With the end of the world penciled in for the end of 2012, I guess it doesn't really matter what happens with skateboarding but it's always fun to try and guess the future. Here are a few things I believe you may (or may not) see happen in 2012:
1. Gilbert Crockett will go pro for Alien Workshop
I'm not going out on a limb here. It seems like an obvious fact that Gilbert could have gone pro in 2011 or even 2010 but he most certainly is going pro this year. I'm hoping early spring. He's just too good. He's like Chris Pfanner and Ishod Wair; you can't help but wonder why they were ever Am.
2. Another shoe brand will throw in the towel
We saw éS announce that they'll be ceasing operations in 2012 and there are at least three shoe brands with worse sell-through and less distribution. With many teams clearing their team rosters and unable to meet their payroll, another brand will fall this year, if not two. Shall we start a death pool?
3. Boards For Bros will go national
The fellows at The Skatepark of Tampa have a great program called "Boards For Bros," where they give skateboards to underprivileged kids and I think it's high time that the rest of the country get involved and start helping those in the inner cities.
4. Your favorite pro might be on the unemployment line
The recession is hitting the country hard [Sears & Kmart just announced they're closing 120 stores] and skateboarding is not exempt. I think a lot of older pros that get very little coverage will be let go this year due to the fact that brands can't afford to pay them and there are a slew of young kids willing to work for less.
5. A Canadian will revolutionize the bushing game
There is not a truck bushing on the market that doesn't get all hard and go to hell in extremely cold temperatures. Well, a Canadian brand, Bitter Bushings, claims to have changed all that with superior, cold-weather-friendly bushings. Sadly, the skateboard industry will see no need for them because it's based in Southern California where it never goes below 60 degrees in the winter.
6 . A.Skate will win an ESPY
Chris Worley, John Pike and everyone involved at A.Skate, the non-profit organization to bring awareness to the Autism Disorder and to get autistic kids on skateboards, made the skateboard industry take notice in 2011. In 2012, I think the entire sporting community will take notice of their efforts and award them the Espy Humanitarian Award.
7. Contests, contests, contests!
With the Maloof Money Cup, Street League, Dew Tour, X Games and all the other smaller pro events expanding their dates you can expect to see or hear about some high stakes, big money, televised, pro-paloozas just about every other weekend. I hope you like contests because you're about to O.D. on them.
8. Skateboarding will head to the Olympics in 2016
It's a foregone conclusion. Let's face it. Snowboarding is in. This year, BMX will be in the Summer Olympics and that industry's revenue is a small fraction of what skateboarding's is. Skateboarding will claim it needs the exposure and the Olympics committee will need something cool to get teens to tune in aside from women's volleyball. Although I'm curious who they'll get to skate because Michael Phelps is a saint compared to most of our guys.
9. Danny Way is going to blow our minds again
I don't know what he's got up his sleeve, but I know it's something and it's gonna be insane. It's been too long since Way jumped over or off of or out of something. I ran into him not too long ago and I saw it in his eyes; he's got something brewing. I've always wanted him to go to the moon and do an eggplant on a moon crater and with the way DC has been spending money lately that might be a real possibility. If not that, how tall is the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Or is that too tiny for Danny Way?
10. Skateboarding will remain the coolest thing on Earth
The act of skateboarding doesn't require the Internet or the Olympics or big paychecks or tight pants or a logo or "buying anything sold or processed, or processing anything sold, bought or processed, or repairing anything sold, bought or processed." If it is approached with child-like zeal, without thoughts of sponsorship or a lucrative career, rather only with the desire to push and go, it will always remain the most beautiful thing on earth. That is, obviously until December 21st, 2012 when we all die.