Rad Friends Doing Rad Things: Shawn Hale

Posted on Apr 3, 2013
I have been looking forward to introducing this old pal of mine for a little while.
About 10 years ago I was working at a youth center/skatepark/music venue. I really enjoyed getting to know and being apart of all of the kids lives that passed through our doors but our regulars were the ones that we were able to build great bonds with. Shawn was one of the first of the skateboarders I got to know while working there.  To have watched how he has grown and where he has come from makes me feel like a proud momma.  One of the most quietly driven and laid back guys I know.      

Shawn Hale

Hollywood California

When I was little my dad always had a skateboard around the house, my sister started skateboarding and I did soon after.
Skating to me is an obsession, a goal, an expression, a lifestyle.

Some of my heroes are Eric Koston, Sean Malto, Justin Strubbing, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and my dad.
I am sponsored by Birdhouse Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Spitfire Wheels, Ergo clothing, Globe shoes, Glassy Sun Haters, Dakine, Gatorade and Krochet Kids International.

Some of my favorite places to skate are Stoner skatepark in Santa Monica, the schools around LA/Hollywood and China

I skate almost every day that I can, probably 4-6 days out of the week.

The first time I ever met Tony Hawk, shortly after being asked to ride for his company, Birdhouse skateboards, we did an episode at his house for Built to Shred on FuelTV. They made a giant rainbow looking wall ride going over Tonys pool. It was probably a 20 foot gap over water, with a ledge on one side you could slam into and a 40’+ drop behind the ramp. It wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done but definitely something I was the most nervous about. It was just a sketchy situation and my first time skating with some of the guys. The drop in ramp was really small and there were 5 of us up there and Tony told me to either go or get off, so I just went. Luckily I did it on my first attempt after asking Tony’s advice on how to make it over. I’ve done much harder tricks street skating, but I wasn’t so nerve racked for those.

The gnarliest injury I’ve ever got was probably the one time I fell in between two ledges going as fast as I could after I tripped on a skate stopper. I slammed into a gap and hit the corner of the second ledge with my armpit, my body folded into the gap. I couldn’t breathe or move, I didn’t have insurance, and I was pretty sure my back was broken. Well I found out a few days later that my ribs were dislocated when they finally popped themselves back into place and everything felt better after that. Years later I found out I fractured a couple bones in my back but not sure if it was from that fall or others.

Don’t get me wrong, I love where I’m from and who I grew up with, it’s my home and I miss it. But I feel like I should have moved when I was 18 but I didn’t have the courage to go on my own. Events in my life have shown me I can do and should do whatever I want to achieve my goals, it’s never too late. Moving from Missouri to California when I was 22 and it was the best move I made.

Don’t worry about tricks, just have fun and don’t give up

(Photos c/o Shawn Hale and his sponsors)


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