Zero Club | Dec 2022 | Shane Reilly

1. Name / IG Account?
Shane Reilly - I have two, but the important one is @OFB_Skates. It’s my skate brand, Old, Fat, and Broken.

2. Age?

3. Where are you from?
I always say I’m from all over. I grew up as a military brat back when service members would travel with their families. I’ve lived in several European countries and all over the US. Currently, I’m in Austin TX.

4. What’s your history with skateboarding? What role does it serve in your life today?
It was the summer of 1984, we had just moved to a new Base in Mississippi and next door to a new kid our age. This kid had something called a skateboard. It was yellow and plastic and wasn’t anywhere near as fast as my bike, but it was a blast to ride, and I wanted one. I picked up a Coyote GT3 from a local toy store and we would spend every weekend going up and down our little street and down our shared driveway. The trick was to go from standing to sitting and back to standing again while still rolling. One day a local teenager saw me and asked if I was a “skater”. I asked him what that meant and he said, one of these, while thrusting a copy of Thrasher into my hand. I was hooked. I didn’t know what else I wanted to do with my life, but if anyone ever asked, I was gonna say I was a skater.

The next year, we moved to a small, island base in the Atlantic. Most families only did a year or two there but my folks loved it so we wound up doing 5 yrs that tour. This was pre internet and even pre satellite TV so every bit of news or TV we got was at least a week behind, if not months. It was hard to get Thrasher there but, surprisingly enough, a healthy portion of kids that transferred onto that base skated. Something about the transitory nature of being a military brat in the 80’s lead to a proclivity towards skateboarding and punk rock. So even though we were behind the times in most things, the constant influx of new transfers kept me up to date with the current skate scene. We weren’t California, but we weren’t nothing either. I got my first “pro” board there. A red Caballero hand me down from a hand me down whose tail was razored down to about 1.5 inches but was just big enough for me to learn to ollie on. I was lucky enough to live down the street from the school so I’d spend most days, weekends, and even nights (when I snuck out) grinding parking blocks, ollieing stairs and gaps, and trying to figure out wall rides. My dad even built us a little quarter pipe for the end of the driveway.

In 1990 we moved back to the states. The first day of school I was approached and asked if I was a skater kid. I said yeah and was instantly in crewed up with the skaters, punks, goths, and general misfits. That same scenario would repeat itself through the next three schools. At the start of ‘91, I was good enough to get sponsored by my local shop and get sponsored by a tiny board company that gave me flow through decks. By the end of ‘91 both the company and the shop had closed down. We built a mini in our backyard that was the only real ramp in two states. Kids would drive 3-4 hrs one way to come skate it. They would do BS heel flips to tail slide and or pressure flips to smith grind, and I was still working on boneless variations. It was the height of the tech era and even though I picked up some flip tricks (I loved impossibles!), it passed me by pretty quick. That didn’t stop me from skating though. After I graduated, I spent two years just bumming around and skating as much as possible. My crew moved on to other things or were only part timers at that point and I figured I should find something else too.

I moved to the north east in ‘97 and attended a tiny college in a tiny town where I was really the only skater. I still skated for transportation and would go out on the weekends but it was almost always alone. I had a buddy that was into BMX and he’d join me on occasion and we’d film each other but skating became a solo thing after that. I stopped reading Thrasher (or transworld, or big brother or …) and stopped watching videos and basically left the scene. Got married, had a kid, moved around a bunch but still skated solo. Tried to get my kid into it, but it was never his thing. Every once in a while I’d meet someone that still skated and instinctually ask them how long they’ve been skating, or roll with someone at a spot once or twice. Recently I met a bunch of rad ass dudes my age that skate and we’ve been getting together to hit the parks or curbs. First time I’ve had a “crew” in over 20 yrs and it’s taking some getting used to.

As I’m sure it is for a lot of us, Skating has been the one constant thing in my life. It’s how I found a tribe, the lens I saw/see the world through, it’s been the one way I’ve defined myself for as long as I can remember. Hi, I’m Shane. I’m a skater.

5. What’s your set-up, including shoes?
I got a lot right now. Like a bunch of men our age, I got into a bit of a buying craze during the pandemic. I have three or so boards in my van at all times, but the one I’m really enjoying right now is a Heroin Curb Crusher with Thunder 169’s and 54mm Conical full Spitfires. Right now I’m skating pumas, but I got some DC’s coming by the time you read this.

6. What terrain do you like to skate?
I’m done with gaps and stairs and “going big”. These days I’m all about curbs, but I did just find a bunch of ditches that are making me happy.

7. What stokes you out in skating?
Seeing guys my age and my level still riding is what really gets me going. Also seeing new skaters. AND all the female skaters! Skating has gotten so big and is so accessible to everyone that there’s almost an overabundance of things to get stoked about. Wanna see some middle aged dudes learn FS slappies, we got that. Wanna see 5yr olds kickflip euro gaps, we got that too. Wanna see a squad of girls hooting and cheering each other on as they land their first ollie or layback and get choked up cause you know exactly what that stoke feels like, we got that in spades! As anticonformist as a lot of us have always been, there’s something amazing about seeing so many people from so many walks of life love what you have always loved.

8. What could be better in skateboarding?
To contradict what I just said, I feel like we’re losing a bit of the culture of skateboarding. I’m seeing a lot of “athletes” that skate now. I don’t want to say “jocks” ‘cause that conjures up negative images and I don’t know these people. But I do see a lot of folks that seem to treat this more as a “sport” or simply an athletic endeavor than a lifestyle. I don’t know, maybe I’m just old and they need to get off my lawn.

9. What inspires you, in skateboarding, and life?
I’m a storyteller (could you tell?) so stories inspire me. I’ve worked in the TV/Film industry for over 20 yrs so I watch, read, and intake a ton of stories. I guess that’s kind of a cop out since everyone gets inspired by stories, it’s the only thing that really has inspired I’d say. But there it is, the basic journey of the hero is what draws me in and holds my attention. People's stories of struggle and improvement inspire me. Especially in skateboarding. There was this get together here a couple weeks ago and everyone was so pumped to be skating with each other that they were overcoming obstacles that you know they wouldn’t have on their own. I’d see them working up the courage to attempt this thing that scares them and then they’d land it and 30-40 dudes would erupt in cheers and I’d think, “Fuck! I want that stoke!” and it inspired the hell out of me to try things I either hadn’t or tricks I thought I lost.

10. What bands/music do you like?
Again, I’m all over the map. But I hold tight to 90’s ska punk. I lost all my music in the 2000’s so I just use Pandora now. Common Rider is who I’m listening to a lot now (again?). Sucided machines, Run the Jewels, Pat the Bunny, Foxy Shazam, all types of “rebel” music.

11. What makes you laugh?
Dad jokes.

12. Favorite books/movies/tabloids?
Oh jeez. I definitely have a type. I'm a nerd at heart and have been a huge SciFi and Fantasy fan my entire life. I’ve been reading the Wheel of Time series since it came out in the 90’s. It’s a much broader and grander epic than anything Tolkien ever did. It’s a slog in parts, but the world it creates has been so rich that I’ve returned to it again and again for 30 years.

Movies? Star wars….. all of it. Yes, the tv shows, cartoons, and movies. But aside from that genre, I’d say that three movies helped truly shape me. The Slater trifecta: Heathers, Gleaming the Cube, and Pump of the Volume.

13. Major injuries?
I moved to Los Angeles in the early 2000’s and it was my first real experience with skateparks. I know! But they never held interest for me before. I was always a ledge and stair skater. I used to take my son to this one park and he’d push around on his scooter and I’d try to hit the banks and quarter pipes and hubbas. But they had this dope bowl. I never skated bowl but it always looked cool. So one day I’m there with a friend just letting our kids play around and they start goading me into showing them how to ride pool. I don’t have any pads and I wasn’t planning on skating, but sure, why not. So I start riding this pool, but I’m treating it like a halfpipe (straight up and down) instead of a bowl and of course, I hang up at the top. No pads so no sliding out, instead I land stiff leg at the bottom of bowl from about 9’ up. I explode the cartilage in my knee. The doctor removes about %80 of the cartilage and tells me I’m never going to jump, run, or skate again. I’m laid up in a machine that has to bend my leg for me every 45min for 6 months. I go through 12 weeks of physical therapy before I’m comfortable doing squats again. For 6 yrs, I don’t do more than push, carve, and occasionally ollie up curbs. My knee swells up every couple months and I have to get it drained or I can’t walk. When I moved to TX, I go to see a new doc to get my knee drained and he tells me I’m going to need a replacement sooner rather than later. I say fuck it, let’s beat this one up and get it over with. I start skating hard again, ledges, stairs, learning new curb tricks. I start jumping and boxing again. And what do you know, my knee starts actually working again! There are still weeks where I can’t kneel, but overall, I’m in a better position now than I was 5 yrs ago. Buddy of mine just had two hips replaced and he’s out hitting half pipes and DIY’s. I’m using him as inspiration and I’m just gonna beat the fuck out of this busted knee till I get a new one. Then I’m gonna beat the fuck out of that too.

14. Outside of skating, any other passions/interests?
Aside from Movies; Woodwork (I press my own decks sometimes), Design, Art, Sculpture. I spent some time in the designer toy world making wooden sculptures, and worked as a fabricator for several artists besides showing my own work. I did a piece during the pandemic where I placed one flag in my yard for every Texan that died from Covid. It made the cover of the NY Times and got taken up by a lot of people around the country. Art, especially tactile art, has always been a thing for me.

15. Skating as a kid vs. skating as an adult over 40…talk about the differences and similarities.
I don’t think you can talk about skating over 40 without mentioning fear. For a lot of us, we have more days behind us than ahead and experience has taught us that time doesn't heal all wounds. The fear of injury, of losing out on work, of not being there for those you love, is way more palpable in your 40’s vs as a teen. As it should be. My body doesn’t bounce anymore, my muscles and joints don’t flex like they used to, and I’m responsible for other people. The risks I was able to take as a kid, I can’t afford as an adult. But that’s OK. One of the truly amazing things about skateboarding is that it’s so varied. I can lament the tricks I’ve lost, or I can learn new ones. I used to have crazy pop. Like Natas/Hill level pop, now I don’t. But I’ve got slappies! And I’ve got a few variations of slappies, something I didn’t have as a kid. When I was young, almost all of my tricks were Ollie based. Now that I don’t look at skating through that lens anymore, I’m learning all types of new stuff. One of the wildest things I’m learning as an older skater is that skating is so much bigger than I thought.

16. Favorite skate videos?
Public Domain, Useless Wooden Toys, and Shackle Me Not.

17. Favorite skaters?
This is a tough one. There’s pro’s that I dig, but they don’t really inspire me. Well, some do. The Heroin team are pro’s and guys like Dead Dave, Ira Ingram (curb killer), and Bail Gun Gary and some of my favorites. But I mostly follow skaters on instagram. Drew Domkus, Tanks World, Gerry Frenchi, skateboarding_lebowski, sk8tomotomo etc.

18. Favorite skate graphics? Worst skate graphics?
Right now my favorite is anything on Darkroom. Don Pendeleton’s art really speaks to my current sensibilities. I hated the stuff he did on Alien Workshop when they came out but I’m loving his current work. Worst is a tie between those stupid bugs from Powell and the Baker logo deck.

19. Who should we interview for the next episode of the Zero Club?
Hit up Drew Domkus cause his curb progression has been truly inspiring.

20. Last words?
Hey Chris, I don’t know if this is a good spot for this or if I should make a separate post or just keep my mouth shut. But I’ve been thinking about it since Stupid Fest.

I want to say something to the Solo skater. I know a lot of you guys have crews and homies you roll with but I want to specifically address the guys that don’t. The guys that hit the parks in the early mornings because no one else is there, or the ones secretly waxing up curb spots to hit on the weekends by themselves. The ones that post solo sessions and the ones that just read these posts but don’t comment. I see you, ‘cause I am you. For 25 years I’ve been you. So, I want you to know this comes from a place of love. Here it is. Skate With People.

Wait! Don’t go! Just hear me out. I know that you’ve heard that before. And I know that you’re not some loner that avoids folks, and that you have a family and friends and a full life outside of skateboarding. I also know that you take some pride in being the only guy in your world that does what you do and you kinda like having this thing to yourself. But trust me when I tell you this, it’s better with people.

As I alluded to above, I was part of a group that came together recently from all over the world to skate curbs and ditches and backyard ramps. These guys ranged from dudes that don’t do much more than push to actual pro’s. Guys that were closer to my dad's age or my kids' age than me. And all of them, Every Single One of them brought a new level of stoke to every session. It was palpable! Skating with others will make you better and it will make skating better.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re the best guy in the crew or the worst guy in the crew, you’re going to skate better. You’re going to try things you wouldn’t have on your own. You’re going to see a spot in a new way and approach an obstacle with different eyes. Whatever hangs ups you have, you’ll have the encouragement and support to get over them. Solo sessions are like peanut butter, fucking great. But skating with people is like Chocolate and peanut butter, fucking better!

But you already know all this. That’s why you’re in this group. Or the other FB group. Or the third FB group. You get your fix from your online homies cause there’s no real skaters where you live. Well, and I love ODSC, but let me tell you, it’s not the same. As great as a community as this is, it is not a substitute for skating with real people. And the skaters are there. Doesn’t matter where you’re at, at least one of us is there. You got a park, cause there’s skaters. You got a waxed curb, cause there’s skaters. Find ‘em, roll with ‘em and you’ll be better for it.

I know a lot of this is coming from my own personal journey and doesn't apply to most of you. But I see the guys out there in my same position, and I want you to know it gets better. As fucking great as it is, it still gets better! That’s it. Go skate.