Tampa Pro 2010: An Interview With Shuriken Shannon via Fuel

I interrupted Mr. Shannon’s Metal Gear game to make him answer a bunch of new questions. Putting the “black” in Black Label? Being Flavor Flav’s nephew? Old news. I wanted to find out exactly how he was training for the upcoming Tampa Pro contest. Was he mentally preparing? Hitting the parks? Dialing tricks? The answer, not surprisingly, was…playing Metal Gear. —Adam Sullivan

Oh, you’re recording now?

Yeah, I have to do it on an old-school tape recorder. My digital one broke.
Oh, you have to go back and type it out?

Yeah, transcribing. It’s a pain in the ass.
That’s a good job for you. Listen to my words—very carefully.

Har har.

Okay, so I interrupted your Metal Gear game for this interview. Do you play online?

Nah, I can’t get into all that s**t.

I’ve never delved into the online gaming world, but I kind of want to try.

It gets crazy. Fools get gnarly all into it. They start talking all this crazy s**t Into their headsets and whatnot. Me? I just play the game.

Do you ever get into playing the skate video games?

Yeah, they’re all right. I like messin’ around with them. It’s as real as it gets, on a video game. Get lost, get baked for a while, and go skate around in the video game.

Okay, the first question I actually had for you, I want you to explain your recent Osiris ad.

Oh, the kickflip?

Yeah. Where are you coming from?
Ha, that’s what everybody’s saying. I’m coming from the side of it, kinda. It’s a weird spot, you don’t even really bother looking at it.

Where is it?
It’s in the middle of, like, El Cajon, I think. Ain’t nobody gonna find that. Some random-ass baseball field. There’s some other gap there that we were checking out. I wandered around, and came up in that.

Well, at first I didn’t even know the trick. The flip is a little askew, so I thought it might be a varial heel.

I know, dude, you can’t even tell, my feet are all weird.

So you’re basically riding alongside the fence, and then cutting in?

Yeah, pretty much. You could either really hook it and make the gap shorter, or try to go the distance. I’m sort of going at a slant. It worked out, though, so I can’t complain.

Okay, so let’s talk about Tampa. I was out there with you I think two years ago, and you qualified really high, right?

Yeah, second. Rattray qualified first. I don’t know how I snuck in there. They like a black guy, I guess.

That was your first pro contest, right?

It was, yeah. I enjoyed it, it was a good atmosphere. It was a good first experience, for sure.

Do you remember how you did overall?
I got 12th. I got last in the finals.

You win some cash?
Yeah, I came up on a G.

I know, right?

Did you go last year?
Yeah, I sucked last year. It was horrible. I didn’t even qualify. It was crazy, everyone was going for it. But it’s good to go around, See everybody you haven’t seen in a while. I was chilling on the sidelines, drinking a brew. I’m like a mascot.

Do you skate in other contests, like the Dew Tour?

Nah, I didn’t go there. It sounds pretty intense. Tampa’s mellow. I went to the Maloof Money Cup. That was pretty sick. They had a pretty cool setup. I’m definitely looking forward to Tampa this year, though.

If you know you’re going to skate a contest, do you end up hitting the parks more to get ready?
Shit, no, not really. I can’t really go into that mode. That’s Sheckler mode. Straight training, I’m gonna do this trick ten times in a row? Nah, I can’t do that. I just skate around. If it comes up, it comes up.

Do you plan out certain tricks you want to make in the contest?

Nah, just whatever’s feeling right. Whatever’s on point. Maybe try some new shit. You never know what happens. Try my luck.

Some guys out there have the safety run, to get them into the finals…

Yeah, we all know who that is. I don’t even have to say any names. “Great, you landed it. I’ve seen it ten years in a row.” Nah, it’s all good.

There’s probably gonna be a lot of rookie pros in the contest this year.
Yeah, for real.

The one guy you gotta look out for is Luan Oliveira.
Ah, I know. Won Tampa Am, now he’s gonna win pro. How much you want to bet he wins it?

Seriously, He cannot miss a trick.
Yeah, kid’s too good. Cut us some slack, homey. I got a manual, maybe a boneless…

Come on, you got more than that.
You never know… hey, I do what I can…

Okay, let’s talk about Osiris for a minute. At this point, you and Duffel are kind of like the team captains, with the seniority, right?
Oh, I don’t know… I guess so. I’ve been sayin’ a couple things here and there.

It seems like the team is shaping up.
Yeah, we lost a bunch of heads, and I felt like, time to get some other boys some respect, you know? We got Raffin, and Jamie Palmore, it’s sick. Those dudes are just too sick to pass up.

Yeah, It’s a bummer that some of the guys left, but you seem to be building a strong team now.
Yeah, trying to. I just do what I do. I’m just a skateboarder. I don’t try to get too deep into any of that.

How’s your shoe doing?
It’s good man, surprisingly good. Fools are liking it. My lows just came out, I’m liking those. They’re looking good. Everything’s on the right page. Go buy that shit, fool. Hook a brotha up. Get me some cheeseburgers!

Cool. Well, I hope you come up on some cash at the contest.
I do too. Thanks man.

If you can’t make it out to Tampa, don’t worry. We got you covered. You can catch the live Webcast, March 14th at noon (EST) right here at FUEL.TV.

PHOTOS: Osiris/Hainault

Don’t miss the 2010 Tampa Pro Live Webcast on March 14, noon/9am (EST/PST) exclusively on FUEL.TV!

@stonedspork Double Double! Filmed by @lucero_rip @blacklabelskates
@patrick_ryan Getting Loose in a tight spot. Photo by @brycekanights @blacklabelskates