Wynoceros Grommetus is a subspecies of skater formerly found in several countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Sadly though, due to old crusty haters, declining stoke-levels, and the lack of wild & gnarly habitat, this little critter is now considered Critically Endangered and almost fully Extinct in the Wild. This elusive creature is a ripper of winding neighborhood runs, a single-minded charger of wooded back-roads, and has a healthy appetite for chomping the streets. Today, there are only a handful of these individuals left.
In an attempt to spark the stoke of repopulation and raise awareness of this critically endangered subspecies of skateboarder, we have compiled the following pictures and interview featuring one of the last untamed specimens of this kind, Wyatt Gibbs. He is a radical 16 year-old Laguna Beach shredder and one of the only remaining Wynoceros Grommetus. Wyatt needs our help, so do your part in conserving and protecting this beautiful beast by reading his interview and sharing it with all your loved ones. Thank you.
What’s your current, go to set-up?
I have many set ups, as I like all different types of riding/ skating:
Downhill: Rayne Fortune, Abec 11 Zigzags 70mm 78a, PNL 180mm 47degree, RipTide APS barrels red, Biltin Bearings, Viscous Griptape.
Freeride: Rayne Vandal, Abec 11 Polka Dots 81a 62mm, PNL 180mm 40degree, RipTide APS barrels red, Biltin Bearings, Viscous Griptape.
Park/Street: Rayne Renegade, Abec 11 Blue P-52’s, Independent 169mm, and RipTide Bushings.
What’s the best and the worst thing about growing up in Laguna Beach?
Best thing: the hills. Worst thing: old people who hate.
You have a rich history of skateboarding in your family and your dad is your biggest fan. What’s up with that, and how has all this impacted your skating?
Not only my dad was a skateboarder, but so was my grandpa (“Googs” Gibbs). I am a third generation skateboarder. Whereas my grandpa and dad were primarily surfers, I have chosen skateboarding as my number one passion—although I do surf, skim, body surf as well! My dad is the one that gets me and my friends to skate events since we can’t drive ourselves yet. Rather than just sitting around and watching, he’s picked up my mom’s camera and shoots tons of photos. It helps to get material out for all of the sponsors who let me shred their products. My dad and I are big believers that when you receive product from companies, it’s not just a one-way street. You have to get them pictures, video, face-time and get their image and logo’s out to the public.
What one photograph of skating has had the most impact on you?
Any photo of “Big” Dave Tannaci.
What skate video has had the most impact on you?
Thrasher Magazine’s Hall of Meat, Evren Ozan On Fire – LBDR, and any video with the bros in it.
What is your favorite thing about skateboarding?
The happiness it brings me. The people I’ve met. The friends I have made.
If you could change one thing in downhill skateboarding what would it be?
Possibly educating the public and reverse the closures in our home town of Laguna Beach. The town has been influenced by a couple haters who sold the city that we are all “menaces to our society”. Right now we are working with the city to build a skate park for Laguna Beach. We don’t think it is fair for the city to keep taking away privileges from kids and not give us something in return.
Top 3 skaters of all time?
Cliff Coleman, Dave Tannaci, and Jonny Miller.
Who is the most underrated skater in downhill?
Danny Ronson of Laguna Beach, California. Kid kills it!
It seems like every time you skate you are wearing a helmet—even when you’re just street skating. What’s the story/philosophy behind your perma-helmet?
One thing is that my house is basically the gathering spot for all of Laguna. My house is two stories and my parents basically overlook the street out front and I get yelled at every time I don’t wear a helmet. My Dad talked about a Dr. he knows that says if you slack off on something and get away with it, you will tend to slack off more and more until that one time you slack off and it comes to bite you in the ass and you wish you had your helmet on. Also since the city crackdown on Laguna Beach, helmets are required for all riders (not just minors) and you get ticketed or your gear confiscated. Lastly, a lot of young groms use my street as a training ground. Being a sponsored rider, I like to set a good example for them. It just makes good sense; a few of my friends have cracked their heads pretty good just tooling around in my driveway. Like my Grandpa said, you have one life and one body.
What is LBAG and how does it differ from LBDR?
Basically it was LBDR that got me into downhill. Evren Ozan lives around the corner and when he would finish his runs, he would slide to a stop in front of my house every evening when I was at the dinner table. My friends and I started skating using them as an example of how to do it. A handful of us guys started getting better and Bryn Jones of LBDR called us “Laguna Beach Alpha Groms” (LBAG). After that, we started taking over my garage as our hang out and my dad gave up and let us have the left half of the garage. He spray painted a giant LBAG on the wall with black spray paint. He said we could sticker up and write on the wall. To this day, whenever someone in the industry comes to Laguna, they sign the wall although there is not much room left!
At what point do you think you’ll stop being a grom and become a manly Skate-Man?
Never; once a grom always a grom.
What’s next for Wyatt Gibbs?
I just filmed a video with a “mainstream” online video company. They saw my ABEC 11 “Animal Style” video and said they were looking to do a downhill video to go along with all their other extreme sports videos. We’ll see where that goes and if we can get more mainstream companies to notice downhill and help all the industry get support for better events and races, that would be cool. I have also signed up for a lot of events this year. I have chosen to attend events and venues that fit my riding style. We hope to go to Canada a few times this year for races and freeride events, but in the immediate future, we are looking forward to the Catalina Classic!
Thanks for working with us on this Wheelbase interview. Yeah, Wynocerous! Let’s get some shout outs going up in here! Who would you like to thank and say hello to as we close down this interview?
Shout outs to Jake Fast and Roger Jones for being there since the beginning. Rayne Longboards, ABEC 11 Wheels, PNL Trucks, EDGE Boardshop, XS Energy Drink, Ojoom Slide Pucks, RipTide Bushings, Crow Watches, Rock Martin Jewelry, for making the products and helping me enter and get to events.