About Natas Kaupas - Pro Skateboarder Profile, Biography and History

About Natas Kaupas - Pro Skateboarder Profile, Biography and History

Former professional skateboarder Natas Kaupas was born in Santa Monica, California, on March 23, 1969. He is of Lithuanian ancestry and grew up in Dogtown in South Santa Monica, California. Kaupas is often referred to as one of the first true professional street skateboarders.

In the early 1980s, when most skaters preferred skating in ramps and bowls, Natas favoured the more natural terrain encountered on the streets of Santa Monica. It was also at this period, Natas unleashed the wallride, firstly with the help of ramps, then straight from flat to wall. Natas's early wallrides were captured on film and published in contemporary skate magazines like Thrasher.

Kaupas's first pro-model skateboard, illustrated by Santa Monica artist Kevin Ancell, was released in 1984 by Santa Monica Airlines (SMA).

To keep up with the rising demand for SMA skateboards, Kaupas negotiated a production and distribution agreement with Santa Cruz Skateboards in 1986.

Natas Kaupas is credited with inventing rail slide tricks in the late 1980s while at a Pro-Am skate contest held in Oceanside, California.

The list of design and art direction accolades Kaupas has amassed since the early 1990s, when he began pouring his creativity into his own brand, 101, would make the most acclaimed commercial artists blush.

He eventually gave up skating to work as a designer and artist for Quiksilver and Element Skateboards. Both companies also sponsored him for their skateboarding team. Quiksilver soon promoted Kaupas to the role of graphic director and then vice president of marketing.

Skateboard Videos featuring Natas Kaupas:

Sacto Street/Ramp Contest Skateboard Video

Wheels of Fire Skateboard Video

Street Skating with Rob and Natas Skateboard Video

Sick Boys Skateboard Video

Savannah Slamma Skateboard Video

Streets on Fire Skateboard Video

Speed Freaks Skateboard Video

Savannah Slamma III Skateboard Video

Goin' Off Skateboard Video

A Reason for Living Skateboard Video