Every sport is famous for some reason. Skateboarding, for example, is best known for being an urban sport, often tied to acrobatics and a certain type of urban culture. But, athletes also make a sport, which we can see from other sports. When somebody hears soccer, they think Messi and Ronaldo, which is what happens with basketball and LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
When people hear skateboarding, whose name comes to mind? Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen? Probably, and many more should. Here are skateboarding’s greatest heroes.
Tony Hawk has been skateboarding’s ambassador for more than two and a half decades. His name appearing in video games and in shopping malls turned a sport which was viewed as vandalism and something mysteriously urban, into a mainstream sport. Some argued that this was no longer urban, however, skateboarding became legal in most parts of the world, and today, it is an Olympic sport.
Tony Hawk has done a lot for the sport itself, but he is also an amazing skateboarder, a legend who landed a 900 not once, but multiple times, and also recently, at the age of 48.
Not many people are as popular and important in the world of skateboarding as Rodney Mullen is. Rodney Mullen was around in the 70s and 80s, way before street skating existed. He was doing freestyle and was inventive and creative. He created a lot of the moves that skateboarders are to this day learning, as some of the basics, such as the ollie, the kickflip, heelflip, impossible, and more.
Rodney Mullen is still skating around and you can see him trying new tricks, falling, getting up again, and still going for it. As far as influencing modern skateboarding, nobody can beat Mullen.
Some skateboarders execute tricks and moves perfectly, others think of new moves, but not everybody uses the environment as their playground. Daewon Song finds a new way to bounce, jump and skate, even when that seems impossible. Think of him as Jackie Chan of skateboarding, someone who uses their environment as best as it can be used.
Interestingly enough, Song saw Rodney Mullen at some point, skateboarding, but Mullen also spotted Song and was impressed with his skills, later sending him some boards. Their friendship started off many decades ago and it lasts to this day.
Born in the US in 1994, Nyjah Huston and thanks to his strict father, he started skateboarding at the age of 5. When he was 10, his parents purchased a skate park in Woodland, and he spent most of his time practising. He was already sponsored at the time and after a brief disagreement between his parents and lawsuit, his mother was granted custody of him and he ended up back in the United States.
Today, he is the skateboarder with the most wins, professionally. He is also the highest paid skateboarder, in terms of prize money. He has plenty of sponsors, which means even more money. Huston is basically an example of an athlete in an evolving sport, someone people will look up to and say: “That is hard work and dedication”!
The world of skateboarding has many legends, with these 4 at the top. The list can go on, particularly if all the influential skaters from the early days are mentioned. For now, these 4 will suffice as the most iconic skateboarders of our time.