By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
So what have skating and snowboarding taught you?
Skating and snowboarding have really taught me about life. I’ve been around the world and haven’t seen all of it, but a lot of crazy places. You see how life is and how different and how hard it is for a lot of people. You see some crazy things out there. It’s just made me really happy. I feel superblessed to be doing what I’m doing right now. Everyone I meet is like, “I wish I could do that.” It’s given me a crazy appreciation for what I have.
So if there were no snowboarding or skating, what do you think you’d be doing?
I’d definitely be stuck in school for sure. My parents are huge on education, so I’d be in class every day. And since I found this new passion of guitar, I’d be shredding solos in the night. But snowboarding and skating, I’d find a way to do one.
How long do you plan on doing it?
As long as my knees are still good, and it really comes down to as long as it’s fun. When it becomes a “job,” then call it quits. I know tons of people who go to office jobs in cubicles and don’t like it much. But sometimes, I’m standing at the top of the X Games pipe and look down and say, “Dude, this is your job. You have to ride his pipe!” I love it. So as long as I can, I guess.
Did you ever think the X Games would get this big?
When I first started, I didn’t think about sponsors or anything, just “What can I jump off?” I think for me the crazy turning point was when somebody asked me to be in a video game. I basically lost my mind at that point. I never ever would have thought if I started skating and snowboarding, I could travel around the world and get paid to do it. We’re in the Olympics now. It’s insane.
As a kid at the epicenter, can you take some credit for that success?
I guess so. One of the things that kind of affected me was parents coming up to me and saying, “My son started skating because of you.” That’s pretty heavy.
Where would you like to see action sports go in the future?
I think in the future I’d love to see action sports go to where something like baseball has. But instead of baseball stadiums, we just get huge skate parks that are built in the stadium. Thing is, a lot of guys want to keep skating core [hardcore/pure] and all that. The way I see it, yeah, keep some core aspects to it, but big sponsors like Target in the end send big money back to the core and build more parks and ramps so we don’t get in trouble skating down the street and stuff. But I definitely think both sports are on their way to becoming huge things.
Do you get harassed for street skating?
Oh yeah. Skating with my brother, we get harassed by security guards all the time. One time we were snowboarding handrails in Utah, and somebody called the cops, and a guy showed up and was like, “I think I know you.” We ended up making buddies with the cop, and we took photos and stuff, and he let us finish hitting the rail.
Try to imagine yourself at 30. What do you see?
At age 30? Man, I just really hope to be like Tony [Hawk], my main influence. He’s still skating and still doing what he wants to, still having fun. That’s a tough one, 30?
Okay, how about 40?
I’ll have kids and stuff and be like, “I used to shred.” It’s going to be crazy.