SBOTD Presents: Neal Hendrix, Professional Skateboarder
Sports Babe of the Day Presents: Professional Skateboarder, Neal Hendrix, @nealhendrix on Twitter.
What is sexier than a babe on a skateboard with five X Games medals and a trip to the Olympic Games? Not much. Today’s SBOTD is sexy Lewisville, North Caroline native, Neal Hendrix. Growing up in North Carolina, not your typical “hotbed area” to produce a professional skateboarder, our babe Neal somehow pulled it off. Our stud is a “typical guy” just living his childhood dream of becoming a professional skater. Along his journey Neal has discovered new friends, places, and passions. Since Neal is adventurous and always traveling all around the world , his photography passion shows pictures from all over (Check them out here, they’re amazing!). Winning five X Game medals, eleven years of skating with the Vans Warped Tour, ranking second in the 2007 World Cup of Skateboarding, and skating with skateboard legend Tony Hawk, this babe has an remarkable career! Currently, Neal resides in Southern California and his amazing skateboarding career lead this babe into his next career as the Woodward brand manager. We are very impressed! Check out our 20 questions with Neal:
20 Questions with Neal Hendrix:
1. At what age did you start skating? When did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally? Did anyone have some influence on your decision to go pro?
I started when I was like 12 or so. I grew up in North Carolina, played sports as a kid, but when I discovered skateboarding I realized not having a coach was pretty cool. Once I got really into it and started seeing skate magazines and videos I realized that being a pro skater sounded like about the best thing ever. Honestly, I don’t think anyone where I was from thought it was possible. Pretty random career goal for a suburban kid from North Carolina. Luckily, I was able to pull it off.
2. Up until this point, what is your proudest achievement in both your career and life?
I never really cared much about medals or money or anything….. I’m most proud that I have got to live my dream, travel the world with my buddies, and have a great time. Along the way I’ve met some amazing people and seen some memorable places. In the grand scheme of things, I’m more proud of my career as a whole, than a single thing.
3. Each athlete has some way to mentally prepare for a competition…what is your method before the competition and how do you stay mentally focused during the time you skate?
Just by preparing the best I can. Making sure to get a good nights sleep the night before. Eating a big meal that morning. Making sure everything is dialed so you don’t have anything stressing you out at the last minute.
4. What if any obstacles have you overcome during your career?
Like most pro skaters, or pro athletes in general I have had my fair share of injuries. Not being able to skate for a period of time is super hard, but you’ve got to work your ass off to recover from injury sometimes. Over my career I have had a few broken bones, about 5 knee surgeries and other random injuries, so I’ve definitely spent a lot of time in the gym and at physical therapy to try and get back on my board.
5. Do you have a crazy pre-skate ritual or meal?
Try not to drink to much caffeine! haha. I get crazy jello legs if I drink too much caffeine before I skate a contest or a big demo or something.
6. Who was your role model growing up?
I had a ton of different role models. My family, because they are solid and have always been. The pro skaters that I looked up to when I was a kid that ended up being great humans. Guys like Chris Miller, Tony Hawk, Tommy Guerrero, Steve Caballero, Christian Hosoi. Still continue to constantly be inspired by new people that make me want to be a better person.
7. Where has been your favorite play to skate/compete? Why?
Love going to new places, but of the places I have been, Australia is always a great time. Skate fans in Brazil are crazy passionate, so those contests are always fun. I love Scandinavia also, so I have gone to Denmark and Sweden a lot over the years as well. Summertime in Europe is one of my favorite things ever.
8. If we were to look at your top 3 songs played on your ipod, what would they be?
Afghan Whigs- Summers Kiss, Gaslight Anthem-Handwritten, The Libertines-Time for Heroes
9. How would best you describe yourself in three words?
Adventurous, nerdy, disciplined
10. Would your friends agree with the last questions? If not how would they describe you in three words?
Yeah, I think they’d agree. I am always traveling, so adventurous fits. Also, tend to find myself WAY off the beaten path sometimes. Nerdy because I read books all the time. Disciplined only because I am always juggling a million things between skateboarding, work, photography and random projects, so time management and discipline ends up being important to make it all work.
11. If you were not a professional skate boarder what would you be doing?
I wanted to be a race car driver when I was a kid. Haha. Luckily my buddy Bucky Lasek is a real life race car driver now, so I just live vicariously through him.
12. On that note, where do you see yourself after your pro skate boarding career?
I have a cool job in the industry, I’m the Brand Manager for Camp Woodward, so that is a really sweet job that I can use the skills and connections I gained over the years as a pro skater. Also, really into photography and will do way more of that as the skate stuff slows down. A lot of my photos are on my website. Hoping to create a couple photography books in the near future.
13. Are you single, dating, or locked down? What is your perfect ideal woman?
Locked down. I’ve been a single dude for wayyyyyyy too long and just recently met a fine young lady. Wasn’t really in the market for a lady, had been perfectly content playing the single guy, but I’m solid with a great chick now and it feels amazing.
14. Many girls are just dying to know where they would get taken on a first date…what is your idea of an impressionable first date?
Ohhh man, I am the worst at this. I am so not into typical cheesy first dates. My first date with my GF Maria was to a concert where my friend’s band was playing, so I think that one worked out pretty well. Didn’t seal the deal that night but laid the groundwork. Haha!
15. What is one thing that can turn your mood around instantly?
Good music. Getting an email from a sponsor or event promoter inviting me on a cool skate trip (just happened today, always makes my day).
16. Do you have any pets?
No way. Travel way too much!
17. Most athletes love their cars…what kind of car do you drive now and what is your dream car?
Haha, that generalization definitely doesn’t apply to me. I have always had pretty normal cars. Currently driving a new VW Jetta Wagon. Roof racks for the paddleboard. My fancy Hollywood friends say it’s a Lesbo car. I’m cool with that.
18. What was the biggest noticeable different from living in North Caroline to moving out to Southern California?
Ohhh man, just about everything. I love and appreciate everything about my childhood in North Carolina, but for where I am in my life and what makes me happy, Southern California is the place for me right now. There’s absolutely no similarities in the two places. Traffic, weather, accents, food.
19. Do you have a favorite quote/motto that you take to heart?
He who laughs first probably didn’t get the joke
20. Who would you feature as our next SBOTD?
Easy. Elliot Sloan (@Elliotsloan). All the ladies love him. Even my own girlfriend crushes on him. Damn him!
(Photo Credit: Neal Hendrix)