ENCINITAS — Resident Bucky Lasek, 40, took the top spot on the podium at the X Games in Los Angeles this past Saturday, proving that age isn’t an obstacle for him.
In this Q&A, he talks about his success this year and what draws skateboarders to Encinitas.
In light of the youth movement in vert skating, how do you compete with those half your age and even younger?
That’s an easy one. They’re the ones competing with me because I’ve been there longest.
They’re a breath of fresh air and bring a new approach and excitement to the ramp, and that’s motivating. It’s great to see they’re reaching new highs and continue to push the sport. You see the sport has a future and that’s what it’s all about.
You’ve been on a hot streak this year with four gold medals in a row. Is it fair to call this a comeback?
I wouldn’t say it was a comeback because I never went anywhere — I was almost always on the podium every year.
Has your training this year been different than previous years?
This year has been fun and stress free. For me, (it was) don’t over-think it and do it for the love of the game. The goal was not to care if I get first or last. It came down to going out there and doing what I do, and not really caring what people think.
In the contest in Munich that was before the X-Games, you saved what was arguably your best trick for your last run. Did you have a strategy going into the vert finals this past Saturday?
Yeah, my strategy was just to try the hardest tricks I possibly could my first run — not hold back at all. That worked, my score held up. This time around, I think it was the combo of tricks and their difficulty. I tried to use the whole ramp and bring it together with flow.
You live in Encinitas, so does 13-year-old Tom Schaar, and, of course, Tony Hawk has roots here. Why do you think so many great vert skateboarders live here?
This is the place where the ramps are, where the sponsors are — the magazines. And the skateboarding lifestyle is just so common. The scene is so easy to get into.
What’s next for you — are there any particular tricks you’re working on?
I’m always working on new stuff — variations, bowl tricks, a little twist here and there. Other than that, just doing my thing and not changing too much.
I’m finally home and want to spend some quality time with the family. But I can’t stay too long, I got to get back on the road for a rally race this weekend, and then after that things tend to slow down a bit, so vacation here and there hopefully.