The Pro Spotlight is the bread and butter of each issue. So as a proper closeout to our 30th volume, we had master skate historian and archivist Eric Swisher of the much-revered Chrome Ball Incident blog give his 10 favorite Pro Spotlights of all time and what’s made them stand out over the years. The man’s got taste.

(We’ll be posting a new one each day for the next two weeks)

—TWS

Words by Eric Swisher

Sometimes it’s what you do off your board that matters. From its humble pull-out roots, the TWS Pro Spotlight quickly evolved from a glorified poster to become the heart of each issue by providing an all-compassing look inside the lives of skateobarding’s top pros. But while each article takes months of preparation, photography is only half the formula. Unfortunately for some, the fact is that all the hammers in the world can’t make up for a dude that’s just plain boring. If stair-counting is the peak of your personality, you’re gonna be in trouble. The Pro Spotlight lends an open canvas for skaters to cut loose and express themselves; albeit stories to tell, opinions to voice or rumors to squash (or start). It’s an affair that’s led us down some pretty wild roads but it’s a ride you’ll always remember. This is what keeps skateboarding from becoming just another sterilized scorecard number crunch.

Brian Lotti January ’94 

“Conventional skateboarding at it’s finest.”

Click photos for larger version

Technically not even a Spotlight, TWS’ only “Pro Flashlight” proved a powerful reminder of how beautiful skateboarding could look once you scraped off all that videocaptured early-90’s grotesquery. But what did it all mean? Floating doll heads, a bright yellow jumpsuit and an enigmatic handwritten letter would only serve to heighten the Lotti legend as injury forced Brian underground shortly after the issue went to press.