Ryan Olliges: Founder of 121C Boards

My NativeAdVantage: 121C Boards: The Spacecraft Inspired Skateboard


A senior at the University of Southern California studying Aerospace Engineering, Ryan Olliges is a driven individual focused on rocketry and carbon fiber. Ryan set out to acquire all the knowledge required to engineer and design top of the line composite products from an early age. In the time that he isn’t working on his startup company, 121C Boards, he is designing and building rockets in the Rocket Propulsion Lab at USC.

What do you do best?

I have been working with composites for over 10 years starting by resin transfer molding fiber glass kayaks in boy scouts and continuing to grow my knowledge by teaching surfboard shaping and working in the MC Gill Composites Center at USC. When presented with the opportunity to recycle the highest grade aerospace carbon fiber, I knew I could build a company that combined my passions of composites, love of boarding and craft the ultimate pure carbon fiber skateboard available.

What makes you the best?

There are millions of skateboards available on the market today but none compare to the state of the art 121C Aileron. Not only does the pure carbon fiber construction allow our board to remain undamaged after being run over by a truck, but it can also stop a handgun bullet, making it the strongest deck on the market. What does this mean from a ride perspective for our users? We’ve incorporated a wheel to wheel camber and a complex concave that in combination with our perfectly tailored flexibility makes the Aileron incredibly responsive while also remaining stable. Not to mention the board weighs in lighter than any wood board.

How will you stay the best?

We have already developed a board that is incredibly fun to ride and by staying true to our values of keeping carbon fiber out of landfills and sourcing all our major components in the USA, we will be able to continue to focusing on the development of awesome boards and enhancing the experience for our riders.

What are your aspirations: business & personal?

Personal: Space has always been a passion of mine and as an aerospace engineer and an entrepreneur, my aspiration is to continue to innovate the new space industry in fun and exciting ways.

Business: My aspiration for 121C is to solve the environmental problem of recycling carbon fiber. Right now too much ends up in landfills and we plan to put a stop to that.

What fascinates you?

I find material innovation to be remarkable. Once new and never before heard of material have been conceptualized or engineered, So many engineering opportunities arise.

Favorite Motto?

Be Prepared: You never know what life is going to throw your way so the best thing you can do is be ready.

Favorite People? Elon Musk, Richard Branson

Favorite Places?

Outdoors. Whether I’m surfing in the ocean, snowboarding in the mountains, or skating around the city, I’m experiencing life and nature to the fullest.

Favorite Products?

My favorite products are those that inspire others to innovate. For instance the Falcon9 will inspire a generation to develop hundreds of outer space technologies that never could have been possible before this rocket decreases the cost of space flight.

Current Passions?

Outer space and designing elegant things with carbon fiber.