Taking a page out of his Winter Olympic preparations, Shaun White has been training for his return to pro skateboard competition this Friday at X Games 16 with yet another secret halfpipe. But rather than needing a helicopter shuttle this time around, a Paramount Studios pass is the key to accessing this VIP skate spot.
According to the New York Times, White has taken up residence on a Paramount soundstage where he has been training on a private halfpipe borrowed from none-other-than Tony Hawk. Hawk, who recently suffered a sheared pelvis in a rare crash at a Disneyland skate demo, allowed White to assemble the ramp on the lot to fill the void of high-quality vert ramps found in Los Angeles.
A dual threat on skate or snow, the 23-year-old White skipped the entire skateboard contest season last year to focus solely on the snowboard competition at the Vancouver Olympics, where he successfully defended his gold medal with a dominating run.
With the 2010 Winter Olympics in the books, White returned his attention to skateboarding, and announced plans to compete in the Boston Dew Tour stop in June. However, an ankle injury in May at a Venice Beach skatepark would postpone his return. For weeks rumors were flying about just when to expect White’s return, until X Games organizers finally announced Shaun White would make his triumphant Summer X Games return to compete in Friday’s Vert and Vert Best Trick events in downtown Los Angeles.
Although White has been practicing at his private skate facility, White told the New York Times not to expect any radical new maneuvers along the lines of Red Bull Project X where he learned the double cork, a trick he popularized in the snowboard halfpipe.
X Games media had been abuzz about the possiblity of him trying a 1080 (a trick never before landed on a skateboard) during the Best Trick event, but White said it would not be ready by Friday. White is still a strong bet to upset the three-peat bid of Canadian skater Pierre Luc-Gagnon.