A D V E R T I S E M E N T
How many tricks have you invented in your life? Oh, you did invent one? That's cool. Not as cool as about 30. Rodney Mullen did that. He is also an engineer. He studied biomedical engineering at the University of Florida for four years. He had a quite confusing history with companies, riding for and owning. So here's the story...
His tenure at World Industries marked the beginning of a shift in his skating career from freestyle to street skating. He left the World Industries team to join Plan B, a super team made up of some of the high profile pros of that time. Throughout this period Mullen was learning from his idol Mike Ternasky, the Plan B founder, to adapt his freestyle skating form. This approach was first seen in the 1992 Plan B video Questionable, and ushered in a new era of street skating that took freestyle tricks which were traditionally done without rolling, or at slow speeds in a confined flat area, to a more varied terrain, often at speed and incorporating obstacles.
In 1995, Mullen started the A-Team. It was his take on forming a super team with the defection of Plan B from the World Industries empire. A-Team folded in 2000 and Mullen went from company founder to company rider under former A-Team rider Marc Johnson, who started Enjoi Skateboards. Mullen left Enjoi and headed Almost Skateboards along with Daewon Song, which he continues to maintain professional status. Mullen expanded his product development and created Tensor truck in 2000 and has also developed experimental and composite deck constructions for Dwindle brands.
In 2002 the World Industries companies, under the holding name Kubic Marketing, were bought out by Globe International for $46 million. Kubic's management remained intact and Mullen began working for Globe International under the Dwindle Distribution brand.
In 2003 Rodney wrote and released his autobiography, entitled "The Mutt: How to skateboard and not kill yourself". In late 2003 Rodney Mullen was voted as the all-time greatest action sports athlete on the Extreme Sports Channel's Legends of the Extreme countdown.
2004 saw the announcement by Dwindle that it has been producing skateboard decks in China under the direction of Mullen. A Dwindle spokesperson explained that the move was "to better control our current product quality and develop new advanced products while simultaneously lowering the price on existing skate-deck products.
A bit underrated, considering the general public doesn't know about him even though he pretty much invented all of the street tricks we commonly see today...