So, it's much harder than I thought it would be working inside the skate industry side of things. Last year I connected with Vans. They were digging what happens here and over on Fuel TV. The result was an agreement to provide them with editorial across their site. Recently the Bucky Lasek feature went live. What is seen was edited down but as always that's the prerogative of whoever you're writing for. Below, is the original write up unedited. This was deemed a bit too old for the Vans audience. That's actually pretty accurate and was good call on their part. Check out the original edit. You may like it. You may not. But, here it is.
Bucky Lasek can't stop the clock from ticking every second of the day. Those seconds add up to years accumulated under his belt. Then again, if you find yourself with 20 plus years of skating in the form of battered knees and an undying love to still go skate you are one of two things: a lifer or a pro. We all know what a pro is, but a lifer is something else: A lifer just can't stop skating for the pure love and joy of it. You can throw Bucky into both those categories, and suddenly his twenty years on a board mean something beyond tricks and paychecks. Instead it's about the choices and the long road trip it's taken to get him to his current destination. When skateboarding is guiding your path, staying true to that choice becomes much easier.
Adding up all the parts of the past twenty years since debuting in Powell Peralta's Bones Brigade video "Public Domain" would mean compiling the skating done, the tricks landed, the injuries suffered, and – more importantly – the friendships made along the way. By now Bucky's beginnings on a skateboard are well known: After his childhood bike is stolen, his life on a skateboard begins. Simple, finite and easy. What comes next is the untold side of any story. The next four years are marked by continued progression, hundreds of hours of skating that eventually brought Bucky to a moment of meeting the Bones Brigade at a demo and then getting to skate with them later in the day on a monster of a Baltimore-area private ramp with tight transitions and big on vert, Bucky left a lasting impression on the Bones Brigade skaters, then the biggest names in skateboarding. Soon enough he was appearing alongside them in "Public Domain" as a fresh-faced 14 year-old.
Not long after Bucky's video debut, skateboarding was beginning to transition away from the glory days of vert skaters as rock stars as the accessibility of asphalt and concrete was underway and street skating became the way. When you love skating, though, you press on. Sponsors come and sponsors go and some of Bucky's sponsors walked away from him and other vert skaters, but he never walked away from skating. The choice was made to skate through the lean times: The choice of a skate lifer. Vert, pools, street, mini… whatever was around, Bucky took it on while others packed it in at that point in time and moved into "safer" territory. Bucky took a job at a body shop and kept skating. Years passed on the calendar and as skating continued to dry up something happened. Something that would take Bucky, and skateboarding, in a new direction.
The calendar turned to 1995 and the X Games appeared. With that one event vert skating came screaming back into the spotlight and would eventually make Bucky a superstar. Seven years had passed since his video debut, five of them as a pro skater. Sponsor issues left Bucky out of the first few X Games, and then injury sidelined Bucky for a little bit longer. Finally with a solid roster of sponsors and all healed up, Bucky rolled into San Francisco in 1999 to win the Gold at X Games Vert, followed by a series of wins in almost every major competition. The choice to persevere through a serious knee injury elevated Bucky. Was his focus on winning? The best bet is to say his focus remained where it always was: on the skating.
All one has to do is scan quickly through the large volume of video clips on the web to see that Bucky's skating transcends the flat wall of a half pipe. Amongst the barrage of progressive technical tricks in his "This Is My Element" part you can find Bucky laying waste to pools and bowls. The skating continues to speak for itself. The progressive look and feel of a street skater amplifying the tricks in speed and volume on a ramp is a site to see even if it's on Youtube. The skating you see before you in those moments is reconstituted from the street to ramps and transition. With a lingering injury Bucky makes the choice to bring his skating out in anyway possible.
Dropping in on the first Dew Action Sports Tour stop in 2008, Bucky was in homecoming mode. Competing in his hometown of Baltimore and surrounded by friends from the world of skating both on the ramp and in the crowd, Bucky brought it. On the pavement below, amongst the media and VIPs, electricity sparked through the crowd before his run as his friends, family, and a generation of skaters he inspired cheered on. Dropping in and clad in a familiar Baltimore Orioles jersey, Bucky pushed a little bit higher and farther than everybody else, bringing tricks never before seen in competition like a boneless frontside rodeo 540. Even from the sidelines it was clear Bucky was excited to be skating then and there. After 20 years on the clock, the calendar turning pages, Bucky was still making his choices, his every move screaming, "I'm going to skate and have fun doing it." No MTV Show, no signature clothing line, no video game bears his name, but he is still having the most fun skating: The lifer-turned-legend shows no sign of slowing.