In December last year, Josh Kalis posted four minutes of him skating a DIY spot that, at age 44, sits alongside any part he’s ever released. A couple of months ago, Ray Barbee made a surprise announcement and got on Krooked. And just before my knee gave out, I landed my first switch frontside crooked grind in my early 40s.
Arthritis may be kicking in, but older skaters are ripping harder than ever and contributing some class and relatability to the great big stinky patchwork quilt that is skateboarding.
Here are just a few old geezers who have been putting in work as of late that we felt deserved a head nod.
First Video Appearance: Sick Boys (1988)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: Junglegrounds
Signature move: One foot ollies
What’s his secret?: “It’s still the fuckin best thing I can do in my life.”
First Video Appearance: Toy Machine: Heavy Metal (1995)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: DGK: DIY Josh Kalis
Signature move: 360 flip
What’s his secret?: “No real secrets… just staying motivated helps a lot. Water, Fish oil, massages, hot tub, dope wife. Lol. Rest is a good one too.”
First Video Appearance: Love Child (1992)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: 7 x 7 Thrasher part (2019) but Instagram is where the action is at.
Signature move: Nollie heelflip
What’s his secret?: A popsicle-free diet
First Video Appearance: Heroin Skateboards Everythings Going To Be Alright (2002)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: This line
Signature moves: Gangster no complies, pink shirts
What’s his secret? “There have definitely been times where I’ve doubted the authenticity of being defined as a skateboarder for my whole life but I’ve embraced the fact that it’s great to have found a passion in a world full of apparently lost folk. I guess if you find something you feel really strongly about, you should pursue it to the nth degree.”
First Video Appearance: New Deal 1281 (1991)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: Film Trucks, Premier Amour
Signature moves: Really leaning into slappies
What’s his secret? “You have to evolve your tricks according to your age (less flips and lower impacts).”
First Video Appearance: Toy Machine, Welcome to Hell (1996)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: Baker 4 (2019), Gnarhunters Sweetness (2020)
Signature move: Kickflip
What’s her secret?: Surfing
First Video Appearance: The Bones Brigade Video Show (1984)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: 50 Tricks at 50 ; He skated the warehouse level from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
Signature move: The 900
What’s his secret?: “Comb your hair”
First Video Appearance: World Industries’ Love Child (1992)
Most Recent Notable Appearances: Daewon’s Instagram has been packed with heat like this.
Signature moves: Blunt slappie three wheel reacharound judo air fakie manual flip out
What’s his secret?: “The secret is eating a lot of sweets and drinking good beer! If you’re having fun and around good people, that keeps you motivated and you can go on forever.”
First Video Appearance: According to his Wikipedia it’s Sure-Grip Beach Style (1985) but Mondo Vision came out in ‘89
Most Recent Notable Appearances: Bill Strobeck’s Instagram and Gonz’s YouTube channel
Signature move: Bending the laws of physics
What’s his secret?: “I do the tricks, not you!”
Disclaimer: I left off a bunch of the best skaters to have ever lived who obviously still kill it, but are holding back footage for their 2021 comeback part. I’m looking at you, Guy, Julien, and Gino.
Words by: Max Olijnyk
Illustration by: Bechara Maalouf
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