Everyone can basically do a manual, but leave it to the pros to come up with combinations with manuals that just seem to defy how well someone should be able to balance. A lot of tech skaters these days can do manual tricks and variations that are pretty skilled. However, there are only a select few guys that can do it well enough to fill up their video part with manuals and make each and every one interesting in some way. Before going into this week's Top 5 Manny Maniacs (from my perspective anyway) I have to shout out some skaters that obviously kill it with manuals.
Brandon Biebel has that proper style where he sets up for and lands every trick with authority, and it's no different in how he manuals. In Fully Flared, from 2:27 for almost a straight minute, Biebel stomps manual trick after trick and ultimately closes it off with the scary ender at 4:17 of a nose manny nollie flip out down a hefty set.
Jason Dill definitely has some sick manny skills (to accompany his all around creative skating style) and even though he kills it in Trilogy and Skate More, I always remember the two consecutive manual clips (and last two tricks) from his Mind Field part at 2:23, the nose manual revert, and the switch 180 manual backside 360 out, which just feels impossible thinking of the torque on the body.
Chris Roberts possesses a control over his manual tricks that I don't think I've seen in many others, where he can pull off any sort of shove it or 180 into or out of the manual (nose, switch, fakie, regular, it doesn't matter), showcased in his Time to Shine part. Also, in Pretty Sweet, he does a nollie big heel out of a half cab nose manny (I think he half-cabbed into it anyway...) that he flicks in the weirdest way possible where you need to rewatch it a few times before you see the trick for what it is. So cool!
Daniel Castillo, despite his lack of clips in Pretty Sweet (clips is plural there), has had some great parts in the past, and what sticks out to me was his manual tricks in Skate More where he throws shove its and big spins right in the middle of his manuals. Spinning frontside into manuals as well, he's got some unique manuals.
Sewa Kroetkov is easily one of the most skilled tech skaters alive. He has without a doubt some of the most ridiculous manny tricks (and ledge tricks too for that matter) that I've ever seen, with proof being right in a trailer for the latest offering from Blind: Damn at 0:57. Being able to balance like he can and mixing in his serious bag of crazy tricks allows Sewa to pull off some wild NBDs in the manny game. I'm only not including him in this week's Top 5 because I feel like his style is too robotic and unfortunately takes away from some of his tricks.
Marc Johnson is a legend. And he pulls off manual tricks like few others with an unmatchable style. I'd reference one of his video parts but with the number he's released and the multitudes of manny tricks to mention, I'll leave this one open. The only reason I won't be highlighting him this week is because I've never had him pegged down as much of a manual skater but more of an all around skater, possibly with a higher focus on ledges/benches.
Ronnie Creager is also a legend. He can do whatever he wants on a skateboard, especially with tech tricks including a wild variety of fun manual tricks that he's pulled off over the years. I will use the words of Marc Johnson from his latest Instagram post which say, "In a very progressive time for skateboarding, most skaters did ridiculously technical tricks very sloppy and nasty, taking any rollaway they could get because honestly, we were just grateful to have landed stuff. Ronnie was one of maybe 4 guys who were flawless while doing the most amazing tricks in the world." This sums up his skating perfectly.
Marty Murawski is up there for me with manuals because of how impromptu he makes some of his manny tricks and combos look. Along with that, his frontside 180 fakie manuals are a thing of beauty, and I will always remember his promo part from Blueprint because of tricks like from 3:19 to 3:33 where he somehow throws in a really enjoyable style even while popping or dropping down in between manuals. And at 5:13, he frontside big spins to fakie manny on a downwards slope at some parking deck; it just seems so difficult!
Now Walker Ryan and Lucas Puig are probably my two top favorite skaters in general, and they both kill it at manuals. (Just look at any of their parts but to be specific, Walker's NYC court house ender in Perpetual Motion is just insane and Lucas Puig's Twelve Pack Mission for Helas just shows how even after injury he makes hard manny tricks look like a walk in the park.) But similar to the reasons I'm not highlighting MJ this week, I feel like they have too many all around attributes to include them this week, even though they are without a doubt awesome at manuals.