For the first time, we had a member of the Skateboards.com team out at the annual TWS Awards. As the premiere skateboarding awards show, we were stoked to say the least. Transworld has always made a point to show positivity in skateboarding (some of the awards given last weekend are examples), and their effort to host such an event is a testament to their dedication to preserving the skateboarding industry that we so know and love.
The line was around the block in downtown Los Angeles, and the VIP line was almost just as long. The anticipation building all around the building was unreal, but as you would expect. Everyone in skateboarding is there, from the industry guys that are SoCal local and east coast visitors alike. The awards are an occasion that happen each year and are awaited by many. Maybe skateboarding isn’t about who was awarded this or that in a certain year, but it is about coming together as a family and appreciating what’s gone down in our world. The TWS Awards offer exactly that. It’s an opportunity for everyone to meet up, hang out, and drool over the insane feats in skateboarding that have gone down over the past year. And with that…
Miles Silvas was awarded Rookie of the Year. And we know why. He RIPS! But he does it while oozing style and personality on and off his board. If you saw his LRG video part, you’ll know right away. But even if not, you may have seen his footage with the PLA Boys of Sacto, on his Instagram, or throughout plenty of other online coverage throughout the year 2015. Cheers to you, Miles! And looking forward to Adidas’ “Away Days.”
Leticia Bufoni was awarded the Female Readers Choice Award, and Ishod Wair walked home with the Male Readers Choice. I think anyone who keeps up with skateboarding will know that these are two deserving recipients of the Readers Choice trophy. ‘Shod has been killing it consistently ever since getting onto the scene five years ago, but especially since turning pro for Real, winning Thrasher’s SOTY two years ago, and putting out more footage than almost anyone in the game. Leticia Bufoni was consistently getting coverage, whether it be with interviews on ESPN or crooked grinds on 12-stair rails. She won the first ever women’s division of Street League and blew minds with her PUSH part from The Berrics. What’s most important here, and to skateboarding, is that Readers Choice has a female category. “Girl skaters” are more common than ever, and they are pushing the envelope on what is possible for a female on a board. Cheers to the women on the come-up in skateboarding! They never stopped, we’re just finally started to recognize…
Team of the Year was “Fucking Awesome,” and Video of the Year was “Vans – Propeller”. So it makes sense that Best Video Part of the Year went to Anthony Van Engelen (AVE), who was also Thrasher’s SOTY for 2015. The birth and growth of Fucking Awesome has been a part of the new direction in hardgoods within the skateboarding industry, setting trends in style of all types. Vans finally put out a full-length video and did NOT disappoint. And AVE was part of all of it. With the “ender” video part in “Propeller” and founding Fucking Awesome, he was a sure shot for support on that one. Long live AVE!
The special awards of the night, the first and last, were the Eric Stricker Award and the Legend Award. The Eric Stricker Award goes to a person or organization each year that changes skateboarding for the the better, somehow. And this year, Transworld gave it to the Ryan Sheckler Foundation. The Sheckler Foundation raises money to help young skaters with disabilities, grown veterans of the skate industry with injuries, and many other worthy recipients who love skateboarding. Because skateboarding loves them. Sheckler himself accepted the award and gave a brief speech on behalf of the foundation. And it was GOLD. Excited to see what they do in 2016!
This year’s Legend Award was awarded to Ed Templeton. Not only is Ed Templeton SUCH a legend (he really deserved it), but he delivered a truly impressive acceptance speech. Going all the way back to the first time that skateboarding took his attention to his mentors and experiences as a skateboarding youth, and then onward to later in his career, Ed nailed it. That man has a lot to share about life, art, love, and effort. And, of course, skateboarding. Was not surprised to hear that we would be awarded the 2015 Legend Award. But pleasantly surprised at the eloquence, humility, and raw quality of his words when accepting the award.
Following the Awards, the 27th Transworld skateboarding video was premiered right there at the Ace Hotel Theatre. But you can read that story on another blog post. I can only say that it did NOT disappoint! And now, you can watch it, as it’s available on DVD.
All in all, the ambiance of the venue, the caliber of the people, and the intensity of the night made the 18th Annual TWS Awards one to remember. Despite Brian Schafer and Lee Dupont bickering in front of hundreds of people (hahaha). I wish a solid start to the New Year and to all of you!
And may you one day be behind that podium, accepting an award as a accomplished skater yourself. Hard work will get you there!