Andy Anderson: the freestyle skater who advocates the use of helmets

Professional Canadian skateboarder Andy Anderson has emerged as a transformative force in the world of skateboarding, blending innovative tricks, a unique style, and unmatched mental resilience to redefine the sport and its cultural impact.

Known for his distinctive helmet, pioneering blast-from-the-past style, and reputation as one of the most versatile skateboarders in the world, Anderson has pushed the boundaries of skateboarding, inspiring a new generation to embrace creativity and individuality.

He combines innate skill with forgotten styles from past decades, defying traditional norms.

"I didn't want to be like everyone around me when I was younger. I'd see the tricks that everyone was doing, and I didn't want to do that 'cause they were doing it."

Despite early skepticism and resistance from peers regarding his insistence on always wearing a helmet for safety, Andy Anderson persisted, eventually turning it into his trademark.

"Protect your brain, bro. Your brain is you."

Cultural Impact and Legacy

Anderson has influenced skateboarding culture by advocating for safety without compromising style, promoting inclusivity, and celebrating individuality within the community.

"If you're you, they either accept you or they don't. But if you change, then you're not you anymore, and then you're just what they are willing to accept."

Anderson's unique fusion of raw talent and against-the-grain spirit is evident in his approach to life and skating.

He says: "I moved to Venice because a lot of people told me I shouldn't. [..] I didn't want to be like everyone around me when I was younger. I'd see the tricks that everyone was doing, and I didn't want to do that 'cause they were doing it."

Anderson's take on skate is, therefore, revolutionary, characterized by his creativity and technical precision.

While introducing a variety of new tricks and styles that defy traditional norms in skateboarding, Anderson has also resurrected styles from the past.

"Everything that I'm doing has pretty much been done in the 1980s and then been cast into the shadows by the nineties, and I'm just bringing it back."

His ability to seamlessly integrate timeless elements of freestyle, street, and park skating in diverse environments distinguishes him as a standout personality in the skating realm.

Anderson's versatility shines through in his performances at prestigious events such as Florida's yearly Tampa Pro, where his artistic flair consistently captivates judges and fans alike.

Andy Anderson: the 1980s skateboarding are well alive | Photo: Red Bull

Protect Your Brain, Skater

Despite his exceptional talent, Anderson's journey has been fraught with challenges.

Ever since he began riding his skateboard, he encountered skepticism and resistance from peers who struggled to accept his unconventional style and insistence on always wearing a helmet for safety reasons.

"Protect your brain, bro. Your brain is you," he says, highlighting why the head protection item has become his trademark.

Instead of conforming, Anderson's unwavering mental strength propelled him forward.

His resilience in the face of adversity has become a hallmark of his career, serving as an inspiration to aspiring skaters on the importance of authenticity and perseverance.

"No matter what people said, they would never say it to my face. Even the guys on the tours that would smash my helmets and piss in them and whatnot, they wouldn't do that in front of me," Anderson reveals.

"They would be my friends all day and then do that at night."

"So I never really got a sense of the hate that people say that they've seen me have, but I definitely had to go through some hazing, bro."

"Working my way into the industry."

Andy Anderson: not your average street skater | Photo: Red Bull

Stay True to Yourself

Anderson's influence extends beyond technical innovations.

Through his genuineness and determination, he has reshaped the cultural perception of skateboarding.

By embracing his one-of-a-kind identity and advocating for safety without compromising style, Anderson has broadened the sport's appeal and fostered inclusivity within the skateboarding community.

His impact has cultivated an environment where individuality is celebrated, empowering skaters to express themselves freely.

"If you're truly yourself, even if it's freakin' weird if you're you, they either accept you or they don't," he adds.

"But if you change, then you're not you anymore, and then you're just what they are willing to accept."

As a trailblazer, Andy Anderson continues to inspire both seasoned professionals and newcomers.

His commitment to originality and personal integrity has ushered in a new era in skateboarding.

Moreover, his recent collaborations with major skateboard brands to design stylish safety gear exemplify his role in molding the future of skateboarding and its culture.

Anderson's story underscores the power of tenacity and the significance of challenging conventions, demonstrating that real progress in the sport is achieved through skill, creativity, determination, and staying true to yourself.

Top Stories

Ema Kawakami has become the first skateboarder to land three consecutive 900s.

Why hasn't anyone thought about this yet?

Check out the official list of 88 street and park skateboarders who qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Professional Canadian skateboarder Andy Anderson has emerged as a transformative force in the world of skateboarding, blending innovative tricks, a unique style, and unmatched mental resilience to redefine the sport and its cultural impact.