Everyone has a Top 5 list of pro skateboarders. Even people who don’t skate. Most people I ask to write a Top 5 more often than not detail their Top 5 Pro’s: it’s a universal subject, like your favourite band or your favourite movie. These lists are ever changing as well, because unlike the skateboarders who shape us, your Top 5 evolves to cater to your current tastes. People like Ragdoll, who had a profound effect on me back in 2003, may not necessarily be in my Top 5 in 2021 – you get the idea. So, as of 31st March 2021: here are my Top 5 Pro Skateboarders. – Ade
5. Ben Koppl
A quirky, inventive skater who I first discovered on Instagram – Koppl skates for Blast Skates (one of my favourite board companies at the minute) and has given me tons of ideas for tricks to try and avenues to explore within skateboarding. Very much a follower of the church of hand and footplants, Ben Koppl will blow your mind with a variety of odd ramp based manoeuvres unlike any other skater out there.
4. Nora Vasconcellos
As one of the most well known skaters in the new wave of modern women’s skateboarding, Nora Vasconcellos is a transition skater who has a rad, purposeful style on a board, coupled with an eye for crazy bank spots. Unafraid to put her own stamp on skateboarding, she’s always pushing skateboarding further. Her boards also have one of the best shapes going – Nora’s “Queen” shaped boards are what got me into pool style boards with square tails and pointier noses.
3. Louie Barletta
Is Louie Barletta the reason I rocked cardigans and anything with an argyle print in the mid 2000s? Yes, of course he is. Following Ragdoll, I would definitely say Louie Barletta is the other skateboarder who shaped who I would become in later life. Daft, inventive, unique and technically mind-blowing, Barletta is exactly what a street skater should be, with a competent level of skill on transition to give most ramp skaters a run for their money.
2. Dan Drehobl
You all thought Cancer Dan was gonna be number 1, didn’t you? Drehobl’s parts in both Krooked Khronicles and Thrasher Shotgun both rank highly in my list of favourite video parts, with a relaxed, effortless style, doing pivot fakies and a variety of technical lip tricks like it’s second nature. He can also boost frontside airs impossibly high!
1. Mark Gonzales
The Gonz, even to this day, is my favourite pro skateboarder to watch. Innovating not only through tricks, but through board types, obstacles, and creating spots out of seemingly nothing, he embodies pure creativity and reminds me that skateboarding is all about personal expression. Krooked is my favourite board company and I even have a signed Krooked board from The Gonz himself! Watching The Gonz always reminds me to have fun with skateboarding, be creative with it, and to think outside of the box.
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