Ryan Sheckler has been skating with Oakley since he was seven-years-old.
Let that settle in for a minute, and then think about what you were doing at seven.
The fact that this guy had a big time sponsor at the age of seven is absolutely tremendous in my opinion, but when I had a chance to talk to him about his experiences as a skater and his plans for the future, I realized that there is more than just his poise on the board that makes him impressive.
The thing about having success at such an early age is that many people have a tendency to let it get to their heads. They end up forgetting where they came from, forgetting the people that got them to where they are and often times, forgetting the very people that gave them the shot.
In the case of Ryan Sheckler, that could not be any further from the truth.
Check it out.
Basically I’ve rode for Oakley since I was seven or eight years old. I’m 21 now so I’ve been basically just part of the family for my whole life; and Oakley is just a great company. It’s very up to date and always doing something new and always doing something catchy that people can respond to and that people like. I just like the whole vibe of the company, and I have two pro glasses out right now and it’s just been a great relationship.
Anytime that the word family comes up in regards to a sponsorship it has to cause you to think very highly of both the sponsor and the person being sponsored. To me, that’s a sign of a company that’s willing to do the necessary things to support an up-and-coming star, especially from such a young age, but it’s also a testament to Ryan and the loyalty that he has shown to the company.
Speaking of loyalty, I really had to wonder what it was like to work into that position as such a young kid, so I asked Ryan how he ever even got himself to that position...
My whole life has been the skate life. I don’t really remember doing anything besides skateboarding. I think it just came with practicing and practicing and skating contests, and just being in the skate world as a little guy.
Obviously Ryan understood the necessary steps that it took to pursue his dreams. It can’t be stated enough how much hard work and dedication to your goals can really make an impact on your life, and here is another shining example of that.
Lastly, I wanted to figure out a little bit more about Ryan’s future and what he is planning on doing. I had heard rumors of a skate video that he wanted to put on, so I asked him about that and his plans for upcoming competitions...
With competitions coming up I’m only doing street league and X-games this year. I think it’s better that way just because now I only really have have five or six contest to focus on instead of eight to 12 that I normally would do a year. And I can focus on my Plan B video part that I’m working on. That’s basically all I care about is just getting this part done by the end of the year and having it be up to my standards.
I asked him a little bit more about the video and his plans to give the proceeds away to charity...
The proceeds for the actual video part itself when we come out with it, we haven’t really figured out what we’re going to do with the distribution of the video yet, but if we do end up selling it all the money will go straight to charity.
We don’t know what charity foundation yet or what we’re going to work with. It’s basically going to be when it comes to that time and whoever we’re working with if it seems like a good idea than that’s where the money is going to go.
Obviously, Ryan Sheckler has got his stuff together and it’s refreshing to see an athlete take what has been given to him and use it to help other people.
He worked hard to chase after his dreams, handled the pressure of exposure at an early age, he’s remained loyal to his sponsors and to his roots and now he’s going to use his influence to help others.
Honestly, that’s the template to success in any walk of life folks.
I’m excited to see how Ryan continues to grow as a person and as a skateboarder, and I don’t expect anything other than greatness in his future.
Keep an eye out for continuing coverage of Ryan Sheckler right here on Bleacher Report!
You can find the audio of our whole interview right here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13840524
Follow Ryan Sheckler on Twitter: @RyanSheckler
Follow Andrew on Twitter: @AKonSports