The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Anti-Gravity History of Skateboarding

The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Anti-Gravity History of Skateboarding

by Cole Louison


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Skateboarding: the background, technicality, culture, rebellion, marketing, conflict, and future of the global sport as seen through two of its most influential geniuses Since it all began half a century ago, skateboarding has come to mystify some and to mesmerize many, including its tens of millions of adherents throughout America and the world. And yet, as ubiquitous as it is today, its origins, manners, and methods are little understood.The Impossible aims to get skateboarding right. Journalist Cole Louison gets inside the history, culture, and major personalities of skating. He does solargely by recounting the careers of the sport's Yoda—Rodney Mullen, who, in his mid-forties, remains the greatest skateboarder in the world, the godfather of all modern skateboarding tricks—and its Luke Skywalker—Ryan Sheckler, who became its youngest pro athlete and a celebrity at thirteen. The story begins in the 1960s, when the first boards made their way to land in the form of off-season surfing in southern California. It then follows the sport's spikes, plateaus, and drops—including its billion-dollar apparel industry and its connection with art, fashion, and music. In The Impossible, we come to know intimately not only skateboarding, but also two very different, equally fascinating geniuses who have shaped the sport more than anyone else.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762770267
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/03/2011
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 426,356
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Cole Louison is a writer for GQ magazine and has contributed to Fader, McSweeney's, the New York Times, Buzzsaw and All Things Considered. While at Ithaca College's Park School of Communications, Louison majored in journalism and reported for the Ithacan and the Ithacan Journal. He also helped found one of the top alternative college publications: Buzzsaw Haircut. Upon graduation, Louison moved to Martha's Vineyard and began reporting for the Vineyard Gazette. While there, he became an island correspondent for WGBH Boston NPR and later moved to Cape Cod to work further for the station. After a year on the Cape, a Vermont art colony offered him a writing grant, moving him to Johnson, Vermont. The one-month residency turned into a job offer, and Louison spent a year in Vermont before selling his truck and moving to New York City in fall 2004. Once there he became an editor at McSweeney's Quarterly Journal, joined the New Yorker softball team, and temped for Vogue, Esquire, and Vanity Fair before coming to GQ, where he works today while continuing to write on a freelance basis. For GQ he has covered a variety of subjects and interviewed Bill Clinton, Reggie Miller, Dave Navarro, Big Boi, Mohammad Ali, Ted Nugent, Don King, David Remnick, the world authority on Samuel Beckett, Jim Jarmusch, and Jean-Claude Killy. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Outside, and the Los Angeles Times.

Table of Contents

1 There's This Kid 1

2 An Easy History of Skateboarding, Then another one 11

3 Rodney Mullen's Genius Roots and Femoral Anteversion 24

4 Tony Hawk Doesn't know when he started skating 29

5 What're Ya Cryin' About 34

6 Rolling Into Stacy Peralta, and the Strangest Day of My Life 43

7 Gunite, Snake Runs, and The Late Great ' 70s skateparks 51

8 Technical Reinvention of The 1970s, or How Mitch Hedberg Did Not Give Urethane Wheels to Emil Hersh In Heath Ledger's Skate Shop 60

9 Dogtown, Stecyk, and The Business of Skate Media 72

10 Ollieburgers, a World Championship, and The Skinniest Person I Have Ever Seen 80

11 Unable to Do Anything, Magic Mountain, v.c.Johnson, and the Chess King 90

12 The Golden Age of Skateboarding, or Tony Hawk was sixteen in 1984 95

13 Rodney Invents and Wins Everything, and His Dad Makes Him Quit, Again 109

14 Natas, Gonz, and The Birth of Street Skating 116

15 The 1980s End, and Skaters Die and Go to Jail 122

16 Rodney Nearly Dies in Sweden, and The Beginning of The 1990s 127

17 Ryan Sheckler Can Kickflip And He's Six Years Old 134

18 The 1990s Rebirth Of Tech Skating, And Chris Haslam Makes P-Rod Crack Up 143

19 Waist 66 Jeans And The Rise Of World Industries 151

20 The Insane Power Of Television 160

21 Mike v's Greatest Hits, or How Skating's Newfound Success Was Not So successful 172

22 The Best Skateboarder In The World Is a Seventh Grader 181

23 Rodney Rids His Body of Scar Tissue, and The First Stanceless Skater 194

24 Life of Ryan 199

25 "I Hate Sheckler," and The Exploding of Ryan's Right Foot 209

26 Healing at The Berrics 219

27 To Try and Talk to Shaun White and Ryan Sheckler 225

28 Dew Tour Finals 2010 236

29 Watching Sheckler Skate 244

30 Watching Rodney Skate, or Switch Nollie Laserflip at Midnight 254

Many Thanks 261

Notes 262

Sources 278

Index 289

About the Author 298

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Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Anti-Gravity History of Skateboarding 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm the editor and owner of thrasher (a skateboarder mag ) this book is really inspiring to get put yourself on a board
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Or all 3 of us could get a book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great to see skateboarding has came so far and continues to grow!