Exclusive – Skate for a Cause Q&A with Ryan Sheckler

By on May 6, 2016 in Culture, Skateboarding with 0 Comments

Ryan and Charlie Blair pushing copy

Ryan Sheckler gets after the push slalom event at Skate for a Cause. Photo: Skate for a Cause.

Ryan Sheckler is a busy guy. Between his pro skateboarding career, his foundation, being an older brother and trying to keep his golf handicap in check, the X Games champion and MTV star returns to Lake Forest, CA this weekend for the 7th Annual Skate for a Cause charity event. We had the chance to get an exlusive Q&A with Ryan to catch up on all things skateboarding as he prepares for another busy summer of living the dream.

What’s the word with Skate for a Cause for 2016?

This weekend coming up, Saturday, is our 7th annual Skate for a Cause event in Orange County. It’s going to be amazing. I love it because all these top skateboarders donate their time. They don’t have to come to this event. It’s not a mandatory thing. They come because they want to be there. They want to have the fun, and they really see the impact it makes to these children and the people that we work with at this type of event.

Jakks Pacific Legends Bowl Contest

All the legends are planning to come out for this year’s Skate for a Cause event. Photo: Skate for a Cause

What is the charity/cause this year?

This year, it’s benefiting Andrew Hale. He was involved in a super-gnarly car accident in 1997, and he lost his leg, and from that he started teaching adaptive action sports athletes, and was a para-Olympic snowboarder. He’s been training for the Olympics, and then in 2016, he had another gnarly accident on a snowboard resulting in a brain and spinal cord injury.

So we want to share his story, and educate everyone on just how much he’s affected the lives of so many amputee action sports athletes. It was a no-brainer that he would be a recipient of this year’s Skate for a Cause award.



This year’s Skate for a Cause charity will go toward benefiting injured adaptive snowboarder and X Games athlete, Andrew Hale. Photo: Chris Sanchez, Adaptive Action Sports


Wow – that’s a tragic story but also inspirational.

Yeah he’s actually used his injury and disability as a positive to teach kids how to rise above and not be ashamed of not having an arm, or not having a leg, and just being able to use what you have. His story just amazing so it’s really powerful.


Ryan Blasting 2

Sheckler blasting a frontside transfer at the 2015 Skate for a Cause event. Photo: Skate for a Cause

So this makes 7 years, what’s the typical amount of money raised?

Each year fluctuates, but that’s never really the point. The point is to get everybody there to get the message that you want to be the change that you see in your community. It would be great if we raised upwards of $100,000, but we have no expectations for what we raise. We just want to get our message out.

Ryan with past BTC recipients Ashley and Carter

Sheckler poses with some attendees of last year’s Skate for a Cause event. Photo: Skate for a Cause


Who are some of the sponsors of the event, above and beyond the athletes that are participating?

Roth Capital Partners is a huge sponsor this year. We have Oakley as sponsor. Man, there’s so many, it’s incredible. Tech Deck is going to be there. We have built in this huge carnival area that starts at 10 o’clock, and it’s just absolute mayhem for these kids. They have all sorts of carnival activities and rides and they can win prizes and win shoes and all types of skate gear, and it’s going to be catered by Chronic Taco, so it’s just going to be just another one of those amazing days.


Redbull brought out DJ Dax to man the ones and twos

Skate for a Cause is always a party. Photo: Skate for a Cause


Speaking of amazing events can you tell me about this year’s Hart Lines event in Detroit?

I can’t believe it’s stuck, but after the results and how last year went, it was kind of a no-brainer that we would be able to bring it back, so this year is even bigger and better. We have an insane pack of skaters. It’s basically the same cast from last year, and we’ve added some people like David Reyes, and Trevor McClung and a couple other really heavy hitters. Chris Cole’s is coming back … Evan Smith, so it’s going to be one of those contest. I think Leo Romero’s coming back, too.

Are you making any course changes this year?

We made the course longer, so we pushed it back about another 100 feet, so I think in total, we added 2 or 3 new obstacles to each run, and 6 total alley sections so that you can actually roll in and not have to roll over a grate, so we cleaned it up, buttoned it up from last year, added some things, and people are juiced up stuff. I know I’m excited, so it’s going to rad. I leave for that contest on Tuesday.

How are the locals in Detroit responding to Hart Lines?

The locals have been loving it because we get there a couple weeks in advance, and we’re setting up, so people always walking through Hart Plaza and wondering what it is. Especially from last year, people coming through, now my team manager’s out there, and he said people are so excited. They cannot wait. They were all there last year, and they’ve been looking forward to this event this year, and something that we added new was we’re doing a shop contest, so we’re having 6 different shops compete to have one of their, I believe, the top guy is going into the semi, or the qualifiers for the main contest, so we’re actually giving a shot to one of the local guys that’s just ripping, to actually be in the contest.

Overall – everything is just giving back to the city, and giving back to skate culture of Detroit, Michigan.

Ryan Sheckler performs a Kickflip during the finals of Red Bull Hart Lines, at Hart Plaza in Detroit, MI, USA on 6 May, 2015. Ryan Sheckler performs a Kickflip during the finals of Red Bull Hart Lines, at Hart Plaza in Detroit, MI, USA on 6 May, 2015.

Beyond Hart Lines, what’s your summer contest calendar looking like this year?

My contest calendar is pretty sick. I’m trying to get involved in one of those bowl contests, so I believe I’m skating in the US Open contest in Huntington Beach in that bowl contest, and then I got X Games coming up. I’m not doing Street League this year. I will be doing the Dew Tour contest, and then I think there was a couple contests in Europe that I might try to do, but it all starts off with Hart Lines.

Any other content projects happening?

Yeah, we’re working on some things right now. Basically, I’m just working on the etnies video skateboarding video, so I’m working on a part for that, and we’re going to do some new fun things with Red Bull. Not so much like Sheckler Sessions, but just new one-off ideas that we’re working on, and other than that, just really trying to work on my fitness, and definitely skate.

How about your little brother, Kane Sheckler? He’s been ripping lately.

Yeah man. Kane’s killing it. It’s insane. I get to go skate with him all the time. He skates everyday up in my warehouse, and I go in there, and I skate with him, and it’s incredible to watch his progress, and watch how confident and just comfortable he is on a skateboard. He absolutely rips, and he’s definitely going for it.

So does this mean Kane is all in on being a pro skater?

Yeah, I think that’s where he’s at right now. I think that’s the motivation. That’s where he’s headed, and what he’s doing. He’s getting all his own sponsors, and video parts, and calling all these amateur contests, so he’s pretty involved.

That all sounds great. Anything else you’d like to add before we get off?

No man, just stoked for people to come out to Skate for a Cause and come have some fun.



Skate for a Cause goes down this weekend May 7, 2016 at Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest, 20028 Lake Forest Dr, Lake Forest, CA 92630, from 10:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. For more information visit http://www.shecklerfoundation.org/events/skate-for-a-cause


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