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ESPN Names Most Influential People in Action Sports

The athletes, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs who stoke an industry


The world of action sports—from snowboarding to motocross—is a massive industry, and ESPN’s X Games editors took on the challenge of choosing the most influential people in the field. 

The resulting list includes athletes, filmmakers, musicians, product manufacturers and entrepreneurs. It combines predictable figures, such as Kelly Slater and Tony Hawk, with some appropriate surprises, including singer Santigold, whose music is featured in many action-sports videos, and Gary Ream, founder of a top-of-the-line multisport training camp.

Check out the top 50 below and visit the ESPN website for a video feature and a slideshow about these industry-shapers.

50, 49: Aaron Coret and Steve Slen
48: Jack Dorsey
47: Mike Olson 
46: Trennon Paynter 
45: Shane Dorian 
44: Santigold
43: Nate Adams 
42: David Reddick
41: Werner Brell 
40: Patrick O'Dell 
39: Kai Neville 
38: Tom Dugan 
37: Candide Thovex
36: Ingrid Backstrom 
35: Kelly Clark 
34: Robbie Maddison 
33: Josh Loubek 
32: Gary Ream 
31: Ralph Sinisi 
30: Jess Kimura 
29: Chris Davenport 
28: Brian Deegan 
27: Edwin De La Rosa 
26: Ryan Sheckler 
25: Chad Hurley and Steve Chen 
24: Grant Taylor 
23: Ty Evans 
22: Joe "Butcher" Kowalski 
21: Nick Woodman 
20: Matthias Dandois 
19: Levi Lavallee 
18: Tom Wallisch 
17: Mike Douglas 
16: John John Florence 
15: Jake Burton 
14: Dane Reynolds
13: Stephanie Gilmore 
12: Jeremy Jones 
11: Ashley Fiolek
10: Tony Hawk, Tony Hawk Foundation 
9: Nyjah Huston 
8: Sarah Burke 
7: Ken Block 
6, 5: Curt Morgan and Travis Rice 
4: Rob Dyrdek 
3: Shaun White 
2: Travis Pastrana 
1: Kelly Slater 

Via ESPN.

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