A photograph of Rodney Mullen

Creative Voices

The Art of Skating

By Dan Cowles

Rodney Mullen is a true legend in the skateboarding world, and one of skating’s most likable and colorful characters. A prodigy, a savant, and an extremely innovative and original skater, Rodney invented many of the tricks and techniques that are requisite components of the modern skater’s repertoire: The kick-flip, the heel-flip, the 360-flip, the flat-ground Ollie… the list continues.

As a member of the fabled Bones Brigade, Rodney won virtually every contest he entered for six years running, but when freestyle gave way to the newer street skating style, Rodney had to start from the bottom all over again, reinventing himself while helping to legitimize the new movement. It was a humbling and difficult period, but also a very important leg of his journey, and ultimately a highly rewarding one.

It might seem odd to feature a skater in a forum geared towards artists, designers, photographers, and filmmakers, but Rodney approaches skating as art form as much as sport. Rodney has spent a lot of time reflecting on his craft, and his take on inspiration, community, practice, and the creative process should resonate with creatives of all kinds.

Dan video

June 18, 2014

Video: Dan Cowles