Interview: How Complex is Skateboarding Icon Bucky Lasek?

Interview: How Complex is Skateboarding Icon Bucky Lasek?
Bucky Lasek might be 38 years old and have three daughters, but that doesn't mean he's lost any of his competitive edge. The Baltimore legend has owned the vert ramp for the past 20 years, not to mention he literally has the world's largest personal bowl in his backyard in San Diego. Despite multiple knee and ankle injuries, Bucky has won 13 X Games medals, multiple Dew Tours, and several Van's Triple Crown Titles over his career. Because a lot of us know him from doing 24-trick combos in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for N64, we wanted to pick his brain and find out what Bucky's really about. 

What’s your favorite song at the moment?
Bucky Lasek: Ted Nugent, “Strong Hold.” I love the beat of the guitar. It reminds me of an anthem. I can see myself walking down the street with it playing.

What are your favorite sneakers to wear?
Bucky Lasek: Classic Vans.

What’s the most money you ever spent on an item of clothing?
Bucky Lasek: A Dolce & Gabbana jacket in Australia. It was a dress jacket for a few hundred bucks. 

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
Bucky Lasek: Elaine Irwin, an older victoria’s secret model. She just looks like a cover girl.

Favorite alcoholic drink?
Bucky Lasek: A Paulaner Hefeweizen

What is your dream ride?
Bucky Lasek: I have a hard time spending money on cars these days. I'd have to say the Porsche GT3 RS. I’m really into driving, so it’s probably the best street track car out there. Nothing flashy. I just can’t justify spending that kind of money with three kids and a house. I have a Porsche twin turbo ‘01. It’s older. I can’t justify getting something like that with responsibilites.

Favorite city to visit?
Bucky Lasek: I like Australia. Bondi beach. I love that place. It’s close to sydney. I like that it’s a big city with a beach right there. The scene is amazing, the people are great, it’s incredible. Just the whole scenery. I could live there, but I think I'm pretty much ready to retire where I live now in Encinitas. I have a cool house with a big bowl in the backyard. I’m about 10 minutes from the beach, but i’m still in horse country. And I’m just past the marine layer, so it’s always sunny.  It'd only be better if I were on the beach. It’s hard to get that kind of land.
 
How has this season gone? What’s been different about it?
Bucky Lasek: It’s been less stressful. Last year I had a lot of pressure coming off a broken ankle. I just feel a little bit more easy on myself as far as expectations. Just kind of cruising it and having fun with it. It’s been more fun than last year. It's just the stress of always being on top and at the high level of riding. It’s almost like ridiculous that you could keep up this level of riding no matter what. I’ve been doing it for so long now, but I still find the fun in it. The challenge is still good for me.

Talk about your new trick, the frontside nollie flip stalefish 360, and what it’s been like figuring it out.
Bucky Lasek: It’s one I’ve been working on. The hard thing is one, making tricks, and two, working them into a run that actually works. Because you’re switching directions a lot and you have these great tricks that you already can do, and when you figure out another one, you’re like how does it fit into the puzzle? It’s just like a puzzle. All my tricks flow into each other, so when you add another one it kind of messes up the run. It’s like you have to learn two new tricks. You have to set up for some of the tricks with your feet. Coming out of the tricks you're doing already, it’s almost impossible.

Are there ever points when you know that you aren't going to be able to complete your runs?
Bucky Lasek: It’s kind of where the bad music sets in your head like woah, woah, woah, and it’s not going to happen. Sometimes it happens that way. Last year in vegas, I struggled with a few of my tricks.  It's like I’m trying to give a speech, and they put the music on you. That feeling of okay, it’s not going to happen, wrap it up. Your intention is there. Your mindset is on one thing, and you’re settling for second best. It’s a very down feeling, but that’s why you’re competing. It’s not the end of the world It’s just skateboarding.
 
Talk a little bit about how the Dew Tour is different from the X Games. Is there a different approach?
Bucky Lasek: It’s a different mindset. It’s more strategy. You can’t just go blow one contest off. You're trying to strategize even if you’re in the middle of the final. Even though you want to win in the middle of a final, you kind of have to sit back and put it in cruise mode. You have to go for the top five instead of blowing it trying to go for the win. It depends on the situation you’re in. You get a few runs, so my first two runs I go for the win and go for the harder tricks. If I dont make my first two runs, i start to sit on some of the tricks. I know I might not win without them, but then I’m fighting for a top five or second place finish.

You’ve won three times before. Why would this win be any different? 
Bucky Lasek: I think just because the level of skating is always getting better and getting harder. It would just mean that I’m still progresssing and at that level and able to reach it. It’s not like I’m getting dead last, but a win would put a nice little cherry, a nice stamp on it. Plus it would bring in some nice big sponsors, so I could buy my Porsche.


Tags: bucky-lasek, skateboarding, dew-tour
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