In 1980, the 14-year-old Rodney Mullen entered the Oasis Pro competition, defeating the world champion, Steve Rocco. At Oasis Skatepark Mullen also spotted a 12-year-old skater who “introduced himself as Tony Hawk.” Recalled Mullen, “Before Tony was sponsored, before anybody knew anything about him, he made an impression on me, and the two would go on to become good friends. Shortly thereafter Mullen turned professional as a member of the renowned Bones Brigade team sponsored by Powell Peralta, based on the recommendation by Powell Peralta rider and fellow Floridian skateboarder Tim Scroggs of Mullen to company co-founder Stacy Peralta, whom Mullen highly admired. Mullen competed voraciously throughout the 1980s, often frustrating competitors and judges with his consistency and progressive ability. By 1990, Mullen had won thirty-four out of thirty-five freestyle competitions that he had entered, losing only once to fellow Bones Brigade member, Per Welinder.

Among his most significant contributions to the evolution of modern skateboarding, Rodney Mullen adapted the ollie, first pioneered by Alan Gelfand on vert (where Gelfand would scoop off the back trucks to obtain more air off the wall, but without popping the tail of the skateboard in the process), to flatground. This ability to pop the board off of the ground and drag it upward into the air, gaining significant altitude and air time, allowed ollieing onto rails and obstacles and opened the door to more complex flip tricks and other flatground tricks. The invention of this trick alone, even apart from the numerous other tricks that he has invented and his design work, has ranked Mullen as one of the most important skateboarders of all time.

Let’s just take a look at the list-

  • Godzilla rail flip 
  • 540 shove-it
  • 50/50 Saran wrap 
  • 50/50 Casper 
  • Helipop
  • Gazelle flip 
  • No-handed 50/50
  • No-handed 50/50 kickflip
  • Kick flip 
  • 540 double kickflip
  • Heel flip 
  • Double heelflip
  • Impossible 
  • Sidewinder 
  • 360 flip
  • Switch 360 flip
  • 360 pressure flip
  • Casper 360 flip 
  • Half-cab kickflip 
  • 50/50 sidewinder 
  • One-footed ollie 
  • Backside flip (Backside 180 Kickflip
  • Ollie Nosebone 
  • Ollie finger flip
  • Ollie Airwalk 
  • Frontside heel flip shove-it 
  • Switchstance 360 flip 
  • Helipop heel flip 
  • Kickflip underflip 
  • Half-cab kickflip underflip
  • Casper slide 
  • Half flip darkslide
  • Handstand flips
  • Primo grinds and slides

Thanks Rodney.