If you walk down the streets of almost any city in America, there is likely one thing that you’ll see, skateboarders. Skateboarding is one of the most popular and fun pasttimes for children and adults alike and has gained popularity throughout the world. It had been popular for decades and really started to become popular in the 1970s as an extension of surfing. The skateboarding industry is huge as there are over 10 million active skateboarders on earth, and the industry brings in about $5 Billion in annual revenue.
Oftentimes, skateboarding is nothing more than a fun sport or stress relief “escape” for a person, but through the timeline of history, there have been a number of skateboarders who have turned this love and passion into a real career, and have made serious money in the process, either by winning competitions, selling a product, creating a company, or becoming legendary in the sport.
The way these skaters have made their money varies between each person. Some of the men on this list were simply better than their peers, others were innovators and influencers in the sport, and others had a business savvy that went far beyond their peers. One thing that is common among all the people on this list is that they all took something that is largely thought as a hobby or fun activity, and turned it into a career that not only made the famous around the world, but also made them millions.
This list will look at the top 15 richest skateboarders in the world, according to net worth. Read on and enjoy!
*All net worth amounts are taken from TheRichest.com.
15 T13. Stacy Peralta, $10 Million
Kicking off the list is none other than Stacy Peralta. Peralta is known as one of the founding fathers of modern skateboarding as he was associated with the Z-Boys. The Z-Boys were a group of skateboarders in southern California in the mid 1970s that are largely credited with helping influence the modern, aerial moves in skateboarding. Peralta is currently a director, writer and entrepreneur who has worked on numerous skateboarding films such as “Lords of Dogtown” and “Dogtown and Z-Boys.” He was also the founder and co-creator of the popular skateboard brand “Powell Peralta.”
14 T13. Mike Vallely, $10 Million
Mike Vallely is a jack of all trades, but most known as one of the best skateboarders of the 80s and 90s. In addition to his skateboarding prowess, Vallely has taken part in numerous other ventures such as: acting, music, professional wrestling, being a stuntman and being a semi-professional hockey player. Though he has made money and been successful with all of these ventures, skateboarding is his bread and butter. He was originally discovered by pro skater Neil Blender when skating in a car park with his friend and the rest is history.
13 T13. Lance Mountain, $10 Million
Mountain, like Mike Vallely, was one of the most prominent and polarizing skateboarders of the 80s. He was also a member of the “Powell Peralta” brand that Stacy Peralta helped found. Mountain has been in the skateboarding industry for longer than almost anyone else, and his career earnings show how successful he’s been. He has been a pro skater for almost 35 years and still skates professionally now, as a 50 year old man.
12 Danny Way, $11.5 Million
Danny Way is a former two time Thrasher magazine “Skater of the Year” and is known for his extreme stunts and jumps. In fact, he is largely credited as pioneering “megaramps” and participating in crazy stunts such as jumping out of a helicopter to a ramp. But his most extreme and publicized jump was his jump over the Great Wall of China in 2005. This was a world record jump in terms of distance and he was the first person to successfully jump over the Wall without the assistance of a motor vehicle.
11 Wee Man, $12 Million
Yes, Wee Man was actually a professional skateboarder. Wee Man, born Jason Acuna in Italy, is best known for his roles in the Jackass series, but it was actually his role in the skateboarding industry that landed him that role. He was a pro skateboarder and the subscription manager for the skateboarding magazine “Big Brother.” It was this role with the skateboarding magazine that led him to be involved with Jackass. Though he’s made most of his money as an actor, it was his start in skateboarding that gave him the opportunity.
10 T9. Eric Koston, $15 Million
Koston was one of the best and most influential skateboarders of all time. In fact, he has even been called the “Michael Jordan of skateboarding.” Koston has also been sponsored by numerous of the top brands in the world and won numerous championships and awards in the early 2000s. Koston was actually born in Thailand, but was raised in San Bernardino, California, where he began skating in 1986 when he was only 11 years old. Koston, like most of the others on this list, has also caught the entrepreneurial bug and owns a clothing line and his own skate park.
9 T9. Tony Alva, $15 Million
Alva is most prominently known as one of the original members of the Z-boys, which was a famous skating group from southern California in the 1970s. In fact, people think so highly of Tony Alva that he was voted number 8 on the Transworld SKATEboarding magazine’s list of the 30 Most Influential Skaters of all time. Alva’s style and charisma led him to be a popular pro skater as an early teen and from then he continued to grow and mature both his skating skills and his business sense, which culminated in him making a ton of money throughout his career.
8 T7. Chad Muska, $16 Million
Muska was one of the sports superstars in the late 90s and early 2000s. Muska had a ton of talent, was very marketable and influenced many skateboarders to take the plunge and actually become pro skaters. Muska’s story is particularly inspirational because, as an adolescent who just moved to California, he was homeless for a long period of time and slept on the beach. To go from being homeless on the beach to being a multimillionaire, with numerous sponsors and business ventures, is one of the most inspirational stories in pro skateboarding.
7 T7. Ryan Sheckler, $16 Million
Ryan Sheckler, who is a multiple time X-Games champion, was one of the first skaters who was in the public eye ever since he was a young child. He first touched a skateboard when he was only 18 months old, and the rest was history. By the time he was seven years old, Sheckler was associated with numerous sponsors including Etnies shoes and Oakley. Since then he has been a part of numerous business ventures, had numerous high profile sponsors and created a foundation (called the Sheckler Foundation) that looks to assist children and injured/recovering athletes.
6 Stefan Janoski, $20 Million
Stefan Janoski is a skater, entrepreneur, artist and writer who is perhaps best known for not only his skating skills, but also his popular signature Nike SB shoe. Nike SB is the skateboarding line of the popular shoe brand and Janoski has one of the most popular signature skating shoes in the world. The popularity of his shoe is likely a large reason he has a net worth of $20 Million at only 35 years old. In terms of his skating, Janoski is known for his casual style of skating and the fact that he is able to “switch stance” at ease.
5 Rodney Mullen, $30 Million
Rodney Mullen was an absolutely massive influence in the world of skateboarding. In fact, he is often seen as one of the godfathers of street skating. Mullen is also credited with creating many of the most popular tricks today such as the flat ground Ollie, the kickflip, the heelflip and many more. Mullen has appeared in countless skateboarding videos and is one of the most prolific and successful pro skaters of all time. Mullen has also been a huge part of many of the biggest skate brands in the world such as Enjoi, Almost, Plan B and World Industries.
4 T3. Jamie Thomas, $50 Million
Jamie Thomas is not only a talented professional skateboarder; he is also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the skate industry. Thomas began skateboarding in 1985 at the age of 11 and went pro in 1992. Thomas is a self-proclaimed perfectionist and says that “it’s a curse.” However, his career and notoriety in the industry really took off in the late 90s and the early 2000s. In 1996, he founded Zero Skateboards and in 2003 he started the footwear brand Fallen. Both brands have been ultra-successful and are large reasons why Thomas appears on this list.
3 T3. Rob Dyrdek, $50 Million
Rob Dyrdek might be the second most famous skateboarder of all time behind a certain someone we'll see at the top of this list. Though he began as a skateboarder, and a talented one at that, he is without a doubt most known for being a television and reality tv show personality. His appearances on the show “Rob and Big” as well as “Fantasy Factory” made him one of the most famous, and rich, pro skaters of the 21st century. One very interesting fact about Dyrdek is that he actually set 21 skateboard related World Records on his show “Rob and Big.”
2 Stavros Niarchos III, $100 Million
Coming in at number two on this list is Stavros Niarchos III. This is an interesting one as Niarchos is similar to Bam Margera, in that both men are decent skaters and are pros, but are more famous for other things they have done. For Niarchos, he is most famous for being the grandson of a legendary billionaire shipping mogul. That is why Niarchos is worth 100 Million dollars, not anything relating to his skating. Niarchos has also been in major news headlines in the past as he has dated a gamut of Hollywood A-listers such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Mary-Kate Olsen.
1 Tony Hawk, $120 Million
Coming in at number one on the list is the most famous skateboarder of all time, bar none. Tony Hawk is responsible for putting skateboarding on the map as he was the best and most influential skater in the world throughout the 80s, 90s and beyond. Despite announcing his retirement form skating in 1999, he has remained the most prominent face in the sport. He has a popular video game series based on his skateboarding and was the first skateboarder to be invited into the White House by a President. He is without a doubt the biggest star in the history of skateboarding.