Forest fires, 30-degree-plus weather, droughts, Vancouver feels a lot like California these days. To add to that feeling Vancouver is hosting The Vans – Van Doren Invitational skateboarding competition live from the Hastings Bowl on July 11th and 12th. The invite-only event will showcase modern bowlriding’s best, and is ripe with iconic skaters from around the world. The US $75000 purse will no doubt heat up concrete, vulcanize souled shoes and competition before a live audience and via Webcast on Thrasher Magazine.com.
LIKE A LOCAL
Favourite place to eat? Calabash for Caribbean food
Where do you go to relax? Lynn Canyon or Wreck beach
Where do you go for drinks? Yew at Four Seasons Hotel
Where do you go to heal? Kelvin Physiotherapy and Erin and Paul and Mountain Health and Fitness
We had a chance to fire some questions off to legendary Canadian skater and official spokesperson for The Vans – Van Doren Invitational, Rob “Sluggo” Boyce. Sluggo is a professional skateboarder, stuntman and businessman who galvanized a place in skateboarding lore as the first person to blast a back flip to fakie on a vert ramp and to land it in competition. He is also one of the main guys behind the famous and sometimes infamous Red Dragon’s (RDS Skate Supply).
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My kids, Liam and Araya, are the greatest thing that I have ever been part of. I think of everything that I have done as a continual process, where one compliments the other.
Over the years, skateboarding has experienced growth and recessions. Do you have a life philosophy that has helped you through the ups and downs?
Skateboarding is like everything in life; it goes in cycles. That goes for the physical side as well as the business aspect. I have been around skateboarding for 30 years so I am prepared for the idea that things are constantly changing.
Just for fun, list some of your injuries over the years?
There’s nothing fun about that. Wrists, knees, elbows, back, ankles. If you can break it, I have done it.
Given the physical demands of your various activities, how have you managed to keep your human vessel functioning to the level it has?
I never let myself get out of shape. Stretch, yoga, PT, Weight train, BJJ – I am constantly either getting into shape or rehab-ing an injury.
Any tips on diet or training regimens?
Common sense goes a long way, I am not a massive foody. Chicken and veggies are my staple and as far as training, I have a routine and stick to it.
Take us through a typical day for you?
Wake, coffee, walk the dog, take my daughter to school, head to yoga with my partner Christina, return emails, pay bills, fix something around the house, skate or get a massage, pick my daughter up from school, take her to gymnastics, sauna time, have dinner, watch MMA or skate video, sleep. This changes depending on the time of year. Follow me on Instagram @robertsluggo as that will show you everything I do.
What is it like competing against fellas a couple decades your junior?
In 2012 I flew with my son to Australia and competed in a couple events. I did pretty well. I won the best trick at both contests against all ages. It felt good to pull it off in front of my son. One of the best father-son memories we have for sure.
What is The Van Doren invitational?
The celebrated Van Doren Invitational is a skateboarding event presented by Vans. Top skateboarders from around the globe battle it out before a live audience for top honours and their share of $75,000 prize purse. The invite-only competition showcases today’s best talent in modern day parkriding, including Vans riders Curren Caples and Chris Russell. Other competitors include: 2014 Vans Pool Party winner Tristan Rennie and reigning 2014 Van Doren Invitational Canada champion Alex Sorgente.
As the official spokesperson for the event, what message do you want the spectators and participants to take away from this kind of event?
This is a dream come to the hardcore skate fans and your typical “I used to skate” types. It’s like having the Stanley Cup final in your home town — and it’s free.
With $75 000 is cash up for grabs, how do feel about competition in skateboarding? Do you see skateboarding as a sport?
Skateboarding is a sport to some and art form to others. I consider it a part of my everyday life. The money is great for these guys who are the very best, work hard and really put on one hell of a show. In this forum, the skaters are getting paid to entertain the fans live and online. I think it’s well deserved.
Who are your top picks for the event? Who should we be keeping an eye out for?
Alex Sorgente, Pedro Barros, Nolan Munroe, Tristan Rennie. I they all have what it takes to win this event.
What would you say to kids who want to get into competitive skateboarding?
Just go have fun with your friends.
Is there any money to be made in this sport? Is this a viable option for kids who are into the sport and want to do it professionally?
Yes, plenty if you’re one of the top guys in the sport. Its the 1% that can make a living, enough to retire from. You have to have something planned for, or even during, your skateboarding career. Follow your dreams but have something to fall back on.SLUGGO’S VANCOUVER