In all my wasted years skateboarding on this planet, one truth has remained the same ever since the day I first stepped foot on a board: skateboarding is fucking hard. Just wrapping your mind around doing an ollie, let alone a kickflip, there were days when I wanted nothing to do with skateboarding. Now skateboarding in the rain? Forget it. Beyond ruining your gear you’re really just asking to get hurt. So I give you the top ten tricks ever done in the rain, a tribute to the true professionals who not only skate in the rain, but come up on some of the gnarliest tricks done on film, regardless of weather. Hope you enjoy.
1. Pat Duffy, Questionable (1992)
Pat Duffy’s part in Plan B’s first video, Questionable, left most of skateboarding confused and scared. Huge handrails, giant stair sets, all while going as fast as those tiny wheels would allow. Beyond the triple kink and the back 180 down that big double set there is a clip in here that is honestly downright bizarre. Backside lipslide down a 10 stair handrail in the pouring rain. Like what could have been going through his mind? California weather is so good, he could have just waited the next day when I’m sure it would have been sunny. But ol’ Pat don’t care. Whatever year it might be, the Terminator takes care of business.
2. Ronnie Creager, Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song Round 1 (1997)
Boy, do I miss these videos. Not only did I think it was an actual competition and believed that it was an overwhelming victory for Rodney Mullen (dude, he beat skateboarding) but I absolutely loved all the commercials that played between parts. Take for example the little Blind promo featuring some heavy hitters from the 1997 squad such as Gideon Choi, Lavar McBride, and Robbie Mckinley (crazy right?) amongst others. But the star of the promo is without a doubt Blind’s poster boy Ronnie Creager. After a clean backside flip down a hefty double set, he follows it up with a switch hardflip down the same set in hurricane like conditions. Crazy to think that a switch hardflip is your go-to move when it’s raining and you’re skating a stairset (begging the question as to why you’re skating a stairset in the rain in the first place). But as if that wasn’t awesome enough, every clip after the switch hardflip is captured while it’s raining. Rain or shine, Creager just wants to skateboard…absolute legend.
3. Marc Johnson, Fully Flared (2007)
There’s so little that can be said about this clip because I feel like between Ty and MJ, they captured the magic of what happened that day perfectly. Rain starts coming down hard, MJ shrugs, and just keeps going for it. Despite how hard it’s raining (I think cats and dogs is appropriate here) MJ frontside lipslides up only to noseblunt down a janky a-frame picnic table setup. Could not have been more perfect. Tricks like this remind me that these guys are real professionals and not just grown men playing with kid’s toys. Well they are, but you know what I mean.
4. Pat Burke, Radio Television (2009)
Pat Burke may be in the running for the most reckless skateboarder of all time. Watching his footage is like watching NASCAR: you’re literally just waiting for him to die. But clip after clip, he pulls through. He doesn’t strike me as a “do it again” type of guy either, once he puts four down he keeps it moving. Very few skateboarders of today would allow some of the footage he puts out. They’d rather re-film it over and over again until they land it with the most mundane, robotic style one can imagine. Pat Burke could care less. While having already landed one of the most insane kickflips ever in the middle of his part, Pat’s second to last trick is also a doozie. Kickflip down a wild rollercoaster to slip out due to pissing rain. Easily ender worthy without the rain, but somewhere in Pat’s deranged mind he decided to give it a shot regardless. Definitely one of the best dudes skating right now.
5. Mike Carroll, Harsh Euro Barge (2002)
While on their infamous tour through Europe, the Girl team destroyed street spots and parks all across the continent. While touring through Prague (easily one of my favorite sections of the video) the dudes find that a Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ concert and some bad weather have ruined the demo that was scheduled for that evening. With no one seeming to care and the rain falling, all things are pointing to packing up and hitting the bar for the night. But as Sam Smyth says, “We’re like OK, is anyone expecting to see skating? And Carroll starts ANNIHILATING the rail in the rain! The Bosstones fans just starting flipping out, they were up there with their shirts off just dancing around…they were so amped. Those two guys…they got their money’s worth.” I think it goes without saying that anyone that paid for this video got their money’s worth. Carroll in classic form.
6. Tommy Sandoval, KOTR
Thrasher’s King of the Road always brings out the wildness in our already wild world of skateboarding. One of the oldest of these challenges is the skate a rail in the rain challenge, which for some is as simple as doing a caveman boardslide down a four stair handrail in a light sprinkle. For Tommy Sandoval, a.k.a. Tommy Gunz, a.k.a. “I actually tattooed ‘Die Trying’ on my fucking chest” skating a rail in the rain isn’t really all that hard given that he’s battled some of the biggest shit known to mankind. Tommy’s clip here is an all too casual backside tailslide to fakie while mother nature pisses down on top of him. When you commit a lifetime to “Die Trying” across your chest, shit like this really isn’t that big of a deal.
7. Colt Cannon, KOTR
Colt fucking Cannon. Besides having one of the coolest names in skateboarding, Coltybears was just the coolest dude in skateboarding. Growing up I used to worship this dude. He just seemed like he was having the best time on his skateboard despite hucking his carcass down fucked up shit all day. And of course, there’s the khaki pants. Literally the king of khaki pants, he’d put some of the most elite frat houses to shame. But fuck all of that. Colt did gap to boardslide on the Koston rail…in the rain. Thrasher said “skate a rail in the rain” and you chose that one Colt? You could have just skated a little three stair but the King of Khaki don’t play that shit. He chose the Koston gap to rail wearing shorts.
8. Paul Rodriguez, In Bloom (2002)
Before Street League, Nike paychecks, and being sponsored by Target, P-Rod was just a child phenom with amazing style and an affinity for wearing éS Accels. Child stars have long been apart of skateboarding but Paul was skating on another level, grown man style and trick selection, just stuck in the body of a young kid. His final two tricks are clear cut examples of the greatness that still to come years down the road. Switch kickflip, followed by a perfect switch heel down a huge set right into a rainy parking lot. I am also fully aware that the awning was covering some of his trick but landing from that far up in the pouring rain is probably the most difficult part of the whole “trick-in-the-rain-equation.” I think Atiba’s reaction sums up exactly how gnarly that clip was.
9. Eric Winkowski, SD to NY Summer Part (2013)
I don’t have any idea where the Welcome kids came from but it didn’t take me very long to adjust to their presence in skateboarding. From the creative and strange, to next level gnarly, these dudes cover every aspect of skateboarding and kill it. Eric Winkowski took a trip from San Diego to New York City and decided to film it all on his iPhone. Sounds like a plan Eric, just one question “What the fuck were you thinking dude??” The ridiculously long and unbelievably dangerous Sunset Park rail in Brooklyn, only done in it’s entirety by Fritz Mead (50-50 not in the rain), was given special treatment by Eric one rainy day when he decided to boardslide the whole fucking thing. It’s more of an attempt at getting seriously injured than actually trying to land the trick. Did I mention this was just for an iPhone edit?
10. Matt Schlager, 13 flat 13 (2007)
Matt Schlager is a goddamn legend whether you like it or not. It’s a fact that Schlager didn’t land this ollie…he didn’t even get close. Despite this, Schlager’s attempt at the ungodly large 13 flat 13 in the pouring rain during his lunch period at school is arguably the most legendary skateboard trick attempted in the rain. Though there is a strong argument to be made that this could be the most legendary skateboard trick attempted, ever. Look at the people this dude is on the list with: MJ, Pat Duffy, P-Rod, etc. I am more than aware that the oversized man child wearing a bandana is not as qualified as some of the other folk on this top ten, but his fateful attempt at ollieing that double set is apart of the echelon of skateboarding tricks done in the rain.