When most people think of Nyjah Huston, they think about his amazing skateboarding skills. Huston is a 20-year old professional skateboarding phenom who has won six Men’s Skateboard Street gold medals at the X Games and has enjoyed considerable success on the pro circuit. When he made his debut at the X Games in 2006, at 11 years old, he was the youngest athlete to ever compete at the event.
What people may not know is that Huston’s personal charity, Let It Flow (LIF), is helping bring clean water to people around the world. I recently spoke with him to learn more about what motivates him to do great things on and off the board.
How long have you been skating?
I started skating at four or five. Once I started, it was all I ever wanted to do. I had big love for it. The main thing is just have fun with it. If you love it, the progression will come. I’d tell parents to start your kids early.
Who are your skating heroes?
Chris Cole is definitely one. It has been an honor to skate with him and my other heroes. The first time I skated with some of them at the X Games when I was 11, I was blown away.
Tell me a little bit about your charity.
Let it Flow is a non-profit charity that helps raise money to build and repair clean water wells around the world. Everyone in the world needs clean water, but many people have to walk miles and miles to get it or can’t get it all. We recently traveled to Ethiopia and repaired 15 wells first hand and helped build the country’s first skate park. It was amazing to see the whole process. Once the clean water started coming out of the well, it was really cool to see how happy the kids were. I think the best part about the whole thing is that it really makes you appreciate things back home so much more when you see kids being so happy over such simple things.
I understand you experienced living without clean water as a kid. What was that like?
It’s gnarly, dude. Clean water is definitely something that is very necessary in life. That’s one of the main reasons why my mom and I chose to focus our charity on water. It’s something that everyone needs in the world…We put our minds together to raise money, and take time to create fun giveaways, to give people chances to go to the contests, and just make kids happy.
What’s in store for the future of LIF?
We are going to keep working to raise as much awareness and money as possible to help solve this issue. As long as we can just keep moving forward and help out as much as possible – that’s the main goal. We have a campaign right now where people can donate $20 to LIF and be entered to win a VIP trip to the Street League Championships in Chicago on October 4. It’s going to be a really good one. Our goal is to raise $20,000, so we can help even more people.
Visit the Let it Flow website to learn more about Huston’s fundraising efforts!
Photos: Rick Kern/Getty Images (action), Jonathan Mehring (fundraising trip)