First inspired to stunt by watching “Jackass” and creating his own videos with friends, former starting running back at American River College uses his fearless football talent to climb his way through the stunting world in Hollywood.
A fearlessness that may be found in the gene pool, Bayland Rippenkroeger has always been into extreme sports. Beginning with his father teaching him the basics, to being good at almost every sport growing up, he now follows in his uncle’s footsteps as he makes his way into the competitive stunt world.
His talent as a running back helped mold him into the perfect stuntman, from his lightfooted, graceful agility to his abilty to execute complex plays.
At ARC, Bayland Rippenkroeger was a part of a very successful football program. His freshman year the team started 10-0, but lost the Shrine Bowl in 2005. Head coach Jerry Haflich was then the defensive coordinator. Even without directly coaching him, Rippenkroeger left a mark on Haflich.
“Bayland was a worker, Bayland was everything you wanted in terms of desire, heart, hustle, hard work, toughness, all of the above,” said Haflich, “(He’s a) tremendous guy to be on a football team with, I would have loved to be on that kind of a team with that kind of a guy.”
Haflich praised the Rio Linda High School football program for breeding players with a strong, team-oriented work ethic. Don Dillon, ARC’s former head coach, developed a close relationship with RLHS football program and worked hard to recruit Bayland Rippenkroeger. “In my 30 years as a coach, he was one of the best (football players),” Dillon said.
Rio Linda might become more famous for the Rippenkroegers than it was for Rush Limbaugh. The Rippenkroegers blatantly do work. From one generation to the next, Rippenkroegers have been bred with a strong work ethic and an extreme fearlessness.
His uncle, Larry “The Ripper” Rippenkroeger, a four-time world champion Jet Skier, has stunted in films like “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Titanic,” and “Iron Man,” but only a glance at Larry Rippenkroegers lengthy Internet Move Database profile can truly show how many movies he has stunted in.
Shadowing his uncle puts him up for a challenge. “Everyone knows that name in the stunt world, so I have to step up to the plate,” Bayland Rippenkroeger continued, “There’s a lot of pressure because everybody expects me to be awesome, (they expect) you (to) already know what’s up. There is definitely a lot of pressure.”
Larry Rippenkroeger’s lifestyle and career has inspired his nephew to want the same. “In his late teens he started telling (me) he wanted to become a stuntman,” he said. “That was around the same time he had received a football scholarship. I told him to go to college and get an education first and then afterward if he was still interested to give me a call.”
Bayland Rippenkroeger transferred to play football for The University of Mary and graduated with his bachelor’s in social science in 2009.
“(Bayland) called me virtually on (his college) graduation day and said ‘OK, I’m ready.’” Larry Rippenkroeger said.
Larry Rippenkroeger knew his nephew always had what it took to be a stuntman. “He was always a great athlete. He also had the drive to push himself to excel in all kinds of sports. Both of those qualities are big assets in the stunt world.” He knows his nephew will be a success in the same career path.
Bayland Rippenkroeger is currently a stuntman in the “WaterWorld” show at Universal Studios Hollywood. This show was inspired by the motion picture “WaterWorld,” the film his uncle made his first stunting debut and set the bar with his iconic Jet Ski performance.
Bayland Rippenkroeger was in the same show at Universal Studios, Singapore. He has recently returned and is glad to be back in the states. With guidance from his mentor uncle, Bayland Rippenkroeger will now be able to fully focus his career toward TV and film.