I wanted to take a moment to recognize and honor some of the black athletes that have inspired me through my life.
I never felt it was my place to speak out on issues of this scale, but I'm learning it's everyone's duty to listen, stand up, and speak up.
Vacation is a core tennis brand, but skateboarding will always be a part of me. We are so fortunate to have these individuals who have pushed the boundaries and given hope for so many of us. Hope, that anything is possible.
I support the Black Lives Matter movement and stand against any racial injustice.
These are some of the best pro skateboarders in the world.
These, are my heroes.
Nobody, I mean nobody can do tricks like Cyril. The way he lands with his feet hanging off, with those loose trucks, and still rolls away is baffling to us all.
If anyone tried to copy this style, they'd be sent straight to the hospital.
His switch bigspin at Love Gap put him on the map years ago, and Ishod may be one of the best skateboarders of all time. His tricks are effortless and are landed perfectly.
He also loves modding cars, to sweeten the deal.
Nakel is not only an incredibly talented skater, but is also a company owner, actor, fashion designer, and songwriter. If you haven't seen his skating, this video of him falling will give you an idea of his athletic skills - and make you question what's humanely possible.
I was a little surprised when Tyshawn got SOTY 2018. He was an underground skater and didn't have big video parts like most skaters - I didn't know much about him. You'll have to go buy the full length Supreme Blessed to really understand, but for now here's him playing around and nollie flipping full size NYC trash cans, from flat.
There's a good reason why I have Stevie's pro deck hanging on my wall. He is a walking example of achieving the impossible. Through skateboarding he went from the Philly streets and sleeping in his car to starting and owning multiple companies.
For so many of us, Stevie showed us the impossible IS possible.
He lazered Hollywood 16 and seems to float in midair - which explains why he went for this gap to rail that no one could step to. Dashawn is on a different level we can only dream of.
He's the younger of the bunch but with switch heels like that you feel like he's been around for ages. There's something very special about Robert Neal's nollie back heels - see if you can spot it.
A true artist on the skateboard, Boo is one of the rare cases where power meets style. As I sit here and write these words, I'm reminded why I placed his pro deck on my top shelf.
The list of black men and women who we look up to in any sport, craft, or everyday life is enormous. But what's most impressive is how they achieved this in the face of adversity.
That's true inspiration for me.