by Ruben Najera
As a skateboard instructor, former brand owner, and team manager I have not only taught and introduced skateboarding to kids but also had the opportunity to be the first sponsor for many young talented skateboarders. I am fortunate enough to have in some way shape or form been involved with helping the following rippers progress their skateboarding careers. They are the future, and the future looks bright!
In no particular order, here are 5 skateboarders to look out for and with impressive skate video parts attached for your enjoyment as well!
5. David Cobb
Chula Vista, California
David is a natural! I remember getting his first sponsor me video and watching a little ripper with a helmet skating to a Jamiroquai song that had me dancing on the spot. David has amazing impact absorption his ollie off the roof as the intro to his part is forever engraved in my memory. I was always super hyped seeing him at the contests doing his runs representing the clothing brand Arkive Fabrix that I owned at the time. If I am not mistaken we were his first sponsor ever. He has really grown and I always knew he was destined for a career in skateboarding
I will forever be hyped and look forward to future David Cobb video parts!
4. Jake Guillory
Lake Charles, Louisiana
I know Jake Guillory as Jacob Guillory back when he was a very young little ripper. I remember him always having the style of a mini Andrew Reynolds. Great flick and catch of his flip tricks and would go big at such a young age. I got him what would possibly be his first board sponsor ever and remember him being hyped on his reaction to seeing his bios on a real skateboard companies website. Also, I got a chance to skate on Destructo Trucks with him. Although we were clearly across the United States from each other, he still held it down and represented.
Super stoked to see Jakes recent part for Preservation Board co. on the Transworld skateboard website today! Check it out!
3. Vee Rodriguez
Hailing from Calexico, Ca which is located in the Imperial Valley Victor “VEE” Rodriguez is one of my favorite skateboarders on earth.
I was his first sponsor and took him under my wing when he was just a little shredder. His first sponsor me video showed a lot of potential and he was one of those kids that you’d hook up with product and he would represent his shirts till they were faded and destroyed or boards were obliterated to pieces. He gave it his all and always had the guts to try some gnarly stuff. Taking him on his first skate trips and tours and seeing his eyes light up seeing spots he dreamed of watching in videos made the trips worth it. Vee is steadily stacking footage as we speak for now feast your eyes upon one of his older parts which you will see is gnarly as it is already. Imagine whats in store!
2. Derek Elmendorf
San Diego, California
Derek has always been one of the gnarliest skateboarders on the planet. To me he is the ultimate rail killer, no one does it better! His determination when he sets his mind to grinding down something huge is unparalleled he is like a fast moving train speeding down the tracks. Once his mind is set everything better get out of the way because he’s going to ride it down to the last inch of the rail and pull off the seemingly impossible.
Many years ago, I had the cover of a magazine called Legitimate. I was given the opportunity to pick who I wanted to see on the cover of an issue, and I chose Derek because at the time the industry was sleeping on his talent and he was and always will be one of my favorites. His magazine cover ended up being amazing thanks to the great Deville who shot the photo at the time.
If you have not seen the following part you are truly missing out.
Watch Derek grind the biggest rail ever done! No joke its in San Diego County if you don’t believe me look up “Dallas Skatepark” or La Mesa Skatepark in San Diego and see it for yourself its a monster!
8855 Dallas St, La Mesa, CA 91942
1. Diego Najera
El Centro, California
Could not do a list without plugging in my little brother Diego Najera whom I started skateboarding at the age of 3. I took him everywhere with me, and he is my number one favorite skateboarder on earth.
Growing up, I used to get put down and made fun of a lot for bringing my little brother along with me to every skate session within our local scene. I always stuck up for him to the point where I said screw all the haters. We started our own little skate team in which we called “Riot” skate crew. We recruited all the skaters no one wanted in their little “Cliques” and did our own thing, made our own videos, and didn’t have the money for the “cool” clothes or boards. We rode and wore whatever. We had or just spray painted our own stenciled logos on everything as guerrilla style as you could get.
For 20 years, we had no skatepark in our city. The city streets where are playground. We grew up skateboarding the toughest of spots and played millions of games of skate. This would help explain why he is the Battle of the Berrics world champion!
We grew up in the city of El Centro, CA which for many years had the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the United States! Against those odds, we made a living getting paid to riding a piece of wood with wheels on it.
I am forever proud of my little bro and you can bet without a doubt that the pro ranks shall be bestowed upon him soon!
Fast forward to 1:18 in the video to see Diego Najeras video part