If you’ve been a skater at some point in your life or have an interest in sports, you’ve probably heard of the names of Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen. These men were the driving force behind what skateboarding is today.
Tony Hawk: By now most people have probably heard of the name Tony Hawk. Its name is synonymous with fun, action-oriented extreme sports. What has led to its popularity is the introduction of its popular Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game series. The series began on the Play Station video game console and has moved on to others. But Tony Hawk has impacted the skateboarding community in different ways. He popularized and advocated organized skateboarding events such as the Xgames in which he also participated. His notable accomplishments at these events include “the 900,” a movement in which he does a grabbing turn by rotating his entire body 900 degrees. This notable achievement has not been accomplished or recorded by anyone else in the history of the sport. Other extreme sports enthusiasts have tried making the 900, but it’s much easier to do on fixed gear equipment like bikes. Tony Hawk has finished the 900 three more times, which says “I’m 42 and did the 900”. It was something he wanted to complete 10 years ago and he finally hit his goal. His actions are legendary in the history of sport and he will always be remembered as a pioneer in the field of extreme sports.
Rodney Mullen: If you’ve ever seen someone do a kickflip (a trick of spinning the board vertically), you’ll have Rodney Mullen to thank for that ingenious move. He created lots of other different spin moves and worked a lot to create more flat floor skateboarding tricks that included the impossible (a flat trick that involves spinning the board around your leg like you would a flag). He also perfected many other spin movements and his ability to maintain balance on the board made him an entertaining skateboarder to watch. He also introduced and popularized the style without flat terrain as a style of skateboarding that other skateboarders later decided to emulate. His feat includes the blows. He has starred in 18 skateboarding feature films, mostly in edits of himself set to music. He is also featured in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series as a player that players can choose to play with.
Alan Galfend: Alan Galfend got into skateboarding in the 70’s. He invented and popularized the “ollie”, a flat-ground thing in which you jump with the skateboard and pull it with you towards your body. This tip was used later in flat terrain, freestyle and green applications. The trick put a whole new spin on skateboarding as the sport didn’t have a lot of variations of trick until the creation of the ollie. Generated from the ollie turn, many other turns were possible, including motion capture turns, turns, and grind / slides. Alan Galfend left skateboarding to pursue other interests including go-kart racing and Volkswagen racing. He then opened a service store and a skate shop, both well known in their respective industries.