Legendary 90s skateboarder Robbie McKinley dies aged 43

Tributes are flooding in for Robbie McKinley after the skateboarder’s friends confirmed his death on social media. HITC takes a look into his life and legacy.

Legendary skateboarder Robbie McKinley has passed away at the age of 43. His close friend Mackenzie Eisenhour confirmed his death on Instagram, with a throwback image of McKinley sitting on an armchair on the sidewalk.

“One of the best humans I had the privilege of knowing,” he wrote. “Probably my favorite skate style of all time at his peak. Groomsman at my wedding, stand-up roommate, and the first person outside of the hospital to meet my daughter Luca when we got home.

“I’m going to miss you so much Bob. Crooksy forever.”

Photo taken in Buriram, Thailand
Photo: Getty Images

Who was Robbie McKinley?

Born in Los Angeles, McKinley relocated several times during his teen years while attempting to break into the skateboarding scene. He moved to California’s Inland Empire in the fifth grade and relocated to Florida with his mom.

It was a minor setback since he had just been noticed by Society USA, a skateboarding team. Luckily, his mom allowed him to fly back to Los Angeles to shoot a promo; he stayed in the city with his father.

McKinley, also known as McCrooks, was known for his daring skateboarding approach. Highlights include the moment he pulled off the switch frontside heelflip at UCLA, which was captured for a Society promo poster and became the talk of the town.

His fame skyrocketed after appearing in classic skating videos in the early 2000s, including Harsh Euro Barge, Rodney Mullen vs Daewon Song, Yeah Right!, and DC Video.

Directed by Oscar-winning director Spike Jonze, Yeah Right! was known for its special effects and green screen use to create the “invisible skateboards” section. Other famous names in the project included Keenan Milton, Brian Anderson, and Marc Johnson.

The skateboarder is survived by his mom.

Famed Washington DC skateboarder Jimmy Pelletier commemorated the star on Facebook.

“We met you in the summer of 1998 when our tours crossed in Canada,” he recalled. “You were on the Blind Skateboards tour. You had such a rad style and just looked cool on a skateboard. You rocked your gear so well.

“Love and prayers to you and your family Robbie McKinley. Ride on…”

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He swapped skateboarding for surfing in later life

McKinley ditched the buzzing Los Angeles life for Hawaii in his final years. As a graduate of web design from The Art Institute Of California, McKinley worked as an interactive designer for over 10 years at the time of death.

He specialized in product design and has worked with the likes of MySpace, Amazon, and HP.

Robbie reminisced about his young skateboarding days on Instagram but, as a resident of Hawaii, he preferred surfing.

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