Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Way. Can Skateboarding Legend Rodney Mullen Help It?

The skater-philosopher: Mullen takes the stage at TEDxUSC to expound on the connection between skating and hacking.

Every so often I come across an interesting Rodney Mullen article or video that has parallels with flatland riding and the process of riding flatland. Wired magazine recently published this article entitled “Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Way. Can Skateboarding Legend Rodney Mullen Help It?”.

This is a long article, this paragraph in particular stood out to me:

“Three days later, as we sipped green tea on the balcony of the Redondo Beach home he shares with his girlfriend, Mullen expanded on his distaste for how avarice has altered skating. “Don’t frickin’ skate in front of the camera, don’t practice in front of the camera, don’t friggin’ publish it on YouTube every time you get a new trick—it’s not about that,” he said as he gazed at the setting sun through wraparound shades. “If you do it for the sake of loving it, and you don’t care whether you’re seen or not, or paid or not, all that stuff will come. But enjoy the process! If you start doing things for the sake of selling up front, for rewards, then it’s going to catch up to you. The other guys not chasing money are going to outdo you in the end, because real innovation and grit come from loving the process.”

9 thoughts on “Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Way. Can Skateboarding Legend Rodney Mullen Help It?

  1. Rodney is a wealth of knowledge. Think about how much he’s seen and done. Think about how influential he’s been, not only with his skating but with businesses he’s been involved with. There are a lot of parallels between skating and riding, we could learn a lot.

  2. “On the days he’s home in Southern California, Mullen adheres to a peculiar practice regimen. He skates only in the dead of night, typically starting around 1 am. And he insists on skating in private, usually in the cluttered warehouse of the shoe company that sponsors him. There, in deserted aisles lined with towers of cardboard boxes, he hones all manner of flips and grinds while listening to Swedish death metal.”

    Rodney knows 😉

  3. I met Rodney this past summer at a local skate event here in Florida. I had always been curious if he knew anything about flatland and Kevin Jones in particular. I’ve always felt Kevin was the BMX equivalent of Rodney at least in an innovative sense.
    Rodney had no idea what I was talking about. His responses were “I’ve never heard of him” and “you mean people do bike tricks on flat ground?”. He said this with zero pretentiousness. He was truly surprised when I tried explaining just basic stuff like hang fives and how these tricks have made their way into street riding much like the way his freestyle skating has impacted modern street skating.
    He was very open to talk about it and asked a few questions.
    I tried to explain Kevin’s impact on freestyle and how a lot of us in flatland can relate to Rodney’s drive for the “next level”. He was very cool, a little different for sure but very sincere.

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