Why you should listen
Known as the godfather of street skating, Rodney Mullen is one of the most prolific and influential skateboarders in history. Despite initial objections, his father eventually gave in and purchased Rodney's first skateboard in 1977, when he was ten years old, on the condition that he would always wear his safety pads and stop skating the moment he was injured. That same year he entered his first contest and came in third; then, over the next three years, he would place first in every contest he entered -- nearly thirty in all. In 1980, after winning the Oasis Pro competition in San Diego, Rodney began his professional skating career with the Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade. He would go on to invent tricks, like the flat-ground ollie, Kicklip, Heelflip, and 360 Flip that would completely revolutionize the art of skating. In 2002, Mullen won the Transworld Readers' Choice Award for Skater of the Year and founded the Almost skateboard company. In 2003, he wrote an autobiography titled The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself.