DANNY WAY – That’s the universe I live in… Always



Danny Way is considered the most influential guy in skateboarding history. To anyone who wouldn’t already acknowledge that Danny Way is one of the greatest skateboarders ever: he actually isn’t. Danny Way is the greatest skateboarder ever – period. 

While filming his latest video ‘Truth’  he took the time to share his thoughts with Revolt In Style on his life, fatherhood, perceptions and a cause that is close to his heart. 

RIS: Who has been your biggest influences in life? 

DW: My dad, step-dad Tim and Mike Ternasky. Mike was a guy I met when my skateboarding career started to take off. He was a friend of pro skater Tony Matheson. Tony and Mike collectively started a skateboard company (Plan B) together and recruited me as one their riders when I was a little kid. From that point on I built a father-son relationship with Mike. I was such a little kid. I didn’t have any parents around ever. Mike filled those shoes. I started traveling young. I traveled quite a bit. I wasn’t home from the age of 13… till now. But now, all of my mentors have since passed away (which adds some irony to my story). It’s kinda weird when your mentors are gone.

RIS: With your mentors being gone, who do you look to for advice now?

DW: I have a couple of good friends, my mom, and my girlfriend. My children are a good reflection of advice sometimes. But for the most part (you know) I’m in that age bracket where I have to be that guy for other people. 

RIS: How old are you? 

DW: Just turned 40.

RIS: What advice would you give your 15 yr old self? 

DW: Let me think about that. There is a lot of things I would have given myself advice on. Hard to say there are so many things, but one thing … 

I wish I would have paid attention to the damage. The physical stuff I was doing to myself at the time. I have a lot of long term injuries from when I was younger. I took my health for granted – thinking everything would eventually heal. If I would have known all the things I know now, I could have prevented a lot of those injuries. But that’s one thing I have learned a lot about being an athlete. I have been doing this for about 25 years. Longevity is important to me… and taking care of yourself. 

RIS: Most positive memory from childhood? 

I had a pretty bad childhood. My most positive memory growing up was associated with skateboarding. That was my everything. Going to the skate park was like a kid experiencing Christmas. I got that same feeling every time I would go – or the accomplishment I would feel from learning something. The reward I would get internally verses the stuff that was happening at home. I grew up in a household with domestic violence – stuff like that, so skateboarding was the positive thing.

RIS: what is something you do every night? 


RIS: What is the first thing you do when you wake-up? 

It depends…. I have alternate weeks with my kids, so during school week I wake up around 6:30 to get the kids ready for school, but the first thing I do is I stretch. I stretch before I go to bed and I stretch when I wake-up. Those are my rituals that I do, even before I brush my teeth. 

RIS: What do you do on your days off? 

Right now, I’m making this video called True, so it’s been (skateboarding) full on, as far as my physical aspect, it’s 100%. It doesn’t get any more challenging on that level. So, days off… is not being on my feet for a little bit. I like to break up my worlds… skateboarding has been my life. So, on my days off I like to do something that doesn’t have anything to do with skateboarding. Like spending a day with my girlfriend or hang out with my kids… doing whatever. I just try to do something besides skateboarding. 

RIS: As you’re filming True, are you constantly challenging yourself – continually trying to top yourself or do you think like that? Do you feel that pressure?  

Yes. I have been living in that mental vortex of internal completion every day on this project. Some days I feel inspired and capable and some days I look in the mirror and question myself. Sometimes it’s day to day, and sometimes it’s minute to minute. Every time I go to a session, I’m trying to create something new that hasn’t been done before.  So that my fans, Plan B or our skateboarding brand will not see anything less than the progression of skateboarding at this point. If we do anything less than that, it’s really going to representation of our brand and the guys that are a part of our brand. As far as feeling the pressure… that’s the universe I live in always… and that’s a vicious cycle sometimes – having to out-do myself. 

RIS: What do you do when you doubt yourself and how do you bring that confidence back?

Sometimes… literally not think about it for a couple of days. Shut it all off. I consider it like little battles I create when I’m trying to learn something. And it’s an on-going battle… It’s hard to walk away from something when you haven’t accomplished it & you have invested several days and physical energy or the amount of abuse you’ve taken already to try to figure it out. I will sleep over it. Sometimes it works when you least expect it. 

When that happens…it’s magical and it doesn’t feel like it takes any effort… sometime it takes way more effort than you ever thought. Trying to not doubt yourself is hard. I never consider myself not capable.  Just sometimes you know start to give in to the doubt then I convince myself to go back.    

RIS: Definition of a legend? 

um… when I think of a legend the first thing that comes to my mind is Ozzy Osborne. But, I guess… someone who shouldn’t be alive anymore? Someone that has done so much or someone who has made such an impression on so many people…. it almost seems like the person is a super human. 

RIS: Worst injury? 

I have had multiple injuries which had added up to create long term problems. Aside from the sixty orthopedic surgeries I have had; I had a bad neck injury when I was twenty that caused some neurological problems. That was probably the worst injury I have had because there was no answer. No one gave me any solutions. No concrete hope that I was going to heal and be normal again, so that was a pretty hard one to overcome mentally. No one gave me any hope or any security that I would be healed after a year of chasing every path of someone knows this person or that person. Western and Eastern medicine. I did everything. Then getting over the concept of having this limitation and paralysis for the rest of my life. Anyway that was the hardest injury I ever had and I met someone at that time Paul Chek… There you go! A mentor. He still is the biggest mentor in my life, that I look up to for my physical well being. 

RIS: What is something you always wanted to do and haven’t yet? 

I have done almost all the things I have wanted to do. I wanted to learn how to fly helicopters, but that is expensive. I’ve done a lot in my lifetime already. I’m sure there’s a lot if I sat back and really thought about it, but off the top of my head… I feel pretty complete. It’s a good place to be. I guess.

RIS: What is your biggest fear? 

My biggest fear is not being capable to take care of everybody that I can take care of. 

RIS: Describe the mega compound.

A property in Kauai that was specially purchased to build a mega ramp. I wanted a place to build a mega ramp – to stay permanently. Other than those temporary locations – where we waste the money invested (which is substantial). We wanted a piece of land where I could experiment with things. A place where I know that if I built something, it would have a permanent home. So that’s where I’m with that. Little by little, trying to build out all this property… like a skateboarding Utopia.

RIS: Biggest ramp you have ever built? 

Hawaii is the tallest; China was the biggest horizontally

RIS: Skaters you look up to? 

One of my favorites.. Christian Hosoi. Great human being. There are a lot of others on a personal level…Colin Mckay, who is also a business partner with the founder of DC. I’ve known him since we were little kids… and he has progressed the sport. There are the group of guys that skate for Plan B (which i am flattered to have them involved) Which is the whole reason I got involved is because of this group of guys. Guys that I look up to, like Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill… a whole bunch of guys. At this stage of my life, it’s amazing to have a team of such talent that are dedicated to this brand and the progress of skateboarding.


RIS: do you get massages? 

absolutely! it becomes a full-time job and i am sure other athletes can relate. when you reach a certain level doing so much out of yourself, it becomes a full- time job maintaining just to be ready to do what you want to do. it’s not something you can just go do at that level and think you can do it if you’r not prepared correctly. to keep that going takes a lot of work.  

RIS: do you apply that to your diet and what you drink? 

yes. i am very specific about what i eat and drink. i have been training for a long time, so i am pretty religious about working out. it takes a lot to maintain that edge. i am forty years old, so to be able to wake up and do what i am doing at this age; it doesn’t come from being lazy that is for sure.

RIS: how did you find your two pigs or did they find you?

well, the first one we found through a breeder and bought him. the second one was in a pumpkin patch down the street from our house at a petting zoo. the lady that owned the animals let people know she was getting rid of the female pig, so i made a deal with her. the first one we found, but the second one found us. 

RIS: what is something you always wanted to do and haven’t yet? 

good question too. i have done almost all the things i have wanted to do. i wanted to learn how to fly helicopters, but that is expensive. i am a very impulsive person; living on the edge mentally. i have done a lot in my lifetime already. i am sure there is a lot if i sat back and thought about it, but off the top of my head i feel pretty complete. it’s a good place to be in i guess, but i don’t have anything jumping out at me.

RIS: what are your dreams like when you sleep? 

sometimes i don’t remember my dreams. sometimes i wake up and have had some pretty intense dreams. i don’t know. good question. my brain definitely wanders when i am sleeping. i don’t know if you can relate, but i would wake up and have a memory of a dream or a recollection of a dream and the more you think about it the harder it is to remember. it seems like that happens often or i will wake up and i’ll be in this dream and starting to understand why i am thinking about all this stuff then i can’t remember. i don’t know, but i start to put the pieces together, but then i can’t put it together. i just remember snippets of it, but my dreams are always a little intense. always some action involved. 

RIS: favorite possession? 

my guitars maybe. 

RIS: are you left handed or right? 


RIS: best invention? 

best invention? i have a lot of inventions (laughs). if there was something other than skateboarding i would like to do one day, i would like to be an inventor. but if i told you my ideas, i would potentially give away a gold mine. i wouldn’t want to do that (laughs). but i will give one up since i know it’s already out there, but i researched it and my buddy and i had a drink idea where the vitamins would be released when you twist the cap when you open it. we went to a design firm and it just so happen the design firm had just gotten a patten on the same thing. but that’s how my mind works. i am always thinking about things like that. doing things a different way or a way that hasn’t been done before. skateboarding is an example of that. 

RIS: describe the mega compound to me? 

a property in kauai that was specially purchased to build a mega ramp. i wanted a place to build a mega ramp to stay permanently  other than these temporary locations where we waste the money we invest which is substantial that were kind of disposable. so we wanted a piece of land where i could experiment with these things; to know that if i built something it would have a permanent home. so that is where i am with that little by little trying to build out where i have all this property like a skateboarding utopia. it will all be experimental. 

RIS: biggest ramp you have ever built? 

Hawaii is the tallest; china was the biggest horizontally

RIS: were you pleased with the film waiting for lightning?

absolutely pleased with it. my friends did an awesome job with it. i grew up with the guy that produced that film. i made this film with Jacob Rosenberg. he also had the same mentor growing up..the guy i told you about Ternasky that had the skateboarding company when i was a kid. Mike taught Jacob how to film. jake wasn’t the best skater, but he had a passion for skateboarding. he was a great kid and helpful. mike taught him the film trade and jake went on to film school in hollywood where he learned about film producing and directing. jake started his own film company and it came full circle. he wanted to make this movie. when you watch the movie you can see how the film was inspired by mike. there is a lot more to it than just a film we produced. i have another level of sentimental attachment based on how it happened and why it happened and who made the film. 

RIS: do you think you could hook me up with a BMW?


(laughs) yeah..i just asked them the same question. there were like we got to ask our company executives. worth the question. 

RIS: how did you know Rochelle was the one? what was it about her?

she had a certain energy about her that was very captivating when i met her. there’s a glow that she has that’s very attractive and i feel a sense of peace when i am with her that i don’t feel with other people. it’s a calming effect she has on me. 

RIS: how has fatherhood changed you? 

fatherhood forced me to grow up. forced me to be a man. it’s a sacred responsibility for my self and i think at the time it happened to me; it was a great time for it to happen. it was a good challenge, but it’s been hard with a skateboarding career and travel schedules. the responsibility of what i do; it’s hard to give structure and family when travel in predictable, but for me having a family has given me a certain life that i didn’t see before. once you get a taste of it then you really start to appreciate what life’s about. whats important. children are a reflection of who you are. you need to teach these kids the right things. all these things and it takes a bit of growing up to go down that path and i am very grateful i am able to do that. 

RIS: do you think about your family when you are contemplating a stunt and the risks that go with it? 

yeah, sometimes i think like that. going back to what i was saying earlier about taking care of everybody dealing with my physical being, but at the end of the day it is what i do. been doing it for a long time, so they really don’t know anything different. i feel the kids aren’t really worried about it. but if i can’t physically be there for them; it weighs on them too, so sometimes, but again it’s what i have been doing their whole life. 

RIS: who is your best friend? 

my girlfriend. 

RIS: wildest friend? 

Pat Maus

RIS: best advice ever received? 

spend as much time with your family/kids as you can cuz you don’t know when they will be taken from you. that has stayed with me for a long time. 

RIS: what is your mission with the Danny Way foundation? 

the main reason we started the foundation was to build the skatepark in kauai. to get this project done, but with that said since we started this foundation it brought other opportunities to give back; to do other charity work. i am grateful for what i have been given in my life and the life i have lived. it’s been so plentiful and generous in so many ways. with the resources we are able to obtain just all the things we have the capabilities of getting by being in this position. i have been working with my friends from the band Slightly Stoopid and they are putting together a tour for this skatepark. we are combining forces right now. 

RIS: what is the status of the skatepark on Kauai as of today? 

we are close to breaking ground. we are still raising money. we have the county giving us the property and we have some money raised, we have the plan, the budget. it is just a function of money. once we get the rest of the money, it will be built immediately. 

RIS: you designed this skatepark? 

yes i did. 

RIS: i noticed you did a fundraiser in Austin, TX for underprivileged kids.

we did a build a board event. i was a underprivileged kid and it was such a big deal to me to meet a celebrity skateboarder or when i would go to the skatepark as a kid and a pro skater would give me even a sticker to put on my skateboard that was such a big deal to me, so i know how much that means and how impressionable we can be to these kids. for me, some of those encounters was the fuel that got me through those days and i know how important it is for these kids, so we did our campaign called build a board which is apart of my foundation strategy to give back. the idea is to bring as many kids as we can. we have been working with the big brother/big sister foundation in order to bring the kids in these areas that need it the most to be taught how to assemble a skateboard with different pros that are available to come to these events. in austin, we had David Gonzales and pro skater jake brown. we geared this clinic to how to build a skateboard and they were able to take the skateboard home as a gift. it is a pretty awesome experience. some of these kids have never had the one on one attention or had never been given something like a gift of that magnitude, so to see how much that moves these kids and see it in their eyes and see how excited they are’ its very inspirational. very motivational. we did an event here last week where i invited all the kids from big brother/big sister organization from the local community here (Hawaii) and we did a bbq at the mega compound. we let all the kids come out and skate on the ramp, showed them around, hung out with them all day. but those types of things go so far. it’s not like it’s a huge production to do something like that. we have the ramp, the property..all you have to do is bring the bbq out and buy a bunch of food from the grocery store to throw on the grill for small costs and a lot of people with memorizes that will last them a lifetime. i have those memorizes myself. i still remember those encounters with those people as if it was yesterday. i still remember every little detail every second i can rewind and play it back. it will always be there. its weird how you hold on to certain things like that, but when you don’t have anything to hold on to those become very important. 

RIS: it is so nice that you have reached this status, but yet you still remember what it was like growing up and you are just trying to fill in that gap for those children. 

it feels cool when you meet those kids and see yourself in them. you can completely relate and for them to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. things will change and get better for these kids, but it takes these certain glimpses of hope and light that inspires them; to motivate them to stay on the right track; to do something positive with their lives. 

RIS: do you cook? 

i cook, but i am not a guy in the kitchen. i am a typical guy pretty good on the bbq, not pretty good i am really good on the bbq. i can main the grill very well, but i am good at breakfast stuff. i don’t know if that’s a typical male answer, but that’s where my strengths are. i am an amazing smoothie chef. i have some smoothie recipes i have considered starting my own Jamba juice typeof thing. i believe i have something that no one else has in the smoothie dept. 

RIS: best adventure?

i have had so many adventures in my life. i don’t know where to begin. it’s hard to say. the hawaii thing has been one huge adventure i would say. this has been the most exciting adventure as i have not achieved everything i am trying to achieve. it is still unfolding. so much that hasn’t been written yet. my kids are involved and they are here and we do fun things here, so it’s always an adventure. 

RIS: last time you cried?

wow. could have been within the last 24 hours. i was teary eyed when i was talking to my kids yesterday. they have been a way for a month. 

RIS: do you consider yourself a sensitive person? 

i do, yes. very sensitive person. i think most people’s perception of me is a little different of what it really is. but it’s hard to control what people perceive you based on how the media or how marketing has presented you, but a lot of people have this perception that i am just this gnarly guy who listens to heavy metal all the time and eats nuts and bolts for breakfast. it’s not the case at all. it’s like i appreciate heavy metal in tiny, small doses at certain times and i don’t eat nuts and bolts. i drink smoothies and stretch and eat organic foods, gluten and dairy free. i am a pretty holistic hippy behind the scenes when it comes to my lifestyle. but most people think i am rougher around the edges than i really am i think based on what they see.. when i step into the skateboarding arena, it’s not any different than a guy who is a UFC fighter when they step into the octagon. that’s their arena where you flip that switch. i go into a different mind set when i do what i do, but when i shut that off; it shuts off and it’s not like i am the same guy all day long. yeah when you go to work you gotta get your game face on and you gotta get into that mode or you’r not going to get that job done. i consider what i do being like a fighter. i might not get hit by another human being, but when i hit the ground going fast as i am with that much g force; it’s like getting hit my a car sometimes, so i have to be ready for that. you have to be in the right head space for that. you can’t just go in there and take things lightly. you have to get that edge sharpened and be ready to deal with it. 

RIS: how do you want to be remembered? 

i don’t think that much about it, but i do want to be remembered… if theres one thing i want people to remember about me is that i am someone who is driven by heart and that i have a lot of love for life and passion for life. i hope people just don’t remember me for what i do on my skateboard because that’s just a small piece of who i am, but if that’s all they remember than hopefully they will remember the good aspects of that which is one that i am proud of which is my commitment to things. my determination, so they can remember that i am one determined human being hopefully. i can live with that too. 

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