Shaun White is back on the vert ramp and getting ready for the tomorrow’s finals at the Dew Tour’s Toyota Challenge. He’s coming off a recent rooftop birthday bash on Sunset in L.A. to celebrate his 25th last week, but it’s back to business in Salt Lake City where his competitive fires are burning.
What were your expectations going into this Dew Tour season?
I always set the bar for myself pretty high. I’m always expecting a lot out of my performance. I was just happy not to be injured. Coming into Boston at the first stop last year, I was injured and I had to sit there and watch everyone compete, and it was pretty hard to do that. So I was just excited to show up and have at it.
Last year you won 4 of the 5 stops, and the only one you didn’t win was Boston where you had to sit out. What is it about you that allows you to dominate in competition?
For me, I usually need that motivation and I need something to push me forward to do better. I think sitting there and not being able to compete was really that thing at the first event last season. I just sat there watching and hoping to be there on the ramp and putting a good run down, and it just wasn’t going to happen. I kind of used all that motivation and frustration from that to then get better. Then I had the sweep and won three in a row, so that was pretty unreal. The only time I ever did that before was when I won the Cup.
What would it mean to you to win the Cup this year?
It would be unreal. Coming off these pretty snowboard season’s does take a toll on me. It’s a whole different set of tricks and a whole different style of competing. So when I show up here, it’s extremely refreshing, but it’s still frustrating. I got to relearn old tricks, make up new tricks and put it all together and hope to win. But year, the goal is taking the whole Cup.
Where does your drive to win come from?
When I didn’t win an event, it would be like the end of the world, and everyone would be asking me what happened. So I almost felt like I couldn’t get any other place but first otherwise it was a complete loss. It’s a strange mindset to be in. I think it’s because I had an undefeated season when I was 19 in snowboarding. I won everything. Then I went back that next season, after the Olympics and everything, and I think I got second at the first event and I was like, ‘Wow, right there the season is not even as good as the one before it.’ That was hard for me. I was trying to match my seasons, there. So I definitely go into each event with the same mindset of wanting to do well and wanting to win. I don’t back off in the slightest.
Tune in to see if Shaun can take home the win in tomorrow’s skate vert finals live on NBC. Check your local broadcast schedule for times.