The Flying Tomato Would Rather You Not Call Him That Anymore
J Thoendell stashed this in Winter Olympics
White, who is 27, has been a professional snowboarder for 13 years and a professional skateboarder for 10. Like many former child stars, he seems older than his years, and he has passed through quite a few stages along the way. First there was White the prepubescent prodigy known as Future Boy. Then there was White the Flying Tomato, a redheaded late teenager and early 20-something, in full command of his extreme-sport powers. Less pleasantly, in recent years, there has also been White the unsympathetic moneybags who crashed his Lamborghini; White the selfish jerk who wouldn’t invite other snowboarders to train at the halfpipe Red Bull built for him in the lead up to the 2010 Olympics; and White the overly enthusiastic partyer who was arrested for public intoxication following the 2012 wedding of the drummer for the Black Keys.
The newest White, the one I met three times over the spring, summer and fall, is White the polite, industrious chief executive of Shaun White Enterprises, the company that oversees his boys’ clothing line at Target; his sponsorship deals with Burton, Oakley and Stride gum; his partnership with GoPro cameras; his band, Bad Things, signed by Warner Bros. last spring; his training; and his life. White approaches his entrepreneurialism the way he does his snowboarding. “The whole strategizing thing is what does it for me,” he says. “That’s what I do on the hill. I’m always thinking: Well, if this could happen, then that could happen. It’ll leave me in this position, it’ll create these opportunities.” That day at Northstar, White, who is 5-foot-9 and slight, was dressed in a black snowboarding jacket with brass grommets and fitted black snow pants, both designed by White for Burton’s White Collection signature kit. When he took off his black helmet, you could see that he’d cut short his famous long red hair.