4PLY Mag Presents – 2020 #QSTOP10 Analysis

Words by Pete Glover C/O 4Ply Magazine

Somewhere in the pocket-protected part of the intersection of skate nerd and regular nerd resides ragtag assembly of international spreadsheet jockeys that comprise the team of skate-data enthusiasts known as 4PLY Magazine. Between slappy sessions and carpal tunnel flare-ups, we spend our free time generating datasets from skate media, writing code to process that data, and then straining to convince ourselves this is all somehow important. The urge to take an already quantified ranking system like the weekly Quartersnacks Top Ten countdown and crunch the numbers into submission was just too compelling. And thus the complete study of the #QSTop10 materialized.

Having carefully inputted all 490 tricks that comprised every countdown slot into the trusty 4PLY supercomputer, we can now dig deep into 2020 and answer the really important questions: What tricks are trending? What skaters are happening? What percentage of clips come from Instagram? What was the longest line? How many skaters are named Alex?

Utilizing the power of percentages, we analyzed the countdown code on 4PLYmag.com.

In the meanwhile, tease your brain with a few choice countdown factoids:

– A skater who tied for most appearances in the countdown (with 6) wasn’t even on the Thrasher long list of 36 S.O.T.Y. contenders.
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The Best Skate Videos & Parts of 2020 — QS Readers Poll Results

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.

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