Louie Barletta NC Team rider.

Louie Barletta is an American original. Youthful, optimistic and sincere in the way he skates. Barletta is never contrived and always on-key. The past decade in skateboarding has been marked by a seriousness and a weight of intensity that Barletta served as the perfect antidote to. The light hearted way that Barletta approaches skating is a breath of fresh air to remind us why we started in the first place. Because it’s supposed to be fun. But Barletta and his skating that we’ve come to appreciate today had already been in the skate game long before he really broke out. In fact, before he “made it,” skateboarding almost lost Louie Barletta entirely to the world of academia.

Louie Barletta

Louie Barletta

Barletta is famously guarded about his age. While a bit of mathematical deduction and study of late ’90’s skateboard publications could give one a rough estimate. When asked all he says is, “Next question, dude.” Age not-withstanding, Barletta remains youthful, still living in a skate house with friends and ripping as per usual. As if to affirm that he can keep up with the younger crowd, he points out, “I can do switch flip crooked grinds, c’mon!”

Barletta keeps things fun and in perspective because he’s always seen his skateboarding success as fleeting. He could have been an English professor or a benevolent coffee shop manager. Instead Barletta wound up the skater that frontside half-cab Salflips double sets and reminds us to have fun, too. He’s never seen skateboarding as permanent and maybe that’s his whole secret. “I always pictured it ending the next day,” Barletta says. “So I just lived it up, and I’m still living it up every day.”