Tom Schaar can skate circles around some of the most experienced skaters in the industry. At only 15 years old, he boasts a long list of impressive accomplishments – from being the first skateboarder to land a “1080” to becoming the youngest Dew Tour Champion, X Games gold medalist (the Asia X Games) and Big Air Gold Medalist (Austin X Games). At the rate he’s going, there’s really no stopping him.
1. What’s your secret to success?
I try not to worry about contests too much. I just try to have fun and skate.
2. What’s the first thing you did the moment you got home after landing the 1080?
I probably took a nap. It was a lot of work and we put a lot of effort into it, but it paid off in the end and I was really happy. I celebrated to myself in my head.
3. How did you practice for the trick?
It wasn’t necessarily just trying the trick. It was also preparing to do the trick without actually skating – so doing trampoline stuff and working out in really safe environments and having aerial awareness.
4. Are you ever not skateboarding? What’s a typical, non-skateboarding day like for you?
I usually go surf or kind of hang out with my friends and play basketball
Do they also skateboard or surf?
But none of them have landed a 1080, huh?
5. Skateboarding is a pretty thrilling sport. Does your mom every worry about you?
I think she used to when I was little, but not anymore. She knows that I know what’s going on.
6. How did you get started?
I was about four or five. My older brother skated so I just kind of followed him around and whatever he did, I did.
7.Since you started skateboarding at such a young age, how did you react during your first fall?
I probably was really scared or thought I broke something. But it wasn’t that bad. You get over it after a while. You realize that you just fall everyday.
Be honest, did you cry?
Oh yeah, for sure.
8. You obviously aren’t afraid of skating ramps or heights; what are you afraid of then?
I’m a little bit afraid of heights, but I just try not to look down. I’m kind of used to it now, so it doesn’t bother me that much. But I have a huge fear of insects and reptiles. If there were a snake in my house, I’d probably move out.
9. What’s something embarrassing you own, but refuse to throw out?
I’ve had a teddy bear since I was 3. It’s just sitting in my closet, I think…I have to check. It’s been passed down from generation to generation.
10. My momma always said: __________________.
School before skating. But I don’t really listen.
11. What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Ohhh…that’s a tough one.
How about, what wouldn’t you do?
No heights…Oh, I’ll probably hold a snake for a couple of seconds.
12. Scenario: You’re stranded on an island and hungry, but have no money. What’s one food item you would trade your skateboard for if you had to?
13. Clapway focuses on the theme of adventure. In your own words, how do you define adventure?
Trying stuff you haven’t done before. Doing something without worrying about it or planning it out because you will end up psyching yourself out.
TOM SCHAAR OFFERS SOME WORDS OF ADVICE:
1. What advice do you have for kids trying to chase their dreams?
Just keep chasing. It will happen. And practice! Put a lot of effort into it to make it happen. I wasn’t born being able to skate; I had to work a lot for it. But you can do it if you really want.
2. Besides practice, what do you need to become a professional skateboarder?
You just have to really be determined. If you fall, you have to be able to get back up and try again no matter how bad the injury is. I broke my shoulder not too long ago and then after that, I was thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t do this.”,but it’s definitely worth it.
3. What’s the best power breakfast that you think everyone should eat?
4. Do you have any advice for teenagers, dealing with the typical teenager stuff?
a) School?: It’s good to worry, but to a certain point. Just have fun. Right now, it’s not too difficult to balance school and skateboarding, but later, around the beginning of December, the contests start kicking in so I have to switch from school to skating. So when I travel around, I bring the schoolwork with me and do it whenever I have time.
b) Crushes?: Haha..uh I don’t know!
Just go for it?
Yes! Don’t stress.
Thanks for the advice Tom. Angst-filled teenagers around the world are thanking you now as we speak.