From Ripping To Riches

Not that long ago, the prospect of turning skating into a real business opportunity seemed farfetched. Sure, at skating’s lowest points, people made a living from it, but in the ‘90s, even prominent pros supplemented their incomes by selling boards out of the trunks of their Honda Civics. If you did manage to climb the ranks from flow to am to pro, you were content to collect enough cash to skate every day. And when your shelf life was up, you moved on to the next gig.

These days, though, pros’ entrepreneurship has far surpassed hustling shoes and shirts on the side. Video game contracts, beverage endorsements and partnerships with major media companies are increasingly commonplace among those whose names grace sneakers and skateboards. The savviest among them have recognized that they can leverage their skills as skaters into serious business opportunities. Tony Hawk, Rob Dyrdek, Eric Koston, Chad Muska and Stevie Williams have followed different career trajectories, but they’ve all fashioned themselves from skaters to skate moguls. This is how they did it.

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