We’re busy digitizing all of the old mags but we’ll be offering up a few gems like this one for your viewing pleasure in the meantime. Heckler was at the forefront of giving the little guy a big voice. Superstars such as Shaun & Ryan Sheckler got their very first coverage in Heckler Magazine, long before their sponsors ad buys got them attention from the other publications. Enjoy.
Enjoying the Ride: The Shaun White Heckler Exclusive
Words: Brad Oates
Photos: Dean “Blotto” Grey (except where noted)
Shaun is capable of doing anything on a snowboard or a skateboard. He has always had the motivation and the talent, but he now has the strength and confidence to push the perceived limits of what is considered possible. My best advice to him now is to enjoy the ride. -Tony Hawk
So, Let’s hear about your new car.
I got my car four days after I got my license. I come home with the Lexus super quick, so there are no chrome rims on it yet, so I go back to get them. On my way home, I look over and Tony’s next to me honking the horn. It was sick. He leaned out the window and was like, “Did you just buy that?” and I was like, “Yeah” and he’s all, “Just now?” and I was like, “Yes, right now!” Tony is a big supporter of the Lexus. I haven’t even filled up the gas tank yet. I still have dealership gas in there. It’s awful.
Do you recall the first time you went snowboarding?
I grew up in Del Mar (San Diego) so first was the six hour car ride. It was at June Mountain. I was six. I remember it was really slow and sticky that day. My board was huge, but I had so much fun anyways just catching my edges.
How soon did you start getting flow?
That was the strange thing. I kind of started snowboarding at the end of the year, so I couldn’t find a board that would fit me because I was so small. So, my Mom went and talked to Burton and they hooked me up with my first board. We formed a good relationship after that because they were coming out with a kids line. It just all happened to work out. They were, and still are my first sponsor.
Do you still want to take Mandy Moore to the prom?
Do I? Wow. I‘d rather take the Olsen twins.
Lately there has been some talk in the rumor mill that you might give up snowboarding to skateboard exclusively. What’s the truth to this?
I would say the truth to that is mostly rumor. Snowboarding is the main thing for me. I always have so much fun doing both, but I don’t think I’d ever give up either sport. I’m just stoked this year to be able to skate somewhere. I’m finally able to get time to go skate contests. It just has gotten better for me.
In retrospect how do you feel on your first pro outing at Slam City?
I was so happy with that. I fully thought I was going to go there, and just…I was sweating it a little bit. I had seriously a week to get ready for that. I was coming straight off of snowboarding with no skating. I couldn’t land 540s. I couldn’t do a Mctwist. I talked to Tony and I was like, “I don’t think I can do this.” And he’s just like, “Ahh, it’s all good. All you’ve got to do is plan the next couple of days with the tricks.” After I talked to him I felt pretty confident. I landed a 5 once I got there. It went good. I was surprised to do pretty well (He placed 4th). I had my whole schedule laid out after that to try and go qualify for the X Games, but once I qualified at Slam City, I scratched everything off my calendar and just skated at home. I got to be home for a little while and it was great.
When was the last time you surfed?
About a week ago. I did get to go jet ski, though. Those things ruin you! I got rocked. Water hurts so bad when you are going fast. It is not fun. Don’t let anybody tell you that the tubing stuff where you get pulled behind the boat is fun. It’s not fun at all. I heard that people who fall off Jet Ski’s and die usually die because they fall off, the dude guns it, and the jet stream from the engine sends water up your nose so high pressured it kills you.
Are you going out for X Games Jet Skiing next year?
Yeah, but under my fake Vin Diesel name.
Have you been approached about being in movies?
Yeah, I have been approached to do a couple of things. Not too interesting. I did a Coke commercial, a Capri Sun commercial, a Target commercial, but not really any movie stuff.
How do you feel about having your face on the side of a building?
Wow. Yeah, I don’t know, it’s going to be random. I think it will be pretty weird. I was just stoked to be able to see it at summer X Games.
I think you might be the first snowboarder to have his face on the side of a building.
No way! The only thing I cared about when I first started snowboarding was this hat I had with a little tail that came out of the back. When I aired, as long as the tail flipped up in the back it was legit. It was a good air. Seriously, I didn’t care about anything, all I wanted to do was hit jumps and get ruined. If I could go big and get rocked it was the best. I think the strangest thing for me so far is being put in a video game. I was 12 or 13, and it was the coolest thing. I was so stoked. I had always wanted to be in a video game, but there is no way I expected any of this.
Are you into video games?
I get so into it. I get all upset when I can’t beat the levels. It’s just annoying. I hate getting stuck at one level, always dying, and constantly trying to make it to the next one.
How disappointed were you after not making the Olympic team?
To tell you the truth, I didn’t really care. The only thing that kind of bummed me out was wasting my time going to all those lame events. Wow, I could have been at home surfing! When I was going for it, they were like, “Shaun White dropping in, he’s gonna be here for the next Olympics, so we’ll just watch him anyways.” Sweet, so I’m already not going?
Is representing your country in the Olympics important to you?
It’s not too important. I think it would be pretty cool to cruise around with that flag.
You were scared to take the piss test, huh?
What? No way! I got tested twice. It sucked. I was rooming with Danny Kass and it was madness. Danny got all this stage fright. I went in there, and it’s basically like you dropping your pants in front of this guy who is staring at you, right? It’s bad. You pee into a cup and have to pass it to the guy, who plays with it afterward and puts it in vials. I got checked again and this guy comes into observe. Are you kidding me? Why does your buddy need to come to? It’s already bad enough. Those guys are weird. I’m not backing the whole test.
You rock one of the best mops in the business. Are you trying to mold your hair after Tony in Animal Chin?
It just got to this weird kind of fro phase, and after that it just got really long. It grows so fast, I keep cutting it, but it won’t go away. I’m backing it though. I like it. Someone wanted me to get corn rolls, I haven’t done it yet, that was a Willy Santos idea.
Do you ever skate street?
Yeah. I just started. It’s so much fun. Like kickflips are so annoying, but I finally learned how to do them, and it’s so much fun now. I’ve been hitting little handrails and stuff. Most of the time everybody just sees me at the Encinitas YMCA because it’s so close to my house, I never really get too much time to skate besides the summer, so basically in between snowboarding I’ll just jet to the Y.
Do you remember your first street rail on a snowboard?
I just remember that I had just started to do frontsides on rails and started to get it locked down and I remember the worst thing is showing up and going, “Yeah, okay, I got it”. They shovel it the whole time, and get it all ready. Then you actually have to hit it. I don’t know, I just got on it a couple of times, and the thing about handrails like that is you’ve just got to go for it. I ended up going for it and stuck one that was perfect and rode away 4 feet and caught my edge on the flat. And I was like “No!” But then after that, I got another one, so it worked out.
You completely kill it in ever contest you enter. Do you have any superstitions?
I have this special Ozzy shirt that I wear, but that’s about it. I think I just wore it because it was long and wouldn’t come out of my pants, so I wouldn’t get snow down there. For me, contests, my mindset going into it is that I don’t care. When I don’t really care about the contests, and I tell myself I don’t have to win, that’s the best. Just having the most fun helps me out so much. Because you can’t get stressed out on wether or not you think you are going to make the run. I guess I just like contests.
What’s your perfect day?
My perfect day? I don’t know. Ahhh, Hold on.
(talking to some girls walking)
Where you guys going?
All right. All right.
Wait, where are the ladies going?
They are going to watch some movie or something. I’ll just wait for them to come back by.
You’re killing it with the ladies now aren’t you?
Negative. I just think it’s the funniest when girls come up and ask for hugs. I don’t know, I’m mellow.
Have you been stalked?
I haven’t been stalked, like, you could say I was just mellow stalked. Not really like hardcore, but I had somebody following me for a little bit.
How crazy did it get?
It didn’t get bad at all. I just got some calls and whatever and then it was over. I might have accidentally given her my number. I swear something weird like that. She seemed cool at the time. A lot of girls are so scared to come up and talk to me, like I’m going to bite them or something? They are so scared! It’s funny, even sometimes when little kids recognize me they are scared to come up and talk to me, I don’t know why. I’m pretty mellow. The weird thing is, with people you meet, you don’t really know anything about them, but they fully know about you.
So, let’s back up a little bit. What’s your perfect day?
My perfect day would just be learning a new trick. That just makes the day. You know how it is, you skate a lot, if you try that trick all day and you finally make it, then everything is sunshine after that. I hate walking away from a trick that you don’t make. You try it all day and you don’t make it. That’s just the worst feeling because it’s in the back of your mind, like everything is just not as good ? dinner, and everything ? it’s just awful. Learning a new trick makes it the perfect day.
How far off are you on doing 30 feet on a quarterpipe to get your pure gold watch?
I’m just kind of waiting for the right quarterpipe. Oakley is putting up this watch that is solid gold bullion, worth like 25 grand. It’s so heavy, I mean I already put it on. I’ve been told to just try it on because I already have it. It’s a crazy gold watch, but you have to hit a 30 foot backside air to get it, and basically I tried it once. I came close at the Arctic Challenge going 24 feet. There was one kid who went 26 or 27 feet and has the record so far. I am just always kicking myself and telling myself I could have gone bigger that day, but whatever, I am just waiting for another good quarterpipe to try it out on. Plus, I grew a little, so I think I can stretch out and get a little higher.
Okay, I have one more question.
What has skateboarding and snowboarding given you that you hope other kids receive?
(Long Pause) Hmm…Given me that I hope other kids get?
I guess I just want kids to experience a little bit of what my life is like now. I don’t know, I do all this crazy stuff and I just hope skateboarding gives everyone else as much fun and happiness as it’s given me. Such a good time when I go skate and snowboarding, and kids should experience that instead of going out there and beating themselves just to get sponsored. Just skate and have fun. Snowboard and have fun, that’s what it’s all about.