The Stewman twins have done everything together since the day they were born. The brothers were introduced to skateboarding at the age of 9 and have been skating ever since with no intentions of quitting. They currently work at Southcentral Foundation as public relation assistants while attending school full-time. Even with a busy schedule, the Stewmans always make time for a skate break.
“We started [skateboarding] at the same time. From the day we were born until this very day, we have always done everything together,” Riley Stewman, UAA business marketing major, said.
After skateboarding came into their lives, it became a major part of who they are. Ryan Stewman, a UAA psychology major, born six minutes before Riley, plans to keep skating to keep excitement in his life.
“It is important to me to continue because skateboarding is the only sport I see people continue to do as they get older, and will not stop until their body really gives up on them,” Ryan Stewman said. “So, I just need to keep doing it because it puts hype in my life doing something I enjoy so much, and so why would I stop that?”
Skateboarding not only provides excitement in life but can also be used as a relaxation method when life gets hectic.
“With how busy I am during the school year with school and work, I would have to say it has been very important to me to take the time to get out and skate because it is very important to always give yourself a break to do what you want to do. Otherwise, you can easily get frustrated with things,” Riley Stewman said.
Although the Stewmans do almost everything together, they have separate career paths for the future.
“My career choice is going to be working for the Anchorage Police Department and eventually work my way up to be a detective in domestic violence or in crimes against children,” Ryan said.
Riley plans to go a different route and is leaning towards business.
“The career I am shooting for is working for a firm in a marketing and public relations department and working my way up the chain from there,” Riley said. “Additionally, I would like to start my own company on the side, just as a small business that would consist of selling my own brand of clothing.”
One thing that draws individuals to skateboarding is the concept that there are essentially no rules. This independent sport allows skaters to progress at their own level while getting support from others.
“I think what makes skateboarding important to me is that it is a sport all about your own progression and style, and there are no rules. It is a sport where a person kind of creates their own self-image,” Ryan said. “It is also important to me because even though it is about you, the skateboarding community is real tight and they all seem to just love watching each other progress and always keep a good vibe. I want to stay a part of that.”
Riley also believes that the fact there are no rules is what makes skateboarding great. By having no right and wrong in skateboarding, leads to not feeling competitive and encouraging when others are progressing with one another.
“It is one of those sports where you can progress on your own and you are really your own coach, there’s not a team against team thing going on,” Riley said. “You don’t have to compete to get better, you get to meet new people, chill with the homies and get each other pumped up to land a trick. It’s just good vibes with everyone, it’s that one thing that I never want to stop doing.”
Ryan and Riley stress the importance of finding something you love to do and to take breaks to fulfill those cravings. Skateboarding has provided the brothers with life-long friendships, sense of community and personal growth.