Sunday, October 27, 2013

Next Week: SOTY 2013 Contenders

It's always hard to think of there being only one single Skater of the Year, but Thrasher has kept up with the task every year since 1990 of honoring one awesome ripper with the title. Now that we're in the last quarter of 2013, it's an appropriate time to take a look at some of this years top contenders for SOTY. This week will be my personal top 5 picks for who I think could take the title.
It's always tricky with the politics in the skate industry because the award for SOTY can almost be considered a universal title, yet it's exclusively given out by Thrasher Magazine. So whoever decides the winner in the end has to have some preference towards skaters with loads of coverage in Thrasher specifically, as opposed to other magazines. This does shift my Top 5 somewhat, but regardless, here are a bunch of guys that could definitely be deserving of such a title but that I don't think will ultimately win the award:

Dudes like Tommy Sandoval and Dane Burman skated the gnarliest (to say the least) spots in Road Less Traveled, and are likely going to have standout parts in Cold War, assuming it still comes out before the end of the year. Unless those parts are seriously groundbreaking, their not-technically-full-parts-but-more-like-montage-clips from RLT probably won't put them at the SOTY level this year, in my opinion. Same goes for Chris Cole, who has been on the contest circuit this year. You can never count him out for dropping a legendary part in Cold War, yet I think it's going to have to be just that in order for him to come close for SOTY.
Guys like Walker Ryan and Julian Davidson (who dropped most of his footage while still am...would that make a difference towards SOTY?) came out with loads of really great footage this year. Both had amazing parts in Perpetual Motion, which coming from Transworld may not help them in the SOTY race. Walker had a really awesome part in Organika's Grow With Us as well as a sweet Mag Minute for the Skateboard Mag (again probably not helpful for Thrasher's SOTY). Julian had sweet footage in his Element Pro Part including that wonderful Bercy frontside flip, as well as a nice clip for getting on Etnies. Despite both of these dudes killing it this year, I feel like their lack of Thrasher coverage goes against them with respect to getting SOTY.
Then there were guys like Jim Greco and Bob Burnquist who each dropped a single part, but a single part that was insane in both instances. Greco even came out with probably the most memorable commercial ever (for me anyway) for Supra that I'd consider for his year of awesome skating. For these two guys, despite dropping epic video parts, I just have a gut feeling like they're missing something for the SOTY running.
David Gravette came out with a nutty part in CSFU and backed it up with his just as crazy Real Street part. Again, David could totally deserve SOTY this year after these ridiculous parts but I just don't personally see him winning this year.
Daryl Angel is sort of an underrated guy for me but with the potential to still make a really strong run for SOTY this year. He had a memorable couple of tricks in Austyn Gillette's part in Cosmic Vomit 2 and still has a part coming out in Chronicles Vol. 2 as well as some clips if not a part in Habitat's Search the Horizon (assuming that's released before the end of the year). I'd say his more simplistic take on his tricks together with his smooth and speedy style combine for the potential for a pretty awesome part in the Nike video, something worth mentioning with this SOTY talk.
Also, there are guys like Shane O'Neill and Luan Oliveira that likely will have outstanding parts in Chronicles Vol. 2, but much like Chris Cole with Cold War, those parts will surely have to be outstanding to be considered in line for SOTY 2013.
And finally, considering that the Plan B video is not going to drop before the year ends, that takes away a good number of other skaters that could easily be in the run for SOTY. 2014 better watch out for this though...

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