last shout outs? 

Tyler: Going to have to shoutout Dan Barrett, Cooper Klaar, and Jake Hershey. I would've gotten the boot from Phoenix a long time ago if it weren't for those guys. Any one else would've given up. I won't elaborate too much. But yeah! I'm so thankful for those guys for sticking with me. Much love to those guys<333 Cheers brothers!

Thanks James. Hyped on all the questions and I'm hyped on ADVCT, and on you guys still being involved. Love it. To everyone else, I'm sorry for saying too many words...But thanks for reading! Haha.

PS: lemme get a shirt so I can rep the homies!

James: I feel that!


end of article


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