ENCINITAS — Bucky Lasek’s workplace isn’t a cubicle. It’s a concrete bowl at his Olivenhain home where he spends three to four hours each weekday perfecting his game.
When the weekend arrives, Bucky’s like any other dad, devoting quality time to his wife, Jennifer, and their three daughters.
Recognized as the No. 1 vert skater in the U.S., he considers his greatest accomplishment to be his girls — who prefer riding horses to skateboards.
Raised in Baltimore, Md., Bucky was 12 when he decided to take up skateboarding after his bicycle was stolen.
“I would run behind my buddy and shared his board until I got my own at Christmas,” he said. It wasn’t long before he was competing in amateur contests and joining the ranks as a professional.
Bucky moved to Encinitas in 1999, a year that was a turning point both personally and professionally.
“I got married, moved to Encinitas, had a baby and blew out my knee,” he said. “If I could, I would have moved here a long time before because Encinitas is a mecca for skateboarding.”
Today Bucky is considered one of the world’s most consistent vert skateboarders. He’s won 11 X Games medals, seven of which have been gold. In 2000, he became the first skateboarder in the history of X Games to win gold two consecutive years with back-to-back wins in 1999 and 2000. He repeated the feat in 2003 and 2004. Bucky gives crowds their money’s worth with tricks such as his Frontside Cab heelfish, Nollieflip stalefish, Nollieflip Madonna and McKenzie (720, forward to fakie).
Routinely, his schedule is packed with appearances, charity events, autograph signings and managing his day-to-day business.
He has signature trading cards, action figures and shoes with Vans. He also has pro model skateboard with Element, a pro model helmet with Pro-Tec, and is a character in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1- 4 and Tony Hawk’s Underground video games.
Bucky has been featured on the cover of Dub Magazine and ESPN the Magazine as the first action sport athlete to hold this honor.
Now 37, Bucky plans to continue as long as he remains competitive.
“When skating slows down I’ll keep my products going,” he said. “I’m gradually rotating towards car racing without taking away anything from skating.”
Whenever he can, Bucky slips out of town in his 911 Twin Turbo Porsche en route to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah or Willow Springs Raceway in the Mojave Desert.
His white Porsche also attracts the attention of locals here and the sheriff’s department.
“I got a cell phone ticket in Encinitas,” he said. “The only reason the officer pulled me over was the loud exhaust. I don’t speed on the streets. I keep it nice. I have kids.”
Bucky and Jennifer are hands-on parents who enjoy taking the girls horseback riding and go-carting on weekends, and helping out at the public schools they attend.
“We do a lot of charity stuff, donating time to school,” he said. “We’re involved.”
Although he was raised in a cold climate, one place you won’t see him in the winter is the beach.
“I tried to surf but I’m not a big fan of cold water,” he said. “I have brand new wetsuits with the tags on them, but I can’t do it.”
It’s not unusual to spot the Lasek family at a local pizzeria or other eatery including the Coffee Bean where Bucky enjoys a relaxing Mocha Ice Blended with Jennifer after the kids go to school.
He relishes the lifestyle he’s created for himself on the coast, far away from blizzards in Baltimore.
“Not only do I pinch myself, I’m very grateful for being in the situation I’m in,” he said. “I take every opportunity to spread the love with friends and strangers and always try to bring smiles to everyone.”