At just 26 years of age, the world’s most successful skateboarder has already carved out his own place in sports culture thanks to a brand built to win.
Nyjah Huston has proven a lot over the course of a skateboarding career of more than 15 years.
He’s a 19-time X-Games medalist. A six-time world skateboarding champion. He’s got a massive social media following and has enough videos of himself on YouTube flipping tricks for days (or weeks) of entertainment.
He also launched his own skateboard brand and has enough endorsements to knock you on your backside.
And this summer, as arguably the planet’s most skilled skater, Huston helped prove his sport has a true and lasting place in the Summer Olympics as a key member of the first-ever Team USA Skateboarding team.
In the inaugural Street competition, Huston ultimately fell short of the medal stand. But that just skims the handrail of Huston’s growing list of professional accolades.
The guy is on a path toward all-time greatness — both on and off the board.
From Skateboard to Boardroom
Throughout his young career, Huston hasn’t been shy about showing his interests go beyond just being a great skater. The 26-year-old is a bonafide businessman who is building a brand to back it up.
From big-time sponsors to impressive social media numbers, here’s a snapshot of what Huston has his hands in.
- Official website: nyjah.com
- Estimated net worth: $12 million
- IG followers: 4.7 million
- Twitter followers: 260.3K
- YouTube subscribers : 490K
- Key endorsements: Nike, Doritos, Diamond Supply Co., Ricta Wheels, Monster Energy, Social CBD, Mob Grip, Mountain Dew, and Adapt Technology
Once a team rider for Element Skateboards, both as an amateur and as a pro, Huston made headlines earlier this year when he announced via Instagram that he would be leaving the company for new beginnings. The move left many in the skateboarding world to speculate which brand he would choose to hook up with next.
But fans didn’t have to wait long. Huston put all of the rumors to rest roughly a month before the Olympics when he launched his very own custom skateboard brand, Disorder Skateboards. The June 25 launch proved so successful that his decks sold out in a matter of a couple of hours.
As if 2021 wasn’t busy enough, Huston was also named to the TIME 100 Next as one of a new generation of figures expected to shape culture and sport in the years and decades to come.
And all of that happened well before Huston hit the road for the Tokyo Games.
Taking His Talents to Tokyo
With all of the brand recognition leading up to the Summer Games, Huston built up some major momentum going into Tokyo.
At the opening ceremonies, not only did he take photos with USA swimming legend Katie Ledecky, but he also was caught fist-bumping Kevin Durant.
He even turned heads online after a video of Huston skating through Olympic Village was posted online.
And when it came time to compete in the Skateboarding Street competition, Huston again showed the world why he’s the best in the business — ripping gravity-defying tricks while rocking the Nike SB X Parra Japan skateboarding jersey.
Unfortunately, he came up just short of expectations, skating into to the medal round but finishing No. 7 overall after making a few mistakes.
It wasn’t the result anyone had imagined for Huston. However, despite the loss, Huston showed humility and grace, another sign of his staying power in the big picture of extreme sports.
Following USA gymnastics star Simone Biles‘ withdrawal from the team competition and individual all-around, Huston made another leadership move. He concurred with the GOAT’s decision, and was not afraid to address the mental toll competing in the Olympics can have on an athlete’s mental well-being.
“We’re human, you know,” Huston told TMZ at LAX. “It happens sometimes and dealing with being No. 1 and dealing with all that pressure and nervousness, it’s a real thing. It’s a real thing.”
“I feel like sometimes, people see us as like robots and out there expecting to win every time. But in reality, that’s not how it is, and it’s not that easy.”
Huston did express regret in not landing the tricks he needed to win gold, but he left the door open for making another run at the Olympics four years from now.
Most importantly, despite not returning to his home soil with a medal and acknowledging that he wasn’t at his best, the world’s most decorated skater proved one very important thing.
He’s human. In light of all his other career accomplishments and the perils of fame that come along with them, this is perhaps his most impressive accomplishment of all.