We love skaters. How could we not?? While skateboarding’s scrawny “dudes”, might not necessarily be ripped with a beach bod straight off the Santa Monica sands, but they boast some serious skillz and a sense of style that you don’t find anywhere else.
But more than their looks, some of the celebrities in action sports are seriously interesting. Below is a list of interesting celebrities who have backgrounds that you wouldn’t necessarily expect of action sports stars.
Pete Thompson is an accomplished skateboarder who now runs the website www.goprobuyersguide.com. Pete is an interesting character- he started skateboarding at the age of 9 and by the time he was 12 he was riding for World Industries. Unfortunately, he experienced the rise and fall characteristic of so many child stars and actually checked into rehab at the ripe young age of 15. Yes, you read that right!
Never one to stay in the same place for long, by the time he was 18 Pete released a landmark video part and stunned people with his switch backside tailslide down El Toro. He recently retired from skateboarding and now, when not rolling around the streets of Los Angeles, he practices his photography skills by going out with other action sports athletes. Thompson also boasts of a serious addiction to filming everything with his extensive collection of action cams.
While he is a serious household name, life hasn’t always been peachy for Tony. In fact, he spent the early 90s scrounging up change so that he could buy enough food to support his family. Certainly professional skateboarding was an immensely difficult way to make a living at that time.
Things took a turn for the better for Tony when the X-Games came into production in 1995. Sensing an untapped market of teens and twenty somethings with disposable income, ESPN began holding this annual contest for action sports superstars in skateboarding, motocross, and yes, even rollerblading.
As the X-Games peaked in popularity, so did Tony. In this way, Tony is the product of good timing, as he hit the zenith of his career at precisely the time the X-Games entered the public consciousness. The result of this was endorsements by Tony of products like Hot Wheels and Bagel Bites. While some in skateboarding accused him of making a money grab, Tony will attest that “ESPN just needed a public figure, and if it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else.”
Rounding out the list is entrepreneur and Dayton, Ohio native Rob Dyrdrek. Since coming onto skateboarding’s scene in 1991 in a film by Alien Workshop titled “Memory Screen.” Since then, Dyrdrek had been a loyal rider to Alien Workshop until they announced their closure earlier in 2014, and has had a number of successful ventures as an entrepreneur. Most notably, Dyrdrek founded Street League, a skate contest that contractually obligates skateboarders not to participate in any other contests.
Just as people have accused Tony Hawk of chasing only money, so have they accused Dyrdrek of making blatant money grabs. However, everyone in skateboarding will attest to the fact that it is first and foremost Dyrdrek’s skills that have made him the bonafide celebrity millionaire that he is today.