When Mesa-native Jagger Eaton first picked up a skateboard at 4 years old, the sport seemed to come natural to him.
He spent time learning how to ride with his older brother, Jett, and his father, Geoff. Eaton and his brother pushed each other to improve. But neither realized the fun hobby would turn into a career for Eaton. To this day, years after going pro in the sport, Eaton still has trouble grasping all he has accomplished at a young age.
“I always knew that skateboarding was my first love and passion but to see where I am now, I could’ve never imagined that,” Eaton said. “And the best part about all of it is that I’m lucky enough to keep falling in love with skateboarding every day.”
Eaton became the youngest competitor to ever compete at the X Games in Los Angeles, Calif., an annual extreme sport event broadcasted by ESPN with competitors from all over the world, when he was just 11 years old. He placed 12th overall in the Big Air competition, and fourth a year later at X Games Munich.
He followed up his top-five finish in Munich with a sixth-place finish in Barcelona and fourth in Los Angeles. That same year, Eaton took first in the Big Air Best Trick Gap Competition at the Kimberly Diamond Cup in South Africa.
Eaton’s early success quickly catapulted him to the top of the youth ranks, as he earned his first sponsorship from DC Shoes in 2012 as part of the company’s “DC Youth Division.” He also earned recognition from a variety of skateboarding magazines and guest-starred on fellow pro skater Rob Dyrdek’s show, “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory.” He also had his own television series in 2016 on Nickelodeon called, “Jagger Eaton’s Mega Life,” and appeared on other reality shows.
“To be able to be seen on TV not skating but being able to show my personality was so fun,” Eaton said. “Plus, Rob is really fun to work with and he has been an amazing mentor to me. And the people I met and the places I went when I did my TV show was so cool and I’ll never forget those memories.”
While appearing on reality shows, Eaton continued to impress on his board.
He became the youngest skateboarders to ever win the TampaAm in Florida at 13 years old, and won the BoardAm in Houston, Texas to earn an invite to BoardAm finals at the X Games in 2015. Eaton most recently competed in the Wendy’s Park Skateboarding X Games, where he placed second overall last year.
Throughout his career, Eaton grew more comfortable competing in events such as the X Games. He said that was one of his goals when he began skating at a professional level. He said his first time ever competing brought nerves, but he’s grown more comfortable since.
Even now after competing in the event on several occasions, he doesn’t take everything he’s accomplished for granted.
“It’s always nerve-racking competing in any circumstance but being able to compete doing something I love and have a passion for is an incredible feeling,” Eaton said. “But it was always one of my dreams to compete in the X Games and to be able to compete at such a young age and keep competing each year is a blessing.”
Wanting to share his success with young skaters like himself, Eaton and his family opened Kids That Rip (KTR), an indoor sports action park for kids of all ages. With ramps, gymnastics pads and a variety of other attractions, Eaton’s goal was to provide a safe environment not only where he can train but other action-sport athletes as well.
KTR started in 2015 as a gymnastics gym his parents used to coach their athletes. Eaton said in an effort to help him and his brother stay active while their parents coached, Geoff built ramps the two could skate on to pass the time. Since then, KTR has expanded to Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Eaton’s desire to interact with young fans stems well beyond the skatepark. He recently competed in the Chipotle Challenger Series, which brough fans and celebrities together to compete in the video game, Fortnite, with a chance to win up to $30,000 and a year of Chipotle for free. Eaton and his team made the finals.
“The Chipotle Challenger Series was a blast to compete in,” Eaton said. “Considering that I’m not even close to those players' skill level, me and my friends still had a blast.”
While having already accomplished several achievements, Eaton’s career is still just getting started. He recently put out his own video part with The Berrics, a private indoor skate park in Los Angeles owned by pro skaters Steve Berra and Eric Koston. He also released his own autographed deck.
Eaton hopes to release film projects with his friends in the near future. Additionally, he wants to prove himself on the world’s biggest stage as part of Team U.S.A.
“In the future I see myself competing in two events at this upcoming Olympics in Japan and taking home two golds,” Eaton said. “Further down the road I would love to put out some more fun filming projects with my friends and team.”