The SOTY race this year was awesome. It felt like an interesting microcosm of what is happening to skating right now. Skateboardings popularity is creating this strange blend of art and sport that I don’t think we have seen before. I am going to attempt to breakdown what I think was so interesting about it this year.
For those of you that are not familiar with what SOTY is check out my SOTY 2022 Wrap Up👇
SOTY 2022 Wrap Up
SOTY was really great this year. I don’t remember the last time we had 4 really solid candidates that are all great for…
SOTY is being campaigned for
The first things that has kind of hit me is that people are campaigning for the title rather than it being an award to recognize someone. This has been happening for a while but I really started feeling it when Mark Suciu was robbed of the title in 2020 after campaigning hard. Of course he came back the next year and nabbed the title. 😎
I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. It does kind of give you something to look forward too, someone to root for, and for the most part doesn’t change the skating. We are still seeing people come up with tasteful trick selections and creative parts that we would probably get either way. So really the audience and Thrasher are the main benefactors here. Hopefully skaters get thrown a bone but given how the skate industry operates I am doubtful. 😛
We basically have ESPN Sports Center for skating
With the rise of channels like Gifted Hater, Dumb Data, and other Youtube commentators it feels like skateboarding is more of a traditional sport than ever. It feels like we have an ESPN Sports Center like commentating on events in skateboarding that we didn’t have just a few years ago. I am just waiting for someone to create a skateboarding fantasy league if it doesn’t exist already lol. It is also interesting this kind of stuff is taking off right as skateboarding is becoming apart of the olympics.
Again this isn’t bad it is just interesting how the appetite for this kind of content has changed. These kinds of channels really add to the overall hype of SOTY and make interesting observations about video parts, contests, etc.
The only negative thing, in my opinion, is most of them seem to want a more analytical approach to these skate titles. Gifted hater talks about coming up with a point system for games of skate and complains about the unbalanced judging at SLS contests. While channels like Dumb Data are literally creating baseball card like states for SOTY contenders.
I think it is cool that skateboarding is a physical activity where the emphasis is more on the artistry of how tricks are put together rather than this guy did x number of tricks, y length of grinds, etc.
What does it all mean?
All of this means probably nothing. It really just means that skateboarding is growing. Ultimately I don’t think we are loosing any culture with commentators, skaters campaigning for awards, etc. Skateboarding just appears to be growing or maybe coming out of its mid 90s early 00s slump.