If you've been a skater at one time in your life or have in interest in the sport then you've probably heard of the names Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen. These men were the driving force behind what skateboarding is today.
Tony Hawk: Now most people probably heard of the name Tony Hawk. His name is synonymous for fun, action oriented extreme sports. What led to his popularity is the introduction of his popular video game series Tony Hawk Pro Skater. The series started on play station video game console and migrated to others. But Tony Hawk influenced the skateboarding community in different ways. He popularized and advocated organized skateboarding events such as the Xgames where he also participated. His not achieves achievements at these events include "the 900," a move in which he does a grab trick by spinning his whole body 900 degrees. This notable achievement has not been done or recorded by anyone else in the history of the sport. Other extreme sports enthusiasts have tried doing the 900 but it's much simpler to do on fixed gear equipment such as bikes. Tony Hawk completed the 900 three more times upon which he said, "I'm 42 and I did the 900." This was a trick he wanted to complete 10 years ago and he finally achieved his goal. His actions are legendary in the history of the sport and he'll always be remembered as a pioneer in the field of extreme sports.
Rodney Mullen: If you've ever seen someone do a kickflip (a trick involving spinning the board vertically) then you'll have Rodney Mullen to thank for that ingenious move. He has created many other different spin moves and has worked further to create more flat ground skateboarding tricks that included the impossible (A flatground trick that involves spinning the board around your leg as you would a flag). He also perfected many other spin moves and his ability to maintain balance on the board made him an entertaining skateboarder to watch. He also introduced and popularized flat ground free styling as a skateboarding style that other skaters later decided to emulate. His achievement include beating. He has been in 18 full length skateboarding movies, mainly in montages of himself set to music. He is also featured in Tony Hawk Pro Skater series as a player that gamers can choose to play with.
Alan Galfend: Alan Galfend came into skateboarding in the 70s. He invented and popularized the "ollie," a flat ground trick in which you jump with the skateboard and pull it with you towards your body. This trick later was used in flat ground, free style as well as vert applications. The trick set a whole new spin on skateboarding as the sport did not have many trick variation until the ollie was created. Generated from the ollie trick, many other tricks were possible including move grab tricks, spins and grind / slides. Alan Galfend left skateboarding to pursue other interests including go cart racing and Volkswagen racing. He later went on to open a service shop and a skateboarding shop which are both well-appointed in their respective industries.