40 facts about the Thai American street skateboarder

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Eric Koston is one of the most successful competitive skaters in X Games history.

With an infectious smile and infectious positivity, Koston is one who you can count on to make skateboarding fun and exciting.

But let’s not forget that he is also one of the pioneers of modern street skating, with a relentless obsession for progression.

Eric’s effortless style and skill helped increase the sport’s popularity and drama in the mid-90s.

Here’s everything you need to know about the legendary Asian-American skateboarder.

1. Eric Koston was born April 29, 1975 in Bangkok, Thailand, to a Thai mother (Wanida Koston) and US Air Force father (Bob Koston);

2. He has a brother named Chris and a sister named Eileen;

3. Koston moved to California with his parents when he was only nine months old. After the couple’s divorce, Eric moved to San Bernardino;

4. He started skateboarding in 1986 – at age 11 – after his brother gave him an old Mark Gonzales skateboard with mismatched trucks. Koston immediately started using it in the aisle;

5. At skate camp, Koston met Eddie Elguera. “El Gato” mentored Eric until the youngster dropped out of high school in Grade 10 to become a full-time professional skateboarder;

6. Eric Koston quotes Marc Gonzales as one of its most inspiring and influential skaters;

7. He has several nicknames, including Froston, Frosty, Mr. Control, Arko, EK and K-Grind;

8. Koston moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to join Natas Kaupas on the 101 Skateboards team and develop his switch stance potential;

9. Eric’s first sponsorship deal came in 1992 via H-Street Skateboards;

10. A year later, the Thai-American skateboarder joined Girl Skateboards and co-founded Fourstar, a clothing and apparel company, with Guy Mariano;

Eric Koston: the modern street skater since 1986 |  Photo: Nike SB

11. Koston invented several skate tricks. While he wasn’t the first to pull it off, Eric’s signature maneuver is the K-grind, which is essentially a twisted grind;

12. One of his favorite movements is the fandangle;

13. Eric Koston is one of the brains behind the SKATE invitational event, a skating competition also known as the “éS Game of Skate” where riders try to pull off each other’s tricks until all players except one are eliminated.The rules of the challenge were inspired by the game of HORSE played by basketball players;

14. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the skater rode for éS, Lakai, Nike SB, Skullcandy, Jessup, Oakley, The Berrics, Supreme, Diamond, Fourstar, Spitfire Wheels, Independent Truck Company and Skate Mental;

15. When Koston left Lakai, the company released a video parodying the 2008 George W. Bush shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad, Iraq;

16. The Thai American was named Skater of the Year (SOTY) in 1996;

17. Eric Koston was on the cover of Thrasher Magazine in December 1993, March 1997 and December 2000;

18. The clumsy-footed sidewalk rider released his first signature shoe in 1997. The Es Koston features an exposed polyurethane cushioned midsole and heel air cushioning system. The iconic skate shoe model was reissued by éS on several occasions and later recreated by Lakai and Nike;

19. He was one of the stars of “Menikmati”, a 2000 film directed by Fred Mortagne;

20. In May 2003, Koston was booed for wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey at the 2003 X Games World Championship in San Antonio, Texas;

Eric Koston: on the cover of Thrasher Magazine, December 2000 |  Cover: Thrasher

21. On August 6, 2003, the skater threw the first pitch in a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game;

22. In 2007, Koston and Steve Berra built one of the world’s most famous skate places in Los Angeles. “The Berrics” featured painted steps, rails and flat banks surrounded by scenographic simulations of shops and billboards. The facility is private and open only to customers. The skate plaza is home to the “The Battle of the Berrics” skate competition and several filming sessions and online projects. The structure’s Instagram account has three million followers;

23. The name “The Berrics” is a portmanteau word comprising the “Ber” of Steve’s last name and the “ric” of Koston’s first name;

24. “Froston” is passionate about golf. In 2013, Nike launched Koston 2 IT, a limited edition shoe for the t-shirt;

25. On February 20, 2015, Koston became the first skateboarder to appear in a McDonald’s commercial;

26. In 2016, Koston teamed up again with Guy Mariano and founded the skateboard company Number Edition;

27. Eric is co-owner of Saint Archer, a San Diego-based microbrewery founded by former Championship Tour surfer Josh Kerr and professional skaters Paul Rodriguez and Mikey Taylor;

28. “The Berrics” named April 29 “National Do a Kickflip Day” in honor of Eric Koston’s birthday;

29. Brandon Biebel once described Eric Koston as the “Delonte West of Skateboarding”;

30. Eric Koston is 6’0 “(1.83 meters) tall and weighs approximately 160 pounds (73 kilograms);

Eric Koston: the co-founder of skate plaza The Berrics |  Photo: Les Berrics

31. Eric Koston has an estimated net worth of $ 15 million;

32. There have been many rumors about Koston’s connection to Scientology. However, the skater has never confirmed or denied his involvement in the religious movement;

33. Koston suffered a few minor injuries throughout his career, including stitches and tendonitis in the knee, dislocated fingers and ankle sprains;

34. Eric had a scar on the left side of his forehead;

35. His favorite era of skateboarding is the early to mid-90s;

36. The pro skateboarder thinks the dumbest trend in skateboarding dates back to 1992, when riders all loved late shove-its and late flip;

37. From 1992 to 2016, Koston appeared in over 60 high-profile videos, TV shows and feature films;

38. The Skater has his own playable character in seven Tony Hawk video game series (2000-2020) and three “Skate” titles (2008-2010);

39. In 2012, he married Ashlee Gaston-Koston. They have three children;

40. Eric Koston is on Facebook (@officialerickoston), Instagram (@erickoston), Twitter (@erickoston) and YouTube (@theberrics);

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