Playing The Percentages
Does what you learn while skateboarding affect the rest of your life?
“I’ll have to wait around for the rest of my life to know for sure.”–John Rattray
“By learning balance and the techniques of skateboarding, you’re teaching yourself both physical and mental lessons that schools only wish they could teach. It’s a kind of learning pattern you’ll fall into to help you in the future.”–Colt Cannon
“If I didn’t learn half the stuff I’ve learned from skating, I’d be a completely different earthling. I’d probably be a jock or something and wouldn’t have nearly the same level of patience I have now. Skating kept me going in an artistic direction as well. It’s one of those things that are half-physical and half-mental skill. The mentals add the flavor, and I learned a lot of that flavor from just feeling the way my board is under my feet. My observational skills of people with or without flavor are so much more finely tuned now than they would’ve been if I didn’t skate.”–Tim O’Connor
“The better I do, the better I feel. If you do something you’re proud of every day, you get to look back on a great life.”–Chris Cole
“I’ve learned through the friendships I’ve made, business decisions–right and wrong–and general approaches to take on everyday life. It’s definitely affected my life and will for the rest of it.”–Erik Ellington
Are you skating more now than when you first turned pro?
“When I first turned pro, I was in Scotland and still in a university, so I’d skate once a week and love it. Now I skate more than then ’cause of where I’m living and the Zero park.”–John Rattray
“After I turned pro, I had to make decisions that got me depressed. The kinds of decisions that make you not want to skate or do anything. After a while, I learned how to better myself by eating right and changing bad habits into good ones. I skate more, and I love skating even more now.”–Colt Cannon
“I skate the same amount of time now as I did when I first turned pro. None of that has changed unless I’m hurt up or something.”–Tim O’Connor
“Not more, that’s for sure. I was eighteen and just stoked to be in San Francisco and out of school. But this past month, I feel like I’m getting back to those days–staying at the skate spot ’til the sun goes down, and looking forward to getting back there the next day.”–Scott Johnston
Do you think professional skaters, on the whole, earn their salary?
16.65% Don’t know
“They’re doing the best they can.”–John Rattray
“On the whole, I guess. But there’re definitely a lot of mugs who are fakin’ the funk and still gettin’ money. All them peoples are resting on their laurels–and sometimes not even resting on those–but someone decides to pay them still.”–Tim O’Connor
“These days, kids are out just risking it all. I don’t know if I’m one of these guys, but as a group–yes, for sure.”–Scott Johnston
“Some pros are lazy. Their percentage gets made up by all the others who give it more than their fair share.”–Chris Cole
“In order to make an accurate decision, I’d need all their names, accompanied by their corresponding pay, plus photos/video footage, and other miscellaneous coverage.”–Erik Ellington
Do you ever wish to meet all your heroes?
66.7 % No
“I’ve met lots of my heroes ’cause I grew up with them in Scotland. I love all my heroes ’cause they’re just like me–imperfect. That sentiment goes out to all American TV execs. I like America and dislike this hating that’s going on toward a generalized America, but I dislike perfection. Actually, perfection doesn’t even exist. It’s just hidden, badly. And not being allowed the freedom to be responsible for my own safety by scared lawsuit mongers pisses me off. But in response to the question, everyone’s my hero. Me, too, sometimes–oh, and John Cardiel.”–John Rattray
“My heroes are only heroes to me because of the amount of kindness and respect they give out to others.”–Colt Cannon
“Not all my heroes, but I don’t wish to meet anybody, really–okay, maybe J.Lo. But when you come across the people you’re stoked on, that’s what it’s all about. Especially when they live up to your expectations.”–Scott Johnston
“The lure of a hero is sometimes the mystery of what they’re like–larger than life in a way. Meeting the dudes from KISS would be sick, though.”–Chris Cole