It is December. Can you believe it? The year that began with you suggesting to a friend, “Hey do you want to go to an outdoor dining shack in 18-degree weather with snow on the ground to have a beer because if I stay inside my apartment any longer I’m going to claw my own eyes out,” and that friend going “Sure!” is coming to a close.
As we do every year, thus begins our [mostly] scene-specific Top 25 countdown of things that defined the past twelveish months.
Max Palmer via The HIT Video
The 2010s were rife with skaters doing their best Hamilton Harris impressions and ollieing onto the hoods of cars. Eventually, that novelty wore off — how cool is it if every trip edit has a kid skating a car? In 2021, the car skaters who grew bored by 2018 found their niche, and that is skating on what seems to be an inordinate amount of jetskis left on New York streets.
24.The Battle of the Spot Formerly Containing Green Man
Everyone has seen their share of brutally petty skate stoppers, but knobbing this randomass wooden box is next level. What became a fun manual pad in the post-Green Man sculpture era turned into a battle of the wits with the building, as they kept installing new wooden slats, and people kept finding ways through them.
23. Suciu’s Steep 5050
Mark Suciu has no shortage of achievements at New York spots this year. Whether it was elevating the Courthouse + Blubba combo that Kevin Tierney pioneered in Poisonous Products or a five-trick line at Reggaeton that included a nollie cab switch back noseblunt, no matter where you fall on the Suciu fandom spectrum, the dude logged clips.
But for a guy typically heralded for his technicality, one of the most insane bits of his 2021 oeuvre was a 5050 down the rail at Saint Peter’s Church by World Trade — one that pretty much never registered a skateable rail to anybody because it shoots straight into the sidewalk.
(Also fully prepared for somebody to point out that somebody skated this in a Natural Koncept video 😝)
22. Father Demo Square’s Glo-Up
Via Neema Joorabchi’s “how to overcome pain“
Whether you actually call it Father Demo, Joe’s Pizza Park, or just “the nipple,” every edit had this thing in it this year, and each passing clip was another notch towards the Aidan-and-Max-ification of nuggets like these becoming aspirational destinations for everybody.
21. The Rebrand of the Flushing Six
Via “Cyrus For HUF“
When they leveled the B-fountain at Flushing, people talked about how the extended rollaway space was bound to turn the Flushing six into an increasingly deified heir to the Love Gap. Instead, dudes opted to use that landing space as a runway to skate *up* the ledge, rather than try and huck down the six where the two best tricks had already happened eight years ago ;)
20. Pyramid Ledge Slappies
There is that famous Daewon thing from when he was going through the firecracker phase, where he says that stairs are just another version of a bank. It is telling that people skated *up* Pyramid Ledges before they got around to treating the spot like a bank (because, you know, Daewon), but between Jose Zapatero’s back slappy, Connor Champion’s switch slappy crook, and Zac Gavin’s viral front 5050 on it, this was the year the spot finally caught up to Daewon logic.
19. The Willy Grind
The willy grind somehow came “back” this year, but Kyota’s over Zuccotti was the one in which even the most stubborn trick snobs found themselves realizing illegal tricks don’t even exist anymore.
18. Blubba Tricks Reach Their Galaxy Brain Stage
Liam McCabe via The HSS Video
Blubba has been around for twenty years now. Yeah.
If you thought brains began expanding when Zered switch tre lipslid it in 2009, you sure looked stupid by the time people began doing shit over it a few years later. The collective galaxy brain continued to swell, and though Mr. Suciu made headlines for the barrage of tricks he put down on it in his Spitfire part, this is also when people already living in 2067 descended upon Foley Square to tre flip darkslide it, and ollie onto it only to nollie flip off.
17. Connor Kammerer’s Big Heel
But that being said, the craziest fucking thing that went down at Blubba with year was Connor doing a wallie bigspin heelflip over the top of the prop-up yellow thing in the Stingwater video — a trick that he understandably spent six years battling for.
16. It’s All Love
If there are “feel-good” skate videos, the year’s most smile-inducing project was Stefano Kerster’s It’s All Love, which chronicles 12th & A generation mainstays like Andre Beverly, Mike Powley and Elijah Cole all comfortable and killing it in their grown-up skill set, leaving us to remember those 12th Street years as the brief blip in time that they truly were.
Bonus Mini Rapidfire 5
Wholesome Skate Meme of the Year: Penguins = skaters
Coldest-Looking Edit of the
Year Winter: “Vlog #2” from Josh Paynter
Commercial of the Year: Philly Santosuosso for Venture. “It’s gotta be the trucks!”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Mômes 2“