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What's Happenin' | John Shanahan

November 20,2020

Photo: Heikkila


Yo John, what’s happenin’? What have you been doing lately?

Chillin, Skating, Playin Chess.


Talk to me about your shoe. What’s the inspiration for your cinch laces and pocket on the side?

Well, everybody knows I’m a huge fan of cargo pockets. I just wanted to bring something different to a shoe. I wanted to make it stand out. It’s kinda military inspired so I just thought it would be cool to put a pocket on the side of the shoe, cuz why would anybody else do that? 


I know you’ve always been into making clothes, tell me about Pangea Jeans…

It’s a new project I just started. I wanted to have full creative control over clothes and stuff I wanna see in skateboarding so I started my own project. It seemed like the easiest way I could do what I want to do, another creative outlet.


What’s up with this new part "Cargo Sneaker"? I heard you filmed it in three months, is that true?

Yeah, everything is pretty much within three months except for the tre flip at the end. The tre flip was the only thing I filmed before the 3 month range. It was supposed to go in new Pangea video we’re putting out, but the new DC ad was the tre flip photo so we took it out and put it in the DC part.



I heard you got a crazy story about the ending tre flip on Roosevelt island.

Yeah so the first time we went there I got the trick and we didn’t get a photo so we had to go back. It was pretty hectic, we get in there at 7:30 in the morning. You have to walk around this fence right by the water, so its hectic. We get in there, Mike (Heikkila) sets up and I run up the bank. It’s wide open and it’s a giant bank glowing in the sun so as soon as I’m running up a parks department car pulls up and sees me before I even try one. So I’m like “fuck!.” I was like, “Well we’re here so I might as well try one anyway.” So I start running up and try two or three and the dude puts his lights and siren on. So I was like, “fuck, I’ll try a few more till he gets out of his car and really comes up to us. I was catching em a few times and now he’s pullin up even closer so I’m like, “I guess we gotta get out of here.” I caught a few of em for the photo so I waved my hand, “See ya later” and I just walked to where he couldn’t see me. As soon as he couldn’t see me, Mike and I sprint to the other side of the park and we try to sneak out the other side, which we never did before so we weren’t sure if you could get out that way. There’s a fence that goes out to the water so we weren’t sure if you could walk around it. We sprinted over and there was a construction zone set up perfect so you could jump on these pallets and get over this fence. We see 3 more police cars pull up on the other side of the park, they didn't know we were sneaking out but they are really trying to get us at this point. We see some joggers so we timed it so it looks like we were jogging with them so we blended. Now me and mike are just jogging next to a bunch of random joggers in the park then I see a cop driving straight down the street I parked on as were almost at the car. I saw him from pretty far away so I sprinted to my car. I open the trunk and I tried to put my board in, but mikes camera bags are all over the place and the shits not closing. The cops super close at this point so finally I get it to fit and slam the trunk and get in the drivers seat. The cop flies by perfect timing. Mike gets in the car and now were just driving behind the cop. They pull up into the park and stop exactly where we snuck out from only a minute before, we just turn right and get out of there. The timing was perfect on everything. It was a pretty good start to the day. Then later in that day I got the ollie into pole for the cover. 


360 flip | Photo: Heikkila

Gap into pole jam | Photo: Heikkila


That Story is insane. What’s up with the Thrasher cover?

I didn’t know I was gonna get it. I was really just trying to come up with cool lookin’ photo spots. That’s every skateboarders dream to get on the cover of Thrasher. That’s a real goal I wanted to achieve in my life. I had the interview in the mag so I was like, “the timings pretty good, I really wanna work at this.” Then it just so happened to work out. I’m super hyped, dream come true.


What’s up with the music in your new DC part? I fucking love it.

Sick. It’s a beat by Eli Gesner, an Ocularge beat. He’s an OG New York dude who made all the beats for the EST and the early Zoo York videos. I thought it was fitting for how I was skating. I just wanted to incorporate that dudes music cuz I love those early videos.


First time I heard of you I saw footage of you jumping off a roof on your snowboard. You still get down like that?

Yeah, I would like to more. I didn’t get to snowboard the past two years, but I’ve been snow skating when we get some snow, which is really fun. I’m tryna get that new DC Rokit snowboard and get out a few times on that thing. I’ve been traveling in the winter skating more so it’s been kinda hard to get out.


Being from Pennsylvania, did your hometown have many spots? Were you always searching or would you just go to Philly and New York?

We filmed a lot of stuff in our town that if someone went there they would say, “these aren’t even spots,” but like we made it work. Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg is where I grew up. There are some cool spots there. We would skate every nook and cranny. It helps when you get to a city where’s there’s so much out in the open you don’t even gotta think about. If you use that third eye you know how to film on anything.


What OG shoe do you wish DC would bring back?

A shoe I wish they could bring back is the “Howard 2.” That was one of my favorite models, but it’s a Rick Howard shoe so it’s kinda hard they can’t really bring it back. If you bought the old ones the shoe would just crumble because it’s a foam sole. The sole is glued on so if it’s glued on it’s gonna crumble because its super old. Some of the old shoes that have stitching on the sole can last. I have a pair of the clockers and they’re perfect. I’m gonna skate em eventually. 


Lastly, the fans wanna know - What’s your favorite trick?
I would just have to say ollie because you can do so much with that. Like, if you couldn’t ollie, what would you do? Ollie is the best trick.


Under the tracks push | Photo: Heikkila

bs nosegrind | Photo: Heikkila

bs smith | Photo: Heikkila

bs overcrook | Photo: Heikkila

Shanahan & Bilyeu | Photo: Heikkila

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