It’s ironic that skaters — even if they typically swear against “organized” sports and all their constraints — so openly embrace free agency speculation. Skaters all think they’re artists and shit, but really, are no better than the dude on some message board who knew a guy that knew a guy who swore Lebron was coming to the Knicks in 2010. And that’s what this has turned into: skateboarding’s version of summer 2010 NBA free agency, except add a few years and subtract the fact that Chris Bosh couldn’t Instagram screenshots of texts he got from ‘Bron and Wade back then. If you let the internet tell it, every Alien rider, half the Habitat roster and Alex Olson’s contracts all expire this summer.
Since skaters are mad #core, skateboarding does not benefit from organized sport conveniences, which enable something like a Slap trade machine to calculate data based on existing contracts. We’re left with two guys quitting their longtime team, and a sloshy downpour of rumors regarding semi-related skaters. You don’t know that Dylan Reider is, say hypothetically a free agent in 2014. You just assume he’s leaving because you know a guy who knows a guy and it “makes total sense.” It’d be so much better if teams could sign-and-trade him for Alex Olson and a second round draft pick. Fantasy skateboarding teams!
Rumors, especially at a time like this, can be tough to navigate. This is why we sent our army of statistician interns mulling through the Slap message board to compile a convenient graph of all current speculation, organized by the extent to which it has been speculated on. Pie chart percentages are in no way correlated to actual likelihood. These range from distinct possibilities to obvious trolling (e.g. three British companies somehow found their way into the rumor mill, so…) Feel free to start some more rumors in the comments.