Skateboarding: the ultimate life coach

Skateboarding: the ultimate life coach

Even if skateboarding is now globally seen as a legit Olympic sport, it can still be hard for a regular adult to understand why someone over 30 years old who’s not an olympian would still want to keep “playing” with this rolling wooden plank. The truth is that skateboarding is actually great for a lot of things and shaped a lot of people we know into very successful adults.

Meet some of our friends! They are over 30, have been skating their whole life and are still skating to this day. These guys all work different jobs in different fields, but they all have one thing in common: Skateboarding somehow helped them getting there.


Phil Grisé - Empire Founder

Skateboarding is like ballet dancing... It’s a very fine art form. One that comes with incredible sacrifice and pain, just look at a ballet dancers feet... but the end result of all the pain and suffering from all the falling and getting back up made me an extremely determined person. This has ultimately helped me in all aspects of my life... Beast mode till I die...


Gab Lalande aka Brother Merle - Graphic designer / visual Artist

Skateboarding taught me how to "manage with what I have". I grew up in a place that didn't have great skate spots. I had to be original to transform the old church rails into a spot that seemed as perfect as Hollywood High to me. Using planks, patching cracks and even putting empty buckets of paint under sheets of plywood to fix a run up (see video below).

Today, I work with the same mentality. Nothing is perfect and some resources are still inaccessible to me right now. I have to be original to achieve my goals and live from my work. Same goes for the conception of illustrations, design, production of items, printing, shipping and even collaboration with customers. I often have to find different ways to make all the projects I work on happen.

Check out Brother Merle's website →


Hugo Papillon - Skatepark Builder/Papillon Skateparks inc. Founder

The skate community has taught me a lot on a social level: mainly staying humble and not making judgments about other even if they are totally different. All this time spent in the street teaches you to treat the homeless guy on the corner with the same respect as the banker in a suit.

I do the same at work. I treat the apprentice who starts in construction and his boss with the same level of respect. You never know where people will end up in 10 years or what people have gone through. 

Check out Papillon Skatepark's website →


Benny Stoddard - President of Canada Skateboard, Canada’s National Skateboarding association

The main take away I have from close to 30 years of skating is resilience. If you can prevail from trying a manual for three hours or from finding the guts needed to throw yourself off of something; there's nothing in life that you can't overcome.

Check out Canada Skateboard's website →

Photo: Rich Odam


Dan Mathieu - Professional photographer/Editor in chief SBC Skateboard Mag

From day one, skateboarding has completely taken control of my life and most of the time, it's a good thing. Most of the friends who are still in my life today I met because of skateboarding. I also became a photographer and visited more countries than I could have imagined because of skateboarding. When I stop and think about all that skateboarding has given me, the number of experiences and friendships developed all over the planet, I consider myself really lucky.

Skateboarding is still such a big part of me, I don't always realize that I manage many aspects of my life differently from the vast majority of people my age. I would say that I have a much more DIY approach to things. I also tend to completely forget the fact that I need a permit or authorization to use a place when I work on projects outside of skateboarding, Haha!

Check out Dan Mathieu's website →

Photo: Ryan Lebel


David Bicari aka LeBicar - Visual Artist

Skateboarding opened my eyes to a lot of stuff! Whether it's music, art, human relationships in general or myself. I would say persistence is probably what helps me the most in my daily hustle! Work hard, don't be afraid of failing, do things yourself, encourage others... These are all things that I learned while hanging out at the skatepark and that still follow me today!

Check out Lebicar's website →


Jai Ball - Studio Skateboards Founder

Never give up. Working on tricks for hours, days, months, years is easily the most practical strength you can apply to every aspect of your life. No secrets, no short cuts. Just hard work.

Check out Studio Skateboard's website →

Ty James Photo