Dane Vaughn is one of those type of people that you can talk to for five minutes and feel like you’ve known them you’re whole life. I’ve only gotten to skate with him twice but both times are both on my top ten sessions list. You can bring him to a spot and watch him casually destroy it. Hopefully now that he’s on Mighty Healthy, New York will be seeing more of him in the streets. His welcome part just dropped so we decided to do an interview and help you get to know him better.
Name: Dane Vaughn
Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Current Location: Korea town, Los Angeles, CA
What brings you out to NY this time?
Well, I just started riding for Mighty Healthy about four months ago. I stay out in LA and I know Mighty Healthy is a New York based brand so I thought it would be sick for me to do my intro part out here in NY. I thought it would be a better look to base it out here so we’re filming for that.
I know you’ve been out here a lot, what’s your favorite spots to skate and chill?
I honestly like skating out here more than the west coast honestly. There’s a lot more urban terrain. I live for going out and hoping up a curb and finding a new spot every other block.
It would be like 2 degrees out and we would go set up in a parking garage and skate for hours.
How did the relationship with Mighty Healthy come about?
Brad Rosado, the team manager for DGK suggested it. I stopped riding for KREW a while back and wasn’t really feeling any company in particular and he started to explain about the team and the legends that were a part of it like Gino and the new locals like Conor Champion and Jeremy Murray. Pete Eldridge too, I always looked up to him. So I started talking to Brad about it and he told me Ray (Mighty Healthy owner) was into it. After talking for a while next thing you know I was riding for Mighty Healthy. It’s been about 5 months now and everybody’s super cool just working on this intro video part now.
That’s cool. Coming from Baton Rouge, did you grow up skating there?
Oh no. It’s crazy I only lived there until I was 10 years old. My mom and dad separated when I was real young and after a while my mom needed help and said we were moving up to Minnesota to see my dad. I didn’t understand it at the time but now I do, it’s a hard knock life you know? So I started living up in Minnesota with my Dad, my Mom and my brother all over again. Next thing you know I’d see kids skating at school and I started skating. So, yeah I Started skating in Minnesota and it was a whole different world. All my family lives in Baton Rouge still though so holidays and stuff I go there.
Gotcha. Well you’re two years younger than me so did you start skating around the same era with Jamie Thomas and people hucking themselves down big rails or were you more into the Kalis/Stevie Williams tech style stuff?
I was always more into the Love Park, Urban stuff. Photosynthesis and stuff. I was always scared to hit rails honestly, I was over that shit you know? So I just based myself on that and my group of friends was into that as well. We skated ledges and set little obstacle ups. It would be like 2 degrees out and we would go set up in a parking garage and skate for hours.
What was the first memorable moment of skating that had you hooked?
The first time I jumped on a board and had a homie posse that we could just cruise around having fun. I was like man I could do this everyday, go meet up with my homies and skate, learn tricks, shoot the shit. That’s all I needed and I’ve been doing that for 16 years now.
Flash forward to today, what’s changed and what’s stayed the same?
The same for me is that I’m bored if I’m not on my board. I’m constantly thinking of other shit to do and keeping my mind busy but everyday I look forward to being on my board and if I’m not I’m not having as much fun.
It’s just a bit more of a job because you’re expected to perform. But I love doing it, I’d rather do this than anything else in life.
What’s different about it is that it’s more of a job now. Honestly, there may be a day where you wake up and don’t feel like skating but you’re on a trip and you’re meeting up with a crew that’s looking forward to skating and creating content or whatever you’re working towards. When you aren’t a pro you don’t have to worry about that at all and it’s just whatever you want to do 100%. It’s just a bit more of a job because you’re expected to perform. But I love doing it, I’d rather do this than anything else in life.
Let’s say I’m a kid wanting to do what you’re doing. What’s it like having a kid coming up to you being hyped, looking up to and stuff what’s that like to be on the other end of that?
It feels super sick, like honestly. It’ll happen all the time, the more that I’ve been promoted or whatever. I enjoy it and I’ll shoot the shit with them, it’s really cool.
We’ve all seen kids blow their opportunities, do you have any advice for kids coming up now on how to avoid that scenario?
Yeah man just hold a cool gimmick man. You gotta have an easy head on your shoulders and can’t be stressing people out…talking about all this crazy shit when you’re 5 to 10 years younger than everyone you’re skating with, their taking you under their belt because they think you’re good at skating and you’re over here trying to tell all these elders a bunch of nonsense. They’re just gonna get annoyed with you and not want to bring you next time because you’re just too hard to deal with. Honestly, my advice to them would be to just shut the fuck up and skate.
Damn Straight. How do you like skating with the Mighty Healthy crew?
Yeah I like it. Everyone’s cool, I know that we have a video coming up and I’m looking to have a part in that and can’t wait to see everyone’s parts. I haven’t seen anyone’s footy yet so it’s going to be more entertaining for me to see the whole project come together.
Is there any rituals, quirks, or mindfucks that get inside your head when you’re skating in a crowded urban environment like NYC?
Um, when people are clueless that’s a little bit of a mindboggle but they’re supposed to be. They don’t know what you’re up to they just walked up you know, going about their day but it’s still irritating. Oh and filmers not having wax can get annoying it’s like c’mon man you got that whole bag and no wax in it?! But other than that I just try to keep it chill.
What’s been the hardest thing about making a career for yourself?
Marketing. Obviously you want to create some financial support so you can further your skating but you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’re riding for someone where people will look at you and think it’s whack. You have to balance that with realizing you are getting older and you have to earn a living and think about that too so it’s been hard to decide which decisions are the right ones to take.
Do you have any goals to be an entrepreneur in the future?
Yeah I definitely do. I don’t necessarily have a certain gimmick or whatever but you know I want to do something I’m really into and hopefully others are into it to. I want to be at the point where I can take something I love and am passionate about and create an opportunity to grow wealth and a business out of it.
That’s the dream for a lot of people, it’s cool to see so many people making it happen too. Let’s wrap this up, do you have any shout out’s or thank you’s?
Shout out to all my sponsors, my family & friends. Shout out to everyone that supports my skating and thank you for that.