If you haven't heard of Zion Wright yet, you will soon. This Florida native and rising street skateboarding phenom is primed to take the skate world by storm with his defined style and charismatic charm.
Zion Wright was born in Palm Beach County, Florida, and raised in the town of Jupiter, just five minutes from the beach. When his older brother got a skateboard for Christmas, Wright immediately wanted one for himself. The next year, when he was four-years-old, he got his wish and soon started riding his neighborhood skate park.
"The older kids would give me pointers,” Wright says. "I fed off everyone and took it from there." By eight, he'd learned enough tricks to enter a local contest. He may not have placed, but within a year or two, he was winning contests.
Wright credits his father especially with making sacrifices to help his son advance. At one point, he had to quit his job delivering newspapers so he could drive Wright to an important skate contest. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be where I am today," he says of his dad.
Wright started filming with friends at a young age and by his teenage years, he was already working with talented videographers and traveling all over the United States and beyond for film parts. "It's been crazy," Wright says. "You'd never think skateboarding could take you so far. But I'm just having fun and it keeps taking me to new places."
By age 16, he realised he could only go so far from his home base in Florida. So he packed his things and made the cross-country move alone to Long Beach, California, to live with friends and be closer to the heart of the skateboard industry.
"I wasn't afraid or willing to let anything hold me back," he says of the move. "I'm out here now and I've got to make things happen."
The move did him wonders. In 2016, aged 17, Wright took second at Boardr Am and won PHXAM in Phoenix, a victory that surprised even himself. "I was just going to go and skate and see how it went," he said. "It ended up going really well and after that, my skating started to speak for itself."
Now, Wright is focused on taking his skating to the next level. "I'm constantly trying to learn new tricks," he says. "The challenge of it is fun for me. You're going through your ups and downs until you get it or the trick breaks you. But that's what I like about trying something new."