The Most Underrated Skater in the Game

“…but everybody wanna use my slang do my tricks…”

Transworld put their “30 Most Influential Skaters” cover story online this week, and it reaffirmed that Peter Smolik is essentially skateboarding’s E-40 in terms of unheralded influence. Whether or not he is self-aware as 40, or cares enough, is besides the point, but you can re-apply nearly everything said in this song to Smolik’s legacy. The only tough part would be figuring out who skateboarding’s equivalent of Mystikal is for the “They left us out the top 40, me and Mystikal” part.

Smolik was ten years ahead of the game with everything that has happened in skating since Fully Flared came out. Though his influence had to trickle down and be filtered through horrors like Tactical Manual, Manual Labor, and a bunch of parts in Logic issues from dudes doing nollie front tail 270s who you never heard from again, it came full circle to inspire probably everyone in the new Sk8Mafia video.

It’s possible that the editors at Transworld never forgave Smolik for inventing an anti-sag pant and shoe combo in the late-90s. It’s also possible that they have a loose understanding of what the word “influence” means, because we all know Smolik’s influence is in every kid that has done a slide-shove-it-slide combo (there are five in every video circa 2011), or decided to learn back tail big flips before kickflip back tails. Not sure who in the 30 you’d take off, but his “influence” is definitely more widespread than at least one person on there. (There’s obviously a small overlap between Daewon, who is on there, and Smolik, but Daewon is his own genre of skateboarding.)

Play them classics!

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