If you think pools are for swimming you’ve never dropped in with Omar Hassan. Dominating shred terrain since the early 80s, Omar is considered to be one of the world’s best bowl skaters. Already turning heads at the age of 9 and appearing in Thrasher Magazine at 13, he was quick to surround himself with the best of the pros and sharpen his skills. With a cringe worthy catalog of injuries - the most notorious being the 2007 scalping incident at the Vans Downtown Showdown, resulting in 120 stitches and 42 staples - Omar has repeatedly proven his aggressive passion and lack of inhibition. Loaded with devoted sponsors, some of whom include Vans, Black Label, Quiksilver, and Verizon, Omar has done it all and is still going.
Meet Andy Macdonald. Crowned “Andy Mac” in the skate world, he is currently one of the best-known professional skateboarders in vert. Although he’s been settled in San Diego, California for nearly two decades now, he got his start back on the east coast. Born July 31, 1973 in Melrose, Massachusetts, Andy Mac is a proud Bostonian - and the feeling is mutual. Already involved in a variety of sports, Andy was introduced to skateboarding at the fresh age of twelve and was hooked. When it came time to accept his high school diploma and make the next move, skateboarding had become Andy’s main squeeze so he packed up the car and headed west. Once in sunny California, Andy Mac juggled his time in and out of a Shamu costume at Sea World and the vert ramp. In 1994 his hard work paid off and he was able to call home with the news of a professional contract. Since going pro, Andy Mac has celebrated 8 victories at the World Cup Skateboarding Competition and holds the record for the most X Games medals (21 as of summer 2010). Not one to simply bask in the glory of skateboarding super stardom, Andy has spent the length of his career very publicly advocating a drug free lifestyle. His early contributions to Partnership for a Drug Free America landed him a spot behind the podium at the White House - and a chance to claim the title of first ever to skate inside the presidential abode. Currently riding for Positiv Skateboards, Andy Mac is still in it to win it and continues to prove himself a vert skate powerhouse and commendable role model.
An iconic and driving member of the skateboarding boom, few names are more synonymous with skateboarding than Mike Vallely. Vallely, or 'Mike V' as he's known to some, started skateboarding as a 14-year-old in 1984. Only two years later, Powell Peralta started sponsoring Vallely, and his career took off. In the summer of 1986, he became the NSA National Amateur Streetstyle Champion and appeared on the cover of Thrasher Magazine. Vallely turned professional in 1987, and the next year Powell Peralta released his first pro model board. In 1989, Vallely helped form World Industries Skateboards, which revolutionized the skateboard industry. As skateboarding hit mainstream in the 1990s, Vallely was with it every step, competing in the inaugural X-Games in 1995 and traveling to China in 1997 to do the first-ever professional skateboard demonstrations in that country. Etnies Footwear released Vallely's first signature skateboard shoe in 1998. Vallely's been a staple on Tony Hawk's tours and video games for years.