In 2010, The Parents Handbook had the pleasure of interviewing the growing star as he began to take to the mainstream and national stage. Since then he has become a household name, and most recently, he has joined the Vail Resorts team. We were flattered to sit down with him again this winter for another interview.
Call him snowboarding’s golden child. Shaun White has taken home gold from the Olympics, the Winter X Games and both the Summer (for skateboarding, of course) and Winter Dew Cup events. The red-headed boarding sensation has been sponsored since he was 7 years old, went pro at age 13, and ever since, has steadily transformed the sport. But he’s more than just an athlete, he’s a brand name.
In August, White, 25, announced his new partnership with Vail Resorts. He’s designing his own 22-foot half pipe for Northstar at Lake Tahoe, his home mountain and primary training resort.
The Parent’s Handbook caught up with the ever-friendly Shaun White in early November, just as he was getting psyched for the snow.
On why he partnered with Vail Resorts: “I obviously have ridden all of their mountains. I love riding Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck and Keystone, but most importantly, they had Northstar, and I’ve just had such a good history going to Northstar, riding with friends there. The park is amazing and it’s just a motivating place to ride. My favorite part is it’s so close. If it’s going to be sunny, I can go for a week and come back once the weather turns south.”
On overcoming fear before doing a trick: “It’s not so much the fear, but the doubt. You don’t want to ever doubt yourself going at a jump like that. If you put the thought of falling in your head, the likelihood of falling goes way up. You have to block that out and only think of the positive and only believe ‘I’m going to make it.’ That’s something I developed from a young age. If I’m going, I’m going all in, I’m going to give it my best shot.”
On his favorite Vail memory: “I was a bit younger, hanging out with Jake Burton, which was a really big deal for me. We met up at Vail, had lunch and rode the mountain. We had an amazing powder day. He’s a human ski map and we went down the backside [down the Minturn Mile] and ended up in Minturn at the little Saloon there. This last season, or the season before, we did the same thing, only this time I was old enough to have a margarita with him afterwards.”
On if he’s having a quarter life crisis since turning 25: “There’s a Triumph motorcycle sitting outside of my office right now. I’m pretty excited about it.”
On the competition he’s most excited for this winter: “Definitely the X Games. I’ll be there not only defending the half pipe, but I’m planning to make my comeback in slopestyle. I stopped riding jumps because of the Olympics and in the meantime, everyone made leaps and bounds on what they were doing. I humbly bowed out at the slopestyle comp this past season. I showed up, knowing I wasn’t going to win, which I don’t like to do often, but I got something that’s priceless: I left with the motivation to do better. I got the fire lit to do what needed to be done to get back on top of the podium. I got the motivation to get it done.”
On his recent cameo in the film “Friends With Benefits” and if he plans to become an actor next: “It was really fun. It was two, three days of work, if you can call it work. I got to fly out and hang with Woody Harrelson and Justin Timberlake. I would love to do more things like that, be in movies, playing different roles … But I don’t see myself hanging up my boards anytime soon.”
On his new home accessories line for Target: “I think the home side of things is really cool. When you’re young, your room is your spot in life. It’s your place. It’s important to look cool, but you have to have a cool room, too. My favorite part was we got to make piggybanks, that was the one thing I was really into. It’s a piggybank with eight eyeballs.”
Justin L Heureux