Each year, nearing the end of the calendar, skaters everywhere anticipate this award. Once per year. The lifetime award, as some consider it.
It’s become so anticipated, yet it’s not the measure of the best skater in the industry at the time. It’s about the skater that best represents a skateboarder at his (yet to be her) prime. The skater who exhibits style, speed, progression, and the grit to eat shit. The skater who does this all year long, and longer.
This year’s Skater of the Year was announced on December 8th, and our SOTY is Anthony Van Engelen (AVE). AVE has been pushing his hardest for longer than many SOTY voters have existed. Since his first sponsor with Channel One Skateboards to his debut with Alien Workshop in the iconic “Photosynthesis” video, his role in the days of “The DC Video” era of DC Shoes to his founding Fucking Awesome. Almost every time period of modern street skateboarding has been one chapter or another of AVE’s notable career as a professional skateboarder. The cherry on top and good excuse for Thrasher to give him SOTY 2015: his incredible ending part in a long-awaited video that completely met the hype: Vans’ “Propeller.”
Just to answer any nay-sayers, any doubters, any talkers, AVE was a worthy SOTY. He may not have blizzard flips like Kevin Bradley, the spry energy of Cory Kennedy, or kinked rail talent of Ishod Wair, but he has something none of them have.
The heart and perseverance of Fucking Anthony Van Engelen.