The Frankie Hill Bulldog is back in stock. Grab one from your favorite skate shop then jump down a big gap or a huge handrail!


Born in nearby Santa Paula, Frankie Hill moved to Santa Barbara when he was five and started skating at 13 after seeing his friend do a Mark Gonzales-inspired frontside boneless. “Holy crap! What’s that?!?” Hill screamed. His friend said, “That’s street skating.” After that, Hill says he started skating “as much as humanly possible,” mostly in Isla Vista (Santa Barbara’s seaside college slum) and soon crossed paths with Powell Peralta amateurs Brandon Chapman and Jake Bradley and flow kid Kit Erickson. They taught young Hill a proper ollie and how to blast off jump ramps. He started entering CASL contests and got picked up by Dogtown, but he always wanted to ride for his hometown team. When he was about 16, Hill jumped in the Powell van next to Chapman on a contest trip to Las Vegas, where he made the final and started talking to team manager Todd Hasting. Six months later he joined the team. Hill shared an edit with Chapman and Jake Bradley in Public Domain but Ban This features his breakout part, one minute and 38 seconds of what many today consider proof of Hill’s pioneering stunt work at big rails and huge gaps.


“When I got on Powell Peralta, I was so blown away to be skating with the legends,” Hill says. “When you're living in that moment, you want to add something. You don't want to be the guy who shows up and just kind of dinks around. You want to be part of the team and you want to contribute. When we filmed for the videos, I wanted to leave a mark, to make people think of me. So I would just go for it.”

After Ban This, Hill received bags of fan mail asking when he’s going to turn pro. The timing was good, too, as a spot opened up with Mike Vallely’s departure. Hill started riding Vallely’s shape, modified with a bigger nose, and on a vacation with Hastings, he poached a bulldog logo from an Amsterdam “coffee shop” and made it his first pro graphic. Hill burned through three more graphics — Clint Eastwood, the Ear, and Frank the Tank — before blowing out the tendons and cartilage in his left knee. During a 1993 team trip to Mexico, all riders were told they needed to step up their games to help correct the course of the troubled company. At that moment, Hill — “I was a one-legged nonproductive skater” — knew it was over. “I couldn’t add anything to the team, and I wasn’t going to be the guy to watch from the sidelines and clap.” On the plane ride home, he called it quits.