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UNLEASHED Podcast Episode 37–Kieran Woolley

Kieran Woolley | UNLEASHED

Aug 082022

Hailing from Australia, Kieran Woolley is part of a new generation of skateboarders who can destroy any terrain. Raised on a steady diet of surfing and concrete skateparks, he won his first competitions as a young teenager. Representing Australia in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Woolley had a viral moment by accidentally taking out a camera operator on live TV. After being voted ‘New Gen of the Year' in the Slam Magazine Skater of the Year Awards, he had his breakout season in 2022: After taking silver in his debut at X Games Chiba in Spring, he proceeded to win the bowl contest at legendary CPH Open in Copenhagen, then caused a major upset by taking gold at X Games 2022. And he’s only eighteen!

The episode highlights the fast-rising 18-year-old skateboarder from Minnamurra, Australia, who just stole the spotlight at X Games 2022 in July by claiming the gold medal in Men’s Skateboard Park and travels the world as one of the sport’s most talented young riders.

“My dad and I were always traveling to go surfing and we would always go to skateparks. Or we would travel for motocross and go to a skatepark. I was skating all these different parks and getting used to all these different transitions. So that helped me become more well-rounded,” said Woolley about his formative years. 

Raised by a father with a passion for surfing, Woolley grew up in Queensland, Australia dividing his time between the waves and concrete skateparks. “Just outside having fun in the surf. Skating, riding a motor bike and just hanging out with family and friends,” said Woolley. But after his father broke his neck in a surfing accident when Woolley was only 11, the focus shifted entirely to skateboarding. “After dad had the accident, he couldn’t take me surfing anymore. So, I just started going to the skatepark a whole lot more and it all just went from there.”


Drawing inspiration from iconic all-terrain skateboarders like Grant Taylor and Cardiel, Woolley developed a ‘skate everything’ approach at a young age and began ruling contests as a young teen. “It went from having fun with the mates to skating competitions, winning competitions, traveling to America. And now I’m pretty much living out here and traveling the world,” said Woolley.


What’s more, Woolley is part of a rare breed of skateboarders to master the latest technical kickflip variations and switchstance tricks, while also throwing down powerful classics like boneless ones and Miller Flips in the same line. On UNLEASHED, he credits his diverse approach to being raised by older skateboarders at Mondo Deluxe skate shop who taught him about trick history.


His skills earned Woolley a chance to represent Australia in skateboarding’s debut as an official discipline in the Tokyo Olympics, where he finished in fifth place in the Men’s Skateboard Park event. He earned a moment of mainstream fame at the games by knocking down a cameraman in his run and responding like a true sportsman. “Honestly, the Olympics were the least pressure I ever felt in a skateboard competition. Because my goal was to make it into the Olympics, and after I made that, I was just trying to go as hard as possible in practice.”


Speaking on the overall impact of the Olympic Games, Woolley said: “The Olympics have had a good effect on skateboarding, but hasn’t affected the core side of skateboarding, I don’t think. But it’s brought a lot of new people in and overall brought more mainstream recognition to skateboarding."


It’s safe to say that Woolley is getting recognition and having the ride of his life in 2022. After clinching silver in his X Games debut in Spring, he rose all the way to the top at X Games 2022 and walked away with gold.


Right now, Woolley is traveling to the world’s best parks and filming highly anticipated video parts with his sponsors, including Monster Energy. “I have a bunch of projects going right now. My main goal is to film a full pro part for Monarch [skateboard company]. Deadline is coming up quick, so I have a few trips in mind.”