It seems that the impossible has happened: we’ve tallied a QS Readers Poll, and there’s no Tom Knox in sight 😲😲😲
All jokes aside, beyond light output from Mr. Knox in 2022, this is perhaps the year that the multiple part approach wielded by S.O.T.Y. hopefuls began to adapt itself to people’s recollections of the past twelve months. Whereas in past years, when multiple releases tended to split the vote in clear favor of one over another, 50% of this year’s Top 20 parts are from the same five people.
Also worth noting that the point spread between slot #14 and slot #10 for single parts was four points. Maybe we introduce a runoff feature next year ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The #1 video was a landslide.
If you are just joining us, this ranking was voted on by QS readers from December 5th to December 9th ✨
*Special consideration was given to videos that premiered in late 2021 after voting for the 2021 Readers Poll had already closed.
The Best Full-Length Skate Videos of 2022
The Best Video Parts of 2022
10. Gilbert Crockett — Quasi: “Denim Car“
For two years, the phrase “Denim Car” was scribbled on an ideas board at Quasi HQ, until made tangible with an upholstered ’91 Pontiac Sunbird. “The idea and name were very literal from the beginning,” explained Gilbert Crockett, who takes the vehicle on an unexplained journey though woodside highways, gas stations and vacant lots before crashing and awakening on a porch in Richmond, Virginia. After a pleasant exchange with the house’s resident, he kickflips over to the neighbor’s doorstep. Maneuvering from ominous, to puzzling, then arriving at cheerful, there’s a feeling of David Lynch about the whole thing.
It’s fitting as Crockett and Lynch are somewhat likeminded: renowned creatures of habit, both in search of perfect pants. For Lynch, routine frees up creative expression elsewhere. For Crockett, familiar surroundings are conducive to finding new approaches.
Richmond has backdropped almost all of his video parts and among the quaint red bricks, Crockett discovers new nooks via granite strewn across grass gaps and temporary sidewalk construction. At his favorite spot, SunTrust, his understated tech takes the lead. There’s a modesty to his closing switch flip over a bench from flat, the weight of it setting in as Jonathan Richman plays out over the credits.
“It feels genuine, I guess,” said Crockett, when I asked him what resonates about skateboarders being captured in their natural environment. Genuine, it does. — Farran Golding
9. Chris Milic — Last Resort AB: Alv’s Angels
I think it’s safe to say that we’re all here for the stuff on the chain, right? I tried some shit like that when I first started skating.
Once. Before I knew better.
It’s nice to see Crangler’s onboard yearnings develop as the years coast by. He’ll still reach out and tickle the wall in a way that feels like he’s holding back laughs, but his skating gets more and more… considered? I’ll never forget a Young Chrissy in his “One in a Million” exit interview or whatever, when they’re like, “Where do you think all that silly shit is gonna get you in this industry, young man?!”
Spring forward, fall back, and here we are in 2022. This man owns a literal business. One that deals with Harmonized Tariff Codes, sales margins, and tolerances to be considered on board graphics that he himself makes. It is possible that all that time at the PC finds him mining within himself for some of the more avant-garde stuff, using the time for busywork to really sit with the ideas of spots, prying apart the physics of shit.
But then you see some shit like manny slappy back tail manny — in a cowboy hat — and you’re like “what?” There’s the stuff that people think of, then there’s the stuff people just do out of spontaneity or boredom. Which category does this fall under? If it’s pre-planned, hat and all, that’s insane. But it’s too nuts, too tech to just be on a whim, right? Well, I think Chrissy knows where the line is and how to toy with it.
The Sharpie-scrawl on the picnic table, with its scribbly arrow pointed to the top of an eighteen-stair handrail, is part of it. It gets at something. A little how-to note to self: “grind here <3.” Like it’s that easy or that silly. But also, it’s dead serious. He knows that he’s brolic, as evidenced by the enders: both variations of a front board fakie pop-over manny on a commonplace chain, hung slack between two poles. Like yeah, "har har" or whatever, but also... yo. There is so much in Chris’s skating that presents itself as goofy until you realize how deadass it actually is, which points to a unique kind of intelligence, or showmanship, or fuckin' ...knowledge of self, you know? They ain’t teachin’ that over at Bryggeregard. That shit ain’t on the syllabus. — Zach Baker
8. Nick Matthews — “Venture x Uprise“
Nick Matthews’ “Venture x Uprise” part paints him as a man of mystery. There are no lifestyle shots to give us a glimpse into his interests or pad the part’s runtime; his wardrobe is unassuming. Even the soundtrack, an eerie beat reminiscent of classic Sovereign Sect videos, seems to say more about his taste in skating than his taste in music.
As Nick cuts through spots, we can picture the gears turning in his head. Every trick is pursued through a lens of both power and dexterity, from the opening backside 5050 — gapping farther over stairs and gate than the stubby windowsill he actually grinds — to the fakie heelflip extended over an alleyway. The mini Chase section, impressive enough when taken at face value, reveals a deeper reverence for the plaza and its significance in Chicago’s scene. Ender ollie aside, the part’s crown jewel is the Keith Hufnagel tribute on the East River esplanade: a risky gap to backside lipslide that could have backfired in both execution and reception. Nick rolled away to unanimous praise.
Maybe there’s no mystery. Maybe we’ve just grown so accustomed to self-promotion that we’re caught off guard by a talented skateboarder who keeps to himself. Maybe we shouldn’t know that much about our favorite skaters. But regardless of what we learned (or didn’t learn) about Nick Matthews watching this part, there’s no question why he’s still on our minds a full year later. — Andrew Murrell
7. Ben Kadow — Supreme: Play Dead
Billie Joel was a high school drop-out turned successful soft-rock balladeer when he released “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me” as a single in the summer of 1980. Its mildly venomous lyrics criticize genre labels and fashion trends, and leaves one wondering if the song is a genuine expression of tepid bitterness or a calculated success move. Is Joel’s use of a vintage rockabilly shuffle to express his indignation sarcastic, authentic, or some place where one is transforming into the other? Is the joke on the listener or is the listener in on the joke? Either way, it was his first #1 hit.
I find myself asking similar questions when contemplating Ben Kadow’s part in Play Dead. With the frayed pants, the gold shades, the conspicuously short sleeves and, perhaps most of all, the Billie Joel… is it cool or defiantly uncool? Can it be both? Does it matter?
More important than bonafides and intentions, is whether or not it connects. And when Ben commits to grinding the top of a sidewalk bench from the street and then misses, I’m fully on board.
Now I’m skating a parking garage curb, that Billie Joel song is in my head and I’m not mad about it. I contemplate how I’d look with hacked sleeves. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways. — Pete Glover
6. Tyshawn Jones — Supreme: Play Dead
Tyshawn Jones’ closing section in Play Dead is a video part that’s upfront about where it’s going and where it’s coming from — fireworks and a trash can, first literally, and then in the metaphorical sense, with a lengthy series of two-shot sequences over the trash bins that Tyshawn Jones has elevated into their own sub-genre (craziest might be switch kickflip / switch heeflip.) For those inclined, it works too as a spin on Bryan Herman’s Stay Gold picnic table verses, a dude Tyshawn has name-checked a few times over the years: “If I were to see Bryan Herman back in the day,” he told Jenkem in 2018, “I’d pay homage.”
Tyshawn Jones’ curtain-closer in “BLESSED” was the heaviest east coast video part since Jake Johnson in Mind Field and there’s still a through line between two of the most consequential pros today. There’s no filler; every clip memorable. Even working mainly with well-worn hometown spots, he’s stretching what seems possible: lifting a noseblunt up the Pyramid Ledges, viciously drifting backside on the switch heelflip over the Dylan Rieder planter. By the end, the sheer height on the ollie over the can at Muni makes it easy to overlook the immaculate tweak, and the 10-foot-tall spikes blur by beneath a high-speed 360 flip.
Plenty of superlatives get flung on Tyshawn Jones, but his street-purist status isn’t as much mentioned. He’s dodging traffic, spreading bondo, little seen in private parks or big-money contests, rewriting reality with a bike lane and a trash can. The exercised passerby halfway through the part bears witness: “Nobody’s doing that!” — Boil the Ocean
5. Tristan Funkhouser — “Deep Fried x Baker“
A good video part makes you feel something: excitement, awe, inspiration, or any other combination of chemicals your body tosses into the burbling beaker of your brain while viewing it. The first time I watched Heath Kirchart in Sight Unseen, I was dumbstruck. The slow build of The Moody Blues, the dramatic pacing (there are only 24 individual tricks in the entire three-minute long part), and expertly timed audio cues had pre-teen me feeling something. By the time Kirchart rode away from his backside noseblunt at UCI to the orchestral swell of strings and horns, my eyes had welled up.
Tristan Funkhouser’s “Deep Fried x Baker” video part also makes me feel something: fear. It’s the primal thrill of watching a comet hurtle toward the earth. This flame-licked ball of energy moves impossibly fast; you’re never sure where it’ll land, whether it’ll survive, or who it’ll take with it. How do you not stare at your screen in wonder at how paradoxically in-control he manages to be with that bend of the knee, executing a unique bag of tricks on spots that would require advanced improvisational skills? Ollie a street to frontside wallride a parked UPS van? Sure!
Watching T-Funk in “Deep Fried x Baker” also made my eyes well from simply trying to keep up. — Cole Nowicki
4. Bobby DeKeyzer — “•BOBBY“
First it’s the dog, then it’s the cyclist, then it’s the make. Who remembered that Bobby DeKeyzer backside heelflipped that road after jumping another? How did he do that? How could one forget? Rewind it and his feet are ready, right there.
And now I’m watching Bobby again, but I’m just looking at those feet. Maybe they move, but maybe not. I stare harder at the feet as he manuals to backside kickflip over a gap, aided by slo-mo to comprehend if they budge. Do they? DeKeyzer’s skating is that great combination of speed and economy of movement, with the added bonus of him doing stuff that’s really hard. He does it all the time!
Now, I’m obsessed with his board; it looks substantial. In my skateshop days, kids would sometimes call wheels “tires.” They might say he skates tires. Why that setup? DeKeyzer skates fast, flicks his board fast, constantly moves fast before slamming on the proverbial brakes to switch manual, fakie 5-0 or just ride away clean. Maybe the board’s heft holds it all together? — Mike Munzenrider
3. Tyshawn Jones — Hardies: “The General“
When the New York Times Magazine featured T.J. in a 2018 profile, they asked the question, “Is skateboarding big enough for someone like Tyshawn Jones?” The years since have seemed to answer in the negative. More than a mere “athlete,” he’s evolved into a restauranteur, designer of skate shoes and sunglasses, fashion model, head of Hardies Hardware, and, as of this year, bossman of Brick Underneath and King Skateboards. In barely a decade, the “buddy” that came up has transformed himself into a mogul. The supply lines to such stardom, however, are fueled by a single source – the power of Tyshawn’s skateboarding.
“The General” opened the onslaught in October and remains Tyshawn’s most exciting offering to date. In four-and-a-half minutes of finely calculated assault, Tyshawn wields his well-balanced arsenal of explosive flip tricks and float across benchmark spots in the States’ most skated cities. He one-ups himself at his favorite hometown haunts, and takes his attack across the country to newly unlocked spots, like the mosaic slide at China Banks with the double-barreled blast of his inimitable tre and nollie heel. By the time he’s poised on a pointed back noseblunt across San Francisco’s behemoth Bay Block, as Jadakiss raps with a cool confidence that he’ll soon “see about a billion,” you can’t help but think that, if Tyshawn wants it, the same fortune is achievable for him. Anything is.
We all know now what comes after the TO BE CONTINUED: the social media scrutiny and the silencing, the Play Dead part, the King clip, the buzzer-beater backside flip, the hard-won second S.O.T.Y.™ trophy. But skateboarding is more than that for him, it’s everything, and the sky’s the limit on where it can take him – let’s see how high he’ll fly. — Christian N. Kerr
2. Tristan Funkhouser — Baker: Tyson & T-Funk 420
Ever had the munchies but felt really nauseous at the same time? This year on 4/20, as I was languishing head deep in a toilet bowl, Tristan Funkhouser – presumably less pregnant than me but with his head also possibly maybe deep down a toilet bowl – released a stunning Baker part. No queasiness could keep me away from watching the long-awaited footage of that China Banks ollie. It’s magic, really, but in its purest form: velocity, levitation, and fearlessness beyond comprehension.
While we all knew the ender would be incredible, the rest of the part is equally mind-boggling, as T-Funk tears through S.F. at eye-watering speed. So fast that his plentiful pushes are a highlight, and I wonder if, like Gino, T-Funk will be known for his eponymous push, one of determination and power. The rail chomping is as you’d expect, but it’s the gaps that stand out – to wallrides, to noseblunt the full length of a curb, to screechy front lip, and to an incredible nose manny on the block at Union Square.
T-Funk is decidedly creative in his approach and trick selection, and this part really is a wild ride. It’s a hot summer day and sticky black tarmac. Lights going out and a kick in the balls. I tell ya, that’s entertainment. — Claire Alleaume
1. Louie Lopez — Converse Cons: As You Wish
We’ve been watching Louie forever, and he’s grown into a major case of twofold trouble: humble to the point of cool as shit with a mind-numbing ease of form.
His Cons offering is not only a promise fulfilled, but an artist in his prime cemented. With his oh-so-soft touch, this part is brimming with an amount and variety of perfectly executed tricks to sate skaters of all galaxies. When I say perfect, I mean that each and every trick Louie does leaves no room for doubt that he should have done anything differently. Gap-outs are gapped-out and bars are bumped while a dazzling, endless access to all of street skateboarding’s tricks, past and present, are displayed. Wallie out of a backside grind, wallie into a backside grind. A boggling fingerflip. A multitude of hairball handrail exits, not including the ender. A big flip out of a fakie 5-0 on a picnic table the length of a whole other table!
This all amounts to skating that is otherworldly but relatable. When the last piano comes in, he isn’t edited to the beat of the music — he’s playing along with it. It’s all encompassing and circular, and the part, though simple, reflects that in its structure. Louie receives karma for joking “gotcha” to an entanglement with the filmer towards the beginning when he falls and chips a step with his body.
I was gonna attempt to write this without mentioning The Award™, and I guess I’ll try to still do that. It’s worth stating though, that strategic sponsor content release strategies aside, it seems like Louie is skating for himself. Therein is the relatable aspect. One hopes this is the case, and a stream of beautiful skating like this can be expected for years to come because it’s inherently going to happen. Because it’s Louie and it fills us with joy. — Adam Abada