Shaun White THE PAGE
By Dave England
Shaun White has been around forever and he’s still only 15. I think he turned pro in his mother’s womb. My original mission was to use this interview as an opportunity to convince Shaun to retire from this icy nonsense and move on to greener pastures as a pro skateboarder, a job which he’s definitely capable of. However, as we began our hour and a half bi-coastal chat, I began to realize that he doesn’t need anyone to convince him to do a damn thing. His life is practically the collective dream-come-true of every kid on earth. He doesn’t have to go to school, he’s swimming in cash, gets to fly around in a private jet with Tony Hawk, snowboards all over the planet, is a character in a video game, owns his own house and wins brand new trucks. It’s kind of sickening, don’t you think?
SNOWBOARDER Magazine: Have you ever done a search for your name on the Internet?
Shaun White: My name? No.
Oh, come on. What do you think comes up when you type in “Shaun White”?
I’m guessing shaunwhite.com pops up.
Yeah, that’s definitely in the results. I’m actually there right now. What does the opening page of that site look like?
The opening the page. … It’s a go. … It’s not Japanese stuff is it?
Oh. It’s got a big face and there’s a thing with headphones and stuff.
Wrong. There’s a bald guy with glasses that sort of looks like Dr. Evil and he’s saying, “I love Shaun White.”
What? Oh yeah, nevermind, my brother just updated it. He likes to draw sketchy people that were in the newspaper. I didn’t even know he put that on there.
This is a pretty good site.
You should see the next thing we’re gonna do. I got a friend named Rob Lorifice. So we were telling him, “Dude, we’re going to ruin you on the Internet.” And my brother and I started taking these photos and he was doing the gayest poses. So we’re going to put them on this site as like “You could win a date with Lorifice.” And in the box it’s going to be hearts and stuff. We’re going to have it like “Yeah, send us an e-mail why you think you should earn a date with Lorifice.”
Here’s a photo (on shaunwhite.com ) of you underwater through glass, like you’re in an aquarium, between two hot girls with their ass’s pressed against the glass.What’s the story behind that one?
That was from when I was in Hood. You know, Stand and Deliver, the Mack Dawg video? Yeah, those girls are from Oregon. They were Ross Stephi’s babysitters. They met me in the pool that day and we got the shot.
It almost looks like you’re trying to undo the string that holds up one of thegirls’ bikini bottoms. Here’s another picture of you with a lot of girls.
Oh, the Hooters photo. That was from the Hawk tour. The Tony Hawk tour bus stops in the Hooters parking lot, we go out, eat food and then we were like “Yeah, we want to have the Hooters shot.” So we brought all the girls out in front of the bus and Tunes (Robert Earl) was like “You got to get it like this.” Then he started bringing these girls in and wrapping my arms around their legs and stuff. It was funny.
Now I’m looking at a photo of you upside down way up in the air above some kind of curved snow sculpture.
Am I snowboarding?
Well, I guess so. There is a board strapped to your feet. How’d you get up in the air like that? Did you jump out of a tree or something?
That’s usually the way. But sometimes the squirrels get angry, so we use hidden wires and stuff.
Are you fond of squirrels or do you see them as rats with bushy tails?
Get this–my dad and I were bored, so we took bikes and walked all the way up to Timberline Lodge (at Mt. hood) from the Thunderhead Lodge in Government Camp. We got up there and had all this food, so I started feeding the squirrels. Then, birds came and before I knew it, it was sketchy. I had like four squirrels in my lap and this bird that kept trying to land on me because I had all this food with me. I was freaking out. I didn’t want to move because I thought they’d bite me. Then I’d have to get rabies shots. They’re dangerous.
What was your dad doing?
He’s all, “Dude, you’re on your own. You’re screwed.” I was like “Thanks, dude.”
You and your dad call each other “dude”?
Well, my dad is “The Dude”, “The Rodge” or just “Homer.” We just gave him that last one because he doesn’t really like his job and he drinks beer. So we justcame up with “Homer.” Dave Sypnewski loves making stories up about my dad’s past, like when he was in high school. So he calls him “The Rodge.” He’s always like,”What’s ‘The Rodge’ doing?” So, we’ve got a couple names for him.
How about the nickname for you that’s kind of starting to stick, “The Egg”?
Hmmm…I’m not backin’ it. They’re also making up that thing at the contests–”Future Boy.” What’s that supposed to mean?
Do you know what the future is going to be like?
Just like your answering machine.
I guess it is pretty futuristic.
When I was about nine or ten years old, this guy came to speak at our school from some future science thing. They inflated this huge black dome in the amphitheater we had. So we all go in there and he’s talking about the stars and this and that. Then he ended it up by saying, “We’re all going to die because this comet is going to hit us. And if that doesn’t kill us then the sun is going to burn up and explode.” I was like “Sweet.”
What did your voice just do then? It sounded like a frog or something?
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
No, your voice is starting to change. Little Shauny is growing up. Do you have the fire crotch yet?
Whoa….That’s a funny question. Um, I guess. Yeah.
Are you getting taller?
Yeah. I actually grew. I’m like 5’4″ now. There was this one point where I just slept. That’s all I did. When I was going to school, I’d sleep in as long as I could, go to school, get back from school, sleep, skate awhile, come back and sleep, then do homework and go to sleep for the night. But I just grew and I’ve got a bit more muscle now. And my friggin’ Swedish elves got bigger.
Are you one of those nerdy kids with the tech gadgets and gizmos?
No, well, I’ve got a G4 laptop, an iPod and some other stuff.
Do you love your iPod?
Oh my gosh, yeah. It’s so ridiculous.
They are the best things ever.
Ever. I’m always on the road, so I’ll be in a hotel room with like Trevor Andrews. I’ll get his hip hop and I just put CDs into my computer, clip the songs that I want, download them, plug in my iPod and they’re in there in two seconds. Plus, the G4 is so fast that it doesn’t even take that long to burn CDs or whatever. I get the basic stuff but I’m not the guy who’s like, “I hooked up my cyber cord to the Internet and I got the Wartalk Spacecode and I’m playing with my six-sided dice andÂ…” I don’t get all that stuff. I’m learning how to make iMovies. I’ve gone with my sister and made videos of the Toyota Big Air and stufflike that. I want to make a video journal to keep track of all the trips I’ve gone on and funny stuff that has happened.
So, you don’t even go to school anymore?
I do school work, basically.
Do you ever get a chance to hang out with kids your age?
Yeah, I meet a lot of kids at the skatepark and I’m always hanging out with them. But I went to school for the first semester. I was there long enough to get somephone numbers and was there while it was fun. Once I started getting into that crappy routine of, “This period, that period,” I just pulled out.
Whose decision was that?
Mine. Just because Burton, er, wait … the snowboard season started and I left for Japan for a week or two. Before I left, I was killing it in school. I had A’s and B’s in every class. But when I got back from Japan, I had all F’s. I worked so hard to get it all the way back up to A’s and B’s and then I had to go back to Japan. By the time I got back from that trip, I had all F’s again and I was like,”Screw this!” You have to make up work while doing work and it’s too gnarly when you’re trying to have fun skating and stuff.
You wouldn’t want to let anything get in the way of your fun times, you little bastard. Do you think you clock in more hours skateboarding or snowboarding?
Snowboarding, because snowboarding never ends. Skateboarding ends when snowboarding starts and it becomes the priority. Say you ride throughout all winter, then you maybe try to do some more stuff for your film part or whatever, then there’s Hood and after Hood’s crappy there’s always the European summer camp. By the time that’s over, you’ve got one month, then snowboard season kicks back in.
Why is snowboarding such a priority to you?
Because I don’t get paid for skating.
Besides what you get paid to do, what’s more fun for you-skateboarding or snowboarding?
It depends. It’s fun to ride at contests and stuff, but I have the most fun snowboarding when it’s just me and my brother. Like, I went to Mammoth one day. There was an OK size jump and I was with Eddie Wall and my brother and we were just riding. I just said, “Screw it!” and started doing cork Cab nines. I get so comfortable when I’m with people I like to ride with that I just start learning tricks. It’s no problem, I’ll learn it about the second try. Stuff like that just comes and I think that’s so much fun when snowboarding’s like that. But right now I’m facing what I got away from in snowboarding, like amateur contests. Trying to go through all that stuff in skateboarding that I already went through in snowboarding when I was younger. It’s just that much harder. I hate it–just seeing the petty side of skateboarding. I see that kind of stuff in snowboarding all the time, but for me I thought skateboarding was perfect how it was. They just didn’t have it. I showed up at a pro skate contest and a bunch of the vert skaters were like, “What the hell is he doing here. I had to do the amateur contests, why doesn’t he?”
For complete story, check out Issue 15.1 of SNOWBOARDER.