Rodney Mullen is a professional freestyle skateboarder, and considered to be one of the most influential freestyle skaters in the history of the sport of skateboarding. Rodney Mullen is widely considered the most influential skateboarder in the history of skateboarding. Throughout the 1980s, he invented the majority of skating’s ollie and flip tricks, including the flatground ollie, the Kickflip, the Darkslide, the Heelflip, and the 360 flip. The tricks are an essential part of modern vertical and street skateboarding. Despite Alan Gelfand’s justifiable fame for inventing the ollie air (Gelfand’s maneuver being primarily a vert or pool oriented trick) Mullen is responsible for the invention and development of the street ollie. The ability to pop the board off of the ground and land back on the board while moving has quite likely been the most significant development in modern skateboarding. This invention alone would rank Mullen the most important skateboarder of all time.
Born on August 17th, 1966 in Gainesville, Florida, Rodney began skating when he was 10 years old. His father opposed his desire to skate, but he agreed to buy Rodney’s first skateboard on January 1, 1977, on the conditions that he always wore safety pads and he quit skating if he were ever to be injured. On the same year, Rodney won his first freestyle contest, the Boys Freestyle Contest in 1977 at Kona skatepark in Jacksonville. He placed third in that contest, but that contest started his journey to become a legend in skateboarding when Rodney was immediately sponsored by Walker Skateboards.
In 1980. Rodney joined joined the Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade. He appeared in Bones Brigade Videos in ’84, ’85, ’87, and ’88. Rodney also appeared in the 1988 film Gleaming the Cube, alongside actor Christian Slater.
In 1992, alongside Steve Rocco, Rodney Mullen created World Industries. Throughout the 90’s Mullen was featured in numerous videos, including World Industries’ Rubbish Heap (’89), Plan B’s Questionable (’92), Virtual Reality (’93), and Second Hand Smoke (’95). Some recent videos include the Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song series, Globe Opinion, and Almost: Round Three.
In 2002, Rodney won the Transworld Reader’s Choice Award for Skater of the Year, and started up the Almost skateboarding company. In 2003, he wrote an autobiography titled “The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself. In late 2003 he was voted as the all-time greatest action sports athlete on the Extreme Sports Channel’s Legends of the Extreme countdown. From 2007 to 2009, Mullen worked to erase his riding stance, allowing him to move from regular stance to goofy stance. In an interview with Tony Hawk, Mullen explained that he had developed problems in his right hip joint and that his transition between stances came out of an effort to favor his leg. He goes on to describe that scar tissue had built up in his joint as a result of habitually hyper-extending his leg while skating. Mullen stated that through extensive and consistent stretching he was able to tear away the scar tissue.