It depends on who you ask as to just how many gold medals Bucky Lasek owns. Let’s simply put it this way — he’s easily the most decorated vert skater in history.
I had a chance to speak with him over the phone to get a feel for how he’s preparing for X Games Austin 2015. Not only was he at the airport on his way to Florida for what he called “pleasure-work,” but I learned more about his laid-back lifestyle that includes more than just skateboarding and rallycross, which, by the way, he’s competing in as well next week in Texas.
So what do you need to know about Bucky? He might just be the perfect hybrid of famous, adrenaline-junkie, gluten-free, dad who likes to kick it with a fishing pole.
The dude is in his 40s and still dominating
Josh: I gotta ask ya, since you’ve been doing this for so long, how often do you get asked about your age?
Bucky Lasek: It gets brought up mainly because I’ve been around for so long. So people bring up the question, ‘how old are you?’ … It gets brought up more so on the media side.
Josh: Ya … Jerks like me always bringing it up.
Bucky Lasek: Ya, media jerks like you always reminding you how old I am.
Josh: [laughs] Well I mean, I talked to ya a couple years ago and you looked, and your whole demeanor, felt ten years younger. Do you work out consistently? Do you diet? Do you not have secrets at all?
Bucky Lasek: I just watch what I eat. I skate just about every day. I’m gluten free. I just watch my intake. I really don’t think I could surpass my intake. I’m just too active.
Josh: You seem like a pretty active guy. I checked out your Facebook. Are you turning into a fisherman as well I see?
Bucky Lasek: Yeah, I’m workin’ on my next little voyage for when I retire [laughs].
The perfect kind of famous
Josh: In trying to figure out your lifestyle and all that you do, tell me if I’m wrong, I would consider you the perfect kind of famous. Because you seem to me like the kind of guy who, whenever you’re out driving our skateboarding people recognize you, but you can also probably go to the grocery store and not get hounded.
Bucky Lasek: No it is, it’s quite nice. I don’t get bothered that much. I think I do have a little more of the subtle end of the famous stick.
Bucky Lasek: the dad
Josh: How old are you kids? Because you do have kids right?
Bucky Lasek: Ya. 17, 14 and 7.
Josh: Do they understand that their dad is kind of a big deal?
Bucky Lasek: No, they get it. I keep telling them that they’re not famous, I am. So don’t try to act the role.
Bucky Lasek: They get it.
Josh: What’s a typical day like, or a week like, in the life of Bucky Lasek?
Bucky Lasek: It’s pretty basic. I wake up and take care of the kids mostly when I’m home. Then give the wife a break. And that’s it. I just take the kids to school, grab some lunch and go skate. Or then I either pick up the kids, take care of dinner … that’s about it.
Being a skater and a driver
Josh: I think any X-Games profession or skill is really impressive. But with you of course doing skateboard and rally, it really blows my mind. If I were a skateboarder I would be worried about breaking ankles and knees. But If I were in a rally car I would be even more terrified over what could happen. Is there one that gives you more of an adrenaline rush or one you enjoy more?
Bucky Lasek: They’re both different and the both kinda do different things for me. Skating definitely raises the injury flag for me, especially with having so much responsibility behind the car now.
Josh: Since you were known as a skateboarder first, was there a moment where you were a kid or a young adult where you realized, ‘hey, I have what it takes!’
Bucky Lasek: I think I just got really good at whatever I was doing. I think it was just a matter of being really focused. I was really focused as a kid, whether I was playing baseball or break dancing, biking or skating. And just being focused I got good at a lot of things. With skating I just surpassed my friends and just kept at it.
I’ve always been racing, racing as a hobby the whole time while I was skating.
Josh: What was Austin like last year? It seems to be a really good fit for X Games.
Bucky Lasek: Oh I love Austin. I go every year for F1. And I think it’s a perfect venue.
Josh: I’m sure I asked you this a couple years ago, but where does the name Bucky come from? Do you get offended when someone calls you Charles?
Bucky: Nah, it comes from my… I was named after my father. His nickname was Bucky so I just kinda carried it over.
Josh: Very nice. I know when my mom calls me “Joshy” or someone tries to give me a nickname I’m not a fan. But it’s your dad’s nickname. That’s awesome.
Bucky: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
X Games Austin 2015 takes place June 4-7 at the Circuit of the Americas and airs live on ESPN and ABC.
Photo Credit: Getty, Facebook.com/BuckyLasek