From his backyard mini-ramp sessions at home in San Clemente, California to podiums at X Games and beyond, Ryan Sheckler continues to define the balance between celebrity and skateboarder. We caught up with him in California between contest appearances, charity events and a bit of physical therapy. Here's what he had to say.
Red Bull: You've been battling some injuries lately. What is your current skate status?
Ryan Sheckler: I went to Australia two months ago and destroyed two ligaments in my foot, completely snapped them off the joint. I mostly healed from that and then had to compete at X Games Brazil. It still hurt pretty bad in Brazil but it worked. Unfortunately I didn't qualify, so I came home.
Then you suffered an ankle sprain as well?
After Brazil I was 100%, skating every day, had my park finished. Then, I don't know, I tried to land a trick that I had landed six times this one day and then I just pivoted wrong and my whole ankle just popped. I tore a ligament on one side and two on the other side and got a crazy bone bruise on the ankle. With X Games Los Angeles coming up, I'm on some crazy therapy time right now. Mentally, though, I’m 100% there. I'm so ready to compete and be skateboarding full time.
How are the other X Games stops comparing to Los Angeles?
I definitely like X Games LA. I don't know… it has more pressure, more significance. Now that there are four of them you don't really know how to react. Like, this is an X Games, right? There's a medal? But it's incredible that we are getting so much time on ESPN. It's like, finally, skateboarding is getting some love. It's rad.You're known for incredible determination with your skateboarding. When learning tricks and doing handrails are you ever motivated by money or sponsors or fame?
No, absolutely not. It's the mental challenge, testing your brain. Being able to beat your mind is what I'm into. If you think of something right then and there, then your mind is ready to do it right then and there, so you have to go try it, to me at least.
It's kind of a metaphor for life?
I guess. If you think about it, do it. Unless it's bad, then don't do it (laughs). We're just talking about skateboarding.
Tell us about your tattoos; seems you have a new one each time we see you?
Haha -- I've been hurt a lot this year. It's the downtime and just having time to get tattooed. I'm really into it. It's really fun. I'm slowing down a bit with it, well not that much, but in my head I've slowed down a bit. They're cool. They're all symmetrical though. Everything I have is even on my body. I did this one (on right calf) before I left (on a trip) then came home and did this one (on left calf).
Are you superstitious about being symmetrical?
I guess I might be a little superstitious. I just gotta keep it even. It's like skateboarding, gotta go regular and switch. Keep it even.
What's in store for this year's Sheckler Foundation Golf Tournament?
Yes it's our 5th Annual, back at Trump National Golf Course in Los Angeles. I love that day. I think it's the first time everyone gets together and has a blast before X Games. My goal is to benefit everyone and make sure everyone has the best time, so that when thing gets gnarly at X they can at least say they had fun.
You recently also raised a lot of money for your Skate for a Cause charity.
Yes, we were raising money for a Native American Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe in Washington to build a skatepark on their land for their kids. We raised $100,000, which is the most we've raised at our skate event so we killed it. We really only needed to raise $60,000 for it, so now we have $40,000 to put toward another project. It's all good, everything is just working nicely, if I can just get my ankle going.