December 23rd, 2016
This year’s SOTY race was arguably the closest of all time. Over the last five or six years, Thrasher (and skateboarding in general) has made the annual Skater of the Year award into something much more than just bragging rights. SOTY has become a skateboarding pop symbol, one hell of a party and a highly anticipated end-of-year conversation starter in skate communities worldwide. No matter how much YOU anticipated the winner of this year’s Skater of the Year, the real contenders were no doubt aplenty.
With ATVs like Evan Smith and Elijah Berle in the mix, powerhouses like Tiago Lemos and Dane Burman, and all-time greats like Dennis Busenitz and Brian Anderson, it was all way up in there air. The list went on and on… Figgy was another well-deserving shredder. And then there was Austyn Gillette… It seemed impossible to choose, and you know what I mean if you’ve been following skateboarding media at all this year. But it was awarded and to one of the very best, most deserving skaters in the world right now.
Straight outta Oklahoma, Kyle Walker represents America, the mid-west and all that is alive and well with skating big rails and gaps. A straight-up productive killer with an affinity for shutting down any spot in his path, Kyle always gets back in the van with a well-deserved Stella Artois. If you’re a photographer, filmer, teammate or TM, you should always be prepared to celebrate, because Kyle will no doubt bend the limits of what’s doable…
Coming off of a solid performance in Vans’s “Propeller” (second to last part, only second to last year’s SOTY) last year, he produced footage for his full part in Volcom’s “Holy Stokes!” and various online video parts including the recent “No Other Way,” a shorter production from Vans. Kyle came out with his Vans pro shoe earlier this year and also did really well at Dew Tour in Long Beach. With the constant attitude of “let’s kill it, today” day in and day out, it’s no wonder that K Walks got the title of SOTY 2016.
For those that might be disappointed, you know that the winner deserved it. He’s as much a die hard skater as any of the other contenders and definitely pushed himself to new levels! If not convinced, watch the video below.