The story of Antwuan Dixon is as riveting and climactic as they come. From bright shooting star riding for the renowned Baker skateboards to a spiraling fall from grace due to trauma, drugs, and alcohol addiction, the infamous California ripper has given the industry much to gawk at and talk about. When Vice’s Epicly Later’d series did a short documentary about Dixon at the height of his substance abuse, the effortless talent with endless fades became little more than an industry punchline.
Years have passed since the Epicly Later’d episodes and Antwuan’s life has taken a few more turns, including jail time and the loss of his former board and shoes sponsors. But Antwuan’s story is far from done, and a new short video highlighting his current state of mind and affairs shows a lot of growth and renewal.
“Dangerous Freedom”, directed by Rob Crawford and Zack Warren, highlights the infectious and charismatic Dixon on his newfound journey towards sobriety and a return to professional skateboarding. In the newly released documentary, the recovering skater explains how much of his past troubles were caused by the traumas of his childhood, and the product of his gang-torn Los Angeles environment. Now 28, Dixon has turned over a new leaf and is focusing his energy on emotional rebuilding and a rehabilitation Dixon is also taking accountability for his role as a mentor and leader within his local skateboard community, pushing himself to become a role model and mentor for younger skateboarders that may find inspiration in Dixon’s hard road to success.
It’s really easy to write off fallen stars and victims of self-inflicted wounds, but it’s hard to forget that a huge number of skateboarding’s elite have also gone through their own struggles with addiction. Legends like Erik Ellington, Guy Mariano, and Brandon Biebel are just a few that’ve made their own successful 180s (pun very much intended). It’s reassuring to know that Antwuan is on that same path, with dreams of once again dominating the four-wheeled industry.
Watching Antwuan slide across a ledge and shove-it out without a care in the world is a thing of absolute beauty. Respect is definitely due to a man who’s taking ownership of himself and his story. We support you ‘Twuan and we’re definitely rooting for your continued success!