Surf Rail
Fuel TV’s ‘Built to Shred’ Host Jeff King

December 31, 2011, Judd

A Sad End to Encinitas’ ‘Shred Ranch’—but It Will Make Good TV

Almost every sports bar in Southern California has the adrenaline sports TV cable network, Fuel TV, constantly buzzing on flat screens. One of Fuel TV’s most popular shows is Built to Shred, hosted by Encinitas resident Jeff King.

Locals familiar with the show especially love the episodes “Camp Shredelton” and “Rail of Death.”

For “Camp Shredelton,” King designed and built ramps for pro skaters to launch over 60-ton cannons and 40-millimeter Howitzers on Camp Pendleton. In “Rail of Death,” King and his crew built a ramp and laboriously placed it in the ocean at Moonlight Beach so that pro surfers could attempt to catch a wave and trick slide down the rail. A sequel of the episode saw King and crew getting kicked off Ponto Beach.

You wouldn’t think a show about insane skateboarders, BMX riders, trick bikers and wakeboarders/skaters would be considered an environmentally friendly program, but King is the ultimate green adrenaline sports promoter.

For those that haven’t seen the show, Built to Shred features King’s uncanny ability to transform discarded detritus and scraps from junkyards into death-defying ramps, half-pipes, vertical rails and obstacle courses.

Built to Shred has run for three seasons. King is currently in Los Angeles, in the early stages of producing Season 4, which will run early next year. Although he has called Encinitas home for 35 years, King is now technically homeless, having been kicked out of his Requeza Street house, dubbed “Shred Ranch” and featured on almost every Built to Shred episode.

Few people, even the most Encinitas-based avid fans of Built to Shred, would ever have suspected that in the quiet residential section across the street from Rancho Coastal Humane Society, their favorite show was being filmed, with the best skaters in the world riding King’s drained swimming pool.

King wasn’t kicked out for being a bad neighbor; his house was razed to make way for nine single-family luxury homes.

“I’m totally bummed about it,” says King, on the phone in his new home, a 34-foot Surfside RV. “I knew this would happen someday. The owner told me that this would happen when I moved in, but unfortunately we got really attached to the place with the Shred Ranch workshop and the gardens that were built.”

But King did not go quietly, walking away from Shred Ranch with his tail between his legs. Instead, he hosted a raging send-off, which will be featured in Season 4. Having just finished production of this episode, King predicts it will lead off the new season and will be called “Rest in Peace.”

Demigod skaters Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek and Tony Hawk helped trash Shred Ranch, chopping giant holes in the roof, and … well, we don’t want to give it away …

King provides a glimpse into a couple of other episodes in the upcoming new season. One will be at a mini-golf course in, of all places, Wisconsin.

“It was a really cool spot,” says King, who toured much of the eastern half of the U.S. in his RV. “There were 7 ½ acres of artificial turf. We peeled some of it off, exposing the concrete. … We pretty much transformed a putt-putt course into a skatepark.”

Kings’ tromp around the country was self-financed (despite being the star of a Fuel TV show, owned by the Fox Network, King claims he is by no means wealthy) and driven from the desire to, in his words, “Check out the pulse of skateboarding in the U.S.”

Another episode that will be featured in the new season was filmed at San Francisco’s funky pseudo-museum, Exploratorium. Next week, King will work on production for an episode tricked out with pro riders conquering oversized guitars and amplifiers and other musical instruments.

“The new season should be pretty rad,” predicts King. “We have more support from the network and more riders who want to be part of the show.”

Season 4 of Built to Shred will air in March 2012. For a few more photos of Jeff King and Built to Shred, visit the original article in Encinitas Patch.

"Jeff King"   

Judd Handler is a freelance writer and wellness/lifestyle coach in Encinitas, California. He surfs uncrowded, fun reef breaks; plays instrumental alternate-tuning guitar; goes hiking in the backcountry; and is amazed on a daily basis by just being alive.