Shaun White is definitely not your average athlete. While many perfect their skills at one sport, White keeps busy year round, either going for a back-to-back 1080 spin on the superpipe in Aspen or landing a gnarly backside 540 on vert ramp at Summer X Games.
Consider him the renaissance man of extreme sports, given he’s excelled at both snowboarding and skateboarding. When he’s not boarding, he’s getting ready for snowboard season and vice versa. He’s working literally year round—and that’s not including his various side projects. Given his global status in the sports world, White is still a Carlsbad boy at heart and gives off a very laid-back attitude typical of what you’d expect from a Southern California guy.
Having begun professionally snowboarding at only 13, White (now 22) has achieved so much in both his snowboarding and skateboarding career. Having just recently released his first video game, White is taking the snowboarding season by storm and gearing up to take his riding career to new heights. At the time of the interview, White was prepping for the first Winter Dew Tour stop in Colorado, where he actually finished first in Slopestyle and second in Superpipe.
You’re now in full gear of snowboarding contest season. How’s that going for you so far?
Things are going well. I just got back from a contest in Japan called the Nissan X Trail Jam. It’s crazy because you look up in the stands there and 60,000 Japanese fans are going ape sh*t!
What were the highlights of this past summer’s skateboarding contest season?
It seems like skateboarding went by really fast this summer because I was focused on so many different things like my brother’s wedding and working on my video game with Ubisoft. I got hurt pretty early on in the season, so I’m definitely looking to come back with a new run next year.
You landed a new skateboard trick at the Summer X Games. What did you name it and how long did it take you to perfect?
Some call it the “Armadillo”…cause it’s pretty rugged. I pretty much took a trick my friend wanted me to try and changed it a bit. It’s basically a front side 540 body-varial heel flip.
Do you have another skate trick in the works for next year’s games?
I don’t know. I always just randomly come up with something and it usually works.
Do you have any new snowboarding tricks up your sleeve?
I’m working on some stuff. There’s this trick called the “Double Cork”…it’s pretty involved.
You mentioned that your year was pretty busy with creating your new snowboarding game. What was that like for you?
Unholy. It’s really cool and one of those things I’ve been working on for two years. I’m excited ’cause it’s been such a long process, and I’ve never freaking made a game before, so I learned a ton. To have it hit the stores was just so unreal. I had to do voice over stuff, did motion capture stuff where they put you in sensors and you need to do tricks and stuff. It was all really fun to do.
So, what contests are you looking forward to this year?
Probably X Games since it’s one of the biggest events and really fun. I also am pretty excited about a new tour they have this year. It’s pretty cool because you gather points through the year, so it pushes everyone to be more consistent.
Having snowboarded at so many places around the world, what is your all-time favorite place to go?
I ride at Park City [Salt Lake, Utah] a lot. It’s a cool mountain and it’s rad ’cause I can call them up and ask them to make special things for me like bringing in an elephant to carry me up the pipe…that’s like one of those crazy VIP things that help me a ton.