“They call Los Angeles the city of angels. Sometimes there’s a skater, I won’t say a hero, because what’s a hero, but sometimes there’s a skater and I’m talking about Louie here, sometimes there’s a skater, well, he’s the man for this time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s Louie Lopez. In Los Angeles.” —Sam Elliott

Louie Lopez, frontside crook to fakie. Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Coulthard

Each year as skating progresses, as it gets to the point where you want to pull your hair out when you see something on Instagram that you’re not sure is impressive or just plain ridiculous, there comes along a skater with just the right amount of grace and ability to remind you of the right way to do things.

Louie helped us open the Manhattan Beach skatepark in March. That same month, he dropped his Spitfire part. Full of technical board control and heavy clips, we could see Louie’s strength and confidence was on a new level. Enter the dragon. We skated with Louie in the streets of Copenhagen, and saw first hand how magnetic his carefree attitude is. How did he do in the contests this year? Asked no one ever.

Louie’s Instagram output was perfect. Jaw-dropping tricks with ease at skateparks, and what about the frontside flip at Southbank straight to grabbing the beer out of some passerby’s hand?! This Bud’s for Lou.

In April, Converse put out a recap of Louie’s ripping all over the world on the Converse One Star World Tour. In May, Louie got his CTAS Pro colorway. The white on white high top was too clean, perfectly matching Louie’s style, and we all got to surprise him at a bowling lane in LA—the dude abides.

Let’s talk about the West End part, because this was really the icing on the cake for Louie’s year. The psych tunes by Witch kick it off as Lannie Rhoades visuals roll right into Louie’s effortless, ass-hauling board control as he gets up on kinky back five-0’s, gap out to back Smiths and that light-footed varial heel over the bump to fence. The monster frontside heelflip in San Diego as we move into the second song. And maybe the raddest trick in the whole part—the kickflip back Smith on the bank to wall. The ender? Well, any one of his last five tricks could have been an ender, but he sticks a bigspin heelflip over Heath’s gap.

Louie clipped up in Volcom’s RV Rampage video that dropped in December with tricks that most pros would want to save for video parts. A wise man (or Quartersnacks) once said, “My two favorite skaters are Louie Lopez and Louie Lopez in ten years.” Well, it didn’t take ten years. 2017 was the year that Louie Lopez’s superpowers blossomed and he became a lot of people’s favorite skater, and that’s gonna be a thing for years to come. Maybe it’s all in the smile—the smile and the silky smooth gift of God on a skateboard.