Five Skater Douches Worse Than Tony Hawk
Golden-haired skate legend, video-game huckster and film producer Tony Hawk added the role of wife swapper to his list of accomplishments this week, reportedly shacking up with the wife of his best friend a scant seven months after his third divorce.
As much as we love to gossip, the grody personal life of our childhood hero seems a little taboo--but also, when compared to some of his skateboarding peers, a little vanilla. Tony Hawk may be a weird friend and a dodgy husband, but he is far from the most noxious skater out there. In defense of the guy who inspired so many of us to do unbelievably dangerous shit in empty swimming pools, we present Five Skater Douches Worse Than Tony Hawk.
5. Jay Adams
Regaled as a founding father of skateboarding, Adams, 50, was lionized in the award-winning documentary Dog Town and Z-Boys. Unfortunately, he followed his early triumphs with a nosedive into crystal meth that ate up his best years with jail stints and run-ins with countless homemade tattoo guns.
As far as his contributions to skating, Adams (as legend has it) gave the sport its physicality and daring, shaping it into the hybrid of wheeled vandalism, interpretive art and applied mania we all enjoy. Making Adams less than admirable is not the whole drugs-and-jail thing, but his more recent post-prison embrace of West Coast Evangelical Christianity.
We're all for Adams getting clean, but we suspect he's had to justify his conversion hundreds of times already by referring to Jesus as "the first punk rocker" or the "original skater," among other attempts to square piety with danger. Like walking on water, it's just not possible, and a dude like Jay ought to know better. The clip above features Adams in full "saved" mode.
4. Rikki Rockett
Believe it or not, the elfin Poison drummer signed an endorsement deal with Vision skateboards in the late 1980s, agreeing to wear Vision Street Wear T-shirts in a handful of music videos.
In these same videos, Rockett can be seen showing off his fourth-grade level skills, such as spinning his skateboard in one big circle or holding it over his head while hopping on one foot. How the hell the geniuses at Vision decided that hiring the half-competent drummer for a cross-dressing band adored by pregnant teens and roundly despised by anyone with even the vaguest sympathies toward skateboarding is beyond our reach and probably lost to history.
One thing we did learn is that Rockett reportedly brought along a personal skate coach during one of Poison's tours, presumably to help him hone his kick-flips and ollies. No word on whether Rockett is still haunting the skate parks, but we would pay some serious cash for a video of this guy eating curb in full glam regalia. A fleeting glimpse of Rockett in his Vision shirt can be seen around the 2:00 mark in the video above.
3. Ryan Sheckler
As star of MTV's pandering reality stink bomb Life of Ryan, toothy skate prodigy Ryan Sheckler spent more time hanging around his living room and eating pizza than amazing us with the talent that earned him all this attention in the first place.
Viewers expecting to see Sheckler slashing through the air like a wiry mythical bird were instead treated to him staring into the camera and reciting confessional monologues about his family. Not because there was anything aberrant about them, but because as the star of a reality show, he felt obligated to ramp up the melancholy.
In one especially deadening voice-over, Sheckler analyzed his relationship with his father thusly: "Dad's cool, but Dad and I don't talk enough, but Dad's still cool, though, so, hopefully, Dad and I will talk more"--ad infinitum. At some point, one of MTV's productions flunkies should have slapped Sheckler awake and reminded him that anyone capable of doing this should never act like such a pussy.
The first generation of skaters more or less shared the mellow classic-rock sensibility that permeated much of the 1970s. During the Reagan era, a more thuggish variant of skater would emerge, a spike-haired playground bully that approached the half-pipe with a fuck-all death wish.
Personifying this new breed was Mark "Gator" Rogowski, a gregarious-yet-intense personality and perhaps the first skater to obtain mainstream celebrity. A hero to kids who bought his famous Vision Gator deck and watched his popular videos, Gator evaded the early 1990s crash of the skateboarding industry by taking his by-now hackneyed appetite for destruction to its darkest "extreme" and murdering one of his acquaintances.
Details of Gator's thrilling rise and vulgar fall are best covered by Helen Stickler's 2003 documentary Stoked, a festival hit that would have been more popular had it not so thoroughly destroyed the fond childhood memories of its audience. Until you are ready to watch that soul-crushing (but brilliant) film, enjoy the clip of Gator, above, when the only blood he spilled was his own.
1. Rob Dyrdek
Yet another skater with a reality show intended to highlight his supposedly fascinating personal life while omitting the only talent that spurred interest in that life in the first place.
On his show, Rob and Big, skater Rob Dyrdek and his bodyguard/best friend/probable secret lover "Big" wiled away entire episodes throwing furniture out of windows like a pair of hillbilly Keith Moons and giggling at their pet miniature horse, an agitated and pitiful beast that in a just world would trample its bozo keepers.
Other episodes feature sub-Jackass vignettes such as Big getting stuck on the toilet, Rob falling down in the driveway, and the duo's dusted friends dropping by to tell unfunny in-jokes, giving the program the ambiance of a sausage party at which everyone is trying to act coy and exclusive rather than get drunk.
Have you ever wanted to relive the worst house party of your life? Then Rob and Big DVDs are essential viewing for you. Do you believe that minute-to-minute footage of your most dilapidated, alcoholic buddies farting on the couch would make great television? Then a career at MTV is definitely not for you because some other genius there already brought us Rob and Big. In the clip above, Rob and friends impress absolutely no one by skating through a fast-food joint.
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