Mark Gonzales – 2012

Today’s street skateboarding is a far cry from the pool-influenced riding of the 1970s from which it was spawned, and the Gonz had a lot to do with that. Mark Gonzales, the pioneering and consequently obliterating ripper of all oncoming terrain, subject to the variables in which he chose to place before his path, naturally, didn’t set out to shatter the previous notions of what was understood to be. His influential importance to the fervently following youth of the time steadily grew with each and every kick of the push-foot until video parts, magazine features, and rare sighting fables had firmly taken root into the emerging culture at large. Perhaps due to his seeming otherworldly dementia, Mark has always had a way of changing the game, whether through his inventive skateboarding or his creative art and writing (which originated in the skate press).

Mark borrowed from the masters and made their ideas dynamic on the streets and banks of the world. He continually pushed the limits of maneuvers, and his mastery of them allowed him to imagine the unthinkable as he began exploring the previously untouched world of handrail skating. Mark’s ability to work transitions inspired people to skate everything. Video clips of Mark released decades ago continue to blow minds. Millions of kids worldwide got the stoke from his crafty actions. The Gonz is an archetypal street skater and an artist of international renown whose influence on modern skateboarding could never be overstated.

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