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These have not been an easy couple of years for Austyn Gillette. What began as a meteoric rise from the young skater — being hailed by the scene as “the coolest guy in skateboarding,” getting signed to HUF and debuting his first shoe, and launching the board company 3D with Brian Anderson and Alex Olson — was quickly sent to a complete stop after a two-year-long double-knee injury. He was completely incapacitated for almost two months after undergoing both knee surgeries at once, unable to move either leg or walk, and then underwent almost six months of physical therapy. After being approved to skate again, he tore a different ligament in his right knee and the entire ordeal started again. During this time, Austyn lost his sponsors, his confidence, and his happiness, and found himself at the heart of a very dark place.

Thanks to inspiration from other legendary skaters like Andrew Reynolds and AVE, who both lived through and persevered through numerous similar and more serious injuries and now are skating at the highest level of their careers, Austyn found the energy to shift focus to recovery. The man we see today is a phoenix risen from the ashes, and his part for FORMER shows how much he’s grown. This is the best he’s ever skated, and it’s about time he retook the thrown! Take a look in the video below.