If you Google Godfather of street skating, Rodney pops up because he invented most of the tricks defining its modern era. He’s also the most dominant world champion in the history of the sport, defending his title 35 of 36 times. After building the era’s largest skate company, he turned to open-source computing, finding parallels between skate and hacker cultures that foster innovation; his very first talk on this went to TED; since then, he has extended these ideas for Apple, IBM, Wired BizCon, JPL, MIT, BrainMind, Anna Wintour, and more.
Rodney’s been in the public eye since his teenage years, including multiple doc’s, movies, and over a dozen video games—he’s even been nominated for a BAFTA. More recently, in print: Rolling Stone, Esquire, the New Yorker, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Wired have all written articles on other facets of his life. He’s featured heavily in multiple books, including an autobiography by Regan Books. He is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab and was appointed as a Distinguished Research Scholar at the Smithsonian.
Rodney still skates every day.
Two links showing Rodney’s skating: This Best Of has 24M views on YT, showing a full range of street skating. Fifteen years later, Rodney’s Liminal was released by Vogue as an artistic project, drawing back to the earliest years of freestyle.