Skateboarding culture has always gone hand in hand with music, whether it’s punk, metal, hip-hop or any other genre. Some of the most famous skateboarders around have also expanded their creative pursuits beyond the extreme sport, though, and broke into the music world. Trading in kickflips for shredding guitars doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch for these pros.
Take a look below for 10 of the best skateboarders who created music.
Mike Vallely is one of the most active skateboarders in the music scene through his own bands as well as joining hardcore legends Black Flag. He formed Mike V And The Rats as well as Revolution Mother and has consistently pursued punk and metal throughout his career while developing his skate brands, acting in films such as The Hangover and more.
Mario Rubalcaba was once a member of the famous Team Alva skate crew, but since setting his deck down, he’s been pounding away at the drums for a variety of different bands. He’s played in acts such as Rocket From The Crypt, Hot Snakes and Earthless, but most notably, Rubalcaba tears it up with Keith Morris’ supergroup OFF!.
Tony Alva is one of the forefathers of skateboarding, joining the Z-Boys skate crew in the ’70s, which helped popularize the sport. On top of being one of the most influential skateboarders of all time, Alva tears it up on the bass and has played with bands including the Skoundrelz and G.F.P., aka General Fucking Principle, with members of Suicidal Tendencies and Circle Jerks.
Steve Caballero is easily one of the most important figures in the sport and was named Skater of the Century by Thrasher in 1999, but his musical career has seen him perform with bands since the ’80s. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase “Skate And Destroy” came from, Caballero was in a band called the Faction, who coined the term, with the song being featured across Powell-Peralta’s Bones Brigade Video Show. The rest is history.
As one of the first Black professional skateboarders, Ray Barbee has made history, but beyond his stylish skate style, he’s also made waves as a musician. His success as a solo artist working on instrumental jazz-influenced tracks shows off just how many talents Barbee possesses, eventually leading to the BLKTOP Project with fellow skaters Tommy Guerrero and Matt Rodriguez, among others.
While his skating career was brought to an abrupt end over a broken leg at the age of 19, Matt Costa found success in the music world afterward, thanks to No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont. Costa has gone on to make a career of folk-tinged indie as a solo artist, proving to be a multitalented figure within the sport.
Bam Margera’s persona reaches far beyond the world of skateboarding with his various TV shows and starring role in the Jackass franchise. His obvious connections to CKY eventually led to forming Fuckface Unstoppable with his brother Jess for a metal-leaning punk sound perfectly suited to Margera’s entire personality.
If you know pool skating and love seeing skaters bust out an Acid Drop, you owe a lot to Duane Peters for inventing the trick. Beyond being prominent in the skateboarding world, he’s active in the punk scene, too. Peters fronts U.S. Bombs, and his raspy vocals have also been featured in his other bands, including Exploding Fuckdolls, Die Hunns and more.
While most people know Matt Hensley as a member of Flogging Molly, he’s one of the most influential skaters from the beginning stages of the sport. Since hanging up his board, he’s been running a bar and rocking the accordion with the Irish punk band through countless tours and albums.
Aside from being a part of Powell-Peralta’s Bones Brigade, Tommy Guerrero has pursued a career in music spanning hip-hop, rock, punk, jazz and more. On top of playing with skate-punk act Free Beer and instrumental group Jet Black Crayon, some of his unreleased music was prominently featured in the game Skate, and he had a song in Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland.
Honorable mention: Rob Dyrdek
Sure, Rob Dyrdek may never have taken music seriously, but if you ever watched Rob & Big or Fantasy Factory, you should remember his hip-hop persona Bobby Light. “Lights Out” was a ridiculous track but captured the hilarious energy of Fantasy Factory perfectly and is still funny as hell to revisit.