Whether they are pure beginners or experienced skaters, every street skateboarder dreams of equaling the feats of the top athletes out there. If you need some inspiration for new tricks or just to improve your skateboarding skills, you should look up to the best five skateboarders ever:
Anthony Frank Hawk is the man who took skateboarding from the street and made it into a TV program, a video game, and a professionally practiced discipline. A life-long dedication to this sport has earned him the nickname “The Birdman,” and it comes as no surprise considering his evolution in vertical skateboarding.
In 1999 Tony Hawk completed the first documented 900 – a difficult skateboarding trick that requires the skater to perform a 2 and a half (900 degrees) aerial spin on a skateboard ramp. This move is so hard to achieve and equally dangerous that only 15 people in history have perfected it, one of them being Hawk.
The general opinion is divided between Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen when people are asked who the best skateboarder in history is. Even if the scale is slightly inclined in Hawk’s favor, Mullen is credited with some of the biggest changes made to professional skateboarding.
Rodney Mullen has recently passed the 50-year mark in his life, makes him one of the oldest professionals in the business, considering that his skateboarding career started at the age of 10. His first championship title came when he was only 14, and he won 34 out of the 35 official contests he took part in before turning 20. Over the years, Mullen came up with more than 40 different skateboarding tricks and contributed to the invention of better decks, wheels and riding ramps.
Skateboarding is a sport that you have to start at an early age to become a successful professional later. Ryan Sheckler was only two years old when his father introduced him to this practice, and he has not stopped riding ever since. Nowadays, at the age of 28, he is considered one of the top skateboarders in the US, and a worldwide sensation among skaters. His rise to fame was conditioned by both his remarkable skills and his short TV series entitled The Sheckler Sessions.
In 1995 ESPN launched a series of events called X Games, which aimed to support the surge of extreme street sports. The contest grew in popularity, and so did its winners, among which Paul Rodriguez is the best-known figure. Paul, or P-rod by his stage name, became the first skateboarder to win eight editions of the X Games and increased the sports’ popularity with his famous vertical ramp tricks.
Most people know Rob Dyrdek for his reality TV shows Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness, but he is, in fact, one of the most influential figures of skateboarding. The 43-year old has competed in several skating contests across the globe, and he is the proud holder of many world records for various skateboarding tricks.