This is the full interview that ran in our April 2013 Interview Issue.
As board control increases, so do trick options, and this is where restraint is important. With so many possible tricks to be done it becomes very easy to get too zany. Shane O'Neill has all the options, but he keeps it tasteful.
Are you still taking online trick requests from the fans?
I just do that stuff because it's funny, just to hear what kids say. It's funny to see who's actually a skater and who's not a skater. Occasionally, someone will put a good idea out and I'll maybe try it. For the most part, I just do that to see the ridiculous comments.
If you had to put out a trick request, what would it be and to whom?
Shit, that's hard. I would want to see Koston do a switch backside 360 down anything. Just down some stairs or something, because the way that he does it on flat is so different to any other one that I've seen down stairs—there's not that many anyways. I'd love to see him do that. I could think of something crazy, techy, tricky, but I think I'd just rather see that at this point.
As a ledge/flatbar wizard, what move in 2012 shocked you most?
Man, there's just so many. The Guy stuff is just out of control, I don't even know where to begin. Actually, my favorite trick that Guy did was in Barcelona, the front tail on the top ledge and then shove-it to noseblunt and then into the bank. How could you think to shove-it onto the lower ledge? Sometimes when you get real tech it gets a little crazy, not all the time, but that in particular was so smooth, and I don't know how he thought of it.
You had mentioned that sometimes some tricks can get a little too tech. Where's the line there? What's the cutoff? Is it possible for a 720 flip to be done to look proper?
There is for sure a line. Usually the wacky tricks that I do, something you might see on the Internet, I'll just do it 'cause it's fun, but I don't necessarily want to have that in my video part, if that make sense. I'm probably not going to 720 flip any stairs or anything like that [laughs]. I definitely appreciate the simpler things too. I like when people do nice flip tricks down stairs that don't have to be like 540 big flip or something, you know?
So there's some restraint used on what you would use in a video part versus what you would put out on a web clip?
Yeah, for sure. It's fun to be out of park messing around trying some crazy tricks. But for my part… even the double flips, I don't really get into those that much. I've maybe filmed two, ever, in my life. These days it seems like they get pretty wild with those ones.
“I wake up and everyone is screaming,
those masks pop down,
and people are throwing up.”
Skating in various locations always leads to some crazy events being witnessed. What's the craziest thing you've seen off-board last year?
Me and Paul [Rodriguez] were at that park he designed in Pacoima and some kid was using his phone and then a couple of some gangster-lookin' dudes came over and asked to use it. So this kid lets them use his phone, then they start to walk off, and he's like, "Hey, what are you doing?" Then all at once, out of nowhere, these three dudes just start beating up this poor kid. It was so quick that no one could really see what happened. The dude stabbed the kid in the neck with a pen. The kid was holding his neck bleeding everywhere. Then the cops came. That was a pretty crazy thing to see. Oh, and I was in a plane crash last year too.
You were in a plane crash?!
It was a crash landing. I was flying back from China, and I was dead asleep, and I wake up and everyone is screaming, those masks pop down, and people are throwing up. I just held my head 'cause it felt like my brain was going to explode because the cabin lost pressure, you know? But I put this mask on, and there's all these people throwing up, people crying. The turbulence was crazy. Five minutes later we land, it's dark, and we're in Alaska on a private airport. So the runway was small, so we just landed; we didn't even stop in time for the runway, we just kept going and then stopped. You know when you're on a plane and you think, "What would I think if the plane were to crash?" I seriously couldn't think of anything. It was all within 10 minutes, the most insane thing I've ever experienced.