Ryo Kawaoka

Ryo Kawaoka #19

Photo by Tish Fagin

Nicknames: Yoconut, Reeyo

Height: 5’8″

Date of birth: 23 April 1981

Place of birth: Hagi, Japan

Current city of residence: Berkeley, CA

Occupation: Project Management at Location Labs

College team(s): University of Greater Metropolitan Oakland (Cal-Berkeley 2000-2004)

Former teams:

  • MoFoPoHo (1998-2000)
  • Oaks (2005)

Accolades: Is that a new sports drink? I’ve never had one before.

How I came to join Revolver: It was the summer of 2006 and I was pretty disillusioned by open club Ultimate. I had vowed that I’d be at club nationals that year no matter what (even as a spectator) and was trying to start a new Bay Area co-ed team with a core of UC Berkeley men’s and women’s players. Brian Garcia and Nat Kinsky suggested we go to the first practice for “some new Bay Area team.” Let’s just say I had some significant doubts about this team, a mishmash of folks at a variety of skill levels. (Oh, and I didn’t even know that it was tryouts.) But I really enjoyed Nick Handler and Marc Weinberger’s leadership (and encouragement) and did whatever I could to get on McManus’ good side. Managed to show some competency in running a stack offense and the rest, they say, is… Revolver Ultimate.

Funniest moment or joke on Revolver:

  • NC: pigeon poop pillows
  • PB: Baylis oops
  • MT: spirit circle hurling
  • CK: “I heard that Jonathan Bravo guy is really good at Ultimate.”

Favorite game or tournament moment on Revolver:

  1. 2008 Nationals – Tom James 5, 7, 10? layout Ds in the second half against Johnny Bravo in power pools and winning. We were down 14-9 or something. Legendary.
  2. 2007 Northwest Regionals – Revolver didn’t make it to Nationals, but I achieved every personal goal that I set out that year/tournament.

Favorite game or tournament moment outside of Revolver: 1 Portuguese flag, 1 girl, no clothes.

Favorite Ultimate player(s) in formative years:

  1. HH Valdivia – a mentor and friend, motivational as he was always one step/year ahead of where I wanted to be.
  2. Dan Hodges – he’s both the angel on the right shoulder and the devil on the left.
  3. Chris McManus – showed me my best wasn’t good enough, so I needed to get better.

Favorite tournament: The next one.

What makes ___ so dangerous? I’m like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Theme song: Ray Charles – Greenbacks

Pre-game ritual: Eggs, #2, shower. Everything else takes care of itself.

What I like to eat on Saturday night of a tournament: Totoro.

If I didn’t play Ultimate, my main pastime outside of work would be: I don’t know how to respond to this.

Favorite sports team outside of Ultimate: Manchester United

In terms of Kanners, how tan are you? Are we talking 2010 Kanners or 2011 Kanners? 42.

Something unknown about me:
I never really wanted to play college Ultimate, but I did.
I never really wanted to play club Ultimate, but I did.
I don’t really want to play masters…