Last summer, it took Shaun White a couple of contests to get his skate legs back. He missed the first Dew Tour stop with an ankle injury, took second to Pierre-Luc Gagnon at the X Games and then won the final three Dew Tour stops back-to-back-to-back. This year, after taking third at the first Dew Tour stop of the season behind Bucky Lasek and PLG on July 24, he hopes to speed up the winning process with a gold at summer X Saturday night.
"Being hurt before the first event last year, I felt like I was really lucky to come through and pull out those wins," White says. "But this year, I wanted to be ready. Skating has been a big part of my summer. Snowboarding season will come around before I know it, so this is my time to hit skating hard."
In the lead-up to last summer's X Games, White spent a few weeks training on a vert ramp he borrowed from Tony Hawk and set up -- with the help of sponsors Target and Red Bull -- on a sound stage in a Paramount Studios back lot. This year, he's practicing on his own ramp at his home in Carlsbad, Calif. "I recently purchased a portable ramp like the one they used at X Games last summer," White says. "The quality of portable ramps has gotten so much better and I'm psyched to have one. I'm pretty much the coolest kid on the street. The kids really look up to me now."
If not for his skating, then perhaps for all his recent extracurriculars. White has a cameo in the new Justin Timberlake-Mila Kunis film "Friends With Benefits," a new line of Target clothing due out soon and a Sunglass Hut ad campaign with Oakley. "The Sunglass Hut ads are crazy," White says. "Those stores are everywhere -- in airports, in malls. I'm everywhere."