2017 is nearly a wrap and for the first time in ages I feel that collectively we can all breathe a slight sigh of relief. Why? Well, we made it out of the dumpster fire that was 2017, guys. While that is reason enough to tie one on and celebrate, let’s not get too excited. Regrettably, 2018 is revving up to be just as turbulent. Whether it’s the constant barrage of bad news or social media overload, it’s apparent that it is harder to focus now more than ever. Like many, my mind has was cooked by 2017. So that’s my excuse for why my very cliche year-end “best of” or “listicle” may be missing some very noteworthy things. With that said, in no particular order, here are somethings that made some crumby days brighter in 2017.
The Atlantic Drift series by Jacob Harris
I guess if you’d been living under a rock you might have missed Jacob’s previous master works. First he knocked it out of the park with his Eleventh Hour flick, which served as an introduction to the madness that is Tom Knox’s skating to many.
Then in late 2015 he brought the house down with Isle Skateboard’s first visual offering; Vase.
So by the time 2017 rolled I was fiending for something fresh from across the pond, and Jacob didn’t disappoint. Starting on January 3, 2017 and as recently as mid-September, Jacob & Co. have been sporadically dropping the best edits of the year via Thrasher Magazine👇. Harris’ edits blend field recordings and masterful VX1000 techniques to draw his audience into the spots better than any other contemporary filmer. Also…Episode 5 – Hippy Jumps gave us these gems:
It’s been a week since Sylvain Tognelli won skateboarding. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/v59D890LGJ
— Ambush Board Co. (@AmbushBoardCo) September 29, 2017
— Ambush Board Co. (@AmbushBoardCo) September 20, 2017
So if you haven’t watched all of them or even if you have, here is your reminder to grab a cup of tea and re-watch. Then…GO SKATE!
In a post-Serial world where everyone and there mother hosts a podcast it can be overwhelming, because no matter how absurd the subject matter, there is a podcast about it. “Oh, so you’re a furry who has a diabetic dog? Well, we have just the podcast for you!!” That may be a stretch, but you get the picture. My weekly podcast interests range anywhere from comedy with Marc Maron’s “WTF” to stranger subjects like cults with the “Heaven’s Gate” podcast. In between I get a healthy dose of quality skateboarding content with “The Nine Club” and my favorite “The Bunt Live.”
It’s not like skateboarding podcasts are particularly new, but until recently there haven’t been any that are nearly as prolific as “The Nine Club” or “The Bunt Live.” Both shows produce amazing content that I always tune in to. If you like a more polished podcast, then I’d recommend “The Nine Club.” Every Monday Chris Roberts and Gang flex deep industry connections and it shows as they have guests ranging from Andrew Reynolds to Skin Phillips. “The Bunt Live” is more like the audio version of Slap Magazine’s message boards, which I crave. The hosts Cepha and Donovan’s banter with their guests is much like what you’d expect among friends at any park or spot across the globe. Plus, their weekly “Run Down” on fantasy sports gives me an obvious edge on my fantasy football opponents. Definitely looking forward to season six in the near future.
Like clockwork my week starts with “The Nine Club” and wraps up every Friday morning with Quartersnacks‘ weekly top 10 countdown. It’s easily the best way to get the condensed version of what happened in skateboarding the past week. Whether the featured skateboarding came from a hot new part or a viral Instagram clip, ‘Snacks has a way with curating skateboarding in a countdown that I can get behind. I’m exited that they too have released their year end Top 10 of 2017. Thanks, ‘Snacks.
Women were definitely having a moment in 2017, and I hope it continues in 2018 and beyond. As you know, I wrote about Women’s Skateboarding early in 2017, and throughout the year a lot more great things have come in this regard. For starters, Welcome Skateboards‘ own Nora Vasconcellos got the pro nod, which was incredibly well-deserved based on her backside airs alone!
— Ambush Board Co. (@AmbushBoardCo) August 25, 2017
Seemingly out of nowhere enjoi turned Samarria Brevard pro. Samarria met up with enjoi during this past season of Thrasher’s King of the Road on Viceland as their mystery guest and obviously made a big impression on the squad. As Louie said, “It was love at first site.” Bravo, Samarria!
If you grew up skateboarding in the early ’00s, it’s safe to say that you we’re heavily influenced by Coliseum video PJ Ladd’s Wonderful, Horrible, Life. Alexis Sablone was the girl who not only frontboarded Trader Vic’s, but also kickflipped Big Four in Atlanta. So when I saw that WKND gave Alexis a board, I knew that I had to scoop it. Not only, does Alexis rip, but she may also be the smartest pro skateboarder out with a degree in architecture from MIT. She’s the best.
If there is a pinnacle in skateboarding “nerdom,” then Eric Swisher reached it ages ago. Swisher, aka “Chops,” has been cranking out the most in-depth interviews with skateboarding’s most legendary figures since 2011. Even after a brief hiatus in 2013, Swisher has continued to bless skateboarding with these interviews sporadically throughout the years. So you know it’s a good day when you see Chrome Ball has a new entry. Hopefully, we will get to see a Neil Blender interview with Chops someday, but I won’t hold my breath.
GX1000: Adrenaline Junkie
GX1000’s first full-length video left me speechless. Their brand of street skateboarding is bar none the rawest out there. So when the mastermind behind GX1000, Ryan Garrshell, drops a new edit you know it’s going to be stellar. In March GX’s Adrenaline Junkie came out and I’m still trying to get rid of the anxiety this video gave me. Watching this crew skate the San Francisco hills is almost like watching big mountain snowboarding, except big mountains don’t have cars that can smoke you. If this video doesn’t get you hyped to go bomb a hill, then nothing else will. Also, how is Sean Greene not a household name? It would be hard to argue a better candidate “USOTY” (Underground Skater of the Year)🏆. Look no further than this clip below.
I’m going to stop here because, in my opinion, it would be hard to top Sean Greene’s destruction above. This list could easily go on to include every part, interview, clip, etc. from each individual campaigning for Thrasher Magazine’s “SOTY” (all 30 of them!), but I’m going to keep it short and sweet.
Skateboarding is inundated everyday with so much stuff that it’s overwhelming. Truthfully, I’m trying to decide if I like it or not. When is enough, enough? How many awesome parts did I overlook because they got buried among all the other noise? You tell me what your favorites were this year. You lived it too! Regardless, I’m optimistic for 2018 and look forward to all the ripping that will come with it. Please just promise me one thing: let’s stop it with the body varials, it’s time to leave those tricks behind for good in 2017.