Doug Brown has been a professional skateboarder for 15 years. He is also a published author of 3 books. His new book “Bliss of the Unwind” is an autobiography of his life. Along with his love of skateboarding, he is a motivational speaker. He speaks all over the nation at schools, libraries, hospitals, detention centers and more.
A. I love to skate. I’m 42 now and I started back in 1986. I never set out to be sponsored or a paid professional at all. I fell into this all by chance, right place right time. I hustled, I bled, I worked hard to be where I am today. The travel, the ups, the downs, all worth it to reach people.
A. I’ve been skateboarding for nearly 30 years. I’ve been through skateboarding with all its changes. I never stopped. In the 1990s no one was skating, all the shops and skateparks closed but I kept on going. It has done so much for me, externally and internally. I saw the movie Back to the Future when I was a kid and I was hooked. Now, you see skateboarders everywhere. Everywhere! Kids today have no clue what it was like back in the day. When I saw Marty McFly going down Doc’s driveway he looked like a super hero. I was stoked. Love at first sight. I was already doing the traditional little league baseball thing but I was an artist as a little kid. I loved the “no rules” skateboarding offered. It wasn’t a team sport. I saw it as a creative outlet. And I always thought surfing was cool. I was a 12 year old kid that was already wearing Hawaiian button ups and surfer shorts. It all fit me perfectly.
A. Skateboarding has allowed me to see the globe. Different cultures, different people, and so on. I’ve landed on Canada being my favorite place to skate. I’ve toured all of it. The skate scene and vibe there is incredible. Everyone is always friendly and the skaters really do have a different outlook there. Same with the east coast. Out west skating always had a shimmer of a flame. And you can skate year round. When it’s skate season on the east coast you ride those sun waves everyday and appreciate what you have.
A. I have so many stories, so many. Some simple, some lengthy. Having a mother come up to you at an event and telling you that her suicidal son read your book and it essentially saved his life. A priceless story that is a paycheck right into my heart of pride. A few years back I had a fan that was paralyzed in a freak accident. His best friend two weeks after the horrific accident contacted me to surprise his friend in the hospital. I dropped everything to make this happen. I was there for hours. Even his dad was ecstatic as he walked me down the hallway to visit him. I went in there thinking I was going to try and pump optimism into his system. Instead I left there half in tears and I was the inspired one. Two weeks ago this fifteen year old kid was playing basketball and being a typical active teen. Now he can’t move anything but his facial muscles which provided a wealth of smiles despite his life changing predicament. We talked for hours and it really was something I will never forget. He has now studying Zoology at Kent State and volunteers at the Cleveland Zoo. He has traveled a lot and nothing seems to slow him down. His family is amazing also. We stay in contact. A true heroic story.
A. Favorite skateboard trick? There are so many maneuvers one can perform on a skateboard. Most kids today sadly seem to be bread of conforming to standardized text book moves. Creativity is my sole purpose in skating so I preach originality. My favorite moves are the ones I have innovated. I grew up in a juggling family so I like to use my hands a lot in my skating. No rules mentality. There is a move I call the DB Helicopter which I perform a lot. It’s a move where I extend my body to the floor with one and and my other hand spins the board 720 degrees landing it on my feet and I roll away. It always seem to get a reaction from people. I got where I am because I stuck out. I was noticed because I was different. It’s something I tell people all the time. In life to get anywhere you have to make your own waves. Don’t be a follower. Be a leader, an individual, it’s everything. Be yourself and dream big.
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