I think for the most part, when asked who our favorite pro skaters are, we answer with pros who tend to pump us up to go out and skate. This doesn't necessarily mean the biggest tricks obviously. Usually style and creativity is what makes another skateboarder's on film (and off) skating translate to an urge inside of us to go skate. It sometimes even influences the type of spot we pick for that day as well. Having said all of that, the following are my top 7 skateboarders who inspire me to go out and shred(in no particular order).
1. Chris Haslam
The first video I saw Chris Haslam in was Almost Round 3, which blew my mind. Shortly after, him and Daewon Song came out with the Almost Cheese and Crackers video and it's all history from there. Every part he has come out with since has become an instant favorite of mine. His creativeness, mixed with his gnarly beard, always incites in me a want to go out and shred a curb or manny pad with complete disregard for what's a 'normal' trick, whatever that means.
2. Daewon Song
The very first video I ever saw Daewon in was Almost Round 3, as well. I remember it well, because it premiered at the Lakewood Theater in Dallas and it was my first big skate video premiere to attend. As with Haslam, Daewon's part had me screaming. Up to that point, I had never seen skateboarding like that. YouTube wasn't quite a thing yet, so the only skate videos I had seen had been an old Osiris video my friend Kyle had and whatever videos I could rent from the One Love skateshop near me. Now that YouTube exists, I've seen just about every clip published from him and he never ceases to completely amaze me. On top of being an awesome skater, I briefly met him at a past Zumiez event this year that I competed in, and he is the nicest guy ever. Daewon will always be one of my favorites.
3. Levi Brown
Style. Style. STYLE. Damn it, this man has it. My only complaint about Levi Brown is that he doesn't have more footage out to watch. Also, the majority of his posted YouTube footage is in 240p. I NEED HD BROWN.(that sounds weird.) Out of all the skaters on this list, (whom I obviously love their styles because they're on here), Levi's gets me the most excited to go skate. His style is so fluid, and he tweeks everything like his family's lives depend on it. Someone give this man more coverage! Anyway, check out his footage below - he makes all 240 pixels of vertical resolution look incredible.
4. Joey Brezinski
I've never met Joey Brezinski, which sucks, because throughout all of the videos I've seen him in, he looks and sounds like an awesome dude. His skating has been inspiring me since his part in an old Adio video where he says, "...and I've got a condom on." which I quoted afterwards for a lot longer than I should have. His skating always makes me want to go learn a new manual trick and additionally, snuggle a pug.
*UPDATE 10/22/15* I met Joey Brezinski at the Downtown Throwdown last weekend and he was a super cool dude!
5. Wade Desarmo
y friend Mark introduced me to Wade's skating and looking back, I can see why; Mark skated and dressed a lot like him. Wade Desarmo is another skater that is incredibly talented, but more than that, his style makes his tricks look like they were made for whatever spot he's skating. Every time I watch him, I put on some sweats and go skate. It's good to see him randomly showing up on the Berrics and Thrasher lately.
6. Cody McEntire
Living in Texas, where Cody is proudly from, I run into him from time to time, though it's always just me seeing him from a distance like a creep and watching in awe. The first video I ever saw him in was Digital Smoke & Mirrors and his part in that blew us all away. The dude rips so much and for awhile I was wondering why I wasn't seeing him everywhere, but it seems that he is starting to answer my wonderment. He's been killing it in Street League this year and in all of the competitions I've ever seen him in. In my opinion, he's one of the best transition skaters I've ever seen and he always inspires me to try and get better at quarters.
7. Rodney Mullen
I know some might think it's cliche' that I added Mullen, but honestly, is there any other skateboarder that has inspired us all more? I remember studying Rodney Mullen's videos almost religiously when I was younger - my whole skate crew of friends did too. He continues to be an inspiration even off of his board with his TED talk and short skate clips here and there. Above all of it though, he's an inspiration because he's always having fun, and that's what skateboarding ultimately boils down to.
I'd love to hear about some of the skateboarders that inspire you in the comments below, through Shred Social social media, or even just a personal email. Thanks for reading!