Chris Joslin: From Street Life to Skateboarding Stardom

Explore Chris Joslin's inspiring journey, from overcoming a rough past to becoming a skateboarding sensation. Learn, get stoked, and be inspired!

Have you ever heard the saying, “pressure makes diamonds?” This couldn’t ring truer when talking about Chris Joslin’s life and career. Overcoming adversity, Joslin used his challenging circumstances as a catalyst, propelling himself into one of the most impressive skate careers of today. So, who is Chris Joslin? In this biographical dive, we’re kickflipping right into life lessons from Joslin, his upbringing, and his meteoric rise in the skateboarding scene. From battling the streets to shredding the park, let’s jump right into skate stories with Chris Joslin.

Who is Chris Joslin?

Hailing from Hawaiian Gardens, a suburb nestled in the vast landscape of Los Angeles, Chris Joslin’s origin in the world of skateboarding is as legendary as his moves. For him, memories of when he first picked up a skateboard are lost in the haze of childhood, as he was introduced to the world of skating even before his memories took shape. As Joslin puts it,

Image of a skater jumping with a skateboard midair. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater jumping with a skateboard midair. Source: unsplash

“I discovered skateboarding before I could even remember.”

Joslin’s early years, however, were far from typical. With his parents grappling with addiction, it was his grandmother who became the cornerstone of his life. She was more than just a guardian; she was the wind beneath his young wings, taking him to skate parks and supporting his budding passion.

Chris’s relationship with his biological parents was complex. He only got to know his mother after she became sober when he was around three years old, and tragically, he lost his father when he was just seven.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Chris joslin: from street life to skateboarding stardom | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What significant achievements mark Joslin’s skateboarding career?

Despite the odds, Joslin’s indomitable spirit prevailed. Skateboarding wasn’t just a sport; it was an escape, a source of solace, and a beacon of hope. The grind of the board, the challenge of a new trick, and the exhilaration of a successful run became metaphors for his life.

Even at a young age, he was fearless, recalling daring stunts like rolling down a 16-foot roll-in at the age of ten, an experience that taught him about both the thrill and risks of the sport. Over the years, he’s released numerous video parts showcasing his incredible skills and has been a consistent contender in major skateboarding competitions.

What drives Chris Joslin on the streets?

Joslin has always been an advocate for the pure, raw essence of street skating. He’s openly not a fan of contest skating and the auxiliary parts connected to it. “I’m the dude that wears his clothes ’til there’s holes in it,” Joslin says, underscoring his commitment to the raw essence of the sport. For him, it’s not about the fame or the clothes; it’s about the love for the streets, the allure of unlimited possibilities, and the joy of capturing those perfect moments on film.

To Joslin, skateboarding is art. It’s about the creativity, the improvisation, and the connection with one’s surroundings. He sees the world differently. “Driving down the street, most people see red lights and green lights. And when I drive down the street, I see stairs and rails and things to skate on,” he reveals.

The looming Paris 2024 Olympics offers another platform for Joslin to showcase his talents. Although contests have never been his favorite, the opportunity to represent Team USA is undeniable. However, he remains grounded about the prospect. He values the journey over the destination and doesn’t want to get bogged down by lofty expectations.

How does Joslin navigate challenges off the ramp?

Outside the world of skateboarding, Joslin takes immense pride in being a father. While his children have shown some interest in skating, he insists that he wants them to pursue what makes them happy. Balancing fatherhood and the demanding life of an elite skater isn’t easy. Being away from them, especially during demanding tours, weighs heavily on his mind.

Image of a skater doing skateboard tricks under a bridge. Source: pexels
Image of a skater doing skateboard tricks under a bridge. Source: pexels

For Joslin, family is everything. He’s found a unique way to keep those he cherishes close to him: tattoos. He has his grandmother’s, daughter’s, and son’s names tattooed near his heart, a testament to their profound impact on his life. For Joslin, these tattoos aren’t just marks on his skin; they’re a reflection of the commitments he’s made, ones he’ll never waver from.

What can we learn from Chris Joslin?

Even if you’re not a skateboarding aficionado, it’s evident how fiercely Joslin dominates a street competition course. The swift movement of his shirt in the wind reveals the momentum he’s built, gearing up to master the most challenging hurdle or the broadest gap in the park.

“His skate style is intense and captivating; it is utterly unmissable.”

As he approaches his target, Joslin propels himself skyward, skillfully performing his trick, then firmly landing as if punctuating his bold statement. His skate style is intense and captivating; it is utterly unmissable. Those familiar with him recognize this unwavering resolve as quintessential Joslin.

Chris Joslin’s journey through life and skateboarding offers invaluable lessons for any skater and, honestly, anyone seeking inspiration from life’s challenges. Joslin exemplifies the power of passion and dedication. From his earliest days, when he was just a grom, he was relentless in his pursuit of mastering skateboarding. This kind of determination and grit reminds us that with enough dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Chris Joslin:

How did Chris Joslin start skateboarding?

Answer: Chris Joslin began skateboarding at a very young age. He often mentions that he was so young when he started that he doesn’t even have memories of those initial moments on the board. It was around the age of three when he began, with encouragement and support from his grandmother, who played a significant role in his upbringing.

Has Chris Joslin competed in any major skateboarding competitions or events?

Yes, Chris Joslin has participated in numerous skateboarding competitions throughout his career. He’s known not just for his street skating but also for his performances in contests. As a member of Team USA’s national skateboard team, he has eyes on Olympic competitions, like the Paris 2024 Olympics, and has been part of the World Skateboarding Tour events.

How does Chris Joslin balance his professional skateboarding career with his personal life?

Answer: Joslin, apart from being a dedicated skater, is also a committed father of two. He takes great pride in his role as a dad and often shares insights into his life with his children. While he remains passionate about skateboarding, Joslin ensures he spends quality time with his family, emphasizing the importance of being present in the moment, whether he’s on his board or with his loved ones.

Final thoughts

Skateboarding is not just a sport; it’s a way of life. Chris Joslin embodies this belief to the core. Rising from a tough background, he took every setback as a challenge and channeled his energy into skating, carving out his unique space in the world one trick at a time. As Joslin shows, anyone with determination and the right support can overcome difficulties and achieve greatness, leaving a trail in the world of skateboard legends.

Do you think your personal challenges could shape your interests and passions like they did for Chris? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, do share it with a friend! Be sure to check out my full blog for more exciting insights and experiences from the skateboarding world. Thanks for reading, and until the next roll, keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the life and skateboarding career of Chris Joslin. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Chris Joslin’s upbringing in Hawaiian Gardens, California, was difficult but laid the groundwork for his skateboarding career.
  • His grandmother and friends provided unwavering support, playing crucial roles in shaping his passion for skateboarding.
  • Despite early exposure to drugs and negative influences, Joslin pivoted his life towards a successful career in skateboarding.
  • Joslin made a significant impact in street skating, impressing many, including Ryan Sheckler of Plan B.
  • His hardworking attitude and relentless pursuit of his passion earned him numerous awards and recognitions in the skateboarding industry.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
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