It’s not your first rodeo. I’ve got rope burns all over me, Shawn. We’re just a couple old dogs.
You guys put a lot of skin in the game to produce Washed Up (Before We Were Has Beens) too. What made you do it? Well, Aaron and I always wanted to do that. It started as some artsy-fartsy dream with 16 mm film and a Southern theme. Then they went and made that Canon HD camera. It all seemed a little silly after that. It was seriously like for $800 we could make a movie. Filming for video parts has always been my passion, and I’ve always wanted to make my own video.
Yeah, you’ve always put a lot of effort into your video parts. When I’m not filming a video part I feel like I don’t have much focus on anything. I love it. I watched Washed Up the other night with my girlfriend and it was probably the first time since all the premieres. It was so cool man, so many good memories. I called Aaron and told him we should do another one. He said he has to think about it. It was hard, but I loved it. The whole week after the premiere and before More Than Machines premiered was one of the best weeks of my life!
You were on top of the world that week. I haven’t done a video part since that, and it’s been really weird. For the seven-plus years before, I’ve never not been working on a part.
Do you feel a little lost? Yeah. I was just always doing something. Even some video parts people probably never saw, like in Joey Northup’s video.
That is one of my favorites. Yeah, I loved that First Breath part. It was sloppy and whatever, but it was fun working with Joey and everybody. And when I’m working on something, I’m riding all the time, learning new tricks and getting photos too. When I just go out and ride, I feel lost sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it, but I like working for something like I have a purpose.
What keeps you constantly into it? Money (laughs).
Seriously, people always think of you as free spirit soul guy. Yeah, people look at me as free spirit soul guy because I’m a wreck, you know?
Yeah, but it’s how you come across and what you say. I just love to wakeskate. It’s fairly simple. I love wakeskating, skateboarding, my family, my friends, my girlfriend and fishing. I don’t know, I just love wakeskating.
So you’ve never been burnt out before? When Cassette went under, maybe for like a year. Cassette went under, I broke my neck and I never thought I would wakeskate again. All that changed my life, but I came back and boom! Wakeskating was my life. I just wanted to do it, and that’s how I am to this day. I don’t know, man. I spend lots of my own money to go on trips, go to contests or just to wakeskate in my backyard. I don’t really feel good about myself unless I’m wakeskating, skateboarding or fishing. I guess you could say it defines me.
Good God. But honestly, when I riding my wakeskate and I look down at my shoes, the grip tape and the spray, I think to myself: “This is it, man. This is the crunchiest feeling I’ve ever had.” And I’m not even joking. Yeah, it sounds like I’m joking by the way I worded it, but it’s true. As a little kid I would always take my wakeskate and lay on my back and hold it up there on my feet and do shove-its and stuff. Or even wade out in the water and just play with it under my feet. It just blows my mind, and that’s why it never burns me out. I just don’t like pressure or people expecting me to do something.
That’s why I just like to ride with my same friends since forever. Even filming, I don’t feel like I have that much pressure when I’m filming because the majority of the time I’m with my friends. I just don’t like having all these people I don’t know out on the boat expecting something out of me. That’s when it’s not fun anymore. That’s when I’ll make excuses so I don’t have to prove myself to anyone.
How did breaking your neck change you? That is something that is really hard to explain, man. I don’t even think about it much anymore, but you take a lot of things for granted, and I was definitely taking some things for granted before that happened. I was probably being a jerk.
So it humbled you? For sure. Life is precious and you have to live every day like it’s your last. It made me grateful for what I do and realize how lucky I’ve been. I have an awesome family and awesome friends. I should have died, and I didn’t. Honestly, it made me a happier person and a lot nicer. I’m more considerate to other people and I’m not all about pleasing myself anymore. I have a long way to go and I’m way far from perfect, but I thank God for letting me be all right and getting a better perspective.
You’re in school, right? I attend a creative writing program at the University of Central Florida. Black and gold, black and gold, go Knights.
Creative writing is your focus? Yeah, that’s my major. I’m about to finish next semester. I’ve got senioritis big time. I’ve been in school my entire life. I’m super over it, but I’ve always gone part time and just chipped away. I’m a product of the community college system.
Is being a college grad something you’ve always wanted? I’m just doing it for myself. My parents at first really wanted me to be a college grad, but I don’t think they really care anymore. I always wanted to have some sort of college experience like the rest of my friends. A lot of them aren’t involved in the industry. It gave me a whole different side of my life, which is nice. You’ll drown if you’re in the water for too long. In the wake of your identity, you need to find yourself somehow.