Tiger Woods is on his way to billionaire status while the action sports industry is clearly not immune to, well an interesting economy. Forbes has compiled a list of the top ten highest paid athletes in our world. While Gretchen Bleiler, Torah Bright, Hannah Teter just fell short of the $1 million cut off, the boys ruled the list. Shaun White and Tony Hawk lead the pack but seem humble next to main stream pros. Put down those boards and go find grandpa's old clubs in the garage.
According to Forbes:
1. Tony Hawk - Skateboarding - $12 million
Hawk retired from competitive skating in 1999, but he has built a business empire that sold $200 million worth of Tony Hawk branded products last year
2. Shaun White - Snowboarding/Skateboarding - $9 million
White was the first athlete to compete at both the Summer and Winter X-Games. He's racked up 10 X-Games gold medals as well as the gold for the men's half pipe in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Following in the footsteps of Hawk, White launched his own videogame last year through Ubisoft called "Shaun White Snowboarding."
3. Ryan Sheckler - Skateboarding - $5 million
Sheckler is a hit with teenage girls thanks to his MTV reality show, Life of Ryan, which just wrapped filming its third season. The skateboard prodigy turned pro in 2003 at age 13. Current big sponsors include Oakley, Red Bull and Volcom.
4. Travis Pastrana - Freestyle MX - $3 million (tie)
5. Kelly Slater - Surfing - $3 million
The nine-time surfing champion is both the youngest and oldest to win the title. We won $260,000 in prize money in 2008 when he captured his ninth title. Slater has won $2 million during his career. The bulk of his earnings comes from sponsors like Quiksilver and surfboard maker Channel Islands.
6. Laird Hamilton - Surfing - $2.5 million
The oldest member of our top 10 athletes at 44, Hamilton has always eschewed traditional surfing competitions for the thrill of big-wave surfing. He has built a reputation as an all-around waterman that has spurred books, movies and a clothing line. His wife is pro volleyball player Gabrielle Reece.
7. Paul Rodriguez - Skateboarding - $2 million
The skater known as P-Rod is the son of actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez. Nike signed Rodriguez to a lucrative shoe and apparel deal in 2004 and has released several signature P-Rod sneakers since then.
8. Danny Kass - Snowboarding - $1 million
Kass won silver medals in the men's half pipe at each of the last two Winter Olympics. He has sponsorship deals with Gnu Snowboards, Nike and Oakley. With his brother Matt and several friends, Kass founded apparel company Grenade which focuses on winter gloves.
9. Dave Mirra - BMX - $1 million
10. Travis Rice - Snowboarding - $1 million
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