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THE 5 MOST INFLUENTIAL SKATEBOARDERS IN THE WORLD AND THEIR STORIES

Skateboarding became cool in the early 90s, and when “Lords of Dogtown” was released, every amateur skater kid wanted to learn how to do it like the guys in the movie – but to imitate the famous skaters who make their tricks in the halfpipe look so easy took more than just hanging out at the skate park after school. Maybe some of you also harboured the dream of becoming a professional skater, even though you might not have been all that serious about it. Those, however, who had the chance to turn their dream into reality made history because they took skateboarding to a whole new level.

No. 5: DANNY WAY

When you hear his name, you immediately think of the famous, impossible jump with his skateboard over the Great Wall of China. He repeated this jump four times and broke all records. However, this epic stunt is not the only thing that makes this skateboarder one of a kind: In 1994, he broke his neck during a surf accident, from which he recovered completely. Only two years later he broke the world record for the highest jump on a skateboard. His obsession with crazy jumps probably also played its part a few years later when he constructed the “Megaramp”, on which he set the record for a 5.6 meter high jump on his skateboard! If you want to watch Danny’s crazy jump over the Great Wall of China, you can watch a video here:

No. 4: MARC GONZALES

Marc “Gonz” Gonzales is considered to be the pioneer of modern street skating. His style and artistic temperament inspired a lot of young skaters that came after him and permanently shaped the sport. He was the first to skate a rail and the first to ollie over huge gaps. In 1993, he was also the first to do a kickflip over one of those huge gaps in San Francisco, which has since been known as the “Gonz Gap”:

No. 3: STACY PERALTA

His name is closely associated with the early years of skateboarding. Stacy was a typical surf kid growing up in Southern California, where he later joined the famous Zephyr Skate Team (also known as the Z-Boys), which consisted of a bunch of guys who would later become professional skaters. He not only co-founded the soon-omnipresent skateboard company “Powell & Peralta”, but also the “Bones Brigade”, a skate group whose famous videos influenced the sport like no others. Soon he started working as a director professionally and created a milestone in the history of freestyle skateboarding with his documentary “Dogtown & Z-Boys”, which also became the basis for the forementioned Hollywood flick “Lords of Dogtown”. You can watch the trailer here:

 No. 2: RODNEY MULLEN

When people talk about skateboarding, someone is bound to mention Rodney Mullen sooner or later. He is the guy responsible for many of the tricks which are now deemed standard, like the kickflip. He appears utterly cool and laid back as he grins into the camera while performing tricks nobody’s ever seen before. He is still considered to be the forefather of freestyle skating:

No. 1: TONY HAWK

He is inarguably the most famous skater in the world, not only because of the game that was named after him and which a lot of kids played almost obsessively when it was released back in the day. Tony Hawk started skating in 1982 at the age of 14. At age 16, he was regarded as the best skater in the world – and that was even before he won 11 world championships in a row! However, the trick which made him go down in history was the so-called “900°”- a two and a half revolution aerial spin, which Tony Hawk was the first to accomplish in a halfpipe. It is still considered to be one of the hardest skate tricks in the world. There is good reason why Tony Hawk is number 1 on our list of the most influential skateboarders of all time. Watch the incredible jump that turned him into a living legend and which he performed again in 2016 at the age of 48:

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