Labelling a child prodigy comes with a huge responsibility. Applauding a fledging youth as a mini genius or miniature guru seems to cripple the majority that receive the accolade. In no realm are there more disappearing child prodigies than skateboarding. Whether it is knee failure, the general apathy that comes with being a natural, the girls, the party or a combination of all of them; it seems a small percentage actually make it into full-sized pros. And that’s fine, it is not for everybody. Let’s have a gander at are some of the pre-pubescent ams who shrunk away from the limelight.
Evan came up in the same era as P-Rod and despite having a full part in Transworld’s In Bloom (2002) you can be rest assured these days he isn’t a regular attendee of the 9 Club. What is he up to these days? Probably still skating and throwing dollar bills in the air like he is a celebrity rapper!
Dustin Dollin gets away with being Devil Spawn because he rips. The same can’t be said for Knox Godoy. I can’t imagine anything worse than being in the van with this shrieking menace. Obviously The Boss saw potential in him because he was picked for Baker, but we never saw too much of him after this cringe-worthy Baker 2G part (2000).
You might remember seeing the most ridiculous sequence of Joey kickflipping a 17 stair in an ancient Birdhouse ad. He also appeared in the extras of Birdhouse’s DVD release of The End (OG VHS 1998, DVD 2002). Pretty sure Joey got taken out by a combo of knee injury and drugs. Sadly he passed away earlier this year.
Owner of one of the best names to ever grace skateboarding, Justin Case came up in a batch of pedigree prodigies that we have never seen the likes of. Inland Empire’s P-Rod, Mikey Taylor and Van Wastell were all well blessed on a plank. Paul, Mikey and Justin were all handpicked by the king of style and power Kareem Campbell. After a full part in City Stars’ Street Cinema (2001) Justin received a felony for possession of a prohibited substance, did some time and sadly never really bounced back.
Before he faded into obscurity via a bunch of Markovich’s companies Richie Belton (backed by a wailing Axel Rose) showed real promise in Adio’s One Step Beyond (2001). Sure his peak moments involved leaping down a bunch of So Cal behemoths in space shoes, but that was exactly what was hot in that era.
Billy showed mad potential in World Industries’ first video instalment: Rubbish Heap (1989). He appeared alongside a very young Chris Pastras and a tattoo free Vallely. After this he promptly disappeared. These days he is probably more remembered for being down and out in New York City and for his quote about reggae music.
Chris might well be the worst skater to ever turn pro. Like Billy his peak part was also in Rubbish Heap (1989). Even with countless child points he still sucked. Would you believe this was his pinnacle part? Steve Rocco turned him pro soon after. Why? Just to show to everyone that he was the boss I reckon; Steve was well on his way to being able to do whatever the fuck he wanted.
Jesse was hand picked by one of the most skilled talent scouts of all time: Stacey Peralta. He appeared alongside Dom Kekich in the Vert Protégé section of Ban This (1989) and then too disappeared. For those who are wondering, Dom is still ripping all terrain to this very day in Australia.
After his video debut where he was seen ripping alongside a mini Jason Dill, you would figure that Anthony Ogelsby would go onto really big things. Well he didn’t. His dual part with Dill in Tracker’s Brotherhood (1991) was his peak I reckon. The good folks at Muckmouth caught up with him recently and he sounds like a total champ.
Eric popped up in the Flip Am Section from 411 #30 (1998). His cohorts were the already well-established Alex Moul and a fresh-faced Ali Boulala. Not only was he picked for Flip when they were the bees knees, he was the first ever American to be added to the team. Not sure where old mate ended up but he sure didn’t have the impact of your average Flip Prodigy.