It's getting toward that time of year where Jake Phelps and the folks at Thrasher magazine pick who'll be the Skater Of The Year. Though the award is one institution's honor and will always lean towards a skater that's done a solid amount in the pages of that magazine each year, it's safe to say that a skater who's killing it all around has likely done some of that ripping in the pages of Thrasher in a given year. Beyond that, the Skater Of The Year honor has emerged as the preeminent distinction of our world. With few exceptions, the folks at Thrasher have given the honor to the most worthy recipient year after year and, although you can make arguments for other skaters in any given year, it's near impossible to argue against the caliber of skaters that make up that elite group who hold the trophy. John Cardiel, Tony Hawk, Danny Way (twice), Salman Agah, Marc Johnson, Chris Cole (twice), Mike Carroll, Eric Koston, Bob Burnquist and more. Since the award's beginning in 1990, every name on the list is a skater that stood apart and pushed the limits of skateboarding in their own way. Every person with a SOTY trophy is a legend.
So who will take home the bronze statue of an early '90s era skater standing atop a parking block throne this year? After all this was a year of some heavy boarding from all sides. By my estimate, there are four skaters that stand above the rest, each of whom could easily grab the prize and few would argue the decision. Here's the first candidate on that list: Leo Romero
It's not even worth arguing against Leo being a top contender for this year's SOTY. In 2009, he was heavy contender but many of his standout moves appeared in the pages of magazines that compete on the newsstand with Thrasher. 2010 is a different story though. Leo has a full blown interview in Thrasher with a gnarly cover photo to boot (a Smith grind dangling from a perilous two story staircase drop). Leo dropped not one but three insane video parts this year beginning with X Games 16's Real Street video contest, followed by a standout part in Emerica's "Stay Gold" -- a heavy contender for everyone's votes as video of the year. Then, just a week or so ago, Leo dropped one more part in the ender of Toy Machine's latest, "Brain Wash." Many of you reading this may not have even seen "Brain Wash" yet, but I have. I'll say this: Leo does not disappoint. Add to that video part onslaught, Leo popping up in nearly every mag this year, putting heavy hitting moves out in a few RVCA tour vids and just generally ruling. It would appear that its Leo's year. With that said there are a few other skaters out there that could steal Leo's thunder. There are even a few that no one would really argue about if the SOTY trophy ends up in their hands rather than Leo's. So who are these heavy hitters? Keep checking back and we'll bring you more SOTY contenders in the days to come.