Skateboarding seems to come and go with each passing generation.
It experienced its genesis during the 1960s and 1970s, dipped toward the end of the ’70s, fought back in the 80s, and went through its golden age in the 90s and early 2000s.
Those golden years are when legends were born, and we witnessed some of the greatest skaters in the short history of the sport.
These old-school skaters helped to shape the sport of skateboarding and played a massive role in making it what it is today.
Who are the Best Skaters of All Time?
Who are the best old school skateboarders of all time? It’s a question that is sure to trigger a debate among skaters of all ages.
But while the ranking of these old school skaters is certainly a debatable topic, it’s hard to dispute which names deserve to be on this list.
With that said, let’s look at a list (in no particular order) that includes some of the best skateboarders of all time. And before you complain about certain omissions, just remember that this is by no means a complete list!
Known as “Birdman”, Tony Hawk is one of the greatest skateboarders of all time and was instrumental in introducing the world of skateboarding to a new audience.
He was the first to perform the “900”, has helped to create hundreds of skateboarding parks around the world, and also endorsed his own series of video games.
In fact, during the early 2000s, every teenager and young adult got into street skateboarding as a result of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games.
Hawks won dozens of major skateboarding competitions, launched his own company (Birdhouse Projects), foundation (Tony Hawk Foundation), and clothing lines, and came to define post-2000s skating.
These days, Jason Lee is best-known for his acting. He has been in a few cult films (Dogma, Mallrats, Chasing Amy) and also played the titular role in My Name is Earl.
But before he became known as an actor, he was regarded as one of the best skateboarders in the business. Not quite on the same level as Tony Hawk, but a top boarder, nonetheless.
Jason lee teamed up with Chris Pastras to launch Blue Skateboards, which then became Stereo Skateboards.
Bam Margera made a name for himself toward the tail-end of the 1990s, when VHS tapes circulated showing him performing crazy stunts.
Those tapes eventually morphed into Jackass and introduced the world to eventual superstars like Steve-O and Johnny Knoxville.
Despite becoming best-known for his stunts and his association with Jackass, Bam Margera remained an incredibly talented skateboarder and is often regarded to be one of the sport’s most influential.
After all, how many youngsters watched his stunts and immediately went out to buy a board and copy him?
Mark “Gonz” Gonzales is one of the most influential street skaters of all time and actually introduced many to street skating. He is an artist as well as a skateboarder and he has his own skateboard company, known as Krooked Skateboards.
Danny Way is a fearless old school skateboarder known for his epic stunts, including jumping the Great Wall of China.
He was winning contests before he was 13-years-old and spent the early years of his skateboarding career breaking records.
Rodney Mullen was one of the best freestyle skateboarders in the world and won his first major event when he was just 14-years-old, before scooping dozens of other titles in later years.
He invented many modern tricks and is considered by many to be the father of skateboarding. By all accounts, he’s a pretty humble and modest guy, which is always good to hear.
Stacy Peralta was the number 1 ranked skateboarder in the world by the time he was 19. Within a couple of years, he was one of the biggest names in the history of the sport.
He founded Powell-Peralta with George Powell and later formed the Bones Brigade, which led to creations like the Bones Brigade Video Show.
Dyrdek created the Street League Skateboarding event, a massive street skateboarding competition that helped Dyrdek to generate a huge net worth. He hosted Ridiculousness on MTV and has also featured on several other TV shows.
Although he’s very well known in the skateboarding world and has done a lot for the sport, many have branded him as a sellout and he’s not the most popular old school skateboarder on this list. Still, he has been very influential and clearly has a passion for the sport.
Who is the Oldest Pro Skater?
It depends on who you ask, really, and what sort of level you focus on.
A lot of time has passed, and while it’s nice to imagine that Jerome is still skating at age 105, statistically…that’s probably not the case.
Tony Alva is still going strong as he approaches his mid-60s but there are lesser-known skateboarders out there that are in their 70s.
If we had to pick one old school boarder that would likely take the title, it would be Russ Howell, who is 71-years-old at the time of writing and has been skating for many years.