Stab Magazine | Flying high with Ryan Callinan

Flying high with Ryan Callinan

Interview by Rusty Quinn | Photos by Troy Simpson Last week, some finely arranged photons landed in our inbox in the shape of Ryan Callinan. Several staff members were appropriately intrigued, removing the suction caps from their ears and unplugging from the Stab matrix for a glimpse. The images were indeed impressive, but there’s more to Ryan’s game than […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Interview by Rusty Quinn | Photos by Troy Simpson

Last week, some finely arranged photons landed in our inbox in the shape of Ryan Callinan. Several staff members were appropriately intrigued, removing the suction caps from their ears and unplugging from the Stab matrix for a glimpse. The images were indeed impressive, but there’s more to Ryan’s game than a few full-rotes. Far from a one-trick pony, he’s suitably skilled to throw around a bit of stubborn water when needed, and houses a lot more power than his slender frame would suggest. Ryan has been keeping very busy lately, darting all over the globe chasing the WQS, whilst simultaneously trying to amass footage for his part in Kai Neville’s new film. And so, we felt it was our duty to collate some words to accompany such imagery.

Stab: Where do you currently seek shelter?
Ryan: I’m living at home with my parents in Merewether, NSW. We live one block back from the beach and I’m hardly ever there so they love it when I come home. I might try and buy a house soon. But while I’ve got the luxury of living at home I’ll stay put.

I’m curious on your NSW South Coast trip. Humour us please and describe the reception you received from the locals? I went down to the South Coast for a swell and ended up staying for two weeks. We got some really fun waves but had a few run-ins with the locals: a few blowups for having cameras and that kinda stuff. We were a bit rattled but it wasn’t as bad as everyone was making it out to be. I went down in the middle of last year and a friend got his car waxed with the usual ‘Fuck Off’ on the windscreen. But this time it was more just words out in the surf and asking why we had so many cameras. It definitely plays on your mind when you’re rocking up to places with all those cameras. The more people you have the harder it can be to find somewhere to surf.


Ryan proving he ain’t no one-trick pony, and relocating some serious water in the process. Photo by Troy Simpson.

Kai Neville always has a limited door list. How’d you get a start? It’s been really cool. Kai is at the forefront of high performance surf movie-making, so it’s been sick doing trips with him and all the guys that he’s got in the movie. They are some of the best progressive surfers in the world.

Do you now drink red wine from the bottle and have a penchant for vintage cameras (we kid!)? I have some similarities with them. I get along really well with them. It’s interesting how people label them as hipsters because you hang out with them and they are just normal guys. I’m probably not as trendy as them but I guess I fit in somewhere, so I must be doing something similar.

Kai’s film is going to be section-based, which often results in viewers choosing their favourite (and least favourite) sections. Will you be carrying your weight? I actually like it. I’m sure if you get a section before or after Dane Reynolds you’re probably going to look stupid, but it’s cool to be put in that same league. I don’t see myself in that league but it’s great to be a part of it all.

Either way it must be good for your profile. Yeah definitely. I got a little cameo of three waves in ‘Lost Atlas’ and that was huge for me in terms of my profile. So to have a full section will be pretty special.


Where’s this Ryan Callinan train going? Skyward by the looks of things. Photo by Troy Simpson.

It should keep the sponsors happy, too, and help with the deposit for that new crib. I hope so. I guess it depends on how good your section is and how it rates against the others. I think so because they seem to be pushing you as one of the top guys so I cant see why the sponsors wouldn’t be happy, because they are getting exposure through the movies too, so it’s a win-win. is a heaven for trolls. What’s your angle? You just have to try and block it out. The comments on Stab are probably the harshest things you can read in the surfing world so it will be interesting to see what comes out of this. I actually love reading the comments – I get a real kick out of it. I don’t take much of it on board but I just love hearing what people have to say. I find it really humorous.

Where’s this Ryan Callinan train going? My main goal is to make the world tour. That’s it at the moment. Everything else has just fallen into place as it happened and I’ve been really lucky like that. Obviously you want to be the best surfer in the world but there’s so many good riders out there and to be seen as one of them, or even just exciting to a couple of people, is all I could ask for. To be on the world tour would be a huge confidence booster and motivator so that’s my goal for now.


Ryan on high rotation. Photo by Troy Simpson.


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