Sure, skateboarding has “no rules” and is beautiful for it, but if there’s one rule most skaters take pretty seriously it’s this: you should probably have some fucking shoes on. The reason is simple, skateboarding barefoot is a lot like jumping naked down a water slide with sandpaper on it. Actually, it’s exactly that. So when every now and again a skater takes the plunge into insanity and decides to go foot-commando on his board, the least anyone could do is take notice.
1. Chris Troy, Fakie BS Big Spin to Boardslide
When Adio went under in the 2000s, they left their riders out in the cold to find a new place to go for beefy shoes with heartagrams all over them. Chris Troy was so determined to find a new home that he shed some blood “filming” a new “sponsor me” tape barefoot at The Berrics, ending it with this trick. Sucks for him though, cause he never did find that new shoe connect.
2. Jamie Thomas, BS 50-50
During his early years, Jamie Thomas was one of the most motivated and hungry young skaters in the scene. Homeless and living on the streets of California, Jamie didn’t have much to lose and was putting it all on the line, every single day. Although that era is long gone and he plays more family guy and business man now, the flame hasn’t gone out quite yet. What else would possess an adult to attempt to backside 50-50 anything, much less a decent-sized handrail, with no fucking shoes on. Clearly, the millions of ways in which it could have gone terribly wrong didn’t deter to The Chief.
3. Raven Tershy, Boneless
If Cory Kennedy could have taken challenges in last year’s King of The Road, he probably would have handled the whole book himself. But out of everyone who competed, only Raven Tershy could have pulled off such a fucked up boneless while barefoot. Raven’s no stranger to shredding shoeless, as you can easily tell by how smoothly and powerfully he pumps through transition to pop this shit off so damn high.
4. Kieran Reilly, Back Noseblunt Stall
It’s a little weird that a commercial for a signature shoe (the DC Council S in this case) would end with a barefoot trick, but we have no complaints here. Kieran comes through with a textbook backside noseblunt stall in Australia. For someone we’d never heard of until coming across this clip, we can tell this guy’s got more to show than we’re aware of stateside.
5. Tony Karr, Fly Out Fence Ride
This is how you start a part. Forget a long opening line with a 360 flip on flat, some backside grind on a ledge, and a nollie flip variation all strung together like we’ve seen countless times before. There’s a much easier way: just go barefoot and throw yourself into a chain link fence. That’ll get people’s attention, and keep it.
6. Daewon Song, Manual trick fuckery
It’s almost no surprise that the tech tricks Daewon pulls off on the daily look just as easy for him when he does them without shoes. Actually, if you think about it, when you have that much precision and board control, it probably even helps to be barefoot. While he isn’t totally naked and has a thin layer of sock to keep himself protected, the slip out factor and sheer level of his tricks lands him a spot on our list.
7. Aquil Brathwaite, Barefoot Line
This old Aquil line would be pretty standard issue if you completely ignore the fact that he flips his board and does a switch ollie better than most dudes you’ll see at your local skate park wearing the hottest tech-infused skate shoes.
8. Jamie Thomas, Gonz Gap Ollie
The Chief gets a well-deserved double mention, and honestly, could even go for a triple. The Gonz Gap is as iconic a spot as any of Skateboarding’s legendary locales and Jamie Thomas makes an ollie over the gap look as easy as an ollie over a sewer cover. When the photographer Bryce Kanights asks him if he’s willing to try it again so he can get a double angle, Jamie doesn’t hesitate for even a second before going back up to give him the shot.
9. Marsha, Fakie Shove It
Hubba Wheels'(R.I.P) ads were without a doubt responsible for countless young boys’ “first boner.” The sex-infused wheel company had a way with selling sexuality that Dov Cherney never seemed to figure out. All the while the models could probably skate better than the 11-year-old kids ogling them in the middle school bathroom.
10. Bastien Salabanzi, Switch Heelflip & Full Contest Run
Very few people would have the balls to try a flip trick barefoot, but of course out of every pro in the ranks, it would be Bastien who would do it switch…during a contest. And in classic Bastien style, the self cheering is there just like you’d expect it to be.