After twenty years as a professional skateboarder, Steve Caballero has yet to show signs of slowing down. His accomplishments include prospering through three eras of skateboarding, inventing the Caballaerial, winning numerous pro contests, inspiring generations of skateboarders, signing hundreds of thousands of autographs, having his name on a successful pro-model shoe for over a decade, and keeping the faith when others lost it.
What was your favorite year in skateboarding?
I don’t really have a favorite year; all my years in skateboarding have been fun.
Was there an era you liked more?
Not really. I enjoy skateboarding today as much as I did yesterday, so I can’t really pick and choose.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration?
Probably Stacy Peralta, as a father figure he basically brought me up from when I was fourteen ’til he left Powell-Peralta in the 90s. He showed me the ropes, as far as promoting yourself as a professional skateboarder, getting coverage, and progressing. I really liked his whole personal attitude.
What was the stupidest trend you’ve ever seen skateboarding go through?
Really big, fat, wide bell-bottom pants. Big, cut-off pants. That was probably the worst, and it looked the ugliest.
What do you consider your biggest contribution to skateboarding?
I would say my positive attitude toward the sport. Basically making skateboarding look fun … even when it’s not.
Describe how you see the current state of skateboarding.
Growing and becoming more and more accepted through the mainstream. I see big, corporate companies coming in and spending a lot of money on us.
Is that something you consider good for skateboarding?
I think it’s really good for skateboarding and for professional skateboarders. I can see a little fear in business owners within the skate industry, fear of losing their skaters and their clientele. But as far as professional skateboarders go, it promotes the sport, and it gives skateboarders the chance to make some decent money to live off of.
Do you have any predictions for skateboarding’s future?
I have no predictions other than it’s going to get gnarlier.
How will it get gnarlier?
The progression of tricks–just trying to outdo yourself. Everyone is going to progress, kids are always looking for new things to skate, and it’ll get more creative. It will just get a lot gnarlier as far as the progression. That’s the only thing I’ve seen happen consistently from the past–the progression.