The Coast News Group
Olympic skateboarder Bryce Wettstein, right, with a legend of the sport, Bruce Logan, at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside last week. Photo by Chris Ahrens

Rolling on wheels of future past

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 18-year-old wonder woman, surfer/skater, philosopher queen, singer/songwriter Bryce Wettstein became California Surf Museum’s latest “Making Waves” inductee.

Bryce, as many of you realize, skated for the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021). While she is a brilliant surfer and the top-ranked woman skateboarder in the country, she is far more than that.

She is a mentor who without saying a word makes us want to be better versions of ourselves. This, she does by simply being joyful and open, and pulling off difficult surf and skate moves, effortlessly, with a great smile and equally great style.

Her message is more direct in her music. Once you get beyond her uplifting melodies, Bryce’s songs, somehow soft and powerful, simple and complex all at the same time turn out to be a matrix of meaning.

Consider the lyrics to her song “Extraordinary”: “When you have something you think is nothing/Nothing never comes from something/You are everything in your story, and that’s what makes you extraordinary.”

Talent and kindness gift wrapped in a humble, appreciative, attractive package. What were you doing at 18?  (I’ll spare you my wasted youth stories and move on.)

Bryce credits family: father, Max; mother, Donna; younger sister, Summer, and those who first laid down the tracks she follows in her chosen sports for her success.

While her music reveals traces of islanders Jack Johnson and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, her skating is apparently influenced by freestyle genius Rodney Mullen and local skaters like Steve Caballero and her neighbor, Tony Hawk.

A small crowd has gathered to hear Bryce tell her story and sing her songs. Later that evening she pauses to speak with Bruce Logan before realizing that he is someone whose skateboarding can be traced to the sport’s steel-wheeled, two-by-four origins.

Logan, who is a two-time world skateboarding champion and the first inductee to the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, invented many of the basic tricks, the nose wheelie, and the space walk among them, that Bryce and her peers still use today when skating freestyle.

When I mentioned to Bryce that Bruce had changed the world with his skating, he turned to her and said, “Now, it’s your turn.” Contemplating that possibility, Bryce thanked Bruce and said, “Okay, I’m gonna try hard, for you.”

Over five decades separate a legend and a future legend of the sport of skateboarding. A blink of an eye really when you consider how fast these two have rolled.

I would never presume to give advice to an organization so well run as the California Surf Museum. But please pardon my making this one suggestion: a Big Wednesday event featuring the Logan family.

Known collectively as “The First Family of Skateboarding,” composed of mother, Barbara (RIP), Skateboarding Hall of Famers Brian, Bruce and Robin Logan, along with Brad, who was sure to be the next superstar in the family before skateboarding crashed in the late ’70s.

This family once ruled the skate world while operating Logan Earth Ski, a skateboard company that was among the top skateboard manufacturers in the world.

Most every great skater from the past, including legends Tony Alva and Jay Adams, were part of the Logan team at one time. The Logans have many stories that are well worth hearing.

I’ll bet that with a little coaxing we could even convince Bryce to play some of her magical songs.

Check out the Bryce Wettstein exhibit at the California Surf Museum. 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054.To learn more about the museum, please visit: