Photo by Corn
It is a known fact that Canadians excel over Americans in many facets of living, yet never get the credit. Skateboarding is no exception, as many talents have fallen by the wayside of American attention spans in favor of inferior homegrown products.
During our DGK company retreat, we had a chance to speak with one of the few Canadians who broke through the glass ceiling and into the hearts of American ledge enthusiasts everywhere. We’re talking about none other than the legendary Wade D., the only Canadian to make the c. 2012 phat stylez master list. It should come as no surprise that he’s a fan of both the [Italian] American Gino and the Canadian Gino.
Ronnie Creager — World Industries: Trilogy (1996)
Trilogy was massive for me. I think at the time, I even talked to my mom about perming my hair and giving it a blonde tint because of it. That never happened though. That wavy surfer cut was a big thing in that era of Accels and TSA cargoes.
I can’t manual, so watching the sort of mannys Creager was doing was unreal for me. He’s also one of the first people that had me confused about which way he skated because he pushed switch so well. I feel like maybe that’s kinda how he wanted it to be, but I can’t speak for him. It definitely had me twisted the first few times I saw the part.
Tom Penny — TSA: Life in the Fast Lane (1997)
I’m pretty sure my first video was 411 #18. It was a good one: it had the Lavar McBride “Wheels of Fortune,” J.B. Gillett, and all that. Once After, the dude who got me into skating started showing me all these other videos. He showed me  Europe 1995, and since then, I’ve been in a Tom Penny trance. Watching him skate the mini ramp wearing some crazy windbreaker in Europe 1995 was a big moment for me.
I think Life in the Fast Lane was one of his first parts that people in America were able to see. The style was amazing; cruising with a low beanie and matching the O.G. Accels to his shirt. Shouldn’t have the even explain that era of Penny to anyone — you know.
Gino Iannucci — Chocolate: The Chocolate Tour (1999)
The first line in this part is iconic. I don’t even know how to describe the fade with the song starting, and the way he lifts his tail to go around the corner. It has always been about style for me: the way someone pushed and how easy they made it look. Gino is the staple figure of that. It’s any Gino part, but Chocolate Tour and Trilogy really stand out for me.
Rodrigo TX — The Firm: Can’t Stop (2003)
It feels like he’s one of the first Brazilians to break through in the caliber that he did. When these two parts came out, I didn’t know one person who didn’t have that first track [“Ja Sei Namorar“] on their iPod. That part was the first time my eyes really got opened to the whole world as a skate spot. He was skating MACBA, Para-lel, spots in France and Brazil.
He’s done tricks in those two parts that haven’t been caught up to today. It was also different how he had two parts, rather than just one part with two songs. It caught a lot of people by surprise when it came out.
Travis Stenger — Green Apple: Modern Love (2005)
He has always been a low-key dude. I don’t wanna say he didn’t like the industry — but he didn’t care, he just wanted to skate. I’ve skated with a lot of people in my time, and he’s the most talented, naturally gifted skater I have ever encountered. He could do anything he wanted at any given time. He’s a mix of the biggest pop you’ve ever seen with a Rob Welsh style. This part is all him going out skating with the boys, not him trying to go and film a part. He shut the video down with it.
A lot of people don’t know this, but at the premiere, he skated to “The Mystery of Chessboxing” — it wasn’t just for the intro — and I really wish he kept that track. By the time the DVD came out, it was the Ice Cube song.
He doesn’t skate much anymore. He works for his dad’s business nowadays. The last time I saw him in Vancouver, he showed up in Air Maxes and was doing nollie flips on a cruiser board waist high, every try.
Stenger is my number one, the rest is no specific order.
Previously: Chris Milic, Chad Muska, Hjalte Halberg, Danny Brady, Bill Strobeck, Aaron Herrington, Jerry Hsu, Brad Cromer, Brandon Westgate, Jim Greco, Jake Johnson, Scott Johnston, Josh Stewart, Eric Koston, Karl Watson, Josh Friedberg, John Cardiel, Pontus Alv, Alex Olson, Jahmal Williams