Rodney Mullen Rides Again

After 12 years, skateboarding legend Rodney Mullen is back on deck with a new video called “Liminal“. Since his last showing in 2004’s “Almost: Round Three”, Rodney had suffered an injury-related fusion of his femur and hip bone. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone Mullen explains:

After much deliberation, with doctors doubtful of my recovery, I engaged in medieval ways to break apart the bone fusion – hammering the end of screwdrivers into my flesh, climbing into the wheel well of my car to apply leverage while pulling on the car’s frame. After thousands of hours, over years of doing this, I began breaking those dried-gum-like strands of fascia. I would often become overwhelmed, screaming violently in pain, panic-stricken that I was doing more damage than good and I would never be able to skate again. Until one night, hanging from my car, I heard a thump. And when I got up, I realized that I had broken the calcification and my hip-joint was mobile again.

What makes this all more amazing is that since his hip-popping breakthrough in 2010, Rodney Mullen has had to relearn to skateboard with his opposite foot forward. This was not simply to learn how to skate switch, which is common. To skate without re-injuring his hip, it was crucial that he once again train his body the tricks he came up with more than three decades ago, as well as any new ones, with his right foot forward. Mullen has reversed his native stance and is now more adept at skating with his right foot forward as he was with his left. He has found bona fide goofy-footedness – an idea he calls stancelessness.

Mullen Animation

Rodney says of the Front-Rail To 360º-Shove-It To Back-Rail (Performed above and at the 2:27 mark in the new film).

“This trick has never been seen or done, as far as I know. It is rooted in an obscure freestyle trick dating back 30 years. However, it was only done landing on all four wheels. This rail-to-rail version requires another level of power and control. On top of that, to do it on a modern (bigger) board, and landing on axles, is so daunting that I had never done it until now. It was particularly inspired by the camera action, because of how beautiful it would look: a rotary motion in a rotary system.”

More detailed descriptions of Rodney’s tricks, and the technology used to create the film, can be found on the film maker Steven Sebring’s website.

Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains — Thomas Carlyle.

Uncommon Skateboard Tricks In Super Slow Motion

Watching these uncommon flat ground (street) skateboard tricks slowed down to 1,000 frames per second really highlights how difficult they are to execute. Watch through to the end to see all the tricks shown again at actual speed. Flabbergasting. The tricks performed in the order of appearance are:

  • Nollie Dolphin Flip (AKA Nollie Forward Flip)
  • Backside 180 Casper Flip (or BS 180 Hospital Flip)
  • Nollie Heelflip BS Body Varial
  • Nollie 360 Shuv Underflip (AKA Nerd flip)
  • Frontside Shuv Underflip (AKA Kiwi flip)
  • Hardflip Pretzel
  • Merlin Twist (Switch front foot impossible fs 180)
  • Nollie Heelflip Indy Grab
  • Early Grab Frontside 180 Fingerflip
  • Pressure Hardflip
  • Jovan flip
  • Backside Pop Shuv Underflip
  • Nollie Pressure Hardflip
  • It should be noted that since skateboarding trick names are defined by a common usage naming convention and these tricks are not very common, some of them don’t have well-established names so the creator of the video took some artistic license.

    The Art Of Skateboarding

    Artist/designer/sculptor Andrew Lewicki has created some high-end skateboard art. His pieces “Gold—Plated Skate Rail” and “Walnut Skate Ramp” raise the bar on these everyday skating staples. The press release mentions:

    “…the city of Los Angeles has explored civic “solutions” to such practices [rebellious skateboarding behavior] by installing legal skate parks and authorized graffiti walls, a tactic Lewicki exposes as both antithetical and irksome to the rebellious spirit inherent in these exploits.”

    Lewicki presents an interesting, if not an almost Utopian, response with his pieces.

    Scroll to Top