Nyjah Huston quickly garnered attention after winning his first major street skateboarding competition at 10 years old in 2005. In 2012, he became the highest paid skateboarder in the world and had won more prize money than any other skateboarder in history as of 2013. 

In 2022, one year after a disappointing seventh-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, he sustained a torn ACL. Seven months later, he returned to competition, skating at the Tampa Pro and placing ninth in the street contest.

Now, after a successful 2023 season, the six-time world champion and one of the sport’s most highly acclaimed athletes is headed back to the Olympic stage and poised to improve upon his result from Tokyo.

Here are some things to know before Huston grabs his board this summer.

Athlete bio

How old is Nyjah Huston?

Nyjah Huston is 29 years old. He was born Nov. 30, 1994.

Where is Nyjah Huston from?

Nyjah Huston grew up in Davis, California. He now lives in Laguna Beach. 

Does Nyjah Huston have siblings?

Nyjah Huston is one of five children — four boys and a girl — born to parents Adeyemi and Kelle Huston.

How tall is Nyjah Huston? 

Nyjah Huston is 5-foot-9.

When did Nyjah Huston start skateboarding?

Nyjah Huston began skateboarding at 5 years old because of pressure from his father, who was also a skateboarder. A prodigy, Huston had earned his first contractual sponsorship by age 7, and four years later, he entered his first X Games.

How many times has Nyjah Huston won X Games? 

Nyjah Huston is a 13-time X Games champion, with 10 wins in street and three more wins in real street and best trick.

How has Nyjah Huston fared this season?

Nyjah Huston has won three World Skate events during this term’s qualifying cycle (Rome 2022, Rome 2023, Lausanne 2023) and finished seventh at the 2023 World Championships. In May, he placed fifth at the first of two Olympic Qualifier Series events.

Huston’s most recent appearance at X Games California came in 2023 after his return from injury. He finished fourth in the street contest.

What are some fun facts about Nyjah Huston?

  • Though he no longer practices, Nyjah Huston and his family followed a strict Rastafarian lifestyle while he was growing up
  • When Nyjah Huston was 10 years old, his family purchased an indoor skate park in Woodland, California, where Huston and his two older brothers practiced most days
  • Nyjah Huston has his own private skate park, where he practices a few days a week

In his own words

On his family:

My parents were childhood sweethearts that are now divorced as of 2010. My mother is Kelle Huston, who is also my current manager, and father is Adeyemi Huston, who is not involved in my life. I have four siblings, including three brothers: Jahmai, Ahbi, Kiade; and one sister, Isha. We were raised in an alternative family with a very unique story. Our father got us into skating and built us many ramps around our yard. My parents bought an indoor skatepark in 2003 that was a perfect training facility for me. The rest is history.

On his parents' influence on his career:

My father got us into skateboarding as he was a skater in his high school days. He built many ramps in our yard and everyone in the family skated together (except Mom), including my baby sister. My parents bought a motorhome and would take us to skate competitions throughout California when I was only seven or eight years old. In 2003, they bought an existing indoor skatepark in Woodland, Calif., where my father and older brothers completely renovated the park. This became a perfect training facility for me and my brothers. My father was also my personal filmer for street skating and edited my videos. I would say that they were definitely more supportive than typical parents, and I recognize that I would not be where I am today without them, although it came at the cost of our family unit. Skateboarding was the epi-center of our life for many years. My success as a young athlete contributed to major disagreements between my parents and my mom had to make the ultimate decision to leave. Unfortunately, my father is no longer involved with us or my career.

On how Laguna Beach has shaped him as a person:

My current hometown of Laguna Beach is not skate friendly at all and skateboarding is illegal on the sidewalks. Fortunately, public skateparks exist all over now and I can drive nearby to many different skateparks. I also have my own private indoor park in the nearby town of San Clemente. In my younger years in Davis, Calif., there was one public skatepark, but it was poorly designed. The biggest help was the ramps and later indoor park my father built for us.

On other places he has lived:

When I was four years old, we lived in Fiji, but I don’t remember much. My father moved us to Puerto Rico when I was 10 and it wasn’t the best place for skateboarding. I moved back to California when I was 15, after my parent’s divorce.

On his charity: 

My mom and I founded a water charity called Let It Flow in 2011. We repair broken water wells and distribute water filtration systems in third world countries. This was inspired by our own experience of living with a subpar water system on our farm in Puerto Rico. We would often have to carry water up into our house.

On his earliest memory of skateboarding:

When I was two years old, I pushed my father’s old skateboard around like a push toy. At five years old, I started skating on my knees and at six years old I started competing. Skateboarding became a family business and I skated six days a week with my father and brothers at our indoor skatepark. Other than riding a bike and shooting hoops with my brothers at the neighborhood park, I never played any other sports as a kid. Skateboarding was our life so I didn’t really have a choice. 

On his earliest memories of the Olympics:

We didn’t have TV for most of my childhood, but I remember my father watching the track and field events when I was around nine years old. Absolutely never imagined skateboarding as an Olympic sport, but super stoked it happened during my career.

On the best piece of advice he’s ever received:

Best piece of advice someone's given me is just do it for the love and don't let the fame and the money and that side of things get to you. And I think that's the most important thing for being a skateboarder in general and also being someone who has had my sort of career since such a young age. And I think that's one of the main reasons why I'm still at where I'm at.

On the atmosphere he expects in Paris:

I think the vibes are going to be insane. I think the energy is going to be really high, and I'm sure for that reason, we're going to see some of the best skateboarding ever.

On getting a second chance at a medal in Paris:

I think this time I want to try my best to put less pressure on myself, even though I'm just naturally such a competitive person. Anytime I compete, I want to do the best I can, I want to land every trick. But yeah, I'm going to try to have some more fun out there and see how it goes.