There's a stigma to skating. People think of it as a kid's sport. People kept telling me I couldn't possibly make a living out of it. Then they said I couldn't keep it up in my 30s. And here I am in my 40s, and I'm still improving my skills.
Some of the spins he has learned on his skateboard had never been done before, because we, as skaters, didn't have a frame of reference to try them for the first time. For instance, nobody had attempted a 1080 in skating until Shaun tried it last year. He wasn't scared because he's done it plenty of times in the snow.
Any time skating was featured in a video game, I ate it up. So around 1997-98, I was shopping this video game idea. I was weighing my options when I went to Activision, but when I saw what they were working on, I said, 'This is exactly what I'd love to be involved with,' and following that gut reaction was hugely successful.
If you look at the success of snowboarding in the Winter Games and how that's brought a more youthful edge to the Olympics in general, they don't have that with the Summer Games. They don't have anything that's drawing in a younger viewership. To be honest, I think they need skateboarding more than we need them. Skateboarding's popularity is solidified for the most part in a lot of countries.
I was skating with friends in my neighborhood, and then eventually I was invited to go to the skate park with one of them. When I saw people flying all around - literally flying in and out of bowls - that is when I knew I wanted to do it. I wanted to figure out how I could get there and how I could fly.
I think that there's a sense of self-reliance that exists in skateboarding that kids can take to their daily lives. I think there's also a sense of creativity and community-based goals - in skating, even though it is an individual pursuit, a lot of things that you learn are things that you borrow and expand from other people's ideas. I call skating a combined evolution - it's individual, it's artistic, but at the time, there is a communal push to keep doing your thing. And a sense of camaraderie in that.
I think that the board is a lot more intuitive than people assume. You get on it and all you have to do is put one foot on the tail and one foot on the nose and rock it up and down and that will get you into the tricks or wheelies or manuals. It's not about the balance so much as it is about the timing.