Bentley Shine, Mobbment skater
Kicked out of the house at age 14, Bentley Shine only had his clothes and his skateboard to turn his life around. “I've had to skate away from gunshots. I've had to skate myself to the hospital with stab wounds,” the 21-year-old says. “I guess I've made it—I don't get shot at anymore.” In other words, he needed to learn to skate fast. Now, along with 19-year-old Luis Mendez and 21-year-old Cedric Corner, Shine is “skateboarding to save lives” as part of the Mobbment. Shortened to MBMT, it stands for “Making Beautiful Moves Together,” and the crew has been making moves since the end of 2013. What does “skateboarding to save lives” actually look like? It takes the form of racing through town delivering socks and shoes to the homeless. Or skating from Sacramento to Vallejo on an awareness campaign for breast cancer, or to Chico on a campaign for foster kids. Their next big goal? Skate from Los Angeles to Sacramento, nonstop, and break the Guinness world record for longest skateboard ride in 24 hours. That record is currently set at 195 miles. The Mobbment thinks they'll easily do 300 on day one—and the calendar is marked for April 19. Shine hopped off his board to chat with SN&R about the Mobbment's crazy plans, injuries and Segways.
What are the rules with this world record? Can you stop to eat? Use the bathroom?
We're not too sure about how Guinness goes about the record, but the way we've been doing it that there is no stopping. If you want some water, stand on your board and drink some water. It's because we're all about speed—let's not stop, let's get there. Besides, after a couple hours of skating, doing the same thing and looking at the same two faces, you get irritated. You do not like who's near you or how they skate. We just try to get it done. And I would hate to sleep in the cold in the middle of nowhere.
You don’t sleep? You’ll be skating two days, and no sleep?
Oh, no. (Laughs.) We were up four days straight before Chico. We were just so excited—we couldn't.
So this Los Angeles to Sacramento journey—what’s your route? Going coastal?
I wanna take the 5 and skate through the Grapevine—that's something I've wanted to do since I got my first skateboard at 6 years old. But the way things sound, with the speed of the cars, if we can't get that freeway blocked off I think we'll have to find another way around it. But I might just go crazy and skate the Grapevine anyway.
That sounds really dangerous. You get injured much?
Oh, yeah. You want a list? Back when I used to be a trick skater, I broke my ankle and shattered it. There was nothing connecting my ankle to the rest of my leg. It was literally just dangling. There are these two metal rods holding my ankle together. Both of my knees are shattered—there are little pieces of my knee inside my knee running around everywhere. Every other day, I either hit my knee on a table or fall somewhere, and just one little fall and I could be done skating for good. A doctor told me if I take one more bad fall, I probably won't ever be able to walk again.
That is terrifying. Have you ever recorded how fast you can go?
Not really. We'll be skating and someone will be driving a car and be like, “Hey, you're skating 40 miles per hour right now.” And then we'll say, “Oh great,” and shoot up faster than the car. I can cruise at least 30 miles per hour. You see those people on the bike trail, with $1,000 bikes and all that gear and sponsors on their jacket? We can skate in front them for an hour and a half. Easy. Without getting tired.
Define “to mobb.”
Mobbing consists of skating for 20-plus hours, breaking your legs, running your face into the concrete at 30 miles per hour. But also, mobbing means skating as fast as you can with whatever you have for someone else. That's what it means to us. A lot of different mobs are out there—you've got the Italian mob, Russian mob—but this mob means that. If we gotta help somebody, we're gonna mob as fast we can to get there.
Least favorite form of transportation?
Anything with wheels besides a skateboard. If I could skateboard all over this world, if there was no water, I would never get in a car. You get to see more. Most people drive to go sightseeing, you have to stop, get out of your car, take a couple pictures. I'd rather skate and look at everything.
Alright, so nothing enclosed—no trains, no planes. What about Segways?
(Laughs and shakes head.) I feel like those things are freaks of nature. How does it keep your balance? They're scary, man. It's probably because I've never been on one before, but they're just so weird to me. It's like a flying car.