Top 10 Greatest Skaters of All Time: Icons That Redefined Skateboarding

Meet the top 10 greatest skaters of all time. This blog covers iconic legends who changed the game in skateboarding forever.

Hey there, have you ever considered who might be the greatest skater of all time? Honestly, it’s impossible to pick just one name for the title, as skateboarding showcases a dazzling array of styles and variations, making it pretty much like comparing apples to oranges. If you’ve been waiting for a listicle that’s more loaded than a monster truck at a demolition derby, you’ve found it. You’ll witness a compilation of the top 10 skaters who single-handedly rewrote the story of skateboarding with their awe-inspiring skills, pushing the boundaries and shaping what we now understand and appreciate about this beautiful sport.

What is skateboarding?

Skateboarding, at its core, is not just a sport or a mode of transportation; it’s an art form, a culture, and, for many, a way of life. It’s an insane blend of athleticism, creativity, and guts, with dedicated skaters constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. From street to vert and freestyle, this versatile sport embraces a range of styles and disciplines, offering something for every skate enthusiast out there.

Image of skateboarders who are about to go down and skate.
Image of skateboarders who are about to go down and skate.

But why should you care about who the greatest skaters of all time are? Well, every skater on this list has contributed to the development of skateboarding in meaningful ways. They’ve each pushed the physical limits of what can be achieved on a skateboard, helped to popularize and legitimize the sport, and inspired countless others to pick up a board and start skating.

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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Top 10 greatest skaters of all time: icons that redefined skateboarding | 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.

Who are the top 10 greatest skaters of all time?

Each skater on this list did more than master their art: they shaped, influenced, and sometimes outright invented it, becoming legends in their own right. Strap in, let’s kick this off.

1. Rodney Mullen

One name that’s pretty much synonymous with street skating is Rodney Mullen. This man is the embodiment of a game-changer. He dominates street skating and has been skating itself longer than most of us have been alive!

Mullen is fondly remembered for inventing every street trick you can think of today. From the kickflip and heelflip to the trey flip and many others – all crafted by this skateboarding maestro. But what sets Rodney apart is not just his skating prowess but the insane dedication and humility that accompanies his talent.

His contribution to skateboarding includes starting skate companies, including Tensor Trucks and Almost Skateboards. If you are stoked to learn more about skateboarding and its pioneers, you might want to check out our skater stories playlist for an in-depth look into their lives.

2. Steve Caballero

Ask any skater about Steve Caballero, and you’ll hear stories of admiration. This pint-sized powerhouse has a repertoire full of insane achievements under his belt that’d make any skater green with envy.

In ’87, Cab showed versatility by winning the street and vert titles at the World Championships. But you know what’s even more insane? He set a world record for the highest air achieved on a half-pipe, reaching an incredible height of 11 feet. And if that’s not enough to solidify his legendary status, he also set a record for the longest board slide on a 44-step handrail. Crazy.

With inventions like the Half Cab under his name, he’s a skating icon with a just as likable personality as his performance on the board.

3. Danny Way

Say hello to the man of records, Danny Way. Danny is the unhinged daredevil you’re looking for when it comes to big air and breaking skateboarding world records. This guy’s not just a one-time winner of Thrasher’s Skater of the Year but a two-time champ!

Way’s records read like a chapter, similar to a skater’s Guinness World Records. Among his impressive feats are the first skater to drop from a helicopter onto a ramp, setting – and breaking – his airtime record multiple times, and even jumping the Great Wall of China. On top of that, Way’s beastly on rails, too.

His commitment to pushing the boundaries has not only given us some insane skateboarding videos to gawk at but also paved the Way for future boundary-pushing skaters.

4. Chris Cole

In skateboarding, Chris Cole is synonymous with “go big or go home.” Famed for flawlessly executing some of the toughest tricks at iconic spots, Cole’s dedication to the sport is clear in his performance in competitions – the dude’s a juggernaut.

Cole’s consistent and dominant presence in competitions, bagging three Maloof Money Cup wins, sets him apart. On top of that, his medals from the X Games and Gravity Games, combined with his campaign at Battle at the Barracks, assert his skills and consistency in the sport.

He was also crowned Thrasher’s Skater of the Year twice, testifying his holistic prowess. His ability to land some of the most complex tricks makes him a standout among skaters you need to know.

5. Tony Hawk

Without the legendary Tony Hawk, no list of the greatest skaters would be complete. Hawk is the most recognizable figure in the history of skateboarding – if you haven’t heard of him, you’ve been living under a rock!

With a career of over 30 years, Hawk has won more contests than any skater in history. But it’s not just his talent that wins hearts; his personality, resilience, and willingness to push limits place him at the zenith of the skate world. Hawk has become more than just a skater; he’s a symbol of the sport and its potential.

Consider his influence on the sport similar to the Beatles on music – both irreplaceable game changers. Now that’s a lineup worth celebrating! So, skate over to discover more modern-day skate prodigies setting the ramps on fire!

6. Bob Burnquist

Brazilian legendary skater Bob Burnquist has an impressive history with flips and tricks that constantly dazzle fans. Known for his affinity towards skating switch, a style where one leads with their less dominant foot, Burnquist’s unique techniques and hunger for innovation have solidified him as a force to be reckoned with.

The man lives and breathes skating. He’s recognized for his awe-inspiring ventures at the X Games and for creating the ‘Loop of Death.’ His famed backyard, the ‘Dreamland’ ramp, is the holy grail of backyard skateparks. Bob, an advocate for organic farming and renewable energy, is passionate about spreading the stoke of skateboarding.

7. Nyjah Huston

Say “Hello” to the winningest skateboarder in history, Nyjah Huston. With his ruthless consistency and eagle-like focus on the board, Huston’s skillset is like none other in street skateboarding.

Having started his professional career at the tender age of 11, Nyjah is now the highest-earning competitive skateboarder in the world. This skate wonder is also known for his philanthropic efforts in developing countries. Learn more about Nyjah’s journey and influence on the skateboarding community here.

8. Stacy Peralta

If we trace the roots of skateboarding, it’s impossible to ignore the influence of Stacy Peralta. An iconic skater and a bold innovator, Peralta is the co-founder of the Powell-Peralta skateboarding company and the Bones Brigade team.

Stacy’s revolutionary input to the skateboarding industry extends beyond his skills on the board. He’s also a recognized film director, producing influential skateboarding movies such as ‘Skateboarding In The Eighties’ and the Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary. His influence reaches out to all skaters, making the skating community what it is today.

9. Bucky Lasek

Long-time vert skater Bucky Lasek has a trophy case teeming with medals as proof of his dominance in vert skating. A frequent occupant of the podium at the X Games, Lasek’s both a competitive beast and an innovator in his field.

Bucky’s not just known for his unmatched consistency in his performance, but his perseverance to land difficult tricks makes him one of the truly celebrated skaters of his time. Curious about vert skating? Check out some thrilling moments here.

10. Andy Anderson

Fundamentally creative and brimming with talent, Andy Anderson is a young pro skater who undoubtedly represents the future of skateboarding. Anderson is known for his signature helmet, long hair, and unique style, and is all about having fun and exploring new boundaries.

Andy is well-respected for his commitment to safety without compromising creativity and individuality, making him a role model to young skaters. He’s competed in everything from freestyle to bowl skating, demonstrating a rare multi-faceted talent. Want to dive into Anderson’s unorthodox style? Head here for more.

Image of a skaters  skateboarding.
Image of skaters skateboarding.

My experience with skateboarding

What’s my take on skateboarding, you ask? As a novice in the game, I’ve had my fair share of struggles. It’s been a ride from countless wipeouts and scraped knees to the thrill of nailing a trick for the first time.

I remember trying to master the Ollie, a basic trick that took weeks of practice, sweat, and (literally) tears. It made me realize skateboarding isn’t just about kickflips and airtime; it’s about patience, resilience, and sheer determination. I’ve got heaps of respect for all the stalwarts who made it to the top of my list and for every skater who’s refused to give up after a gnarly fall.

“Skateboarding isn’t just about kickflips and airtime, it’s about patience, resilience, and sheer determination.”

Want to know more about skateboarding fails? Take a look here to lighten the mood with some entertaining clips. Happy shredding!

The table below provides a snapshot of just how influential the skaters in our lineup have been for the sport.

SkaterKnown forInfamous Achievements
Rodney MullenInventing modern street skateboarding tricksCreated the flat ground Ollie
Steve CaballeroKnown for his vert and street skillsInvented the Half Cab
Danny WayLegend in big air skatingFirst skater to drop from a helicopter onto a ramp
Chris ColeKing of consistent performance in competitionTwo-time Thrasher’s Skater of the Year winner
Tony HawkMost famed skateboarder worldwideWon more skate contests than any other skateboarder
Bob BurnquistInnovator of magical tricksTwo-time Thrasher’s Skater of the Year winner
Nyjah HustonYoung prodigy and winningest skateboarderHighest-earning competitive skateboarder
Stacy PeraltaFounder of Powell-PeraltaProduced influential skating movies
Bucky LasekFearless vert skaterRegular podium occupant at the X Games
Andy AndersonKnown for his unique style and fresh approach to the sportConsidered the future of skating
The influence of the top 10 skaters who shaped the history of skateboarding.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have you ever had one of those flustering queries about skateboarding that didn’t find an answer? We’ve got you covered. Check out these FAQs for a well-rounded introduction to the skateboarding phenomenon.

Who invented the modern skateboard?

The modern skateboard, as we know it today, was popularized in the mid-fifties by surfers in California as a means to surf on land when the waves were flat. However, the evolution and influence of skateboarding have been shaped by many talented individuals, such as Rodney Mullen, the father of modern street skateboarding.

Is skateboarding difficult to learn?

While skateboarding requires practice and patience, especially when mastering tricks, it’s something that anyone can get into. It’s more about enjoying the ride. Sure, it might be challenging initially, but remember what Bob Burnquist says, “Never give up, even if you wipe out. Keep skating.”

What’s the major difference between street and vert skateboarding?

Street skateboarding involves maneuvering through urban landscapes, using makeshift obstacles or architectural features for tricks. Vert (or vertical) skateboarding, on the other hand, is performed on a ramp or other platform with a significant vertical drop, much like Steve Caballero showcases. Both have their skills and thrills; you can learn more about them here.

How has skateboarding culture evolved over the years?

Skateboarding has grown from a small community of surfers to a global phenomenon. There have been shifts in popularity between various styles, from street to vert, with each generation adding its cultural influences. A notable change is how it’s now considered a standard sport, even making it to the Olympics, though not all skaters are thrilled about this.

Final thoughts

There you go, the rundown of what I think are the top 10 greatest skaters of all time. These legends have perfected their craft and shaped, influenced, and transformed skateboarding into today’s magnificent sport. From inventing new tricks to pushing the physical limits, their timeless dedication is undoubtedly awe-inspiring.

Have you ever tried one of the tricks from our legends? 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, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the compelling world of skateboarding, meshing with the greatest of all time. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Skateboarding is not just a sport; it’s an art form, a culture, and a lifestyle.
  • The greatest skaters have shaped, influenced, and transformed skateboarding.
  • Mastering skateboarding requires patience, dedication, and a love for the sport.
  • Remember that safety is paramount – always wear appropriate gear.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, it doesn’t matter if you’re just a novice or an experienced skater; remember that skateboarding is all about having fun!

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.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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