Calling All Skaters with Shaun Hover
Shaun Hover is a pro skateboarder, the founder of Calling All Skaters, a Christian ministry for skateboarders, and a dad to three young kiddos. He spoke with us about exposing his kids to skating and how he has balanced, and blended, his career with having a family.
How did you first get into skateboarding?
I grew up near Detroit as the baby of my family. I started riding at 12 and I was hooked from the first time I landed a tre flip
How involved were your parents with getting you into skating?
They were involved in that they were totally down with it. I got some of my neighbors into skating and they would have to sneak out, but my parents were supportive. As I got more into filming and skating, they didn’t stop me. I would go into downtown Detroit all day as a 16 year old so I could skate with better dudes and they didn’t get in the way.
What were some major breakthroughs in your skating career?
My first sponsor was a local skatepark, Landslide Skatepark, and they got me DC shoes. From there I got board sponsors, shoe and clothing sponsors, and things started flowing. I started winning skating contests when I was about 20 years old and I got out of Michigan and moved to Los Angeles.
What does your career look like nowadays?
For the last 12 years I’ve been traveling, speaking in churches and to youth groups, and teaching Bible school. I founded an organization called Calling All Skaters that is a youth Christian ministry for skateboarders. I’m passionate about ministry, skating, and supporting my wife so she can have the career she wants.
What are you most proud of in your professional career?
What I’m most proud of professionally is that I’m still progressing at 35 years old—23 years in and three kids deep.
That is a serious accomplishment. Tell us more about how you balance what you’re doing while having kids.
I have a daughter who is 6, a son who is 2, and a daughter who is 1. There is nothing better than having a kid. Giving my wife as much time as possible to work has allowed me to have an awesome connection with my kids.
To manage my time, I try to only spend time doing things I won’t regret. I will never regret time spent skating, serving my wife, and it will always be worth it to spend time with my kids. My wife, Jess, has a YouTube channel and her time is valuable. She manages building an online community while supporting me and our kids too.
Are your kids interested in skating yet?
Right now I’m focused on exposing them as much as I can. I want them to be around skating and comfortable with it. Skateboards are everywhere and always available. I take all three of them to the skatepark—strollers and all.
That’s great advice. Are there skating products you recommend for kids?
Definitely give them fingerboards. My kids love to play with them while we watch skate videos. My six year old has a penny board, which is the world’s safest skateboard. Even scooters are great and a part of the learning process. Getting on the skateboard at a rubberized playground or on the grass is a safe way to start.
What would be the next step if your kids show a lot of interest?
Skating is so different than it used to be. It’s in the Olympics! Parents used to think skating couldn’t be a career and that’s all changed. I would hate to take away the essence of skating by becoming a skate mom or dad, although I would want my kids to excel.
YouTube is a great place for kids to learn skills. There are also people who give one-on-one lessons. The best way to learn is to go to the skatepark when they’re ready and encourage them to find friends who skate at a similar level. It’s an organic way of making friends and naturally pushing each other to improve.
You get your crew; you film; you post videos online; you get better and better. That’s what skating is all about.
Shaun, thank you so much for your time and words of wisdom. BinkyBro is cheering you and your family on.
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