2017 – Russ Howell

2017 Inductees

Born September 1, 1949 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Russ Howell rose to become one of if not the top ‘70s freestyle champion in addition to becoming arguably skateboarding’s most recognizable ambassador during the course of that decade.

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Appearing far and wide in films, magazines, books and TV shows as well as touring the world to preach his love for the emerging pastime—Howell was known for his clean-cut good looks, radiant positivity, and unparalleled professionalism. He ultimately became a two-time World Champion and a double Guinness World Record holder (most 360s [163] and longest handstand [2 minutes]).

Raised in Long Beach, CA Russ got his first skateboard in 1958 before seeing Skaterdater during the mid-60s. An avid surfer who served a stint in the Air Force at 19, Howell was teaching at a community center during the mid ‘70s before his own students urged him to compete in the 1975 Del Mar Nationals. After winning that contest (since made famous by the Dogtown and The Z-Boys documentary) Russ embarked on a multiple-year-run of contest wins, endorsements, books (Skateboard Technique and Safety by Russ Howell [1975], films (Freewheelin’ [1976], Spinnin’ Wheels [1976], Record City [1978], Seven [1979], Hard Ticket to Hawaii [1987]) and world tours. Still skateboarding at the ripe age of 67, Howell currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah with his wife Shelley.

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