Jake Duncombe. Crooked grind. photo: TRINH
As the beer ads presuppose, the land down under has always done it loud, proud, and balls to the wall. Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the 10 (actually 11) most infamous skateboarders from Oz. From our September issue, on sale now.
Words by Mackenzie Eisenhour
1. DUSTIN DOLLIN
For the original demon spawn, infamy may well be an understatement. Having outlasted pretty much every other Pissdrunk at the bar, and without once slowing down on the skate front, Dustin’s rampage has been of biblical proportions since tearing into the scene back in ’97.
There’s nothin’ rawer than Dustin Dollin raw footy.
2. JAKE BROWN
Ask anyone in mainstream America what they know about skateboarding, and Jake’s ’07 X Games slam is probably a top contender, right after Tony Hawk and the ollie. As blown out as the coverage might have gotten, walking away from a 45-foot free fall is still hard as nails.
How the hell do you walk away from this?
3. JAKE DUNCOMBE
Like Dollin, Duncombe’s uncanny ability to stoke the party while steadily crushing on a skateboard borders on supernatural. Just when you think he might finally be a couple of bourbon and cokes over the line, he’ll come out to Downtown Showdown and promptly back noseblunt the Hubba.
Duncombe’s probably the only guy alive who could pull off skating to this song and make it seem normal.4. ANDREW BROPHY
Let’s go with infamous pop. The solid cement wall Brophy ollied at Commonwealth Place in Melbourne is only five inches shy of Aldrin Garcia’s recent new world record vault. Except it’s also a game-changing 20 inches wide, and won’t collapse safely like a contest prop if you miss.
Who else do you know who can tre flip over a table on flat?
5. WADE BURKITT
Every once in a while, skateboarding conjures up a cult icon, which even if their time in the spotlight is brief, their impact is almost the more mystique driven for it. Wade Burkitt’s part in Thrill of it All (’99) was the way everybody wanted to do it. That he fled the public eye right after only adds to his legend.
Wade’s part in Thrill of it All has got to be one of the raddest parts of all-time. Still waitin’ for the next one…
6. MATT MUMFORD
Another Thrill Of It All alumnus, Mumford’s infamy rests squarely in the absolute rawness of his 15-year all-terrain charge. From Smith-grinding El Toro first try to padless-in-park full pipe loops, anyone getting 10 stitches to the dome after a fastplant to fakie attempt in a Jason Voorhees mask is making this list.
Mumford’s part in TWS’ The Reason. Pretty crazy to think he was Smith-grinding 20 stair rails 12 years ago, right?
7. ANDREW CURRIE
Nothing encapsulates the savage freedom of Australia better than the infamous Hoon Run, a destination-less road trip through the wilderness comprised of camping, shredding, and ingesting copious quantities of beer. The Hoon Run’s founding father, Andrew Currie, is nearly as legendary as his crew’s creation.
Andrew Currie’s Independent part.8. SHANE CROSS
Infamy might be read in a negative light, so let us be clear–in Shane’s case, his infamous flow was positive to the power of 10. Feeling skateboarding’s raw force like a Jedi, Shane’s shining personality and tie-dye aura made an eternal mark on our pastime. RIP.
Shane’s Extremely Sorry part is bound to go down as one of the greats. RIP.
9. JASON ELLIS
Honorary Red Dragon and longtime vert regulator, Jason Ellis has gone from manhandling varial kickflip Indys to becoming an undefeated mixed martial arts fighter, hosting his own radio show (The Jason Ellis Show) on Sirius XM, and landing his own TV show (EllisMania) on Fuel. Full contact indeed.
Jason waxes on about a wild night he had, which is 100 percent wilder than any most people would encounter.
10. TAS & BEN PAPPAS
During the depths of small pants, little wheels, and slappy noseslides in a grocery store parking lot, Tas and Ben joined forces with Danny, Colin, Ellis and the rest to rekindle vert’s flickering candle and assure that Metallica and Slayer remained viable soundtrack choices for skateboarding. RIP Ben.