Meet San Diego Original Dave Hackett – Skater, Stunt Man, Artist & Entrepreneur

San Diego has long been a region that inspires, molds and drives innovation. From art & food, to music and action sports, America’s finest city is always on the leading edge. SD Originals is going to shine a spotlight on some of the pioneering sons and daughters who helped to shape our world.

1: David “Hackman” Hackett –first wave vert. skater, stunt man, artist & entrepreneur


Photo: Chad Thomas

Born David Jude Hackett on the 12th of November 1960, this long-time Encinitas resident is one of the most versatile riders in skateboarding history. He was the first rider to consistently launch and land aerial maneuvers out of pools; transferring his aggressive surf style to concrete. He is one of the early pioneers of what we now refer to as ‘extreme’ sports, being talented in many disciplines. David has also appeared and/or consulted on numerous television shows and feature films including the original Action Sports show “Hot-Shots” which aired in 1979, as well as the award-winning 2001 documentary “DogTown and Z-Boyz”.


Photo: Steve Evans

In 1975 at the age of 15, Hackman won the Jr. Men’s Slalom World Title at the Hang Ten Championships in the L.A. Coliseum. One of the youngest skaters to turn pro, he began touring the world, competing in contests and doing demos. By 1976, he had also begun designing and building skate parks. Just three years later, in 1978, David won the U.S. Open Men’s Bowl and Pool Riding Championship held at Kona State Park in Hawaii. Since then, he’s been featured in virtually every book on skateboarding ever published.

In the early 1980’s, Hackett helped start the famous Jimmy’Z clothing brand and built one of the most iconic skate teams since the infamous Z-Boyz. This team featured riders whose style and authenticity are legendary. The ‘dream team’ included Christian Hosoi, Eric Dressen and Steve Olson, among others. In 1982, David became the first professional skater to have two different signature skate decks, covering both pool and street disciplines.

Hackett spent the next two decades managing multiple brands and traveling the globe surfing and skating, all while mentoring the generations who followed. In 1999, he founded his own line of high quality skateboards under the moniker “DEATHBOX”. In 2003, Juice magazine named Hackett one of the Top 50 Most Influential Skateboarders; he was 43 years old. At the age of 45, while riding one of his own boards, Hackett set the World Record for being the oldest skater to complete the infamous “Loop of Death” built by Tony Hawk right here in San Diego.


Photo: Daniel Harold Sturt

Today, the 56-year-old stoke-pioneer shows no signs of slowing down. Last month, David won the Masters Overall Title at the U.S. Nationals in Oceanside.

Hackett also has fine art paintings featured in some of San Diego’s most prestigious high-rises and restaurants. He’s working as the art designer and brand manager for Black Leather Racing aka ‘BLR’, Malibu Surf Skates as well as Deathbox Skateboards. If that’s not enough, last month Osiris shoes released the Dave Hackett signature model. Hackett is now the oldest pro skater to have a signature shoe.


David and his art at Saiko Sushi in North Park

Being considered one of the world’s utmost authorities on the history of skateboarding, DH has been nominated by his peers to emcee and host the Skateboarding Hall of Fame ceremonies for the past five years.


Skateboarding Hall of Fame Ceremony in Long beach

Quick 3 questions:

1) favorite grub spot(s) in town?

DH- Saiko Sushi in North Park and Bull Taco in Encinitas

2) favorite beach?

DH- BoneYards in Cardiff

3) favorite thing(s) about San Diego?

DH- the weather, the waves and the people

If you would like to see more of Dave’s art or to commission an original piece contact him directly:@

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