Nyjah Huston: the ultimate street skateboarding champion

September 1, 2021 | Skateboarding
Nyjah Huston: the most influential Generation Y street skateboarders of all time | Photo: X Games

Nyjah Huston is one of the first global street skateboarding stars of the Millennial generation.

With millions of followers and fans all over the world, he is also one of the most well-paid skaters in history, with sponsorship contracts signed with several multinational companies.

Nyjah Imani Huston was born on November 30, 1994, on a living room floor in Davis, California.

Huston has one sister (Isha) and three brothers (Jahmai, Ahbi, and Kiade). They were all raised by his father, Adeyemi Huston, who followed the Rastafari religion and lifestyle.

Nyjah and his siblings were schooled at home by their mother, Kelle Huston, and adopted a strict vegan diet.

In the early days, Adeyemi and Kelle cultivated and sold marijuana for a living and rejected the American culture.

Nyjah Huston: the dreadlock years | Photo: Huston Archive

A Rastafarian Childhood

Nyjah started skateboarding at the age of five. His father was also a skater and wanted his son to develop his skills on a daily basis.

At seven years old, Huston was already a dreadlocked virtuoso.

In 2004, Huston's parents bought an indoor skatepark in Woodland, California, where the teenager spent most of his time practicing tricks and maneuvers.

Furthermore, at 11, he was earning enough money to put food on the table for the whole family.

Two years later, Adeyemi Huston decided to move to a 26-acre farm in Puerto Rico and took his family with him.

They often lived with no running water or electricity and were socially distanced from real life.

As a result, Nyjah struggled to participate in demos, autograph signings, and promotional events run by his first sponsor, Element Skateboards.

Soon after, Huston's parents split. They were also increasingly isolated from the outside world.

His mother moved back to California with his four siblings; Nijah stayed in Puerto Rico with his father.

However, Kelle wanted full custody of her son. By that time, Adeyemi was already managing Nijah's career and filming his early videos.

From the ages of 11 to 13, Nyjah averaged $310,000 per year in contest winnings and sponsorships.

In 2010, the court granted the mother full custody of Nijah Huston, and the young skater returned to the Golden State.

"I look like a typical white lady from California, but for 15 years, I wore a head wrap and did not own a pair of pants," Nyjah's mother later revealed.

Nyjah Huston: a multiple-time Street League Skateboarding champion | Photo: X Games

Professionalism and Stardom

Nyjah Huston is one of the most famous, popular, and influential Generation Y skaters of all time.

The Californian athlete took advantage of the advent of the DVD and online video era to present himself to the world.

After joining the Element Skateboards team, Nyjah appeared in several successful video productions, including "Elementality Volume 1" (2005) and "Elementality Volume 2" (2006).

He had already won a few amateur skate contests in 2004 and 2005, but his competitive instinct only really started to shine in 2006 after his debut in the Dew Tour and X Games.

In 2008, Huston left Element. One year later, he launched I&I, his own skateboard deck company.

In the 2009 X Games, the talented rider took the silver medal.

But his Rastafarian-influenced business venture - I&I - closed down in 2010, and Nyjah got back to his original sponsor, Element.

In 2010, he was ready to compete for the first time in a Street League Skateboarding (SLS) event in Glendale, Arizona, but his mother didn't have the money to pay for the trip.

However, Rob Dyrdek, founder of SLS, offered to pay for the hotel bill during the competition.

Nyjah eventually won the contest and got a check that would help fund his new life with his mother in mainland America - $150,000.

In 2011, following the launch of a well-received "Rise & Shine" video available on iTunes, the teenager was already a prolific winning athlete.

As a result, Nyjah Huston secured his first major deal with a footwear company, DC Shoes.

It was a splendid year. He won the gold medals at the X Games street competition and finished runner-up in SLS.

In 2012, Huston was crowned SLS champion.

One year later, the gifted skater pushed his competitive fire even further by winning "Best Trick" at the Tampa Pro, three X Games stages (Foz do Iguaçú, Barcelona, and Los Angeles), an SLS event, and the Kimberley Diamond Cup.

So, it was with no surprise that, aged 19, the Californian had already won more prize money than any other skater in the sport's history.

And he had finally launched his first-ever "Nyjah Huston Signature Shoe" via DC Shoes.

Between 2014 and 2021, Nyjah Huston won four gold medals and three silver medals at the World Skateboarding Championships.

He also claimed 13 gold medals, four silver medals, and two bronze medals at X Games events, making him one of the most successful skaters of the series.

Huston represented the United States of America in skateboarding's Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020, where he made the final and finished seventh.

Nyjah Huston: he won more than a dozen X Games medals | Photo: Mark Kohlman/ESPN

A Global Skateboarding Legend

As one of the most accomplished street skateboarders of all time, Nyjah is a featured character in multiple video games, including Tony Hawk's Project 8, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Tony Hawk: Ride, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2.

The skating phenom and his mother also run "Let It Flow," a non-profit charity founded in 2008 that provides long-lasting water filtration systems to families in countries like Ethiopia, Haiti, Philippines, India, Kenya, Chad, Thailand, and Cambodia.

In 2013, he made a controversial comment about female skateboarding.

"Some girls can skate, but I personally believe that skateboarding is not for girls at all. Not one bit," Nyjah said at the time.

The shock waves produced by his statement forced the skater to issue an apology. He said his words were an inaccurate reflection of who he was.

"I want to apologize for the remarks I made about female skateboarders," Huston later explained.

"What I meant was that skateboarding is a gnarly sport, in general, and as someone who knows the wrath of the concrete all too well, I don't like the thought of girls - like my little sister - getting hurt."

Today, Huston is a skateboarding idol that inspires millions of young and adult skaters. His street skating skills are beyond imaginable and defy gravity all the time.

Nyjah Huston: the California skater featured on the cover of Thrasher Magazine

Nyjah Huston is a fan of hip-hop, no longer follows Rastafarianism, and lives in a $3 million house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, California.

He owns a private indoor skatepark in an industrial complex in San Clemente. His mother is the chief operating officer (COO) of Nyjah Huston Inc., the company the manages his assets, investments, and career.

Huston is a calm, humble, disciplined person and has never been seriously injured.

In 2020, he launched a rather unusual project - an online slot named "Nyjah Huston Skate for Gold."

The "king of streets," who once grinded and skated over a Lamborghini, has a nickname: The Soul Crusher.

In 2021, the goofy-footed skater made the Time Next 100 list as one of the most influential people on the planet.

He is a three-time winner of the "Best Male Action Sports Athlete" ESPY Award (2013, 2014, and 2019).

The most-decorated professional skateboarder in history has been featured a few times on the cover of Thrasher Magazine and has a room just for his trophies.

Huston is 5'10" (1.78 meters) and weighs around 165 pounds (75 kilograms). His body is covered in tattoos from ears to ankles.

He has an estimated net worth of $12 million and runs his own gear and apparel company, Disorder Skateboards.

Nyjah Huston is on Facebook (@NyjahHustonSkate), Instagram (@nyjah), and Twitter (@nyjah).