The Readers’/Riders’ Polls

The Readers’/Riders’ Polls

Last year we decided to stop worrying so much about what’s in the September issue of the magazine and chose instead to let you do some of the work for a change. Thus, the Readers’ Poll was born. We figured that while we were at it, why not ask a whole bunch of pros with working phones who they thought the best were, and voila¿we had the Riders’ Poll. So we added up all the votes, cashed our checks from Shorty’s (just kidding), and threw a big party in a fancy hotel right before last year’s Slam City Jam in Vancouver, Canada. It went pretty smoothly, so we thought we’d try it again.

The Readers’ Poll: Shorty’s loses some ground … about a millimeter.

Last year’s Readers’ Poll was dominated by the Shorty’s team, with Muska winning Best Street Skater, and Peter Smolik winning Best Style and Best Video Part for his section in Fulfill The Dream. To top it off Shorty’s won Best Team, and Fulfill The Dream won Best Video. You’d think they’d paid us off to get those kind of results, but they didn’t, and if you don’t believe us, just check Tania’s bank statement. Maybe they won all those awards because they spend more than the gross national product of Paraguay on advertising. Either way, they killed it and then some.

But the past is history; this year’s Readers’ Poll nominees are …

Best Street Skater: Rick McCrank Chad Muska Jamie Thomas

Best Vert Skater: Bob Burnquist Colin McKay Tony Hawk

Best All-Around Skater: Donny Barley Bob Burnquist Andy Macdonald

Best Style: Eric Koston Rick McCrank Peter Smolik

Best Team: A-Team Girl Shorty’s

Best Video Part Rodney Mullen¿Rodney Vs. Daewon 2 Jamie Thomas¿Misled Youth Stevie Williams¿Chocolate Tour

Best Video Misled Youth Rodney Vs. Daewon 2 The Storm

Unfortunately for Shorty’s, this year’s Readers’ Poll voting was more evenly spread throughout the industry. There was a tight three-way race for Best Street Skater, but in the end Rick McCrank squeaked by Muska and Jamie to win the category by a few votes. Tony Hawk got more votes for Best Vert Skater than Nixon did in the ’72 presidential election; Bob Burnquist very deservedly won Best All-Around. Cover-boy Jamie Thomas’ part in Zero’s Misled Youth was voted Best Video part by both the readers and the riders. A heavy Shorty’s presence in The Storm was a likely factor in its solidly winning Best Video. Shorty’s proved they haven’t fallen too far off the mark, winning Best Team. And Peter Smolik continued to dominate the Best Style category for the second year running.

The Riders’ Poll: Heath Kirchart … Best All-Around? Polling the riders (pros) is always a challenge. The want to know who everyone else is voting for and frequently call back to change their vote an hour or so after you finally get them to commit to a decision. But even if they do treat voting like choosing new carpet for their home, when all is said and done, the Riders’ Poll results paint an interesting picture of who the pros are watching.

The Rider’s Poll nominees are …

Best Street Skater Brian Anderson Eric Koston Rick McCrank

Best Vert Skater Bob Burnquist Tony Hawk Colin McKay

Best All-Around Skater Bob Burnquist Heath Kirchart Colin McKay

Best Style Brian Anderson Donny Barley Eric Koston

Best Team Birdhouse Element Girl

Best Video Part Daewon Song¿Rodney Vs. Daewon 2 Jamie Thomas¿Misled Youth Stevie Williams¿Chocolate Tour

Best Video Chocolate¿Chocolate Tour TransWorld¿The Reason Zero¿Misled Youth

After a great year of skating, Brian Anderson was a shoo-in for Best Street Skater in this year’s Riders’ Poll. Bob edged out Tony in the category of Best Vert Skater. Pools, vert, street, freestyle … you name it and Heath Kirchart skated it, and in doing so dominated the Best All-Around category. His posture recognizable from 2,000 meters, Donny Barley was a no-brainer for Best Style. With Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Guy Mariano, Seaan Sheffey, Colin McKay, Rick McCrank, Eric Koston, and some other guys on the roster, how could Girl have not won Best Team? Like we mentioned, Jamie won Best Video Part in both polls. TransWorld’s very own Ty Evans and Jon Holland, and their film project The Reason, cruised to victory in the Best Video category. Yeah, we know it’s a TransWorld video, but if you’ve seen it, you know we didn’t need to stuff the ballot box in its favor.

Online Voting: What a great idea!

This year we tried to have online voting, but in the true ungoverned spirit of the Internet, things got a bit out of control. Halfway through tallying the online results, our Internet guy quit, leaving the editorial people to complete the task. But we opted not to sacrifice valuable Ping-Pong time and decided to can the online-voting thing all together, which is bad of us, because Shad says we got something like 4,000 e-mailed ballots. One kid even voted 300 times! How aggressive! Being the unmotivated luddites most the staff are (except Shad “Macromedia” Lambert), we don’t trust the Internet any farther than we can throw it. They say the personal computer has become as common an appliance as the refrigerator, but we’d like to see an iMac keep milk from spoiling.

The Awards Ceremony: Exclusivity + endless drink tickets = fun.

This year we’ve opted not to have the awards ceremony in Vancouver¿it’s too nice up there. Instead, we chose the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles as our venue. The theater seats 600 and we’re expecting about 3,000, so that’s going to be a blast for whoever’s working the front door. We’ve also decided to give out enough drink tickets to incapacitate the Third Army, so that’s going to be a blast for the security. Sounds like a blast!

Make sure you check out next month’s issue of TransWorld for a wrap-up of the festivities/drama.