About Mark Gonzales - Pro Skateboarder Profile, Biography and History

About Mark Gonzales - Pro Skateboarder Profile, Biography and History

American professional skateboarder and artist Mark Gonzales is recognised as the sport's "godfather" of modern street skating.

Gonzales is a US citizen who was born and raised in South Gate, California and is of Irish and Mexican ancestry.

At the age of 13, he picked up a skateboard soon rose to fame thanks to his unique tricks and laid-back approach to skateboarding.

Mark Gonzales is mainly known for his street skateboarding style, which involves performing skateboarding moves in urban settings, using handrails, stairs, ledges and other obstacles. Many skateboarding enthusiasts look up to him as an inspiration and consider him the man who initially pioneered street skating. Mark is best renowned for his street skating skills, but he was also a vert ramp ripper back in the '80s.

Skateboard companies including Adidas, Krooked, Spitfire, Independent, Supreme, and Pro-Tec have supported Mark Gonzales over the years. He started his career with Alva and then joined Vision Skateboards in the mid-1980s. One of the most recognisable skateboard graphics of all time is found on his first Vision deck. In 2007, he also made an appearance in the video game EA Skate.

Standout moments from Mark Gonzales:

Ollieing the Gonz Gap, an enormous gap between a wall and a platform at San Francisco's Embarcadero. This move contributed to the rise in recognition of street skating and the Embarcadero as a destination for skaters.

(Video below of Mark Gonzales and his infamous Ollie over the 'Gonz Gap' at EMB.)

Handrail grinds on various obstacles, such as a 17-stair rail in San Diego and a 12-stair rail in Los Angeles. His bravery and talent as a street skater were on full display with these manoeuvres.

Switch ollies, switch kickflips, and switch 360s are all examples of switch stance tricks. To perform these manoeuvres, he rode the board and flipped it in the opposite direction of his normal stance. One of the first skaters to perfect and incorporate this move into his style was Gonzales.

Mark Gonzales is also a prolific artist who creates paintings, sculptures, drawings and videos. He has also appeared in the following movies: How They Get There (1992), Gummo (1997), Southlander (2003), and Beautiful Losers (2008)

Transworld Skateboarding magazine named Mark Gonzales Skateboarding's "Most Influential Skater of All Time" in 2011.

Skateboard Video Appearances feature Mark Gonzales include:

Sure-Grip Beach Style (1985) NSA 86' Vol. 4 Skateboard Video (1986)

Mondo Vision Skateboard Video (1987)

Thrasher (magazine): Savannah Slamma Skateboard Video (1987)

Psycho Skate Skateboard Video (1987)

Ohio Skateout Skateboard Video (1988)

Blind: Video Days Skateboard Video (1991)

Thrasher (magazine): The Truth Hurts Skateboard Video (1993)

Supreme (brand): A Love Supreme Skateboard Video (1995)

Deluxe: Jim's Ramp Jam Skateboard Video (1996)

Real: Non-Fiction Skateboard Video (1997)

Deluxe: World Wide Distribution Skateboard Video (1999)

Real: Kicked Out of Everywhere Skateboard Video (1999)

Real: Real To Reel Skateboard Video (2001)

411VM: Vancouver 2002 Skateboard Video

Thrasher (magazine): Rocket Science Skateboard Video (2004)

ON Video: Winter 2004 Skateboard Video

Fourstar: Super Champion Funzone Skateboard Video (2005)

Fourstar: Catalog Shoot Skateboard Video (2005)

Get Familiar Skateboard Video (2006)

Krooked: Kronichles Skateboard Video (2006)

Krooked: Gnar Gnar Skateboard Video (this skate video production from 2007 was shot with an old VHS camcorder and was limited to 1000 VHS copies)

Adidas: A Five Day Excursion To Paris Skateboard Video (2008)

Krooked: Naughty Skateboard Video (2008)

Adidas: Diagonal Skateboard Video (2009)

Fourstar: Gang of Fourstar Skateboard Video (2009)

Krooked: Krook3D Skateboard Video (2010)

Supreme (brand): Cherry Skateboard Video (2014)

Adidas : "Away Days"  Skateboard Video (2016)