Tuesday, July 12, 2016

considered one of the best and most influential skateboarders in the world back in the day, Rodney Mullen pioneered the flat-ground Ollie, the kickflip and the 360 flip.

Now 49, Mullen has in recent years been equally absorbed in a new endeavor: conditioning his body to perform the tricks he came up with more than three decades ago, as well as new ones, with his opposite foot forward. He has not been aiming simply to ride switch, as many other riders do and have done, however. Mullen has set out to reverse his native stance—to feel as adept at skating with his right foot forward as he is with his left.

Around 2004, Mullen’s right leg began seizing up. Doctors said it was scar tissue and the inevitable fusing of the bones resulting from decades of asymmetrical skateboarding — riding with his left leg forward and his right leg back. He eventually removed the tissue himself, an incredible story he tells in his highly viewed TED talk.

All the while he kept skating, determined to erase the stance that caused the injury. As his stanceless approach improved, Mullen found he could land tricks he’d long deemed impossible. On May 10, 2008, he landed a goofy nollie laserflip, inscribing the date on his board next to the words "MADE IT."

Musician and longtime skater Dhani Harrison (George Harrison’s son) wrote the score in collaboration with Mullen.


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