2. Javier Mendizabal
Barcelona, 2005

I first met Javi in 1997 in the Basque region in the north of Spain. Most of the time he is not standing still with his hands in his pockets, that’s for sure. He skates hard, slams hard, and smiles and laughs through it all. But this was at the end of an action-packed week or two through the north, and then back down to Barcelona, where he has lived on and off since he was a teenager. We had just heard about Hurricane Katrina.—Mike O’Meally