It ain't quite WWE, but there's still a fair few skaters with bangin' signature moves. Join us as we take a look at some of the best signature skate tricks from over the years.
Ok, so I think we need a little bit of clarification on what, for the purposes of this Top 5, we're defining as a signature trick. Obviously 'signature tricks' can be understood as a trick the skater is best at, or most known for, like Reynolds' frontside flip or Dylan Rieder's impossible, but for this I'm on about 'signature tricks' that are slightly more unique to the individual person, and aren't tricks that you see every day. Because although the frontside flip is without a doubt Reynolds' signature trick, the same could be said for Tom Penny and numerous others.
What I'm on about is closer to a signature move in WWE: a unique move that is strongly associated with one individual and rarely performed by others, a move that embodies, to some extent, the individual's identity, and most importantly, something that makes the crowd go fuckin' wild when they see it. I'm talking about that one trick that requires a fully charged special bar, and that everyone came to the demo to see. But with that out the way, we'll get stuck in shall we?
Christian Hosoi - Christ Air
A trick which emulates the crucifixion of Christ, invented by a guy named Christian, who is now a born-again Christian. Yeah, this one's pretty 'signature'. The religious symbolism of both the trick and the name reinforce the almost biblical nature of the trick, and while there are a few others who have been known to do a Christ Air, it'd be hard to deny that this trick truly embodies the larger-than-life style of Hosoi. It's like the skateboarding equivalent of the Swanton Bomb.
Jerry Hsu - Storm Flip
Possibly one of the most ludicrously (or disgustingly) technically difficult tricks you could possibly do, the Storm Flip (AKA a nollie backside flip late flip) is a completely unnecessary trick that only someone on Jerry's level could ever make work. This is probably the best example of a signature move because hardly anyone else ever does this trick, because hardly anyone else could ever do this trick. Kinda like Rey Mysterio and the 619; you have to built different. This trick is a certified demo roof-raiser; it's so ridiculous that even Jerry's former teammate Braydon Szafranski fans out over it. But what's most insane about it is Jerry actually did one on flat in a line in Osiris' 'The Storm' (1:37), which is where the name comes from.
Kareem Campbell - Ghetto Bird
A legendary trick from a legendary skater. You don't see this one too often and you definitely don't see anyone doing it as good as Kareem. It's not so much that nobody else does this trick (as it's become somewhat of a meme thanks to overenthusiastic skatepark kids) it's more that nobody does it right (or at least not the same way as Kareem). As I'm sure most of you are aware, the ghetto bird was originally a nollie hardflip back 180, not a regular hardflip back 180 as the term is typically used to refer to today. Although, Kareem has said himself that any variation is still a ghetto bird so I guess it doesn't really matter.
To complicate it further, while Kareem is widely credited for inventing the trick, Rick Howard actually did one over a hip in his 'Virtual Reality' part (2:46) all the way back in 1993. I'm probably not presenting the best case for this being Kareem Campbell's signature trick, but either way, it's a pretty iconic trick and it was his signature trick on Tony Hawk Pro Skater so you can't really argue with that. He's even named his own podcast after it.
Stevie Williams - The Haymaker
While he didn't invent the trick, Stevie Williams took the switch pop shuv revert to new heights (metaphorically and physically), successfully rebranding the trick as his signature 'Haymaker'. Although this trick has seen a bit of a resurgence in popularity recently - partly thanks to Tiago - it's safe to say that Stevie's the one who made it what it is today. Even considering Stevie's extensive repertoire of iconic tricks, the Haymaker's definitely one of the most memorable. He also tried to make the 'Sabu Flip' (nollie bigspin inward heelflip) a thing but thankfully it never caught on.
Alexis Lacroix - Ski Stance
Ok, this is a bit of a weird one considering you could argue that it's not really a trick, but oh well. Alexis is a true pioneer of the ski stance and he's been consistently pushing the boundaries of what shouldn't be possible on a skateboard for years. The fact that he can bomb hills, powerslide, slappy, wallie, and pretty much do anything he wants while standing in a stance that few others can even roll more than five meters in is truly impressive. It's safe to say he's the best at what he does. Couple this with his signature catchphrase, 'OHHHHH YEEEAAHHHHH', and you've got one iconic stunt. Take notes kids, this is how you do it.