Just as hockey, Hollywood and traditional mainstream sports has its heroes and legends, so does skateboarding. Over many years, skateboarding has moved from a fringe activity into an accepted corner of mainstream life and culture. The reason for this amazing transition is because of the dedicated and talented boarders who have mastered and performed brilliant tricks and dazzling displays throughout time. However, there are a few skateboarders who have literally transcended skateboarding and are just as popular, well-known and as respected in the half-pipe as they are in the boardroom or on the red carpet.
With that in mind, below is a list of skateboarders who are more than just skateboarders. It could have been for their pursuits on their decks, or perhaps they had the foresight to view skateboarding as a platform to bigger and better things. But, for one reason or another, the people featured in this article have moved beyond the skateboarding world and are immensely respected outside of it, while maintaining their credibility within it as well.
i – Tony Hawk electric skateboard with remote control
First of all, is there not a better name for a skateboarder than Tony Hawk? Probably the most popular skateboarder to ever grace a deck, Tony Hawk is a rare combination of athlete, businessman and showman. As a pure skateboarder, he was the first person to ever complete a 900 degree rotation while in mid-air – often considered the holy grail of skateboarding tricks. As a performer, his stunts, tricks and displays have wowed crowds both young and old from all corners of the globe. And as an captain of industry, his name and image can be found on skateboarding products, video games, films and much more. A true multi-media mogul who got his start on a skateboard, Tony Hawk was – and still is – a talented visionary who broke skateboarding into mainstream culture.
ii – Rodney Mullen
Nicknamed “the Mutt”, Rodney Mullen is often considered one of the forefathers of street skateboarding, in which an urban environment serves as both an artistic canvas and a physical challenge too. If you’ve ever heard of a skateboarding move called “the Ollie”, it was Rodney Mullen who is credited with its invention. An old-school skater from the 1970s, Rodney Mullen is still going strong today, performing and developing new skateboarding decks and equipment. When talking about Rodney Mullen, it is often said that he’s forgotten more tricks than he’s invented – which is high praise considering he’s created over 20 skateboarding tricks on his own.
iii – Robert “Bob” Burnquist
Born in Brazil, Bob Burnquist began skateboarding when he was eleven years old and became a professional skateboarder at the unreal age of fifteen. Perhaps Bob’s greatest achievement came at the 2001 X-Games. He was sitting in second place, and he needed to perform a flawless skateboard run in order to have any chance of winning. Not only did he execute perfectly, but he amazed the crowd in attendance with an array of new and innovative tricks. These moves were so extraordinary that they didn’t even have names attached to them. As a result, he scored the highest marks ever in the X-Games, thus winning the competition.