The world of skateboarding is incredibly vast and fast moving. Its influence is felt in the music we listen to, the art we look at, and the movies we watch. Skateboarding has always attracted a creative class, but some skaters have interests that completely transcend the world of skateboarding. As skateboarders, we have an ability to blend in while also standing out. We appreciate all the different walks of life that one can encounter, so it comes as no surprise that top tier pros have found interest in so many numerous things. Everyone on this list is still out there ripping, while also redefining what it means to be a skateboarder.
5. Eric Koston
Koston has been in the game a long time now, and still makes waves through the skateboarding community. He popularized being a well rounded street skater, being one of the first guys to take switch skating to both a manual pad and handrails. But, between nollie heelflip nosesliding Wilshire ten, and doing a tuck knee air out, he found the time to pick up a golf habit. As a matter of fact, Koston’s not alone on this one, it would seem a lot of fine people under the Crailtap banner have followed suit. He’s also a self professed sneaker head, stacking up a huge collection over the years. He love Jordans so much, his third shoe on es was a dead ringer of the Jordan 12. Nike proved a good fit for Koston, and has helped in developing tech skate shoes that still have a classic fit and function. Stay Frosty fools.
4. Mark Suciu
Mark Suciu is the Houdini of skateboarding. He’s a straight up contortionist, and can dislocate his hips to revert out of anything, as he showed when he shocked the skateboarding community with his breakout Cross Continental part. As of 2014, Mark has been enrolled as a full time student at Temple University, studying French literature. His schooling isn’t some James Franco stunt to prove he’s sophisticated. The dude is seriously intelligent. His Pro Spotlight interview in Transworld is filled with thoughtful, articulate responses, which are just reactions to questions asked by the interviewer. You have to actually digest what he’s saying to understand what he’s getting at. There’s gotta be a correlation to intellect and the insane kind of skateboarding that Mark does.
3. Jason Lee
Hey! Remember My Name Is Earl? Jason Lee sure does, and before he was a fancy shmancy Hollywood actor, he was busy becoming a street skating legend. He had style, and his backside flips are holy, and he was even in the extremely venerable Video Days. He also co-owns Stereo Skateboards with Chris Pastras. Most outside of the skateboarding world recognize Jason Lee as the guy from Alvin and the Chipmunks, but we skateboarders know better! He was one of the few dudes in the 90’s who had fluidity and style, and with the birth of Stereo, paved a way for guys like Ethan Fowler, who rode for Stereo and had a killer part in A Visual Sound. He actually had a pretty cool start to his acting career, with his first staring role being in a Sonic Youth video. He also was friends with Clerks director, Kevin James and starred in his movie, Mall Rats. Jason Lee’s career has definitely been a weird, wild ride. Oh, he’s also like a scientologist or something.
2. Brandon Westgate
Brandon Westgate is East Coast skateboarding. His skateboarding is powerful, fast, and as smooth as a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice. Wait…What? For a dude as gnarly as Westgate, you wouldn’t expect him to be a cranberry farmer, but he totally is. Cranberry bogging is a family business for the Westgates, and his dad has been doing it since he was a kid. The crazy amount of pop he has is actually a result of trudging through the marshes since he was but a lad…That’s not really true, but it would explain a lot. The dude is a legend and has helped fuel the revival of the East Coast craze that is currently hogging all of your Instagram. Don’t lie, you love it!
- John Cardiel
Where to begin? Dude, it’s John Cardiel, he slays, there’s no other way to describe him. As most of you know, Cardiel was paralyzed while on tour in Australia when a trailer hit him and damaged his spinal cord. He was told he would never walk again, but as we all know, Cardiel said “Fawk that!” and started mountain biking! Biking actually played a huge role in his rehabilitation process, as it would loosen up the tight muscles in his legs. Of course, he pushes that to the limits, and goes as fast as he possibly can, as seen in Propeller. Cards is an inspiration to so many, watching him skate always gets you pumped, and you find yourself pushing ten times harder, slamming fifty times harder, and getting back up for more. All Hail Cardiel!!!!
Did you know he’s into reggae?
Skateboarders are a diverse bunch. There’s so much personality on and off the board, it really is crazy to see how it manifests itself. To me, the big guys in the community are so much more relatable when you see how human they are. They’re more than just skaters, they’re dudes just like you and me, who have families, hobbies, and responsibilities. At the end of the day, we all do what we do. I don’t know about you fools, but I’m gonna go skate. Peace.
Brandon Westgate > Eric Koston > Jason Lee > John Cardiel > Mark Suciu