The Follow Up: Shawn Hale

Hale PoolPortrait Karpinski DZ 750pxPhoto: Karpinski

Hey, Shawn, how’s Tampa going?
It’s good. I’m just out getting food with the homies right now.

Speaking of meals, you got one of your last tricks for this part the other day and then took everyone on the sesh out for tacos. Is that a normal move? I always thought the guy rolling away gets a free meal.
Well, that’s because I felt bad for how much work we had to put into the spot. We spent most of the day there. Ducky, City Boy, Richie and D-Vargs all put in work helping me shovel so I felt like it was the least I could do.

That was one of the grossest spots I’ve ever been to.
We were joking that we would find a body in that mound of dirt. Instead we just found a bunch of used needles and a porn DVD.

Was that the most work you had to put into making a spot skateable for this part?
Yeah, that one was a bit of work. I wish I would have rented a small earth mover instead of getting the shovels. My back started feeling crazy mid-shoveling and I had to call it so I could skate. When I finally got to try the trick, my back spazzed on the first attempt so then I had to figure out how to try it without bending my back. It was hell.

Does that still have to do with the car accident you were in?
Yeah, right after Saturdays came out I got rear ended real bad. I was going about 60 down the 405 when the traffic came to a sudden stop. When I looked in my rear-view mirror I saw this big-ass Suburban not slowing down and he slammed into the back of me pushing my car into the car in front of me. I guess since I saw him coming it caused me to tense up and made my injury worse.

Hale Sequence 750pxYou probably saw the nose tap (Nap) in the mag, but taking it to the flumes and adding a 360 is next level     Photo: Papke

Did his insurance fix your car?
It’s crazy because I was out of town and I switched insurance carriers recently, but they weren’t auto renewing me. So when I came back I found out I didn’t have insurance. I called them and renewed my insurance that day, but they told me I could only do liability until I got my car in for them to inspect it. So I got in my car, left Long Beach and right after I got on the freeway got in that accident. His policy wasn’t very good and couldn’t cover my full car and I didn’t have full coverage so they haven’t paid for my medical bills yet. People keep saying I should sue the guy but I really don’t want to do that. That’s not my thing.

Typical America—the sue-everyone mentality.
I just want them to pay for the bills. That shit gets expensive.

Is that how you hurt your knee too?
No, that was from the Thrasher Y ramp contest out in Hawaii. I’m telling you, it’s been a crazy year.

Wait, I thought that was when you split your head open?
Yeah, I got hit in the face with a board, too, but I didn’t give a shit about that because I knew my knee was jacked. I caught my knee on the spine 30 seconds before my heat started. It sounded like paper ripping. I thought I tore my meniscus again and I knew it’d take some hours before the swelling came. Then at the end of all of it I get hit in the dome with Roman’s board.

Fuck that. Didn’t your sister recently have a pretty bad accident while hiking?
Dude, yeah. She was hiking in Iceland on vacation recently and fell into a geothermal vent, pretty much just boiling water. The ground caved in under her when she was walking on a trail close to some hot springs. Luckily, her friends pulled her out pretty quickly but she burnt up both of her legs really bad with second and third-degree burns. She had skin-graft surgery and just recently was released out of the hospital but still has a nurse for a few months. She has to do physical therapy every day reopening all the wounds to make sure that she’ll be able to walk normal when she’s all healed up but the doctor said she’s lucky to keep her legs. She’s as good as she can be. She’s got about a year until she can be done and back to living normal. Probably the most painful flight ever coming home. It probably sucked so bad.

I can’t even imagine. That’s way worse than anything we’ve gone through.
The doctors gave her Ketamine and I would talk to her while she was at the hospital, just laughing about it, but the next time I talked to her she wasn’t on the same painkillers and that’s when I knew it was really serious. She didn’t even remember a couple of our conversations. It was bad.

Hale RollOnLip 2 Karpinski DZ 750pxAll of his injuries in '18 didn’t slow Shawn down one bit on this sketchy ride-on lipslide     Photo: Papke

God damn! So I am guessing all these injuries is what led you to want to start your own health company.
For sure. Hopefully it’s going to be out in the next few months. I’m patenting a shoe right now that helps stretch out the muscles in your feet.

Like a skate shoe?
No, it’s not about skateboarding but the idea came from something that we all deal with from skating. Basically it’s a shoe that helps prevent foot and ankle injuries. You slip them on for ten minutes in the morning while you are making breakfast or doing whatever around the house and it helps relieve tight muscles in the feet. It’s based off something several physical therapists would tell me to do. I just simplified the process and built it into a pair of slides.

So it’s kind of like a foam roller for your feet? Did you get samples made yet?
Similar concept but simplified. I bought a 3D printer and made prototypes at home. For the past couple years I would mess around with different ideas, 3D printing molds and cutting up shoes until I finally made a working prototype that I am satisfied with. I’m working on molds with a factory now and hope to have actual samples soon. But yeah, this project isn’t a skate company but I am obviously going to be giving them to friends in skateboarding and I hope it can help people.

Do you have a name for it?
Well, the definition of Hale is strong and healthy, so I’ve been leaning towards using that as a company name. Healthy Active Life Ethos, or HALE. But I might give the shoe a different name.

Speaking of names, where did the name Beautiful Mutants come from?
It’s actually from Mark Mothersbaugh, aka Devo. I’m not sure how it came about but I know Tony is good friends with him and he made a board series for Birdhouse. He titled the series Beautiful Mutants, which I guess is the same name as a book he came out with some years ago. The boards came out right when we made the trailer so I think we just kind of ran with it.

How much of the video did you see before the premiere?
I saw my part but that was it. I picked the song and was really hyped on it and wanted to see it edited all together before the premiere. I was excited to see all of it but definitely Clive’s part. I just knew about some of the tricks he was doing through the grapevine. But I also really wanted to see what Reese had. I was excited to see how Mills ended up putting the whole thing together.

What was this like in comparison to filming for Saturdays?
For me, it was honestly a lot less stressful. I was having fun going out with Richie and it was cool having no big plans. I had a lot of fun filming this. It’s not like I didn’t have fun filming for Saturdays, but I was just killing myself on a few tricks that I didn’t get. This one was always just fun sessions and more mellow stuff.

Hale SwWallride UCLA Karpinski DZ 750pxIf this is what Shawn considers “mellow stuff,” we can’t wait to see him try something gnarly. Switch wallride, stress free     Photo: Karpinski

I saw you doing a bunch of those nosepress tricks in your part. How did those come to be a thing?
Honestly, messing around with Raybourn was it. Just doing tailblock stuff with him on flatground, then one day I thought I haven’t seen anybody do it on the nose. When it worked it ended up being a really fun trick and started messing around with them. I did one on the QP at Stoner in a couple tries, and then me and Hammeke shot the sequence that ran in the mag at Garvanza park. I week later I learned the 360 ones on the brick quarters in downtown and then you, me, Crane and Richie went and shot that one at the flumes. That was probably the hardest trick that I had to do for the part.

You live with Richie, yeah? How many people do you actually live with? Seems like you guys run a hotel out of your Santa Monica apartment.
There are four of us that actually live there but, yeah, there is almost always a homie or three crashing on the couches.

I like the added room built in the living room.
When I moved in a couple of years ago the guys always had someone renting the living room and I thought they should have a little more personal space so I started building some walls and made it as legit as I could. It was funny because our property manager was in front of me in line at Home Depot when I was buying all the stuff to make the walls.

Oh shit! Did you get busted?
He asked me what I was picking up and I told him “I don’t think I’m allowed to say.” He laughed and already knew what I was referring to so it was pretty funny. He asked if I needed help and I told him I was good.

Riding for Tony Hawk’s company seems like it would have a ton of perks. What are some situations you have gotten yourself into by being around Tony?
I mean, every trip I go on with him is like a situation that I never expected to be in. But I guess if I had to choose, the Tony Hawk Foundation events might be my favorite. I just remember being a kid and wanting a skatepark so when we go do events and meet kids it reminds me of that time in my life and all the excitement. One time Tony invited me to go with him to South Africa with the Starkey Hearing Foundation and that was beyond anything I ever thought I could be a part of. We helped install hearing aids in kids’ ears and for some of the kids, it was the first time they’ve ever really heard anything before so seeing their reactions was wild. Then we did a demo at a park the Tony Hawk Foundation built for the kids through Skateistan.

Hale Bluntslide HighlandPark Karpinski DZ 750pxArguably one of the grossest spots in LA. A few mounds of dirt couldn’t hold Shawn back from this hairball bluntslide     Photo: Karpinski

Do you feel like your skating gets in the way of your modeling career?
Dude, I don’t like doing that stuff but it’s expensive to live in California and if people ask me to do something that I’m gonna get paid for then shit, I’m down. I hate seeing any of the commercials I do. I did an Apple commercial once. That wasn’t that bad; it was cool. It really helped out but I would rather just be skating.

Is it just like Zoolander?
Nah, they don’t ask me to do any poses; they just make me wear stuff. The other day we went hiking, I put on hiking gear and they took photos of me that just look like I’m hiking. It’s mellow. I do other work, like I do deliveries for this weed company around Santa Monica. All the laws are changing with that so I’m not really sure what to say about it, but they’re a legal company and pay taxes.

That’s true. Okay, so last question—everyone gets this one: out of anyone on the team, who do you think best fits being a Beautiful Mutant?
Oh, easy. Jaws. He does the craziest shit. He just skates like a mutant.

ShawnHale ClosingPortrait photoPAPKE DZ 750pxVoted least likely by his teammates to be the token Beautiful Mutant     Photo: Papke
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