Cody Cepeda

From passion to career

Cepeda finds success in the world of skateboarding

Cody Cepeda balanced education and "recreation" while a student at SC4. Cody Cepeda in action on this skateboard

Cepeda, a 2009 Croswell-Lexington graduate who is making a name for himself in skateboarding, perfected his skills at Pine Grove Park in between attending classes at SC4.

"I went to SC4 for a year and a half," Cepeda said. "It was nice because I was a few blocks from the park. I would go to my classes and when I had a break I would jump on my skateboard. It probably wasn't very good for the other students in the class because I would be all sweaty."

It was his mother, Sally, who encouraged her son to attend SC4 and take business and marketing classes to help him in promoting his skateboarding career.

Cepeda, 24, said he liked his classes with professor Dan McCarty and planned to major in marketing and get a minor in business. Those plans changed when his skateboarding career took off.

He became one of the hottest names in the sport after after he won the Battle at Berrics 7, Pros vs. Joes in June 2014. He dominated the event and defeated professional skateboarder Luan Oliveira in a game of SKATE without missing a trick.

With the victory at the Berrics, he became well-known overnight. He entered the competition as a virtual unknown, with just under 4,000 Instagram followers, and after his winning the finals match streamed live to skate fans across the globe, he gained 50,000 followers and fame.

Cepeda, who got his first skateboard when he was 9, credits his success to his early years in Croswell and Port Huron. He has been to skate parks all over the country and world and still ranks Pine Grove Park as the best.

"I know it wasn't meant to be a spot for skateboarders when it was built, but there are very good obstacles in the park, especially along the river," he said. "It's crazy there at times. You have a ball game going on, the water, bridges, freighters and Canada across the way."

"When the crew from the magazine Push was filming a feature on me, they wanted to see where I grew up. They went to Croswell and also spent some time at Pine Grove Park. Even though it was the dead of winter and I was freezing, they loved the setting along the water."

Snow is no longer an issue for Cepeda, who has lived in Los Angeles for the past year. He is now able to train year-round outdoors.

"I love it out here in California. I'm able to skate all day and push myself hard. Plus, all the big names in skateboarding are training here."

Coming from an athletic family, Cepeda gave up soccer, baseball and basketball as a sixth grader to concentrate solely on skating. It has proved to be a good decision. He is still considered an amateur, but knows he is close to reaching professional status.

"Even though I'm not a professional yet, I know I'm close," Cepeda said. Age isn't a factor when it comes to skating. I just have to continue to work hard and everything will fall into place."

He has simple advice for current SC4 students and for everyone. "Find the activity that drives you and consumes you and pursue it with everything you have."