Big Anthony Speaks The Magic Words, And The SOTY Pot Begins To Bubble

More or less on schedule with the arrival of shittier weather and the autumn crop of video premieres, Boil the ocean internet blog spot/space examines potential and plausible candidates for Thrasher’s 2011 skater of the year, known as the only award without several zeroes behind it that matters in the streets.

Dennis Busenitz
If it ain’t this year then probably it never will be for the dude, and these younger guns toting heavier hammers and rumors of Jake Phelps remaining cool on him further slim the odds. Drawing the curtains on this year’s most recent Real production was another stripe up on Busenitz’s arm and from over here his big win in Tampa (SOTY of contests?) bought one of the year’s more culture-affirming moments, but kinda still see him getting passed over again — which in the long run will probably rank him with Muska and Jamie Thomas, since aside from Bob Puleo and Marc Johnson it’s tough to think of many dudes exerting more influence on the ‘modern scene.’

Torey Pudwill
Pro footwear, his own week on the Thrasher website and backside tailslides of ridiculous proportions, Torey Pudwill has made strides since parting ways with his Alien flow packages. But was his midsummer Thrasher web dominance more like a marriage of convenience targeting unique page views than a lasting love affair? Calculated shot at SOTY status or not you’d be hard pressed to match the combos and waist-high ledge get-ups in terms of fireworks power, among both web one-offs and still-to-DVD productions alike. Pudwill would be a strong entry in a race that some years seems to go to the consensus candidate in lieu of a dominant MJ, Rowley, Arto or Daewon.

Grant Taylor
A favorite skater’s favorite skater type and for the past year-plus the recipient of many a slobbery photo caption via Thrasher, with fairly good reason. Grant Taylor possibly tops Leo Romero in perceived attitude negativity and also is an ATV mold-breaker. Meanwhile he’s managed to run an impressive and Heath Kirchart-like streak of non-communication that’s admirable in our Instagram laundry-airing era. No video part yet but he’s got good footage embedded in any number of crusty tour clips.

Brandon Westgate
Not letting up the bumps-to-bars pummeling he brought toward the end of last year, Brandon Westgate in 2011 also offered us a regular-joe turn in “Epicly Later’d” that sported a blue collar motif kinda at odds with the Marc Ecko corporate umbrella, but well loved by the canned beer/hair by Wahl set. Setting up shop on the San Francisco hills wins Nor-Cal points and he backside smith grinded up a handrail, Brandon Westgate is on his level.

Nyjah Huston
A 16-year-old kid who’s closing in on a million dollars’ worth of soda-pop contest prizes (this year), for the purposes of Xcel autosumming stair counts and degree rotations onto handrails Nyjah Huston could probably claim the little SOTY statuette on the basis of Street League points, and he generously gave a week’s worth of photos and requisite interview to Thrasher not long ago. Together with a to-come internet video part this kid figures as a contender but even without the tween dreadlocks look there’s sometimes a kind of lack of drama to his tricks.

Justin Brock
Every self-respecting blog list needs a dark-horse entry that makes some kind of rational sense, and for our purposes Justin Brock fits the bill. He is a southern beer swiller and a sometime loudmouth, he recorded a rollicking two-song section for the Real vid that peaked with a triumph over security, he jumped aboard KOTR mainly I think to support his bros and also swill beers (and lose). Has there ever been a glasses-wearing skater of the year?

Fred Gall
Good internet lists designed to create arguments and draw precious web hits also often include a darker-horse entry that is controversial. Fred Gall in 2011 courted controversy by taking off his clothes (again), going to jail (again), and wallriding a moving bus. There is a ponderous blog post maybe to be written as a compare/contrast of Fred Gall and Sean Sheffey’s careers and legal trespasses and their shared inclination toward switchstance skating, but for the purposes of this one, I guess Sheffey never won SOTY either.

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79 Responses to “Big Anthony Speaks The Magic Words, And The SOTY Pot Begins To Bubble”

  1. Tim Says:

    I vote Fred Gall.

  2. Jo El Says:

    Jake Phelps is a D bag. I came across him the other night while I was riding my bike home. He was skating down the middle of the lane going the wrong way and purposely swerving at bikes coming at him in the bike lane, mumbling to himself. Dude is a serious mess. This definitely isn’t the first (or last) such sighting.

    That being said, skater of the year definitely still matters, somehow. My vote is for Busenitz!

  3. BarcelonaCEO Says:

    bob burnquist counts as soty with glasses

  4. Max Says:

    Maybe not this year, but Gilbert Crockett sits poised for somebody’s nomination down the road. I’m not one to measure quantity of coverage, but it’s there, and it’s all amazing. Plus, anyone who can jump ship from the Jamie Thomas Program, promote a tough city to skate, and not take his/herself too seriously earns points in this camp.

  5. HarryCrews Says:

    No one should be able to win SOTY if they skate for Nike.

  6. Jonathan Says:

    Heath should win it with just that Backside 360 he did in Colorado.

  7. Um, OK Says:

    I hate to say it, but it’s Nyjah’s year. Hands down, dreads off.

  8. REID Says:

    what about sheckler!?!?! doesnt he still have a video part coming out that is s’posed to blow minds?

  9. SiSePuede Says:

    NighJah has a lot of years ahead of him, so not this year. Also, its not the shoes that make the soty, its what is done in them.

  10. art hellman Says:

    grant taylor

  11. intheknow Says:

    i can’t picture anyone but grant taking it. of course, i said it had to be rune (remember that interview?!?!?!?) when SBN got it, so what the fuck do i know?

  12. doomstation55 Says:

    ummm my dark horse pick would be aaron homoki, thrasher cover w massive ollie, pro for birdhouse (which i guess is actually kinda a knock against him), outrageously gnar part in happy medium 2 w good all around skating. Another pick that could (probably won’t) happen would be wes kremer. Although his main part was in Transworld video, he’s gonna have a part in sk8mafia video and he’s an all around shredder (but from socal, lots of Transworld ties, etc.)

  13. Amyl N. Says:

    I vote Fred Gall too.

  14. dedleg Says:

    Great article. There really isn’t a clear winner amongst them… personally I think Grant did more to earn SOTY last year than this year, although it was “too soon” at the time. I’m leaning towards Busenitz just due to the sheer outrage that will arise if he doesn’t get it… plus he lives in SF. What’s this deal with Phelps not feeling him? What’s not to like?

  15. thecarbonite Says:

    playing devil’s advocate here, but doesn’t grant taylor just do mid-80’s vert tricks, but in bowls?

    • art hellman Says:

      i dunno, you see Killing Time? he keeps up with Trujillo…

    • HarryCrews Says:

      That will always be way more sick than disco.

      Tony Trujillo, Grant Taylor, Raven Tershy, Sammy Baca…etc. It’s just better.

    • ralf Says:

      I don’t think anyone in the 80’s even did a frontside air (no grab) the way he does them. Style is completely different from the hands on the coping, grabbing style of the 80’s.

      And haven’t you seen Nike debacle?! He is an insane street skater as well.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    No way for Nyjah! How ugly does his tricks look in skate photos…yuk! Style is a factor not monopoly money contest points.

    • zone Says:

      exactly. he’s apart of the corporate public image of skateboarding. he’s good at tricks but as far as being a soty… never.

  17. Ole Wayward Says:

    How about Jason Dill? Thrasher cover, Vans team, Odd Future video…

  18. Not.Jake.Phelps Says:


  19. J-wU Says:

    busenitz would be dope regardless if he is on adidas, the dude is rad as fuck^^

  20. bendick Says:

    I hope Nyjah NEVER gets SOTY. No matter how good at skating he is, he will always be a kook in my book. Dennis for sure.

  21. Henkler Says:

    Todd Falcon SOTY.

  22. Skately Says:

    Big Anthony got it boiling nice and hot. Good cases for all. Personally pushing for Dennis or Torey but it’s definitely anybody’s race.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    jaws is skater of the year…he does crazy ish

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Wes Kremer would be cool, but Busenitz deservs it, that guy fucking rips!

  25. Sean Pedernales Says:

    cory kennedy for the win!!! i know hes not up there but….

  26. Will Says:

    surprised no one has mentioned Wes Kremer!

  27. stinky dinky Says:

    im voting for raven tershy, he out granted grant and thats just amazing

  28. Dogface2fakie Says:

    Grant Taylor. c’mon, Skate & Destroy attitude and the flowest flow on bowl.
    that guy shreds the unshreddable

  29. bob le farre Says:

    shut up and skate

  30. Anonymous Says:

    What about Jaws? Thrasher cover w/ the biggest ollie ever recorded, end part in Happy Medium (probably the best part of the year), and he turned pro!

  31. skater die Says:

    joey b for holding down a pro career by only using two wheels

  32. Electric BLVD Says:

    Great Article, my question is, how come onetime heir to the throne Paul Rodriguez seems like more of an underdog nowadays. His solo part was groundbreaking, there might not be anyone else out there who can switch back noseblunt a handrail, yet somehow it kind of flew under the radar, even compared to Pudwell’s. He does consistently pretty well in those street league contests, and had a battle commander at the berrics (may have been last year). skating better than he ever has, yet you never here his name thrown around in these debates. 3 years ago he would have been the favourite to win one of these things based on his name alone.

  33. Ole Wayward Says:

    P-Rod’s switch back-tail heelflip in the November Thrasher is one of the ugliest tricks in recent memory. And I believe he was wearing a PR shirt.

    In the same issue, you have back-to-back Grant and Raven street adds that fly in the face of the “80’s tricks in bowls” argument above.

    Also in the issue is the aforementioned Heath 360 and Fred Gall in a dumb truck.

  34. Nruttersupreme Says:

    How Bout fucking Wes Kremer! Dudes been killing it all year long, and just went pro with two parts dropping, not to mention mucho coverage?! Comeon man

  35. Fernando Robles Says:

    Nyjah’s kiss my ass!! Busenitz it’s the men!!!!!

  36. johnny Says:

    another vote for freddy gall

  37. Anonymous Says:

    Chris Miller.

  38. vote for nobody Says:

    I vote for Nobody.
    He’s the guy who everyone likes.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    no one on that list can slob air 8 feet out, and then go noseblunt a 10 stair…except grant!

    grant for soty!!

  40. Anonymous Says:

    Breverick Gall

  41. im_not_shouting! Says:

    Anyone still thinking Dylan Rieder has a shot at this, or are we back to sleeping on that dude’s talent?

  42. Jonathan Says:

    Chris Miller?

  43. Anonymous Says:

    T-Mo or Grosso

  44. Tanner Says:

    Of course I want Grant to win, because we both are from ATL and I see him at the park on the regular (if you hate on this guy w/o having had seen him skate in real life, you have no place to talk shit), but Boozentits deserves the hell out of it and has for a while now. Those are my top picks, and if Nyjah wins, I will probably cancel my Thrasher subscription….

  45. jr Says:

    60 comments, this post been put on slap or something?

  46. Dwayne Says:

    Grant Taylor hands down. Skate and destroy.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    Brandon Westgate or Grant Taylor. Both have been killing it.

  48. Anonymous Says:

    If Chris Miller had some street footage available it would be a no brainer. Busenitz’ time has come and gone, very sad he was never truly recognised. Grant should get it for overall shreddage but is not the ‘nasty’ personality that promotes the hate necessary to inflame the skate fashionistas into spending. Give it to someone totally unexpected for the entertainment value.

  49. Joshua Says:

    Grant, Westgate, and Busenitz each deserve to get it but unfortunately T-“Buds” or Nyjah will more than likely be the ones recognized purely for being hype machines. Too bad there isn’t a more democratic process for this award.

  50. Anonymous Says:

    Dennis Busenitz for sure. Huge influence. He toured all year and killed it everywhere he went! Last part in Real, Tampa, so many sick ads. He deserves it for sure!
    Grant Taylor, Westgate and T-Pud will all have even better years. Same for Nyjah.

  51. art hellman Says:

    exhibit 29

    ollie at 1:12 feat. Phelps finger point

  52. 66789abcd Says:

    brandon westgate. he’s the only one on this list pushing boundaries. he fucking rules.

  53. Anonymous Says:

    gilbert crockett

  54. fuck Says:

    gilbert crockett

  55. Anonymous Says:

    how could you say raven tershay is overrated? the homie hadn’t ever been in the x-games, first go destroys everything and gets gold muthafucka yeeee, raven for SOTY all the way

  56. kazino dorean Says:

    kazino dorean…

    […]Big Anthony Speaks The Magic Words, And The SOTY Pot Begins To Bubble « boil the ocean[…]…

  57. doomstation55 Says:

    blegh just watched the new nyjah part and i think he wins skateboarding… i dont think its a good thing

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