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Mark Gonzales

AKA: Gonz

American Professional Skateboarder: Known as a pioneer of street skating

Born: 1 June 1968
Location: San Francisco CA
Company: Blind Skateboards

About Mark Gonzales

Gonzales came onto the scene at 15, bringing with him a modern approach to skateboarding. In November 1984, he made the cover of Thrasher Magazine riding a board of his first sponsor Alva but he didn’t ride for the company for very long before switching to Vision skateboards.

The historically known “Gonz Gap” was named this after Gonzales performed a revolutionary ollie at the Embarcadero in San Francisco 1986. Gonzales was actually duped into this challenge. Photographer Mofo told him a kid had already ollied it and he would have to photograph him instead. With this new motivation, Gonzales nailed it on the third try. He was also the first skater to kickflip his namesake the “Gonz Gap” in 1993.

He and Natas Kaupas were also the first skaters to skate hand rails in 1986. Gonzales was one of the first to intentionally skate switch stance back in 1987. When asked what inspired him to skate the opposite way, he nonchalantly claims he had no actual concept of skating either way, but just what felt comfortable at the time.

Gonzales continued to influence skateboarding as it modernized with his part in the 1991 skateboarding video “Video Days” released by Blind Skateboards, a company her created around 1989. He was the first skater to do the Wallenberg Set 4 block. Blind Skateboards was a intentional reference to his old sponsor, Vision. Today he is sponsored by Krooked Skateboarding, a company he now runs.

Gonazales has a parallel career as an artist. He recently had an exhibition which featured collaborated works with Christian Hosoi at The Journal gallery in Yew York.

He has appeared in Harmony Korine’s cult film Gummo where he wrestles a chair. He was also the male lead in Spike Jonze’s 1997 short film How They Get There.

In 2007 has published a skateboarding video called “Gnar Gnar” that was shot on an old VHS camcorder and was limited to only 1000 copies on VHS.

Gonzales featured most recently in “West Coast:” the music video by Jason Schwartzman’s band, Coconut Records. Originally a skate video sequence filmed in 1998 at a German museum, was edited and synced for this music video with his permission. He recently directed and features in Coconut Records’ new video “Any fun” alongside skateboarder Alex Olson and actress Chloe Sevigny.

He is also a poet and an author of publications.

Publications

Social Problems

High Tech Poetry

Broken Dreams

Broken Poems

Gonzales also appears in the skate game EA Skate and filmed a commercial to promote the release of the game.

Awards

Legenday Award by Transworld Skateboarding 2006.