What a year for skateboarding. In just one year skateboarding brought so much, whether it be the first New York skater of the year or it be the slow demise of vert skating and slow revitalization of vert skating (thanks Clay Kreiner), or even the worst trend ever to step foot on a skateboard: multi-colored camo pants. No matter what realm of the skateboard world you relate most to, you can’t help but sit back with a cold beverage and smile. Skateboarding continues to create an environment of absolute freedom and creative expression no matter how cut throat the business side of things may end up. Out of all the amazing things skateboarding brought us this year, there’s just one thing I can’t get out of my head. EVAN SMITH. When I first found out that Tyshawn Jones was gifted the Skater of The Year award, I was and currently am distraught. Aside from “Blessed”, Tyshawn Jones had a relatively slow year. Besides opening his own eatery in the heart of New York and being able to Nollie flip over a chest high trash can with ease, content wise the decision remains suspect at best. Evan Smith’s year was perfectly executed by all standards in skateboarding, but the best part is he didn’t exude one ounce of effort. How does one win King of The Road M.V.P, put out three different parts, with one being arguably one of the most iconic parts to drop in the last decade (PEACE), and while doing all of this still be all over social media crushing it and not win S.O.T.Y? I’d argue that his year was twice as productive as last years winner Jamie Foy. So you have to ask, why would Jake Phelps and Thrasher Magazine short Evan Smith of the biggest award in skateboarding? Let’s get into some skateboard politics for a second: Evan Smith has Element as a board sponsor, which sometime in the last decade was sold to surfing powerhouse Billabong. He rocks D.C. shoes as a shoe sponsor, which is one of the companies who’s sold out and gotten away from its original skateboarding core. Tyshawn Jones skates for FuckingAwesome, a core skateboard company that is the epitome of cool over the last couple years. He skates for Supreme, which is arguably the biggest urban wear company ever. Tyshawn was also the first ever skater from New York City to win the prestigious award. Whether you want to credit his mind boggling pop, or his sponsor backing being more core and credible than the sellout companies who back Evan Smith, you can’t help but wonder. Evan Smith, you were ripped off. After all said and done though, skateboarding is one of the best things to ever happen and without it, life seems dim.
Thank you skateboarding,