Intro & Interview by José Vadi
Photography by Norma Ibarra
Photographer Norma Ibarra left her hometown of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico in 2009 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia — a few blocks away from Antisocial Skateshop in 2015. She started skating and became obsessed. Norma transferred her lifelong photography passion into contributions to the burgeoning The Skate Witches collective-turned-zine and volunteering for nonprofits like Skate Like a Girl. Self-funded skate trips turned into official invites from brands to document the worldwide sessions. Few have captured so many unique skate scenes around the world in so little time as Norma, who has a keen eye for showcasing skateboarding as a conversation with the cities and communities that house every trick.
Norma’s energy and passion for her work was palpable during our recent phone call, where we talked about photographer etiquette, hoarding clothes, and why growing your own food can help your skating.
Illustration by Cosme Studio
Ballot Tally Assist by 4Ply Magazine
One of the biggest cliches is discussing just *how much* skate content there is. Everything is available at once, and keeping track of it for one viewing — let alone multiple — is hard.
Last year’s decade poll aimed at a snapshot of skateboarding in a ten-year span, as it grew exponentially into the content waterfall it is today. It was very fun to do, but perhaps easier in that with ten years to reflect on, it was apparent what loomed large over tricks, styles and trends. We brought it back for a single year to try and form a canon at a time when so much of the conversation is geared around things moving too fast for a consensus.
Yes, you’ll notice an inherent recency bias here, and year-end content is obviously an imperfect art — the poll closed on December 4, which is before John’s Vid and Third Shift came out online, two projects that definitely would’ve ranked if eligible. (Honestly, John’s Vid might’ve ended up being #1 or #2 given the readership of this website.)
So here it is. No commentary for the full-lengths this round. Full-length skate videos capture a zeitgeist, and sometimes, it takes a while for those effects to truly make themselves known.
Shout out to all the writer friends from the internet who helped with write-ups, and extra major shout out to the team at 4Ply Magazine for the help on tallying the ballots.
And if you’re joining us, this ranking was voted on by QS readers during the first week of December, with voting ending on the 4th.
Photo by Wallacavage
“Kareem was right decades before skateboarding was ready to listen – You gotta break out and I gotta break out – from the invisible biases to the literal abusive behavior, the forces threatening to imprison our edits, our stories, our letters from ever being received.” José Vadi wrote an incredible essay on Free about Kareem Campbell, California in the 1990s, the L.A.P.D., Trilogy, representation, and how it all ties together.