Ryan Sheckler used to have cameras following his every move for his MTV reality show Life Of Ryan, but now the crew has gone home and he can concentrate on one thing -- skateboarding. J-14 caught up with Ryan in New York City, where we chatted with him about the upcoming Dew Tour, beating NBA star Lebron James at the Kids' Choice Awards, and his fave place in the world to be.
J-14: Can you tell us about this year's Dew Tour?
Ryan Sheckler: It's going to be exciting. Last year I only got to skate one of the contests, and then I blew up my foot so I was out the rest of the season. God-willing, I'm 100 percent now, and I'll be able to make it through this season. I'm not worried about winning. I know my skills are there, and I feel comfortable on my skateboard, so I'm just going to go have fun and see what happens.
J-14: How do you keep motivated after all these years of skating?
Ryan: When I was 13, before I'd go skate in a contest, I would get the nerves so bad that I almost couldn't skate. Now I still get nerves, but I know how to control them. As I get older, it's easier to skate these high contests and really put myself out there and know that my skills match up to these guys. It's been a gradual period of getting to know my body and how I feel. I know I have what it takes to win a contest -- it's just putting all the tools together in the exact way every single time. It's fun. I like competing against the guys I skate against and when they win, I'm happy for them. There's no hate in skateboarding, at least on my side. I love watching my competitors and skating with them. I like being around that whole atmosphere.
J-14: How did it feel to beat Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Shaun White at the Kids' Choice Awards?
Ryan: I still don't understand how that happened, and the only way that's explainable is my fans. I have the best fans in the world. I love my fans to death, and they share the same love. I'm friends with Kobe, I know Lebron, and to be friends with Shaun White and to beat those guys? Shaun White -- Gold Medal. Kobe -- Championship. Lebron -- King James. It felt weird, like I shouldn't have gotten it -- I didn't know how to react. I talked to Kobe after. He said congrats, but other than that, it's just pretty mellow.
J-14: What's it like to not have reality cameras following you these days?
Ryan: It's kind of awesome. It's just normal. I'm living my life now. I was living my life before -- nothing was fake, nothing was a joke. It was all real. It's just better now that kids don't see me on TV as much -- they don't have as much to say. That's where most of the hate was coming from. Now I've been off TV for a bit, and it feels like all the hate is kind of mellowing out a bit.
J-14: Your big touring season is coming up -- what's the coolest place you've visited?
Ryan: I've been to Australia 20 times. I'll go there whenever -- it's my favorite place in the world. I [also] love San Clemente, where I live, and New York.
You can catch Ryan on the Dew Tour in Boston on June 25 & 26, in Portland from August 12-15, in Salt Lake City from September 16-19, and Las Vegas from October 14-17. He also gave J-14 this exclusive shout-out while he was in NYC -- check it out here:
Photo: Courtesy of Alli, Alliance of Action Sports