Ask any skateboarder or action sports junkie on the planet who Ryan Sheckler is and you’re sure to receive an array of different answers – and for good reason. A child prodigy turned professional skateboarder, action sports icon, teenage heartthrob, business owner, charity founder and TV star has made his name synonymous with skateboarding. What Sheckler accomplished before his twenties most could only dream of accomplishing in a lifetime.
Now 24, Ryan’s portfolio is no less impressive. While he remains involved with dozens of different ventures, it’s still his jaw-dropping skills in the park and on the street, which have won the respect of pros old enough to be his father, while his big green eyes have attracted the adulation of girls too young to get a driver’s license. He’s a phenom in every sense of the word. Yet, the guy is ever-focused on his future and that of his sport. “Shecks” wants to go down in the record books as one of the greatest and most recognizable skaters who ever lived—and he’s on path to doing just that with the contest results, banger video parts and just Ryan being Ryan.
Red Bull, Plan B Skateboards, Volcom, Etnies, Oakley, Nixon, Independent Trucks, GoPro, CCS, Grizzly, Ethika
Surfing, Golf, Riding Moto
Curren Caples is no longer the newcomer with promise. The Ventura native is the present and future of skateboarding. Since making his X Games debut in 2010, he's added two gold medals and a silver to his trophy case, won specialty events around the globe and established himself as one of premiere talents in the world. With a style that is equal parts surf and skate inspired – a la Jay Adams of Z-Boys fame – Caples attacks the park and street course with an approach that is 100-percent his own. With a mix of flashy airs and smooth tech tricks, he's one of the most dynamic skaters in the scene.
RVCA, Flip Skateboards, Oakley, Vans, Independent, Target, Sol Republic, Fin Control Systems, MOB Grip, Momentum Ride Shop
Surfing, skating, photography
Consecutive Tampa Am wins (never before or since achieved) and a brilliant debut part (in Flip’s “Extremely Sorry”), launched Luan Oliveira onto the skate scene, announcing him as the newest and one of the most technical Brazilian talents to come along. His mix of advanced technicality with next-level consistency has ignited Luan’s ascension to the professional level and continued to impress as he’s established himself as both a gritty and clutch competitor and a dynamic talent in front of the lens. Having proved himself a force on the international contest circuit (4th overall in the 2013 Street League standings), all the while pushing the science of ledge and gap mathematics, Luan’s ability remains without limitations as he continues to navigate uncharted territory.
NikeSB, Flip, Oakley, Independent, MOB Grip, Diamond Supply, Matriz Skateshop
Bob Burnquist starting skating in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at the age of 11, before the sport consumed the country and captivated the world. By 14, he had turned pro. In 1995, he showed up, entered and won the Slam City Jam and has been wowing crowds with his skating ever since.
Capable in all disciplines, Bob has set himself apart primarily in Vert and MegaRamp – which could be due in part to the fact that he has a private half-pipe and MegaRamp at his home, which he calls “Dreamland,” in Southern California. However, his talents and interests are not limited to skateboarding. Some of Bob’s other accomplishments include carrying the Olympic torch, skydiving, BASE jumping, piloting airplanes and helicopters, and overseeing his own organic farm.
Bob’s continuing progression has earned him a much-deserved spot at the top of the skateboard hierarchy. Even the great Tony Hawk refers to Bob as his favorite skater. However, it’s Bob’s passion for living a healthy, humane lifestyle and helping others do the same that he considers to be his top achievement.
Hurley, TNT Energy Drinks, Oakley, Flip Skateboards, Toyota, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Sambazon, Independent, Ricta, Mob Grip, OGIO, Nixon
Leticia Bufoni kind of has it all going for her. The most decorated competitive women’s skateboarder in the game today, big sponsors and even having been annointed the “Sexiest Skateboarder” by Men’s Health in Brazil. Just 21 years old, Bufoni stands alone as the most technical women’s skateboarder the sport has seen. She already has four X Games medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and is the favorite every time she enters a contest.
Volcom, TNT Energy Drink, Oakley, Osiris, Nixon, Bones wheels, Crail
Surfing, Skydiving, Traveling, Yoga, Fitness
Watch him compete at X Games or Street League and you’ll note Sean Malto’s technical precision. Combined with absolute mind-boggling consistency, it’s easy to understand why Kansas City’s favorite son has established himself as one of the premiere skateboarding talents of this talent-loaded generation (Nyjah, Luan, Curren, etc.). Already with a Street League championship (2011) to his name and some renowned video parts (see “Pretty Sweet”), there’s quite a lot of major accomplishments and excitement around the 20-something skater who looks like he could be 16. Looks and accomplishments aside, Malto is a guy with a drive and enthusiasm that will certainly keep all of us entertained and engaged in whatever he does for years to come.
NikeSB, Girl, Oakley, Fourstar, GoPro, Mountain Dew, Skullcandy, Incase, Diamond, Thunder, Spitfire, Escapist
Travel, Fashion, Design, KC Sports
It's not just that Chima has some of the most technical tricks on some of the biggest drops around the globe, but it's the seemingly effortless way in which he does them that continues to leave jaws dropping everywhere he goes.
It’s probably natural to want to escape a remote penal colony in the middle of the ocean, especially if giant spiders and seven out of ten of the world’s deadliest creatures inhabit said colony -- or so you might think. Not so with Sydney, Australia’s finest, Chima Ferguson. Though Chima only recently made his way to the States to plunder skate spots with his gnarly brand of bigger-than-big, switch tech gear -- on all forms of stairs, gaps, rails, banks and ditches – he makes it clear that he has no plans to remain in “Seppo-land.” For now, I guess we'll just have to consider ourselves lucky to have him while we can.
Parts in Vans' "Propeller," Volcom's "Let's Live" and The Real Video
Real, Vans, Thunder, Spitfire, Supply, Oakley