Eric Dressen – 2017

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Eric Dressen was born on September 16, 1967 in Los Angeles, California and got his first skateboard at the age of eight. Only a year later, Eric was discovered by Laura Thornhill while skating a pool in Torrance. Impressed by his obvious natural talents, she introduced him to Skateboarder magazine editor Warren Bolster and landed him a spot on the Logan Earth Ski team. After being photographed on the opening day of Skatopia, Dressen became the youngest skater ever to be featured in a Who’s Hot! at age 10. At 12, he turned pro and spent the next three years riding for Alva. Then in 1981, skateboarding nearly died.

At age 18, as the mid ’80s boom began to revitalize the industry, Dressen returned from exile to join Dogtown Skates. Over the next six years, he would become the back-to-back world street champion, is credited with inventing the salad grind (think salad Dressen), pioneered wall rides, and emerged as one of the biggest name pros with some of the best selling boards of the ’80s and early ’90s. His high speed, all-terrain style, as showcased in 1989’s Speed Freaks video, set the template by which all others would be judged and directly influenced everyone from AVE and Andrew Allen to Donny Barley and Brian Lotti. With a career spanning five decades, Dressen remains one of the longest riding active pros to represent the holy trilogy of Santa Cruz, Independent, and Vans today.