Rodney Mullen: Godfather of Freestyle Skating [Video]

By Gustavo / Sports / 9th October 2016

For those of you who don’t know the man, Rodney Mullen is the Godfather of Freestyle skating. For those of you who think you know him – you probably don’t know that the reason he “fell off the scene” was due to him suffering a career ending condition where his femur bone had fused into his hip.

Mullen: “After much deliberation, with doctors doubtful of my recovery, I engaged in medieval ways to break apart the bone fusion – hammering the end of screwdrivers into my flesh, climbing into the wheel well of my car to apply leverage while pulling on the car’s frame. After thousands of hours, over years of doing this, I began breaking those dried-gum-like strands of fascia.

I would often become overwhelmed, screaming violently in pain, panic-stricken that I was doing more damage than good and I would never be able to skate again. Until one night, hanging from my car, I heard a thump. And when I got up, I realized that I had broken the calcification and my hip joint was mobile again. That was the beginning of what was to come.”

That is some gnarly DIY rehab program. Although we feel like there must have been another way to get rid of the calcification, given the advances in modern medicine. Nevertheless, still some old school, tough guy respect earned there.  While injured, Mullen lectured at TED Talks, TEDx, PopTech and a number of other Silicone Valley conferences.

After a decade out of the game, the 50 year-old has returned with a new-school, 360-degree video called Liminal. The video is shot on a circle stage surrounded by 150 expensive cameras – with the videographer sitting along side praying that none of his cameras get taken out by a skateboard.

Mullen won his first Freestyle World Championship at the age 14.

Here’s Mullen, at the age of 19, steeling the show at a freestyle contest in 1986:

“Do what you love and try not to look at what other people occupy themselves with” – Rodney Mullen


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