There’s no slowing down David Hackett.
The 55-year-old pro skateboarder is a legend, an inspiration and a guy who is still bringing the sport to another level.
In the 1970s, when a major drought hit California, the Malibu native and his friends began skateboarding in empty swimming pools. That’s right. He was one of the first to bring skateboarding to that level, turning a recreational hobby into a thrilling sport.
And, he is still going strong today. At 45, he won the European skateboard racing championships in Sweden, and at 47, he became the oldest person to ever ride Tony Hawk’s “Loop of Death.”
Hackett’s life hasn’t been all fun and games, however.
At 20, his younger brother, Paul, who suffered from drug addiction and undiagnosed bipolar disorder, killed their mother. Then, Paul died in prison.
Hackett turned to drugs and alcohol to cope, but at 34, he committed himself to sobriety and used skateboarding as an outlet for his rage.
Then, he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He refused radiation and chemotherapy, instead opting for major lifestyle improvements such as exercising daily and eating plant-based foods.
Today, Hackett is thriving, and he’s helping other men who are steeped in drugs and alcohol get sober. He works with one client at a time, who takes up residence in his backyard cottage. Hackett spends about 20 hours a day with this person, mentoring him. So far, his custom program has a 100% success rate.
In addition to helping others get sober, Hackett designs award-winning skateboard graphics, and even paints with his skateboard.
As for his advice to others?
“Be true to yourself. Do what you love to do that’s in your heart,” he told Growing Bolder in a short film. “It’s our responsibility as humans to get up in the morning and do what it is that excites us.”
Now that you know a few things about Hackett, check out this mini-documentary on his life thanks to Growing Bolder.