John Rodney Mullen is an American freestyle skateboarder, entrepreneur, inventor, and public speaker who was born on August 17, 1966, in Gainesville, Florida.
Rodney Mullen is widely regarded as one of the most influential street skaters in the sport's history by numerous riders, fans, and athletes.
He started skateboarding when he was ten years old, on New Year's Day 1977, after a neighborhood friend gave him a skateboard. His father wasn't a big fan though. He told Rodney that if he got gravely hurt while skating, he would have to stop.
Rodney said," My dad wouldn't let me have a skateboard. He thought I'd get hurt and never got good, and the culture was bummeds, and I'd turn into one. He was a dentist, but before that he was military, and there were times you'd call him, ' Sir.' On New Year's Day, he had a drink and felt better, and the skate shop was open. I learned to skate in our garage. We lived in the country in Florida, it was sort of farms, and there was no cement anywhere else. Vert skating was the kind of skating that was done in pools, where you could get airborne and be weightless. The other style, which is what I did, was called freestyle, which tricks you could do on flat ground."
Mullen began practicing in the family's garage while wearing a full set of pads, which was a condition of his father's agreement, and spent time with his sister's school friends who skated on weekdays.
It wasn't long before Mullen was obsessed with skateboarding and practiced for hours every day.
Career in Skateboarding
Mullen finished fifth at the US Open Championships in the Boy's Freestyle division in 1978.
From 1978 to 1980, Mullen was sponsored by Walker Skateboards, a skateboard company founded by Bruce Walker. Mullen describes the period from July 1979 to August 1980 as his "most creative moment," a period in which he was primarily solitary.
Rodney Mullen was a member of Powell Peralta's prestigious Bones Brigade squad. Before skateboarding became more precisely defined, Mullen skated a variety of styles.
The heelflip, ollie kickflip, 360 flip, flat ground ollie, and impossible are among the skating feats pioneered by the Floridian. At the age of 14, "the godfather of contemporary street skateboarding" won his first world title. Mullen went on to win 34 of the 35 freestyle events he competed in after that.
"I defended my world title over 35 times, and I recall being genuinely happy about it only twice. The rest were hollow victories tainted by playing it safe."
Over time, his focus switched from freestyle to street skating. Mullen became more simply a skilled skateboarder as time passed. He established his brands and businesses, honed his imaginative skills, and became a well-known public speaker.
- Rodney Mullen has been married to his wife, Traci Mullen, since 2000.
- He slept in boots developed to treat severe pigeon-tor symptoms as a youngster.
- Despite his disability, Phil Chiocchio, the previous owner of the Florida skatepark Sensation Basin, said of Mullen, "He had an extraordinary agility with his feet."