There are plenty of best-of lists floating around the internet, but I couldn’t really find many that focused on street skating so I decided to make one.
Street skating is the purest form of skating and what skate culture is in my opinion and there are so many people who are legends in the street skating scene.
I went through and picked the absolute best street skaters who are also widely regarded as such and I also added my own personal touch with skaters that I think should be included in this list. (AKA give Andy Anderson some love)
Let’s get started.
Rodney Mullen is at the top of this list because he not only the most influential skateboarder in general, but he is also the grandfather of street skating. He started as a freestyle skater coming out of Florida, but transitioned to a sort of mix of freestyle and street skating in the 90s. He invented the kickflip, casper slide, and other iconic street skating tricks.
The man is a legend and watching his videos are always a joy to do. You can find loads of skate parts and old freestyle competition videos of Mullen on YouTube.
A recent offshoot of his skating has been Jonny Giger recreating seemingly impossible tricks from old Rodney Mullen street parts. Jonny Giger himself is an extremely skilled skater so watching him struggle with these tricks for hours really gives you an idea about the level of Rodney Mullen.
The East Coast Legend, PJ Ladd, was born and raised in the Boston area. The first video he headlined in, PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life, began his career as a professional skateboarder. Fellow professional skateboarder, Alexis Sablone, also appeared in this video.
PJ Ladd never actively competed in competitions but focused on raw street skating. He has a number of amazing skate parts where you can see him showcase his exceptionally clean and controlled style. I can’t help but think that would translate well to street competitions.
Check out his videos. He is one of the best street skaters to grace skateboarding.
Nyjah is probably the most famous current skater right now. He is the current superstar of the skateboarding world. Recently he has a disappointing run at the Olympics in street skating where he was at least expected to medal. Still, he has an absurdly impressive record of winning competitions and is the highest-paid skateboarder currently out there.
I think he bought a million-dollar home from his skateboarding earnings at the age of just 18 years old. He has a slew of sponsors and is a pretty polarizing figure in skateboarding right now as some people don’t think skateboarding should be a competitive sport.
Either way, Nyjah is undeniably one of the most technically talented street skaters out there right now or even ever. His style is amazingly clean and controlled. He isn’t so creative and is a more conventional street skater in this way, but he is still captivating to watch skate.
If you’ve got a cracked or delaminated deck and are wondering if you should replace it, check out my visual guide to deciding if your deck needs to be replaced.
Yuto was somewhat of a mystery to me before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which actually happened in 2021 due to the pandemic). But I suppose Japanese skaters don’t get a lot of attention in Western media and although he has a Nike SB part in 2019, he still flew under my radar.
Regardless, he won gold in the men’s street competition and has an impeccably clean street skating style. He has unique and interesting skate parts, but I wouldn’t consider him an incredibly creative skater. He really does parallel Nyjah in his clean and controlled style of skating, which I suppose he has to have to be competitive in competitions.
Anyway, check him out.
Ryan Sheckler went pro at the age of 13 in the early 2000s. He had amazing talent and board control at an incredibly young age. He began skating for Rodney Mullen and Daewon Song’s company Almost.
He has competed and medaled in both park and street competitions but hasn’t appeared in a major competition since 2014. He has battled alcoholism and had a relapse as recently as 2020.
Otherwise, he has some famous street parts and tricks, and it is shocking how young he appears in some of his videos and parts. It isn’t really clear if he is actively skateboarding now, but he has absolutely already left his mark on skateboarding.
He isn’t that young kid anymore, but it’s strange that that kid is what I think of when I hear his name.
Chris Joslin is a quintessential street skater. He started with stairs, rails, ledges, and gaps. He started to get more technical and creative with later street parts and you can see a cool behind-the-scenes look at him filming these tricks with the Rough Cut documentary.
He went pro in just 2015 with Plan B and has medaled in the X games three separate times since then. He was supposed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics but was removed from the USA men’s team. Presumably, this was due to refusing required vaccinations.
He is simply an incredibly gnarly, and tenacious skater. He will go after a trick for hours or even days to try and land it. You have to respect that talent and level of ability.
Jamie Foy was Thrasher’s Skater of the Year in 2017 and has become a big name in the current street skating scene. He is the classic street skater. He does big stairs, crazy gaps, and large drops. He also takes some nasty falls like most skaters who make a living from throwing their bodies down massive stair sets.
He seems to have gotten a reputation from taking rough slams, being a handrail wizard, and being fearless in his skating. You can see some of his videos on YouTube including him being surprised by his friends for winning skater of the year.
Andrew Reynolds is a street skater who cofounded Baker back in 2000. He came out of Florida and really emerged in the skate scene in the early 90s after moving to California. His talent got him skating with Birdhouse and opened doors for him when he was virtually unknown.
Reynolds later moved on to focus more on entrepreneurship and making videos than skating himself. Honestly, his videography might be more impressive than his skating itself as he filmed notorious skate videos such as Baker 3 and King of the Road 2006.
Still, his street skating is nothing to scoff at and he made this list for a reason.
2005 Skater of the Year, Chris Cole is a great example of who should represent skateboarding. He simply loves it for what it is and isn’t trying to elevate his career through the sport.
He got some recognition early on from performing tricks and had his true breakout part in Zero’s Dying To Live. His skating is clean, technical, and enjoyable to watch. His personality is goofy and charismatic. His early skating took this technical ability and threw it down big stairs and long rails.
Give him a watch.
I won’t go so far as to say that Ali Boulala is one of the most technical street skaters out there, but he does simply ooze style and confidence that you can really appreciate in his parts from iconic skate videos like Baker 3.
He had alcohol problems and often skated while drunk or high and you have to wonder how good he could have been if he sobered up. Unfortunately, he had an accident that resulted in the death of his friend, and his life mostly derailed.
His style and rebellious nature make him iconic in street skating and he had a sheer force of personality that you couldn’t help but admire despite his flaws.
Koston was born in Thailand but raised in California. He has an ambition that has moved him from sponsor to sponsor and also allowed him to create some truly astounding street parts. Most recently he is sponsored by Nike SB, Independent Trucks, and a few other companies.
He also has been an entrepreneur since the beginning of his career and started a few of his own companies including a clothing company in 1996 with Guy Mariano.
Koston’s skating looks effortless and is mind-blowingly clean. Watching his skate parts makes me think I’m watching a videogame where you land your tricks perfectly each time. Early 2000s Koston is his peak in ability in my opinion, but you should watch as many of his skate parts as you can.
If you want to get more skateboarding content in your life, check out my list of the best skateboarding movies and documentaries and how to watch them for free.
Alexis Sablone is one of the few women on this list and she really started getting recognition while skating with PJ Ladd in the 90s. She has a distinct and creative East coast style that makes her fun to watch. She also has loads of videos doing tricks over big stair sets before that was so common to do.
She in general is super cool and is also an architect and artist based in New York. She is LGBTQ if you care about that at all. She recently released a “pride shoe” with Converse. I wrote up a more indepth look at Alexis from interviews and other loose bits on the internet that you can see if you want to learn more about here.
Oh yeah. She also placed 4th in street skating during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That’s cool too.
Andy Anderson isn’t best known for his street skating, but more of his unique mix of freestyle and street skating. This doesn’t mean that his technical skill and street skating ability aren’t top-notch though.
Andy has been a professional skater since he was 11 years old and recently competed in the Tokyo Olympics. He is extremely charismatic and fun to watch and listen to. His technical skills are amazing even though he doesn’t focus on grinding rails or other traditional street skating tricks.
This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any street parts to match the other skaters on this list. He simply incorporates more creativity and freestyle influence into his street parts.
Jonny is a Swiss skater that is sponsored by Revive Skateboards and is in general, an absolute skateboarding beast. He has an awesome and active Youtube channel where you can see some of his video parts which are creative and show off his realized skate style.
He also has a great skate series called The Impossible Tricks of Rodney Mullen, where he attempts to recreate old Mullen tricks and you get an idea of how legendary Mullen really is.
Giger is also just a very relaxed guy and is fun to watch.
Paul Rodriguez’s part in Girl Skateboard’s 2003 Yeah Right is Nyjah Hudson’s favorite street part. It definitely isn’t my favorite part, but you can see how his clean style and tight board control make him fun to watch. The part is filled with stairs and rails and is a street skating purist’s wet dream.
Prod is a classic street skater and he still puts out content. He is a quintessential street skater which is why he made this list. He was first recruited for a skate team by a local skate shop when he was 14 years old and he hasn’t looked back. He has won gold in the X-games four times and he has medaled many other times.
He has a large list of skate parts, but essentially stopped competing and filming parts in 2013.
Chad Muska followed his dream of skateboarding when most people would have been too fearful about the uncertainty. He started skating in Arizona and moved to California with very little money to pursue skating and art, particularly music.
He skated for Maple in 1994 while homeless and living on the beach. Eventually, his ability allowed him to start skating for Toy Machine in the late 90s.
His skating did involve large stair sets and rails, but his best skating was more technical than flashy. He would often take a gap into a grind or fitness banks with fluid combinations of stalls and varial flips. Check him out as he is definitely one of the most influential street skaters.
The Gonz is last in this list but is by far not the least. Some argue that he is the most influential street skater and he was named so by Transworld Magazine in 2011.
He came into the skateboarding world in the 80s while street skating as we know it today was yet to be. He ollied the “Gonzo Gap” in 1986 and was one of the first two skaters to start skating handrails. This obviously exploded into the street skating scene in the 90s and 2000s that we know today. In this sense, Mark Gonazalez is the grandfather of street skating.
Mark Gonzalez is quintessential in skateboarding history. So sit down and study up. Watch some of his classic videos.
If you are curious what celebrities skate, then check out my greatest list of celebrities that also shred.
So there it is. This is a beast of a list of skaters and naturally, there will be some skateboarders missing who could be mentioned.
I tend to write about the most popular street skaters and then skaters that I personally like. So don’t be upset if there is an underappreciated skater who didn’t make the list.
Who do you think is the best street skater?
Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for articles from Board and Wheels.