Extreme Soundtracks Vol. 4: Olympic Skater Bryce Wettstein

Extreme Soundtracks Vol. 4: Olympic Skater Bryce Wettstein

Extreme Soundtracks is a column profiling professional extreme sports athletes and the role music has played in their life.

Created by twin sisters Stefanie and Suzanne Sanchez


Encinitas, California’s Bryce Wettstein is an Olympian taking on the world like a storm. While surfing and skating are her passions, music is her dream and one day you might catch on a big stage making her mark there as well. Nothing is holding this go getter back from her dreams!

Courtesy of Will Owens

Tell us your first experience skateboarding, and did you know this was going to be in your life forever?
I keep wondering over and over what that first experience was. But at least in my eyes, my first experience was going to the YMCA skatepark in Encinitas, and soon thereafter I dove this beautiful journey of skating. Like learning how to drop in–now I call it the ‘drop in and say hi’. I remember how my first couple experiences, and carving from pocket to pocket. I’d put a bunch of things in my pocket, and then carve the pockets of the bowl.

But most importantly, my dad really was always eager about things! Skating was so ardent. When your dad brings you along with him, you’re automatically pulled to what he is showing you. But I never really understood it all the way until I realized how often it changed, which is beautiful.

What is your most amazing experience touring the world?
It never was a target shot to get there, but the beauty of it was that I wanted to skate and skate and skate, which turned into create and create and create, and see where it all takes you. But an Olympian to me, it meant, I had to keep climbing the rundles and trundles and step ladders.

And getting to the Tokyo Olympics, it felt like it wasn’t all about pushing through, it was about being accepting through every challenge, and every provocation. I love the experiences, and how you don’t expect to land a new trick, and then something happens and suddenly you do. I always say, our expectations, are unexpected, and we can accept, except, and expect.

Bottom line, it’s keeping the focus pressed and making sure you don’t hop off the subway of passion!

Tokyo Olympics, Courtesy of Bryce Kanights

Do you have to train or is there some special routine in your day to day and while touring?
I will go to ballet in the morning, or around 12, and school too, and then head over to the YMCA because they’re all in the same complex. We also have Vista close by, it’s an indoor training facility. But from day to day, I try to see how I’m feeling, because as music is, skateboarding is a very momentary thing, where you have to trust your feelings sometimes, and no pun intended, they can override your thoughts a lot. But in skating, my routine is really to always be able to learn something new that I wouldn’t have learned without just following through with the experience. I also love surfing, but mostly on weekends. The ocean is like sitting and watching over the world, your weight shifts, and you’re surfing like you’re skating.

The scariest moment with your sport, or life in general?
One of the scariest moments I’ve had was an Ollie, over a two-and-a-half-foot gap in Utah at Tony Hawk’s Vert Alert. And, when I had gotten knocked out in Palm Springs. I had woken up to Christian Hosoi praying over me after I had been out for a little bit! I had never had a concussion before and it was on November 12th, 2022.

What’s your favorite music that you follow? Do you listen to certain songs to inspire your momentum?
For some reason, my favorite music used to be instrumentals, because they had this zing, and flow, where you felt like you could sing over top of them. But now I love Blondie, when I need background goodness, and Jack Johnson, especially his holiday album. Even Taylor Swift because I won’t ever not popularize something because it is popular. The Cry, I love that band (from Poler Skate Co.). The Cranberries, The Samples, my parent’s wedding song.

All kinds of Fleetwood Mac, Songbird, and of course when I write my own music. I feel like every lyric is a part of something greater than the sum of its parts. Every song I want to create–one in particular about making a paper airplane–they all are parts of me of where I was in life. Writing a song is like skating a run, where you can’t think too far ahead, but try to entwine and plait and braid it together as it’s being created. It’s so beautiful how Jackson 5 is too! But yes, music is skateboarding. Where ends meet ends and it’s there that we begin. It is truly about the soul, that’s what I’m getting at. Your soul is opened more and more the more that you put your soul into skating, or dancing, or singing. 

What’s your plans for this year? Are you able to go to any music festivals?
This year, I’m dreaming of making it to the Olympics in 2024 in Paris, and hopefully singing a couple of music gigs, maybe one or two! I may speak over at UCSD too. But most importantly, I love writing, and getting other people to write in my journals. When you’re in different countries, everyone is speaking different languages–my personal favorites are Portuguese, and Italian! I hope to go to beach cleanup, and be surrounded with people I haven’t met.

And I dream of surfing in the Supergirl Pro in Oceanside!

You were over in Dubai filming! I have always wanted to go there! What was it like?
It’s beautiful there. People are speaking Urdu, and Arabic, and Tamil, and Hindi, and Persian! It is my favorite place. I feel grounded and connected.

What would you tell other inspiring athletes or artists to do as far as conquering their dreams?
Remember, your passion is like a Ferris wheel! The Fairest wheel of them all. Once you have a dream, it stays a dream! Even when you live it! But also, I’d say, to never give up or lose faith, because the real gift is realizing there is always potential. Take your time in anything you’re going towards and growing towards, because it takes time. And I always say, Believe, Believe, Believe!

The most powerful thing we have is a belief!


*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.