Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White is looking very rock and roll on the latest cover of Rolling Stone — shirtless, tight jeans, and combat boots. He's also in mid-scream and channeling his best Jimi Hendrix: with his snowboard on fire, it's like the Monterey Pop Festival of '67 all over again. Given his signature 'do, it's no surprise that Shaun is a big rock fan. Before dropping in to the halfpipe, he says that he's listening to Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses, or Led Zeppelin. Rocking out, it seems, has made him a better rider: “Getting into music has changed my personality and my way of doing things. I’m far more open now.”
The issue hits newsstands this Friday — until then, check out some of the highlights here:
On being afraid of going big: "I got really comfortable with being in the air when I was really young. My parents bought a trampoline so instantly the rule was we weren't allowed to do flips on the trampoline. The first day we assembled it my dad did a back flip, so the rules were shattered by my own parents. I ended up getting so comfortable doing flips and stuff like that, I had no real fear of heights anymore."
On seeing snowboard evolve: "As far as the sport goes, it's always changing and part of my greatest accomplishment is to be consistent and at the top level in a sport that's always changing. A lot of times I am the one that's doing a lot of that — pushing tricks and doing better runs. With these new double cork tricks — the multiple flips and one spin — it's just opened this whole new door of possibilities and different moves so the sport is gonna get out of control pretty soon with all sorts of new stuff."
To read more highlights and see pics from the magazine,
On his future in the sport: "I'm definitely at the age where I feel like I can keep going. The only person I can compare myself or career to is someone like Tony Hawk. He stopped competing around 30 . . . 32? I just imagine I'll stop competing when it's not fun anymore."
On what pushes him: "To sit at the top of the halfpipe and motivate yourself to do this new thing and the possibility of crashing, it takes so much that there's no way I could do it unless I really wanted it."
On falling: "I've been to the hospital plenty of times. They know me there now so they just rush me on through."
On his favorite moment: "I wish I could tell you but it's just gonna keep kepping better and better. I'm hoping that the best part has yet to come."