Thanks in large part to sponsorships and endorsements, the wealthiest skateboarders in the world can earn incredible money. Some pro skateboarders have amassed vast clothing and entertainment empires thanks not only to their skill on a board but their marketing prowess.
The United States skate and surfing industry makes big bank thanks predominantly to sales of clothing and shoes; retail sales of skate and surf merchandise totalled 6.07 billion in 2012. The recently launched Street League Skateboarding, the world’s first professional street skateboarding league, gives out massive prizes to the world’s best street skateboarders. Skaters that are part of the league benefit from revenue sharing and the league boasts a total prize pool of $1.2 million. The SLS 2013 Super Crown World Champion, Chris Cole, was awarded a prize of $200,000 along with a championship ring and watch made by surf and skate apparel company Nixon.
The X Games is one of the reasons extreme sports have become so popular in the last two decades. The X Games currently features seven skateboarding events and X Games gold medalists can earn as much as $50,000. With that much money on the line for one win, and with so many lucrative sponsorship deals, the following eleven richest skateboarders in the world have enviable wealth to rival any A-lister.
11. Eric Koston $15 million net worth
Thai-American skateboarder Eric Koston has amassed his wealth from numerous sponsorships and his entrepreneurial spirit. One of Koston’s earliest board sponsors was H-Street, and his current sponsors include Nike, SkullCandy, Spitfire and Oakley. He started clothing company Fourstar with fellow skateboarder Guy Mariano and is also co-owner of L.A. skatepark the Berrics along with Steve Berra. Koston is even co-owner of a microbrewery called Saint Archer Brewing Co.
7 Tony Alva $15 million net worth
Legendary skateboarder Tony Alva is one of the founding members of the Z-Boys. His skill on a board started at a young age, as did his business prowess. At just 19 years old he formed his own skateboard company called Alva Skates. Alva Skates was formed in 1977, and it is the first company ever owned and operated by a skateboarder.
6 Chad Muska $16 million net worth
Muska has been described by Transworld Skateboarding Magazine as one of the most marketable pros skateboarding ever seen. His passions go far beyond just skateboarding; he has produced music for Hip Hop legends like Ice-T and the Wu-Tang Clan. He has opened a high-end skate shop in L.A. called Factory 413.
5 Ryan Sheckler $16 million net worth
Aside from amassing a large net worth thanks to sponsorship deals, Sheckler has also earned his money by starring in an MTV reality show called Life of Ryan. He's not just a pretty face and serious skating skills, though; he started his own charity called the Sheckler Foundation which helps support children and injured athletes.
4 Jason Lee $18 million net worth
Before he became a sitcom star and regular in Kevin Smith movies, Jason Lee was an up and coming skateboarder. He founded Stereo Skateboards, but the majority of his net worth was earned from Hollywood ventures. He earned $3 million for the movie A Guy Thing and $125,000 per episode for his TV cop show Memphis Beat.
6. Shaun White $20 million net worth
The Flying Tomato may be more well know as a Olympic gold medalist snowboarder, but his early career consisted mostly of professional skateboarding. He reportedly earns $2 million per endorsement deal.
3 Rodney Mullen $35 million net worth
Legendary skateboarder Rodney Mullen has earned his wealth through sponsorship deals and as co-founder of World Industries. He served as Ben Stiller’s skateboarding double in the film the Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
4. Bam Margera $45 million net worth
Bam Margera got his start with his skateboarding and prank videos, CKY. Eventually the pranking overtook the skateboarding and Margera starred in numerous MTV prank shows including Jackass. Each of the Jackass movies has performed better than the last at the box office. The most recent Jackass movie, Jackass: 3D, made nearly $172 million worldwide.
3. Rick Howard $45 million net worth
Canadian professional Skateboarder Rick Howard was so popular in the nineties that he even has a move attributed to him, the 'Rick Flip'. He has since amassed his huge wealth thanks to his successful skateboarding company Girl Skateboards, which he co found with fellow skateboarder Mike Carroll and director Spike Jonze.
2 Rob Dyrdek $50 million net worth
Rob Dyrdek is on the up and up, and may well head this list one day. His vastly expanding empire includes or has included multiple reality shows, a Nickelodeon cartoon, clothing companies and a hip hop record label. He is the founder of Street League Skateboarding, which is the first pro league for street skateboarding.
1 Tony Hawk $120 million net worth
Tony Hawk, AKA the Birdman, is undoubtedly the most famous professional skateboarder in the world. He’s also the world’s wealthiest professional skateboarder. Hawk founded the skateboard company Birdhouse Skateboards in 1992. Ten years later he founded the extreme sports exhibition Boom Boom Huckjam. He has even had his own amusement park ride at Six Flags. His Youtube channel has over 700,000 subscribers and he has performed stunts such as jumping over a $400,000 Lexus LFA and skateboarding in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Tony Hawk’s popular video game series has featured 18 titles. He has also appeared in numerous TV shows and movies including Jackass: 3D, the Simpsons and even Sesame Street.