The Best Pick The Best Of The 2004 Calendar Year
There’s a fine line between favorite and best. Or sometimes not. But to level the playing field at all costs, every Spring we editors put the ball in the court of the pro population to decide exactly who deserves the ultimate props for the previous year. When you’re risking life and limb pushing the limits, or even just refining what you do, you’re more than qualified to judge your peers-as long as your name is on the bottom of a skateboard. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Yes, much to the dismay of Internet message-board ramblers, it is not we editors who do the choosing, just their favorite pros.
The only exception to the “best picking the best” rule are two awards: the Legend Award and the Readers’ Choice Award. Now that we’re an aged sport, or art, or industry, or whatever you prefer to classify skateboarding as, there are many pros quite deserving of such an award, but with street skating being the predominant form that takes up most of our on-board time, as well as an exorbitant amount of our magazine percentage-wise, it was obvious we had to hand this year’s award over to one of the godfathers of street himself: Natas Kaupas.
Odds are that you don’t have quite the flight time logged on your skateboard as do the pros, and thus have not accrued the proper credentials to deem “bests” quite yet, but your opinions are still greatly appreciated and accepted, and that’s why we celebrate with a poll for you, too-the Readers’ Choice. After all, you guys are the ones who keep the pros paid, and ultimately keep us in business as well. To be honest, what you really think and who you support matters more than anything. The reason people have pro models is because you demand them. Which reminds us, where is Chris Haslam’s shoe sponsor? ‘Cause he was your favorite … and not by a narrow margin, either.
To every skateboarder, pro and not, who participated in what was a painstaking process of tallying thousands of votes, thank you very much. If you don’t like what you see, don’t forget to vote next year, ’cause in the coming pages you’ll either blame yourself or congratulate yourself. And the latter is so much easier to do at the end of the day.-Eric Stricker