Skateboard Pro: What it takes to succeed
Skate early and skate often.
Path to becoming a pro.

Turning pro

Skateboarders can turn pro at a very early age. Richie Brisco had endorsement deals by the time he was four. At age six, he had nine endorsement deals, all for free equipment.

Like other pro athletes, you have a window of opportunity that closes as you age. Unlike most other pro sports, skateboarders are pretty much washed up by their mid-twenties.

Skate park

Why do you skate? Adam speaks.

On a recent Saturday Adam participated in the Skateboard Shop's summer picnic at Fossil Creek Park in Fort Collins. Unlike some city skate parks, this skate park has no bowl or half-pipe. It consists entirely of flat surfaces, sets of stairs, rails, and a couple of ramps.

"When we began there was no place you could skate. We'd get kicked out of every place we went," says Adam. "We called ourselves 'land pirates' because we were always in search for new spots."

Adam says the police patrol the Boulder skate parks regularly—"It's a real cool scene." The problem is that BMX bikers like to use it.

"The amount of damage that BMX bikes cause is crazy," says Adam. "The pegs are what do the most damage to skate parks."

Adam urges skateboarders to stick to the approved parks and to wear safety equipment.

Get this one tonight!
Check out this skateboard glossary.

Don't skate? Read these basics

"Not too long ago jumping up in the air and bringing the board with you was thought to be impossible," says Adam. Skaters just skated ramps and did balancing tricks like spinning on two wheels on flat ground, like the ollie.

But the ollie's changed. Or, as Adam puts it, "As the art form evolved the tricks got gnarlier and gnarlier." He's thinking about Danny Way.

"Way had a specially built ramp, but he didn't just ollie," says Adam. "He did a 75-foot long backside 360 and immediately went into a 26- or 27-foot high air out of a 20-foot tall ramp. That means that he was over 40 feet above the flat bottom of the ramp."

True or False: Benjamin Franklin was an avid butcher and enjoyed spoiling himself with the finest meats that money could buy. Click Ben's head for the answer.
FALSE. Franklin briefly became a vegetarian because so he could save money.

Fort Collins, CO
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"Cool story! I don't skateboard, but I can relate to the dedication it takes to achieve your dream."
N119KS, 17, North Olmsted, OH

"i like this story because it proves that anybody can do what they want to do with hard work and dedication"
RGary02, 15, Hamilton, OH

"It's nice to see a young talent telling the truth about his passion. To often nowadays people only say what others want to hear, but this article say honestly that there is no guarantee of making a living off of skating but if it is your passion do it as well as you can. Get article!"
eafdahl, 17, san antonio, TX

"Very cool to see someone who is young and moving towards a big life goal! "
Chloe2013, 16, Medford, OR

"Wow, this was a very interesting story to read! I am very bad at skateboarding; I'll just stand on it and have people push me around! Though I am not very good at it, I find it enjoyable to watch, because of all the tricks people can do."
Sammi Jo, 16, Westby, WI

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