Why Rodney Mullen is the Greatest Sports Skateboarder of All Time
He created the Ollie
Rodney Mullen was the first skateboarder to perform a flat land ollie. While his comrades were off testing their adrenaline levels on the half pipe, he would literally study the physics of skateboarding, carefully calculating different ways to execute and land tricks. The ollie went on to become the most important skateboarding trick of all time. In fact, when a picture of Rodney Mullen was published in Thrasher magazine showcasing the trick, people couldn’t get over it, and many – included some professionals – thought it was doctored!
He co-founded the world’s largest skateboard company
Along with his business partner, Steve Rocco, Rodney Mullen formed Dwindle Distribution. The aim was to create the first skater-owned skateboard company. They currently operate a factory that makes skateboards and trucks, and distributes them all over the world. Mullen is closely involved with the production process, ensuring everything makes the grade. He even tests all of the equipment personally before it goes on sale.
He is a true individual
Rodney Mullen isn’t your typical sports personality (or skateboarder for that matter!) He is very introverted and seems to keep himself to himself. He was known for his pads setup (enforced by his father) and unique – and somewhat dorky – sense of style. He’s certainly not the classic skateboarder type, but we all love him for it.
He’s an awesome public speaker
It’s no secret that Rodney Mullen is a bit of an oddball. But behind his almost childlike exterior is a very wise businessman. Just watch Rodney’s Ted Talks, Pop an Ollie and Innovate. As he delves into the creative process of inventing tricks, you will discover that it’s not just the visual appeal of his moves or athletic prowess that he has to offer, but extremely original and useful methods of succeeding in life and business.
He’s still creating tricks!
Rodney Mullen is now 49 years old. He has been a professional athlete for over three decades. But that still hasn’t stopped him! Even to this day he’s inventing tricks and coming up with new innovations. His most recent video has been shot in 4D, captured in 360 degrees, and will feature a ton of never before seen new moves, including some absolutely crazy flips that look (from the previews) like he’s actually defying physics!
While the skateboarding fan base pales in comparison to team sports, such as football and basketball, it has swiftly risen. From its humble beginnings on the streets of California to the worldwide stage of the Olympics, the art of skateboarding shows no signs of slowing down. Hopefully with all the recent publicity, the next generation of skateboarders will feel inspired to take up the sport, and maybe even place more emphasis on related sub-sports, such as long board skateboarding. Perhaps by the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 we’ll even start see the next Rodney Mullen of the business.