Skate or Die's Rodney Recloose, honorary member of the O.T.C.
1. Tony Hawk's 900-- the birth of a nation.
For decades, the 900 was the holy grail of vert accomplishments. For the mathematically disinclined, the 900 is 900 degrees of revolution in-air. That's two 360s and a 180. And after almost a dozen failed attempts, Tony Hawk became the first skater to land a 900 in competition. It happened in 1999 at the X Games.
2. Rodney Mullen. Period.
In all of skateboarding, Rodney Mullen is beyond comparison. Half dance, half sheer athleticism, and all beyond comprehension, they haven't even gotten around to naming the majority of the tricks Mullen pulls in this video. Two decades in, Mullen is still inventing tricks and embarrassing skaters 20 years his junior.
3. Jake Brown's X Games fall.
Almost unwatchable for anyone who has ridden vert. At the 2007 X Games, Australian pro Jake Brown cleared the enormous Mega Ramp, only to find himself in a 45 foot free fall, sans board, on the facing quarterpipe. It's the worst fall in X Games history. Go figure-- moments afterward, Brown was conscious, walking, and talking. He was hospitalized for only three days.
4. Dan Gesmer and the magic of effortless gliding.
Every sport has its ponces and d-bags. And despite some laudable grace on the apparatus, Dan Gesmer is skateboarding's goat. He's a purist, no doubt, and remained closer to skateboarding's roots than his, ahem, "peers." But his posturing will no doubt leave vert and street skaters alleging that Gesmer simply can't turn an ollie.
- The Mega Ramp, a.k.a. the white whale.
Bane of the weak hearted, the Mega Ramp is competition skating's highest air. It speaks for itself, as does this video. Bate your breath and watch.