Archives For Ryan Sheckler

Last Friday I spoke on the phone with Ryan Sheckler. The professional skateboarder and former MTV reality star was in New York City for a Nike SB Street League Skateboarding competition at Newark’s Prudential Center. Towards the end of the interview, I asked Sheckler about the photo Justin Bieber tweeted of the skater to promote Bieber’s new single, “What Do You Mean?” Sheckler noted that he counts the pop star as a good friend of his.

“We did like two music videos yesterday,” he revealed. “We skated a mini-ramp for… damn, it was probably like two hours and we just got to rap out by ourselves.

“He’s a really cool kid. A lot of people have their opinions about the dude but he’s a solid guy and yeah, he’s one of my homies.”

Both of the clips they filmed last week have seen the light of day: Sheckler is featured prominently in the new lyric video for Bieber’s new single, which hit iTunes Friday. The music video also contains a Sheckler cameo.

“What Do You Mean?” does not pick up where singles like “As Long As You Love Me” and “Beauty And A Beat” left off. The track does have a flavor of electronic dance music in the synths but with a ticking-clock and piano, the vibe is much more “on the beach” than South Beach. While it’s not a complete departure, the 21 year-old does deserve some credit for taking a chance with a different vibe as opposed to simply hiring a well-known producer and song-writer to help craft the perfect pop hit.

Bieber performed his new single Sunday at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The cross-section between sports and music has never been as cool as it is now: Jay Z represents athletes, the Toronto Raptors signed Drake to consult on marketing matters and Carrie Underwood is back as the face and voice of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

But the relationship between artists and athletes extends past the major American sports; action sports like skateboarding also enjoy a solid rapport with some of the biggest names in music.

Case-in-point: professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler. The 25 year-old grew up in the spotlight alongside music artists on MTV with his reality show “Life Of Ryan.” In that sense, he can relate to musicians like Justin Bieber a little better than your average athlete. The two spent last Thursday skateboarding and filming two music videos. Earlier this month, Bieber tweeted a photo of Sheckler to promote his new single, “What Do You Mean?”
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“He’s a really cool kid,” Sheckler said of Bieber. “A lot of people have their opinions about the dude but he’s a solid guy and yeah, he’s one of my homies.”

Another hitmaker with an appreciation for ollies and flip tricks is Lil Wayne. The hip hop artist’s passion for the sport led him to create his own fashion line of apparel, Trukfit.

“Wayne and Bieber, they just have the heart for it. They’re not doing it as some gimmick,” Sheckler explained; he called in to “Ralphie Tonight” to promote last weekend’s Nike SB Street League Skateboarding stop in Newark, N.J. “They actually really love skateboarding and they’re getting a lot better, day-by-day. Practice makes perfect.”

It certainly is not uncommon to see Wayne out-and-about with his board; the rapper was even spotted a few years ago skating around the parking lot of The Woodlands ahead of his concert at Montage Mountain.

“I think they realize that skateboarding is fun,” Sheckler continued. “To learn at your own pace, to do what you want to do… you can just be an individual and it’s freedom.

“I back Wayne and Bieber skating so hard man. It’s cool.”

The artists’ affection for the sport may also be a reflection of the times; as every league competes for television money and ad revenue online, skateboarding has seen an expansion past ESPN’s “X-Games.” Fox Sports 1 broadcasted Sunday’s event live from the Prudential Center.

These and possibly other reasons lead Sheckler to believe that skateboarding’s future is bright.

“I see skateboarding eventually in the Olympics,” he predicted. “People are actually realizing that skateboarding is a sport.”

And for pros like Sheckler, that might end up being the coolest cross-section of all.