I thought I'd close out 2012 with a list of things that happened in skateboarding this year. I don't consider myself an expert and certainly don't keep up with the staggering skate video output the internet has beseeched us with, so don't consider this a list of the best moments of 2012 or anything like that. Just consider it ten things that I remember happening this year. See you in 2013, you turkeys.
A 44-Year Old Man Lands the 900 In 2012 a 12-year old boy became the youngest person to land a 900 degree aerial on his skateboard toy and people talked about it for months. The same year, Tony Hawk landed a 900 at age 44 and it pretty much went unnoticed. I'm pretty sure that the Chinese government is accused of faking birth documents for their gymnasts every Olympic Games because of speculation that their athletes aren't old enough to compete. I've never heard of anybody accusing the Chinese government of trying to sneak in a 44-year-old gymnast into the Olympics. Oh wait… what was that… the 12-year old landed a 1080? Oh… well that's different. Time to step it up, Tony. All jokes aside, The Birdman still rules. But we all know that. That's why he's Tony Hawk and we're just sad, sucky, us.
My skateboard company (Roger Skateboards) manufactured a run of skateboard decks in February of 2012 after not manufacturing a run of skateboard decks for approximately eight months. I won't bore you with the boring details, but things were looking kinda bleak there for a hot minute. Luckily the stars aligned and the children of the world rejoiced as we pumped out a few more dong jokes. Get it? Pump, dong…
I don't care if you hated the editing, acting, special effects, and the soundtrack, I really don't. Because if you can't look past all that and appreciate the fact that you got to see a twenty minute Vincent Alvarez part and got to watch Guy Mariano make every skate dude from the 90s cream their Blind jeans then you're hopeless. And that's not even mentioning Marc Johnson's sublime offering or watching Raven Tershy go all Grant Taylor on everything. Everybody else ruled too, you guys should all be proud of yourselves. My only complaint with the entire video is that Rick Howard didn't casually throw out a switch 360 flip for our enjoyment, he's kinda my favorite from the old-guard.
Let's switch gears now and go from one of the most-watched skate videos of 2012 to one of the least-watched skate videos of 2012, Roger Skateboards' first full-length video, Secondhand Stoke. I'm just surprised that we actually pulled off making a video and were able to premiere it on the Thrasher site with little to no hazing in the comments section. No international trips, no per-diems, no shoe deals, no energy drink money, no real incentive for anybody to work on this project besides getting free skateboards and not being a crybaby about life. Thanks, dudes.
SLAP SLAP Magazine retired its print magazine in December of 2008 but kept producing digital content at slapmagazine.com. 2012 celebrated the 20-year anniversary of SLAP and a special issue was printed (advertisement free) to celebrate the fact. I'm totally biased about considering this one of the best things that happened to skateboarding in 2012 since I have an interview in the issue. But whatever. Don't hate the player, hate the hater.
Adam Young Model Every skate-bro group has that one dude in its fold who skates exponentially better than the rest of the dudes in the skate-bro group. You know the dude, right? The dude who skates as good as most pros but couldn't care less. In my skate-bro group, that dude's name is Adam Young. I was at a skatepark with Adam one time and a small child came up to him and asked, "Are you sponsored?" Adam's response was, "No, I have a real job." Well without trying or asking, Adam was given his own model on Cockfight Skateboards out of Houston, Texas. I'm sure Adam doesn't think he deserves a skateboard with his name on it, but every dude who has ever skated with him knows it's appropriate. Congratulations, Adam. P.S. my buddy Ryan Rhodes did the graphic treatment for this deck and I think they're terrific too.
Preston Harper Worship Friendship Without a doubt my favorite video part that came out in 2012 (excluding anything in Secondhand Stoke) is Preston Harper's part in Worship Friendship. As much as people (myself included) like to complain about what's wrong with skateboarding, Preston is a shining example of exactly what is right with skateboarding. Dude's got the 'tude.
Happy Birthday No-Comply My local skate shop turned five this year. If you know anything about small skater-owned skate shops, you know that the one thing they really excel at is going out of business. Luckily the skateboard community in Austin supports shops like No-Comply and they've been able to hold on and keep the kids stoked for half a decade. I'd like to raise my glass (of water) to five more years. Cheers, y'all.
The Polar Skate Co.
Polar continues to be one of my favorite skateboard companies ever. Check out their second promo video and if you don't agree then you can go back to watching dudes getting all bad boy on 20 stair rails. Yawwwwn.
Photo by Mark "Fos" Foster
Back On Board
My buddy Andreas Trolf was in a pretty horrendous motorcycle accident in June of 2012. The kind of accident where you wonder if your buddy will ever be able to walk again. Seeing this photo on Instagram today closed out 2012 on such a positive note. I love you, buddy. Can't wait to roll with you again in the future. Or just chill on a couch, I'm cool with whatever.
Previously - All I Want for Christmas