Throughout the years, great skaters have come and gone with each passing year. Some have stayed around, working visibly in the skate industry.
Others have disappeared, never to be seen ever again.
But very few leave, and get a second shot at a comeback. Here’s a breakdown of some of the greatest, or at least most interesting, comebacks in skate history.
In mid 80’s Jeff Grosso was a charismatic staple on the Santa Cruz vert team. Hard partying got the best of him and after years strung out on drugs, Grosso returned. Clean, sober and ripping. From Black Label to Anti-Hero and Vans, at 43 Grosso is a confirmed comeback.
In the early 90’s Matt Beach was one of the most naturally talented dudes on a skateboarder. He turned pro for The Firm and continued to stay in the limelight until The Firm went under. The rest of the team went on to find new sponsors. Matt didn’t. After 5 years out of the scene, Matt surfaced again, riding for Brad Staba’s Skate Mental and killing it harder than ever.
The young, baby-faced kid from Boston was introduced to the world with a spot on Girl, alongside his buddy P. Rod. After parting ways with Girl over a controversial board royalties dispute, Jereme ended up riding for the all-star roster at Plan B. After years of killing contests, racking up footage and rising hype for his anticipated Plan B part, Jereme announced that he was retiring from professional skateboarding to rap full-time. Jereme’s absence was almost non-existent if you count his various viral rap videos that surfaced, but skating-wise, he looked to be done. Shortly after, he started up Selfish Skateboards made a comeback before anyone new he was gone.
Vert skating in the 80’s belonged to Christian Hosoi. His super rad style, enormous floating airs and superstar persona made him larger than life. Sometime in the 90’s, when vert skating had died, Christian became heavily involved with drugs. He was caught with a large amount of meth at Honolulu airport and was sentenced for a decade. After serving multiple years behind bars, Holmes surfaced as a Born Again Christian and ready to skate. Still killing, Hosoi’s style looks more natural than ever.
In the early 90’s Shiloh Greathouse was an important member of the World Industries family. He dropped two classic parts in Love Child and New World Order, had some legal issues, got locked up and disappeared. Shiloh surfaced a few years later, heavier and obviously out of shape. He rode for World again and then Deca and then dipped out for a bit. Shiloh surfaced in 2005, thin, trim and on fire, putting out one of my favorite all-time parts in First Love. Soon after, Shiloh would bounce once again from the scene. Shiloh, where you at?
When the topic of skate comebacks comes to mind, Guy Mariano’s return to skateboarding was downright triumphant. Guy grew up in the industry, paving the way with innovation since he was a child. From Powell, to Blind, to Girl…Guy’s career thrived until early 2000 when drugs nearly swallowed him whole. Six or so years later, Guy made his return to skateboarding know with his epic part in Fully Flared. Guy’s still killing it. Hell, he just won the Chinese X-Games.
Neil Heddings was a transition savage. The dude killed Burnside and just about anything that was rugged and concrete. Neil and his then girlfriend were sentenced in connection with the mysterious murder of their son’s death. After years behind bars, Neil was back on the scene and quickly skating harder than ever. It was only a matter of time before he was recruited to ride for Creature, where he’s still at today.
East Coast ripper Pete Eldridge came up young, riding for Stereo and later turning pro for Bootleg Skateboards. Bootleg disappeared and so did Pete. After a few years of working manual labor jobs, he was rediscovered and surfaced again with a little help from Jamie Thomas. With a current spot on Mystery and Adidas, it’s as if Pete never left.
East Cost powerhouse, Mike Maldonado was one of the heavier hitters in the raw street game. He rode for Toy Machine, World and then Baker, always leaving the world wanting to see just a little bit more of the dude. Then suddenly, he straight up vanished. After years in seclusion, breading animals in Pennsylvania, Mike made a comeback. Now riding for Axion and Shake Junt, Maldonado has made himself know once again.
Nyjah’s comeback could be the most relevant one to date. The young pre-teen came up fast, under the watchful eye of a controlling father. Nyjah got on Element and quickly proved he was something out of the ordinary. Due to issues with his father and Element, Nyjah parted with the board brand and started I&I Skateboards with his father. Seemingly blacklisted from the scene, Nyjah received little to no coverage except from the contests he entered. After parting ways with his father, Nyjah was taken back by Element. He went on to win practically every contest he entered this years and is about to drop his first “comeback” part next Friday. 11/11/11.