From Static IV & V and 'cherry' to Manhattan Days and Destination Unknown, it's been a pretty great year for skateboarding.

From Static IV & V and 'cherry' to Manhattan Days and Destination Unknown, it's been a pretty great year for skateboarding.

Year end lists are often about what you omit, not what you include. Sometimes it’s hard for me to even remember what was cool about last week, so digging back into my skull for almost 12 months of cool shit is hard — I’m not doing that. Instead, I’m just going to go stream of conscious here and you can all fill in the blanks.

I would like to preface this by saying that there were several losses in skateboarding this year including forefathers Jay Adams and Shogo Kubo, but losing Matt Reason struck me in a different way as he was roughly my age and someone I saw skate in person. Reason was close with many of my friends and was an East Coast pro who championed the spirit of Philadelphia and the city’s approach to skating. May all those who left us this year Rest In Power and give them a toast on New Year’s Eve.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015 to all. Now let’s celebrate what went down for the last 365-ish days.

Everything ‘The Tempster’ did

Serious injuries might have slowed down Ed Templeton’s skating, but The Tempster’s (you have to drop that nickname once in every Ed-icle) productivity was prolific. He had so many books, zines, exhibits and stuff come out in 2014, that I’m just going to bestow this award and let you google the rest.

Glen E. Friedman’s My Rules

Glen E. Friedman also released a compendium of his skate, punk, and hip-hop images under the title My Rules, which should be on your bookshelf or holiday gift list. Friedman’s work isn’t just the gold standard of image taking, it’s the blueprint of the attitude you need to succeed. Anyone can shoot a picture, but can you live what’s outside the frame? Good luck.

Allen Ying/43 Magazine

The guy with a camera who makes me jealous is Allen Ying, which is why I bestow upon him, my unofficial “Skate Photographer of the Year” award. (I can do that.) With 43 magazine as the driving force for his photography, Ying shoots photos that bring you into his eye and mind. They’re the types of shots that hang on your wall as a kid, that you can describe in detail 20 years later.
Screen shot 2014-12-24 at 14.52.38

The Sun Rises in the East

Since 75 per cent of my list deals with things blossoming off New York’s distribution tree Theories of Atlantis, run by Florida expat Josh Stewart, I’m just giving Theories its own award. Webclips, distroing some of the most important core brands in skateboarding, and dropping two Static videos in one night, Stewart is a documentarian and humble provider for skateboarding. Fuck everyone saying we need a new Rocco, we need more Josh Stewarts.

Black Friday

How nice is it that Black Friday is more than just a day to buy a bunch of shit really cheap now? Skateboarding used that platform to drop a ton of free web content, from Zoo York’s Black “Friday” Dave Willis full part to the unexpected Antihero Destination Unknown video and a 24-hour viewing privilege of the Girl camp’s latest, which we’ll get to later.

Free Admission

Everyone likes Polar right? Pontus and crew no-complied the shit out of 2014 on the world wide web, with several twee clips that got us all pumped to skate and even lug around pieces of metal to our favorite spots.

Pay to Cum

I’m going to direct you over to the Theories webstore again to go buy Static IV/V right now if you haven’t, but we have to mention the year’s other heavy hitter worth your scratch. No, not that one that was 20 years in the making, I’m talking about Supreme’s ‘cherry’, by William Strobeck. Nothing more to say here, if you don’t like this I can’t really help you.

The return of Gino, and others

I don’t think the impact of ‘cherry’, the FA kids, or the emergence of Chuck Taylors as skateboarding’s “it shoe” are all that surprising, or shocking, but the ripple effects were. Let me walk you through this. ‘cherry’ drops, then later the webclip Joyride, and suddenly the young guns are all growed up and even better. All this incredible web content keeps dropping, filled with Cons and inspiring skating, and then Gino Iannucci leaves Chocolate for FA and does the interview of the year with Jenkem. What? Wait there’s more – Gino put out more footage in 2014, via The Italian One’s Wet Dream, than PJ Ladd. I swear this is real. Oh, and we also got a lost Ocean Howell part from Richard Hart in his Howard House video. WTF.

Sweet Art

Speaking of Chocolate, they toasted 20 years of their brand with a comprehensive art show, stopping all over the globe. If you weren’t able to view the evolution of the brand in a gallery, you missed something special, as it really needed to be viewed in context, even if you had to peer over the shoulders of a boozy art crowd.

Brick and Mortar

Let’s bring it back home, to my former city of residence, Boston, MA, home of Orchard Skate shop(s). Orchard turned out a shop video as serious as most brand videos. Stone Soup’s friend section has a clip of Julien Stranger — think about that and go buy if you haven’t already.

See more of our ‘best of’ lists.