PDX Athletes

Danny Way – Portland’s Most Well-Known Professional Skateboarder

By PDX People

Although skateboarding has been around since the 1960’s and 1970’s to some degree, the sport didn’t really take off until the 1980’s when skateboarders like Tony Hawk and Danny Way captured the imagination of skaters everywhere with their tricks and moves that were frequently published in magazines like Thrasher, movies and music videos.

Professional Skateboarding Career

Born in Portland Oregon in 1974, Danny Way had a difficult home life and used his skateboard as a way to escape; it was on his board that he would find the thrills and speed that he was searching for while many other people from his generation succumbed to drugs and alcohol while they were in search of those highs.

By the 1990’s skateboarding quickly evolved from a sport that most surfers participated in during the winter months, to a sport that people enjoyed all year long.

Driving down any street in Portland back then it wasn’t hard to spot a skate ramp in a backyard or a beat up curb in front of a home which was also a sign that it had been worn down by skateboarders in the neighborhood.

I personally remember having pictures of Danny Way on the wall of my bedroom in the early 1990’s, and like most young skateboarders I wanted to be like him, especially after he jumped the Great Wall of China, a feat that he accomplished in 1995 and 2005.

Still Skating In His Forties

Sadly, the life of a professional skateboarder isn’t an easy one and Danny Way has had over 15 surgeries throughout his long career; he recently took one year off following surgeries on his left knee, left shoulder and right ankle.

With Tony Hawk quickly approaching 50 and most pro skateboarders from the 1980’s and 1990’s long since retired, it’s great to see Danny Way back on his skateboard but there’s also the reality that skateboarding is a young man’s sport and he may ultimately retire from his board for good to preserve his body for the rest of his life.

Danny Way - Making it Happen