More than a great way to make quick money, pay some of those debts or to take a break from your minimum wage job to focus on skating for a while, the Am Getting Paid is a real window of opportunity for today's amateur skateboarders who dream of making it to the big leagues.
After 17 years of this epic competition, winning an Am Getting Paid has become a stepping stone for any amateur skateboarder wanting to turn their passion into a professional career. It's 100% true, a lot of Am Getting Paid winners from previous years are today's top pros. Some of them are even legends already.
Being an amateur skateboarder today is unfortunately not how you will get rich... A reason why competitions like the Am Getting Paid represent a real opportunity for young talented skaters to get that needed help in order to take their career to the next level. With a prize purse of $40 000 ($ 20,000 for men and $ 20,000 for women), skaters who stand out the most will make their access the next level a little easier. One more chance for them to do what they love as a job.
Here are 4 skateboarders you for sure heard about who turned their dreams into successful pro skaters careers after winning AGP. READ ON!
Jamie Foy is the perfect example of a skater for whom the career really took off after winning Am Getting Paid. He was already known before, but it was in 2016, the summer when he won the AGP that everything changed for him. That summer, he had enough money to fly out to California and pay rent without having to work. Straight skateboarding. Then Jamie proceeded to film 4 video parts in a matter of a couple months. Soon after, he got the officially nod of approval by Erik Ellington and got added to the official Deathwish am squad.
Less than a year later, Jamie was surprised by the Bakerboys guys with his own board model live from Thrasher Magazine's King Of the Road 2017 award ceremony. Today, about two years after his flawless victory at Am Getting Paid, Jamie has accumulated more skate titles than some pros who have been in the industry 20 years. Several covers and photos in the mags, a part in Ty Evan's latest flick, an appearance on Kind Of The Road, numerous videos parts and especially, the most prestigious prize in the history of skateboarding: Thrasher magazine's Skater Of The Year award. The craziest thing is even after all this madness, Jamie still seems to be progressing every time he steps on his board.
No need to describe how popular and gnarly Nyah Huston is. It's simple, he's the best skateboarder in the world right now. And in the process of becoming the skate star we know today, Nyjah won the Am Getting Paid. It was in 2005, he was only 10 or 11 years old. Nyjah was very small and his dreads were almost touching his knees, but you could already see his potential. It was with a perfect run that he took first place, competing against people who were double his age.
Not too long after that, we started to see Nyjah appear in magazines and videos all the time. He snagged several new sponsors around that time, like Element and És and continued his prodigious ascent to glory before disappearing for a while. After two or three years away from industry, Nyjah came back in 2014-15, stronger than ever. We still remember the raw talent of that little rastaman who showed up at Am Getting Paid 2005 with his dad and totally shut it down. Seeing where he is today, it makes sense he won the thing at only 10 years of age!
Ryan Decenzo also had a meteoric rise to success shortly after winning Am Getting Paid 2006. Decenzo's now prolific career was definitely facilitated by his AGP victory. Think about it... You're about 18 years old, crazy good on a skateboard and you have a fresh $6000 bucks to your name. What would you do?
If your answer is: "Buy a plane ticket to California and stay there long enough to make it in the industry", you're right! In fact, Ryan never really came back to Canada and now, he is one of the most established pros in the biz and is respected by the whole scene both for his street and competition skills. The big sponsors, the nice house with a backyard park in Huntington Beach, the good skate life... all this started with Am Getting Paid in 2006.
Matt Berger has won the Am Getting Paid twice in a row and now has his name printed on the boards of one of the most respected companies in the industry, Flip Skateboards. Even when he first got on, we already knew he would turn pro. The AGP winners are part of the elite and the industry knows it, which is why the majority of winners have taken their careers the next step after winning. Matt Berger is another example.
No too long after his victories, we started to see Matt everywhere. Magazines, videos, contests, etc. With his incredible skills and a little money in his pocket, he was on a mission to make his dreams of being a pro skater a reality. Today, Matt is still accumulating successes, notably with his breathtaking performances in world-class competitions such as the Street League as well as with a insane video part in Album, Etnies latest full lenght video.
There's no doubts, Am Getting Paid has helped a bunch of skater to make their dreams come true! Because you know, amateurs also have the right to GET PAID!