TransWorld Business Names 2008 Top Paid Action Sports Athletes; Slater And Hamilton Break Top 10

Our brothers from other mothers, TransWorld Business, recently did a rundown of 2008’s highest paid athletes in action sports. Surprise, surprise, Kelly Slater is the top surfer on the list. The only other surfer to break the top 10 is Larid Hamilton. Guess all that SUPing is actually paying off. Here’s the post:

Kelly Slater

$75k for 2008’s Boost Mobile Pro certainly helped Kelly’s earnings a bit. Photo: Fish

Here's the break down of 2008 earnings:

1. Tony Hawk – Skateboarding – $12 million

Hawk retired from competitive skating in 1999, but he has built a business empire that sold $200 million worth of Tony Hawk branded products last year

2. Shaun White – Snowboarding/Skateboarding – $9 million

White was the first athlete to compete at both the Summer and Winter X-Games. He's racked up 10 X-Games gold medals as well as the gold for the men's half pipe in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Following in the footsteps of Hawk, White launched his own videogame last year through Ubisoft called "Shaun White Snowboarding."

3. Ryan Sheckler – Skateboarding – $5 million

Sheckler is a hit with teenage girls thanks to his MTV reality show, Life of Ryan, which just wrapped filming its third season. The skateboard prodigy turned pro in 2003 at age 13. Current big sponsors include Oakley, Red Bull and Volcom.

4. Travis Pastrana – Freestyle MX – $3 million (tie)

4. Kelly Slater – Surfing – $3 million

The nine-time surfing champion is both the youngest and oldest to win the title. We won $260,000 in prize money in 2008 when he captured his ninth title. Slater has won $2 million during his career. The bulk of his earnings comes from sponsors like Quiksilver and surfboard maker Channel Islands.

6. Laird Hamilton – Surfing – $2.5 million

The oldest member of our top 10 athletes at 44, Hamilton has always eschewed traditional surfing competitions for the thrill of big-wave surfing. He has built a reputation as an all-around waterman that has spurred books, movies and a clothing line. His wife is pro volleyball player Gabrielle Reece.

7.  Paul Rodriguez – Skateboarding – $2 million

The skater known as P-Rod is the son of actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez. Nike signed Rodriguez to a lucrative shoe and apparel deal in 2004 and has released several signature P-Rod sneakers since then.

8. Danny Kass – Snowboarding – $1 million

Kass won silver medals in the men's half pipe at each of the last two Winter Olympics. He has sponsorship deals with Gnu Snowboards, Nike and Oakley. With his brother Matt and several friends, Kass founded apparel company Grenade which focuses on winter gloves.

8. Dave Mirra – BMX – $1 million

8. Travis Rice – Snowboarding – $1 million

Considered one of the best boarders on the planet, Rice is a renaissance man on the snow competing in big air, slope style and pipe events. Rice counts Quiksilver and Red Bull as major sponsors and also produces and stars in popular snowboard movies like The Community Project and That's It, That's All.