Gabriel Rodriguez, a legendary skateboarder from the Los Angeles area, passed away over the weekend according to Skate Newswire. He is the fourth pro skateboarder to die this year along with Jake Phelps, P-Spliff, and Ben Raemers. Rodriguez was just 46 years old.
The news of Rodriguez's passing first broke on social media. Pro skateboarder Rudy Johnson posted a message to Rodriguez on Instagram as they grew up in the same area.
"On 8-9-2019 we lost a true legend," Johnson wrote. "Gabriel Rodriguez was a unique beautiful human. He not only inspired me when first meeting him, he inspired the world as well with his amazing talent. Words can't describe the loss, he was a true brother. The fact that we came from the same neighborhood, living only blocks away as kids and getting to experience the skate life we lived and experienced, was always a great conversation between us, a true miracle.
"In his last days we assured him on how he impacted the Globe inspired People. In the end he was at peace with that, and the fact of his soon to be reality. He now rests in peace. See you on the other side my man."
Rodriguez started skating in the late 1980's and was discovered by Stacy Peralta. From there, Rodriguez would join Johnson, Guy Marino and Paulo Diaz to become the "L.A. Boys," and they increased the popularity of street skating during that time. In the 1990s, Rodriguez would go on to skate for 101 and Chocolate before retiring from the professional level in the early 2000s.
Skateboard artist Sean Cliver was close to Rodriguez when he was part of the "L.A. Boys," and he was impressed with their style.
"I often skate chauffeured them back and forth from Santa Barbara and LA, letting them crash at my apartment to go skate the Powell parking lot ramps and La Colina schoolyard on the weekends, and was constantly dropped-in-jaw at how they were defining the next generation of street skating," Cliver said on Instagram.
As of this writing, the cause of Rodriguez's death is unknown and there are no public details of funeral arrangements. Rodriguez was one of the pioneers of street staking and he made big impact of what the sport is today.