INTERVIEW BY DAN LEVY
INTRODUCTION BY DAN LEVY
PHOTO BY DERICK ACHZIGER
Skaters by our very nature are risk takers. Shane takes it to the next level whether he is 100 feet up working in the trees or dropping in from the top of a bridge over a highway full of speeding cars. Shane will literally skate anything his wheels can roll on. Always pushing the limits doesn’t begin to describe the aggro attack Shane Allen lays on every block of coping he hits. Landing tricks on every wall, he cruises life’s curves and curbs with an unforgiving realness that is hard to ignore. Here’s Shane Allen, a true skate warrior.“I PUSH IT BECAUSE THAT’S WHO I AM. IF SOMEONE ELSE DOESN’T WANT TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST, THAT’S FINE. THEY CAN GO SAFELY INTO THEIR LITTLE HOME AND PUT A HELMET ON AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT, BUT I’M LIVING.”
Why don’t we just start at the beginning? Where were you born?
I was born in Ventura, California in ‘82.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
I have two sisters, one older and one younger.
Would you consider yourself the black sheep of the family?
One time, my aunt gave me a Lost beanie with a little black sheep on it, and that’s what I figured they’d been saying about me. They let me in on that joke.
[Laughs] What did your parents do?
My old man was a fireman and he ran his own business on the side doing home repairs and landscaping. I used to go with him to work at the Fire Department. At 13 years old, I was in a fireman uniform flying down the freeway with the lights on. My dad put me in a uniform to make me look legit. I was going on calls with him and using the Jaws of Life. I cut the seat buckle out of this old Buick. They were cutting up this car and the firemen were all pumped on letting me get in on it. They were like, “What do you want?” I was like, “I want the seatbelt.” That’s what I took from a burning car.
Wow. What was your childhood like in Ventura?
I used to go to the beach a lot. My dad surfed all the time and I used to go down to the local spots with him. My dad was like, “You can’t surf. You’re too young. The local guys are going to get mad if you get in their way.”
How old were you then?
I was three or four. All the Hell’s Angels would line up on the tree lines on their bikes and they would be partying. There was a fairground in Ventura, but that was it. I got my first skateboard then too. It was a little plastic blue board with yellow wheels.
So you’re four years old and you’ve got a skateboard. Your dad is going down to the gnarly surf break and there’s a bunch of Hell’s Angels around. Were you in school?
I wasn’t really a school kid. I think a lot of doctors were trying to shove medication down my throat at a young age. From age three to five, I was already hearing things like, “Something is wrong with your kid. He’s climbing up on the roof and jumping off buildings. We can’t take care of him.” It just went from there.
Were you just being crazy or just having fun?
I was having fun. I didn’t really get what everyone was so serious about.