- By Jason Dougas Lewis
- In Action Sports
Anthony Mosley has won skateboard competitions all over the world. Now he looks to pass his skills on to younger riders from the communities that he grew up in. Photo by Jason Lewis
Article originally published by the Los Angeles Sentinel. www.lasentinel.net
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor (2010-2013)
The Hollywood scene is nothing new for professional skateboarder Anthony Mosley. He was given his first skateboard by the late and legendary comedian Robin Harris, who created his Bebe’s Kids bit while dating Mosely’s mother.
Mosely now rubs elbows with the likes of Andre 3000, Will I Am, Megan Good, Akon, Lil’ Jon, Diddy, and many other stars by his own accomplishments.
Skating has taken Mosely around the world, but inner city Los Angeles is where he is from, and it is where he is passing on his skateboarding skills to kids who look up to him.
Mosely can relate to a lot of the issues that inner city children have to deal with. He lost his father to the drug game when he was only two-years-old and his mother was incarcerated on drug charges when he was only 12-years-old.
Mosely ended up living with his grandmother, who felt that he might go down a similar path as his parents if he stayed in Los Angeles. He attended Mt. Vernon Middle School, and then Crenshaw High School, but he was sent out to live in Phillips Ranch, which is in Pomona.
“For me not to go that route, I think that’s why my grandmother moved me to the outskirts of LA,” Mosely said. “So I could have a second chance. Having my grandmother move me out there I was able to step out that box.”
Life was different for Mosely out in “no man’s land” as he called it. But out there he had a life changing moment.
Mosely traded his pager with his jujitsu instructor for a skateboard, which was the first step to him becoming one of the greatest skateboarders today.
Mosely mostly road around his neighborhood with the skateboard that Harris gave him years before. But practicing up to eight hours a day with the new skateboard helped him develop extremely quickly. He would practice before school, at lunchtime, and after school, and it did not take long before he decided to enter his first contest.
Without having much money, Mosely convinced his grandmother to send him out to Tampa, Florida, for the Tampa Am event, which had 250 amateur competitors, many of them well known.
Mosely had his big chance, and he made the most of it, coming out of nowhere to take 2nd place. With the prize money he purchased his grandmother a car.
Being a student of the game led to Mosely’s early success.
“Watching videos everyday,” Mosely said about his study habits. “Slow motioning them, pausing them. Just looking at some of my favorite skaters and watching them. Seeing how they kick the board, flip the board, where their placement was, how their arms moved. Were they jumping into the wind, against the wind? I just figured out the geometry of how it works.”
Mosely hit the competition circuit and came up a winner numerous times, including the Slam City Jam in Vancouver, Canada, where he won Best Trick in his first time competing in the event.
Skateboarding has allowed Mosely to see the world. He said that his favorite places to visit are Melbourne and Sidney, Australia; Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France; and Panama.
“There are some really good skate spots on the outskirts of Panama,” Mosely said. “You’d never expect it being that it is a third world country. It’s amazing, and the people are really nice.”
Mosely’s travels have shaped him into a person that can interact on a positive level with just about anybody, which is helpful because skateboarding has become as much as a business as it is an extreme sport.
Not long after turning pro, Mosely and a business partner created Black Sheep skating shoes and clothing. After selling the company, he and his partner turned a good profit, which has allowed him to focus more on community service.
Mosely is giving back by hosting “Be Cool” skating clinics, where he teaches young skaters to focus on the ethics and sportsmanship of skateboarding.
“Showing kids how to be cool, and different aspects of being cool,” Mosely said.
The clinics will tour around the greater Los Angeles area, and he is looking to start in the inner city.
“Anthony is an interesting skater that is in the community of youth culture and art,” said Adrian Miller, CEO and President of Xyion Inc, and Mosely’s business manager. “He is a figure and icon to a lot of kids who look up and coming in the world of skate.”
Local skate parks, such as the new park at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, are filled with young black skaters. Mosely believes that blacks have a great opportunity in skating today.
“Nowadays it is easier for kids of different nationalities to become a pro skater,” Mosely said. “There are so many doors open now. Back then it wasn’t. You had Kareem Campbell, Stevie Williams, Ron Chapman (black skateboarders.) There were only like 10 who were in the spotlight that I can think of off the top of my head. Now there are 100.”
Mosely has taken a short break from competitions, but look for him in the coming year, when he will compete in Rob Dyrdeks’s Street League and he looks forward to the 2012 X Games. He has competed in the X Games in the past, which he said was pretty cool.