I had no doubts in my mind that Leo Romero was going to win this year's coveted Thrasher Skate of the Year Award. You really can't question the gnar of either Leo's Emerica Stay Gold or Toy Machine Brain Wash video parts that dropped back to back within months of each other.
Salo had a feeling that it was going to be Grant Taylor since, "I think Phelps is really feeling Grant and he went on both King of the Road and Skate Rock tour."
As much as I love Grant Taylor's skating and think he's one of the gnarliest dudes out there, I think there are a lot of kids that just don't get him. At least not yet. I believe that there isn't a kid out there alive that's not a Leo fan and I like to think Thrasher's editor. Jake Phelps, is a man of the people and the people are screaming for Leo right now. It is his time.
But Salo wasn't the only who doubted Leo. I asked his team manager Mike Sinclair and said, "I thought he had it. But then I was thinking Andrew Reynolds or Westgate or P. Rod or even Dylan Reider could pull a sneak attack. And then maybe Grant Taylor for the underground. But watching [Leo] on trips and demos he kills it every day. I'm not sure if he was trying for it but he is the Skater Of The Year and you can see that watching him."
His new teammate and former roommate Daniel Lutheran wasn't shocked at all, "Not surprised, best dude out. Who else could it have been? He destroyed the rail, ledge and stair situation for everybody. He just kills it all so hard in a very consistent manner. I knew he had it."
Same goes for Jim Thiebaud, who makes Leo's pro model Spitfire Wheels, "Truth is I actually thought Leo was going to win and its well, well deserved. Ever since I saw him do the nose blunt up the ledge at Maloof 2 years ago, that alone made me say, "Take the trophy." More of that in skating please."
So what did the dude himself think? Leo says, "I'm not that excited or surprised. I didn't really think about it. I tried to block it; I don't like to think about things like that. I thought Andrew was going to win. They're keen on giving it to someone twice so I thought he'd get it. So when Jake came to my house and told me it was strange. I hate surprises, I feel vulnerable. I didn't know how to react so I shut down pretty much."
And the reason he couldn't celebrate with Jake and a sixer right then and there? "I got staff infection in my leg on this Toy Machine tour and I'm on antibiotics. But I took the night off from my antibiotics so I could celebrate with Jake."