RYAN SHECKLER
'At least half of my skateboarding world golfs a lot, and they're all very into it.'


Ryan Sheckler



There's hope for all of us when a 23-year-old, fully tattooed, world skateboarding hero like Ryan Sheckler is effectively using his celebrity to give back—especially when he's also inspiring fellow "X Games" athletes and action-sports fans to do the same. The Sheckler Foundation benefits underprivileged children and other pediatric causes, as well as injured action-sports athletes. Fittingly, Sheckler has become smitten with golf, the sport that generates nearly $4 billion a year for charities. He plays with buddies at courses near his home in San Clemente, Calif., and breaks 90 on his best days. His annual golf tournament at Trump National Los Angeles is one of the largest fundraisers for his foundation, and his Southern California buddy Rickie Fowler is often there for support. Much like Fowler and his love for motocross as a kid, Sheckler was a young thrill seeker, riding a skateboard for the first time when he was 18 months old. When he became the youngest gold medalist in X Games history at 13, Sheckler's global stardom was born. A few years later, his MTV show "Life of Ryan" became a reality-TV hit that drew two million viewers per show. "Eight to 10 people in three minivans followed me around with cameras every day for almost three years," Sheckler says. "It was crazy, but that show changed my life and enabled me to start my foundation and live the life I live today." That life consists of trips through Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, where he competes and performs and tries to stay in one piece. He has broken his left elbow three times, his right elbow twice. There was also a broken ankle and foot, torn ligaments and too many dislocations and concussions to count. But when he's on the golf course, it's nothing but joy. "When you live in the world of action sports, golf is something that gives all of us a sense of calm," he says. "You aren't surfing a 20-foot wave or doing a 12-stair drop on your skateboard. It's all about having fun and keeping the mood light. And in many cases we're raising money to make the lives of others a little bit better."


• The Sheckler Foundation




Ryan Sheckler

December 2013