Rodney Mullen

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Rodney Mullen (2013)

John Rodney Mullen (born August 17, 1966 in Gainesville , Florida ) is a former American professional skateboarder .

He is a three-time freestyle skateboarding world champion and is considered the forefather of street skating .


He lives in Hermosa Beach , California . Although his father was skeptical of his son's great interest in skateboarding, he gave him his own skateboard when he was 10 years old. He agreed with Mullen that if he was caught without a schooner for the first time or if he was seriously injured, he would no longer be allowed to skate. After only nine months, Mullen got his first sponsorship contract from the Inland Surf Shop. He won his age group in the amateur freestyle contest at Oceanside.

Mullen won his first professional contest (“Oasis”) in California in 1980: “This was one of the most exciting moments for me,” he recalls. In the same year he switched to the ranks of the "professionals" and at the age of 13 joined the legendary " Powell Peralta Bones Brigade Team ". He was best known to the public for his regular appearances in the popular Bones Brigade films (including: "The Bones Brigade Video Show", "Future Primitive", "The Search for Animal Chin" and "Public Domain"). His sponsors were Powell Peralta u. a. Independent Trucks, Converse and Swatch Watches.

In 1995, Mullen left the "Plan B" team and formed the "A-Team". During that time the popular “Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song “video series. From the A-Team "Enjoi Skateboards" arose, which was founded by Mark Johnson, a former A-Team member and who also convinced Mullen to join Enjoi. For his shoe sponsor "Globe" Mullen worked in 2001 in the video "Opinion". Also in 2001 Mullen received the "Transworld Readers Choice Award for Skater of the Year". At the end of 2002 Mullen left "Enjoi" and founded a new board company called "Almost" with Daewon Song. The team from "Almost" consisted of Mullen and Daewon Song from Ryan Sheckler (* 1989), Chris Haslam, Greg Lutzka, Cooper Wilt and Tyrone Olson & Chris Casey (both as William Patrick). In December 2004, "Almost" brought a sort of sequel to "Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song "series, which was called" Almost - Round Three ". Mullen also runs Tensor, a skateboard axle company. In private, Mullen likes to skate with Daewon Song , Ronnie Creager or Marc Johnson, but prefers to be alone at night.

Numerous skateboard tricks have been done by Rodney Mullen. Among other things, he invented essential tricks such as "Flat Ollie", " Kickflip ", "Darkslide", "Heelflip", "360 Flip" and a technique called "Late Flip". In 1981, the "Ollie" (jump with the skateboard) was transferred to the flat floor by skaters like Mullen, Mark Gonzales and Natas Kaupas, which had previously been performed in concrete pools by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand .

Mullen's favorite tricks are “Frontside Crooked Grind” variations, “Nollie Hard Flip” and the “Darkslide”. His preferred freestyler is Kevin Harris. Mullen is known as the "Godfather of Streetskating" and is still unsurpassed in his flexibility and range of tricks and combos. In addition, he is considered the best switch skater in the world, which is probably due to the fact that only he can do more than 350 different tricks and invented more than half of them himself.

In 2003 he wrote the book "The Mutt: How to Skateboard and not Kill Yourself"

Mullen was inducted into the virtual roster of the cult video game series Tony Hawk's Pro Skater by Tony Hawk . His comment: “I feel very honored with this recording! But it's difficult for me to even call skateboarding a sport, for me it's more of an art! ”.

Developed tricks

Rodney Mullen (1988)
Rodney Mullen (2008)

The year of development is given in brackets.

  • 540 Shove-its (1979)
  • 50/50 Saran Wraps (1979)
  • Helipops (1980)
  • Flat Ollies (1981)
  • Gazelles (1981)
  • No Hand 50/50 (1981)
  • Kickflips (1982)
  • Heelflips (1982)
  • Halfcab Impossible (1982)
  • Sidewinders (1983)
  • 360 Flip (1983)
  • 360 Pressure Flips (1983)
  • Casper 360 Flips (1983)
  • Half Cab Kick Flips (1983)
  • 50/50 Sidewinders (1983)
  • One Footed Ollie's (1984)
  • Backside 180 Flip (1984)
  • Ollie Nosebones (1986)
  • Flatland Ollie Airwalk
  • Ollie finger flip (1986)
  • Frontside HeelFlip Shove-It (1988)
  • Switchstance 360 ​​Flips (1990)
  • Helipop Heel Flips (1990)
  • 360 Backside Impossible (1991)
  • Half-Cab KickFlip Underflip (1992)
  • Casper Slide (1992)
  • Half Flip Darkslide (1992)
  • Primoslide Flips (1999)
  • Darkslide variations
  • K-Grind Munky Flip out

Mullen developed many basic trick techniques and created countless trick variations from them. At the same time he laid the foundation for modern street skating with the New School Tricks he invented.

Board composition

  • Deck: Almost Mullen Saint Impact or Element Mullen Boards, Enjoi
  • Wheels: 50 mm Almost Wheels, 52 mm Spitfire F1
  • Trucks: Tensor Low Trucks
  • Bearing: Tensor abec7

Competition placements

  • 1. 1985 NSA World Open in freestyle (California)
  • 2. 1983 Del Mar Spring Nationals in freestyle (California)
  • 1st 1982 Rusty Harris Series Final Contest in freestyle
  • 1. 1979 Second Annual Clearwater Sun 'n' Fun Championships (Florida)

Mullen has only failed to win one freestyle contest in his life so far and ended up in second place.


  • "The Godfather of Streetskating"
  • "The Mutt"
  • "The King of Freestyle"
  • "Lord of the Board"

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cole Louison: An Excerpt from 'The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding, "by Cole Louison. In: Retrieved June 16, 2020 (English).