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Rodney Mullen "The Mutt" - THE KING OF FREESTYLE
Rodney Mullen found signing autographs during a Globe tour stop at Emage's skateshop, in Denver, Colorado! - photos by Lynn Cooper
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DVD Released on 9/4/03 - "Tricks You Can't Do" - features Flatland Trick tips, never released Pro contests, Pros = Rodney Mullen, Pierre Andre', Primo Desiderio, Lynn Cooper and many more! 60 minutes! Costs = $22.50 (includes USA shipping), outside USA costs are slightly higher. Another one of Rodney's famous contest runs is also featured in our other movie "FLATLANDS".
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See "Tricks You Can't Do" DVD Trailer here ===>
Rodney Mullen "The Mutt" - THE KING OF FREESTYLE
For someone who has left (and is still in the process of leaving) an incredible legacy to the world of skateboarding, Rodney Mullen's start with the sport was fairly inauspicious. When the second skateboard boom hit in the 1970's, Rodney was eager to ride a board of his own. He had been watching the neighborhood kids, envious of their boards. Rodney had asked his father for a skateboard on numerous occasions, but everytime, had been told "NO". On New Years Eve, 1976, Rodney decided to ask his father for a board just one more time. In an article written for Thrasher (January 1996 issue), Rodney recalls his fathers response that evening: "He reluctantly made a deal: The first injury I got, or the first time he had caught me without my pads, I had to quit".
With his fathers reserved blessing, Rodney wasted no time and marched down to the local shopping mall on January 1st, 1977. He picked up a black Bonsai aluminum board with precision wheels and ACS trucks. Prior to this purchase, his father had been concerned that skateboarding was not a very safe sport. In hindsight, he needn't have worried. Quickly, Rodney began practicing and learning freestyle tricks - in full pads. About nine months from the time he received his skateboard, Rodney picked up his first sponsor: The Inland Surf Shop.
He started winning contests in his home state of Florida. In 1978, Rodney blew a lot of the California pros away when he reached 4th place at the Kona contest. In 1979, Rodney took top spot at the Oceanside contest in California and was immediately sponsored by Walker. With all this success, Rodney's father realized that his son had mastered skateboarding. The only problem was, now his father wanted him to try to master something else. What was the sport Rodney's father had suggested he pick up?: "Golf," say Rodney, with a tinge of disbelief. But Rodney didn't pick up the clubs and he kept training.
In August of 1980, he received a call from Stacy Peralta inviting him out to a contest in San Diego. Rodney remembers the time vividly. "This was to be my last fling." He was 13 years old and would be competing with top Sims Freestyler Steve Rocco. The contest was extremely close and the judges kept on awarding the same number of points to both Steve and Rodney. Eventually, on the last runoff, Rodney won the contest. It was then that he officially started riding for Powell Peralta. "After this success", recalls Rodney, "my father was motivated to keep me involved in skateboarding."
In the early 80's, skateboarding was very much underground. The sport had peaked, just like in the 60's and now there was only a group of hardcore skaters who kept up with the sport. Rodney wrote articles for Thrasher magazine that explained, step-by-step, complex freestyle moves. He wound up in 1st place in almost every contest. In the mid 80's, the sport picked up again, primarily due to the proliferation of skateboard videos. The Powell Peralta and Vision Psycho skate videos showcased Rodney's amazing abilities better than any sequential photo spread found in a magazine. Viewers were in awe of his command of the board. As Peter Weldrake, owner of Toronto's famous Hogtown Skateboard Shop, recalled, "In the mid 1980's, I had a little black and white television hooked up to a VCR and crowds of people would jam the store in awe of what Rodney was doing. They had never seen skateboarding like this before!"
Rodney Mullen at Carson
Velodrome, CA - 1987
As the 80's progressed, Rodney became increasingly famous. He has some positive memories of the time: "There was so much opportunity. My friends were doing well." Rodney wrote in Thrasher "Skating blew up from around 86 to 91. I felt like a rock star. I flew on the Concorde." Despite all his success, however, Rodney recalled some painful truths about fame: "Each time I thought I got somewhere else, I realized I hadn't gone anywhere."
Slowly, Rodney entered into the world of new school skating. He put away the traditional freestyle board and with encouragement from Plan B's Mike Ternasky and World Industries had Steve Rocco, Rodney started moving into street skating. His practice paid off and he can be seen in the 1992 Questionable Video. His blending of new street style skating with his amazingly technical freestyle tricks set a new standard and blew many people away.
There is no question that Rodney Mullen dominated freestyle skateboarding for over a decade. In today's world of street skating, Rodney is still a major force. Many of the tricks he invented in the 1980's are now the foundation of new school skateboarding. He is, however, extremely humble when asked about the tremendous influence he has had on skateboarding. "I was just doing my thing. I didn't think of myself as a pioneer."
Rodney continues to work full time in the skateboard industry, and nowadays, heads up Tensor, Dwindle Distribution, travels with the Globe team and manages to keep innovating new skateboarding and shoe products to push skateboarding technology to new levels. He also still manages to invent new tricks that most skaters never imagined. Many of Rodney's latest skating accomplishments can be found in various videos and skateboarding magazines...
Lance Mountain, Lynn Cooper, Rodney Mullen at ASR Show - 2002
Rodney can also be seen performing some of his legendary Freestyle maneuvers in the PlayStation Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 game released in November, 2001. Video footage for the game was donated by Lynn Cooper. Congratulations Rodney!
Canada - 1986 World's Fair Expo
"I'll never forget this event. It was the World's largest PRO Freestyle contest ever. There were a few thousand spectators in attendance. Rodney pulled off the most incredible flatland routine I had ever witnessed! When Rodney finished this run, the entire audience gave him a standing ovation, not just for a few moments, but literally for minutes! Rodney tried walking away, but the crowd was relentless, they just kept cheering and applauding. It was unreal! Rodney came back out and offered another acknowledgement to the crowd. They just kept cheering! It was clear that Rodney was overwhelmed. I thought he was going to collapse! To this day, I've never seen anything like it!"
"You had to have been there! I was very fortunate." - Lynn Cooper
UPDATE: Many worldwide Rodney Mullen fans continue to visit this web page daily. The amount of visits has grown considerably, so we will be providing more frequent updates. Some of you have requested us to offer additional products, such as: additional Rodney Mullen videos, Rodney's new book "The Mutt", Rodney's newly designed "Globe shoes", Tensor trucks, various decks, Rodney Mullen or other Pro Skatelegend photographs (enlargements)...
If you would be interested in purchasing any of these new products via this website, please write an email, expressing your interest, to: firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which products you would be most interested in. The more feedback we get, the better we can serve YOU!
Thank you in advance, for your feedback and continued support of www.skatelegends.com - Lynn Cooper / Cooper Productions LLC
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