Honoring Ryan Moore, a Santa Ynez native who died in Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, 11 of his close friends gathered in Isla Vista on Friday to receive memorial tattoos.
Moore, who graduated from Santa Ynez Valley Union High School in 2006, moved to South Lake Tahoe last year to concentrate on snowboarding. Jake Powers, a second-year Santa Barbara City College marine diving technology major and close friend of Moore, said his friend died from head trauma after falling off a ski lift at Heavenly Mountain. Powers said Moore had neglected to use the lift’s restraining bar when he reached over to tend to a leg cramp.
Friends of Moore gathered at the Precious Slut tattoo parlor on Embarcadero del Norte. The 19-year-old’s mother also accompanied the circle of friends as they prepared to receive their tattoos.
“He was an amazing person,” Powers said. “There wasn’t a person who met him and didn’t remember him in good ways, too. [The tattoos will] keep him with us at all times. … He meant enough to all of us that he deserved some space on us.”
The group of friends knew each other from high school and remained close, said second-year Santa Barbara City College student Keena Beer.
“We were all friends in high school in Santa Ynez, and it’s a really small school,” Beer said. “We’re getting tattoos so we’ll always have him on us. He was a great guy with a great sense of humor.”
Ed Cota, a second-year at Cuesta College, said a lot of Moore’s friends decided to tattoo the Mickey’s beer bee logo on their bodies because Moore wanted that tattooed on his own body before he died.
“A lot of people are getting the Mickey’s bee,” Cota said. “It was his favorite thing. That’s what he wanted tattooed on himself. Now he’s always going to be with us. It’s to pay respects and part of the healing process.”
Powers said Moore had a lot of friends who wanted to remember him with tattoos because he was a social person who was very well-liked.
“[He was] just a very honest soul, a very conscious person,” Powers said. “He was never worried about yesterday or tomorrow. Right then and there was where he was at … His outlook and demeanor is what made him so special.”
Powers said Moore moved to Lake Tahoe in part for his love of outdoor sports.
“What made him unique was his natural ability in wakeboarding, snowboarding, motor biking, lots of outdoor activities and that’s something Ryan and I shared,” Powers said. “He was just a natural.”
Cota said the tattoos are an outlet for Moore’s friends to come together and remember Moore’s life and the good times they all had together.
“We’re all just trying to remember him,” Cota said. “We’ve been together for the last few days, laughing and crying.”