In the action sports industry, cross breeding is inevitable. So it wasn’t too surprising to find out that 24-year-old Ryan Sheckler, pro skateboarder, actor, and philanthropist, grew up surfing with the best. While rails and concrete are his forte, Shecks is still an avid watermanÂ and surfsÂ as part of his daily training regimen. The San Clemente native got his start at age 13 after learning to surf from legendary chargerÂ Herbie Fletcher. Though he has no aspirations to take his surfing to a competitive level, it’s still a consistent part of his life. When he’s not surfing or skating, ShecksÂ is doing work with his foundation and partnering with Gillette. I had the opportunity to ask Shecks a few questions about surfing, his foundation and the WCT. See what he had to say below:
SB:Â What really attracted you to the sport of surfing?
RS: Being in the water, being one with nature.
SB: A lot of skateboarders say the time they spend skating helps them improve their skills in the water. How has skating translated to your surfing?
RS: Skating has really helped my balance in the water. It has also helped me be more fluid and link tricks together in the water.
SB: So, would you say youâ€™re better at airs or carves?
RS: Iâ€™m better at carves, Iâ€™m working on my airs.
SB: San Clemente is like Californiaâ€™s surf mecca. What is your favorite break and why?
RS: I love State Park and Lost Winds. When itâ€™s big it dumps and they both have a great shore break.
SB: Do you have a scariest surfing moment?
RS: Yea, when I was in Costa Rica with the Etnies surf team I got held down, pretty scary.
SB: Whoâ€™s your favorite pro surfer and why?
RS: Julian Wilson, heâ€™s a great friend and his style is awesome.
SB: The ASP World Tour is bigger and better this year with new sponsors, new stops and new talent. Have you watched any contests? RS: I loved the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach. I watched it online and could not tear myself away from it. Great surfing.
SB: If you could surf and spend the day with one pro surfer, who would it be?
RS: Kelly Slater for sure. I would like to learn from the best.
SB: Your next big event is the X-Games in Austin. What are you most excited about this year?
RS: Iâ€™m stoked my body is healthy and I can skate with my homies. It will be fun to be in a new city, too. Iâ€™m looking forward to checking Austin, Texas out.
SB: You haven’t won an X-Games gold medal since 2010. What are you doing in terms of training to make sure you beat the competition?
RS: Iâ€™m not trying to blow anyone away, Iâ€™m just trying to keep myself healthy and have fun skating at a high level without injury.
SB: We know youâ€™re pretty big into charity and the Sheckler Foundation does a great job giving back to young athletes. Your â€œSkate For A Causeâ€ event will benefit Be The Change initiative.
RS: When I started the Sheckler Foundation in 2008, I did it because I wanted to give back and I could see that giving back was really important to my fans. Over the years, we have evolved into a charity that walks along side individuals or groups in an effort to help them â€œBe the Changeâ€ they want to see in their community. It is very powerful when you combine your resource to effect positive change.
SB: Surfing is one way you get #bodyready. But now with your partnership with Gillette, you’re prepping in other ways. Tell us about the Gillette BODY razor and why youâ€™re all about it.
RS: Itâ€™s a great full body razor. I love a close shave, and this body razor is so easy to use.
SB: And now, just for fun, what three songs do you listen to before competing to help get you pumped up?
RS: Motley Crue – “Jump Start My Heart,” MGK – “Half Naked and Almost Famous,” and Of Mice and Men – “The Depths.”