INTERVIEW Marcus Bandy PHOTOS Various Artist
Anthony Shetler is the man! He’s a great skateboarder, a leader and builder of true skateboarding community, and an inspiringly creative entrepreneur. This East Coast OG has risen from dangerously heavy beginnings to become a powerfully passionate and balanced human being. Street savvy, humble, motivated, and infectiously stoked—I’m proud and honored to call Anthony Shetler my skate brother. Anyway, we recently sat down and traded questions for answers—the following are the results that bartering. Please enjoy.
Age, years skateboarding, and where do you call homebase?
I just turned 34 in Nov. I’ve been skating for 21 years and I call Taunton, Massachusetts my home.
I’m pretty sure you are the first “street skater” we’ve interviewed here at Wheelbase . . . does that make you feel special? Ha ha!
That’s fucking sick! I’m hyped to be apart of the legacy of Wheelbase. Thank you!
Are you a “Street Skater”?
In my heart I am. I started skating when I was 13 and I was just a dysfunctional kid from a broken home in the streets with his skateboard. I use to never want to go home because it was full of drug abuse and violence. Skating around the city helped me deal with a lot of my issues in life.
We’ve known each other for years now, and that’s pretty much why this interview is happening—well that and because you are a skateboarding badass in general—but how and when did we actually meet, exactly? Ha ha! I feel like it was in HB with Brian Sumner in the early 2000s or late 90s on some local filming missions? Those were wild times!
I’m pretty sure we first met when I was living with Brian Sumner in Huntington Beach. Donny Barley helped me get on the team at Birdhouse Skateboards and Sumner was rad enough to let me stay with him for a while. I just rememeber watching you skating in videos and thinking about how gnarly you were on your board. Then to meet and skate with you was a treat—plus the fact that you’re not a asshole made me even more of a fan :).
Tell us about All I Need. When did that start, why, and what’s the future plan?
All I Need started in the middle of the great recession here in America. I had just lost my sponsors and was looking for work to keep a roof over my head. I had a little money in my savings account which i could have lived off of for a little bit but i just got my hustle on and found a 9 to 5 to pay the bills and i took the money i had in my savings and started my brand All I Need. This opportunity and experience i’ve had with starting a brand in a recession and be able to watching it grow with the people i love has been insanely gratifying. Im so thankful to be here right now.
All I Need Skateboarding: “In The Trenches”
Thanks again for doing your podcast (The Shetler Show) with me a while back. That was fun! You’ve done over 200 of those interviews. What are the top-three must-listen The Shetler Show podcasts that skaters should peep first and foremost?
It was my pleasure. You can ham it up pretty good—made for a awesome conversation! I’d have to say Chris Nieratko, Chad Muska and Marc Johnson were really fun to interview. I love recording podcasts. It seems to help me grow as a person having weekly conversations with new people that I admire. I also just like the idea of having a collection of stories from the people that have helped build this skateboarding culture we all love. The Shetler Show podcast is available on the iTunes store for free.
Let’s talk about Mike Girard and the annual Central Mass Skateboard Festival. You really do a lot for the East Coast—for example, the New England Am event— and Mike G does some rad shit too! It was cool that you guys collaborated together this year at Cen Mass, and it was great skating and announcing the mini ramp jam with you. Anyway, what did you think of that event? Obviously, there was a lot of downhill and “longboard” kids there—that’s probably not something you are used to being around I’m sure, but I’m definitely interested in hearing your perspective and impressions.
First off, Mike Girard is awesome! His Central Mass event was epic! Announcing the mini ramp was fun—so many people were killing it. The longboard and downhill stuff looked fun, and a bit dangerous. I’m down with anyone who is out and rolling. Just pushing on a skateboard is one of the best feelings. I’m never mad at anyone who is out having a good time skating.
Wheelbase Magazine is all about skating everything and giving voice to a more diverse and dynamic world of skateboarding. Some say that we are being too idealistic in our approach. What are your thoughts on skateboarding broadening it’s view and what we stand for here at Wheelbase?
I always say that the art of skateboarding is for anyone. It’s just a piece of wood with wheels and if someone wants to put their life’s energy into expressing themselves through skateboarding, fucking go for it! The more the better. I love meeting and skating with people. The simple act of skateboarding has enriched my life more than I could ever imagine. It has made me a better person. I love meeting others that feel the same.
Tell us about the skatepark you work with and the community events you do there, and on the East Coast in general?
I live about 8 mins from The Edge indoor skate park. I bought my home from the owners. Great people who have managed to keep the skate park open for 15 years. Here on the East Coast this is really important during the winter months. It’s my second home. We throw a annual skateboard event titled the New England Am. We just finished up our 3rd year. It was insane! We had a 14 & under, 15 & over, as well as 25 skate shops come from all over the country to compete. The level of skateboarding that went down this year was wild.
I know you dealt with some super gnarly shit growing up: drugs, shootings, living in the projects and living with friends and shit like that. How are you still sane and how exactly did your passion for skateboarding play into that?
Shit was heavy growing up. A lot of stuff was out of my control and I had a lot of real life issue’s put on me at a young age. I lost my father to gang violence when I was 13; he was shot and killed and my mother suffered from a severe drug addiction. Skateboarding kept me sane and allowed me to build my life and find purpose in it. I’m a kid from the projects that put his passion and energy into skateboarding and rose out of poverty.
Top three skaters, tricks, spots, and videos?
Skaters: Aaron Suski, Brandon Westgate, and Corey Goonan. Tricks: kickflip, frontside flip, and power slides. Spots: Boston, Providence, and New York. Videos: All I Need Thrive Prosper Rise, In The Trenches, and Menikmati.
What does it take to have longevity as a skater? Not necessarily in business—although that’s hella important when either juggling a corporate gig or working in the industry—but also, what is it that has kept you skating all of these years?
I think it takes a little bit of madness; you really gotta want it. Life will pull skateboarding out of your world very easily if you let it. I’m still learning and I think that’s what keeps me skating.
What do you think of downhill skateboarding—all the racing and dudes speeding in packs and mobbing mountain roads like motorcycles and shit?
Its awesome—more cool stuff please!
Why do you thing people hate on the idea of “longboarding”?
Probably because they are an asshole. I’ve been an asshole before for sure!
Why do you think the Gonz rides long skateboards all the time?
Good question. If I ever get him on my podcast i’ll ask him!
What’s the gnarliest slam you’ve ever taken?
I sacked a rail so bad that my feet didn’t touch the ground.
What’s the gnarliest slam you’ve witnessed someone else take?
Mike Franklin has taken multiply slams that no man should have survived, but he just keeps going and going. It’s insane.
You like dogs. I like dogs. Tell me about your dogs?
Every time I come home Elwood and Emma give me more love than I know what to do with.
Are you married, or do you have a lady friend?
Who are your sponsors at the moment?
All I Need, World Footwear, Anchor Hardware, and Gorilla Griptape.
What can you tell us about your new World Industries pro model shoe and your role over there?
The Shetler Shoe just dropped and is available at www.worldindustries.com. I’m honored to have had the chance to create a second pro model shoe. Its a trip. I’m also currently building the skate team for World Industries. 2017 is gonna be wild!
What’s in the Shetler musical rotation currently? What music get’s you hyped?
Florence and the Machine, First Aid Kit and some Jay Z.
What’s up with that Surf Expo miniramp event you’re doing in Orlando, Florida in January?
Gonna be fun! We are inviting all skate shops to bring their team riders to Surf Expo to shred our mini ramp “death match” and possibly win some cash!
Besides skateboarding, what are you into?
I just made my first painting the other day and I’ve been beyond hyped on that.
Thanks for doing this interview, homie. It’s appreciated. Please feel free to give any shout-outs, words of wisdom, or express any other info or ideas before we close this puppy out.
I just want to say thank you Marcus, it was a honor.