Words by Mackenzie Eisenhour
As seen in our September issue
Through the years, it's fair to say a vast majority of TWS Award wins have been open to debate. And, honestly, it would suck if that were not the case. The difficulty in unanimously pinning the word "winner" or "loser" on anything involving skateboarding, let alone an entire year of it, is a welcome reminder as to why most of us chose to shun the jock strap, referees, and uniforms in the first place. Skateboarding is subjective. The one thing we can agree on is that we disagree. That being said, the year's Best Video Part lineup feels pretty solid. With number eleven on the shelf in the '09, here are the last ten years' winners.
1. 1999—Peter Smolik—Shorty's, Fulfill The Dream, 1998
1999 was a Shorty's certified Malibu mudslide. On the heels of the first video (as a board brand) they clocked Best Street (Muska), Best Style (Smolik), Best Video (Fulfill The Dream), Readers' Choice (Muska), Best Team, and Best Video Part of '98 through Alkasmolik. No matter where you stand with the Mafia, you can't deny the gusto of Smolik back tail kickflipping with authority at San Marcos to the tune of the Rocky anthem. Keg Rap Don.
2. 2000—Jamie Thomas—Zero, Misled Youth, 1999
"Out here in the fields…" Chief fought for this meal. The Who's lyrics became an instant at-the-spot go-to. I heard Mike Carroll singing "Teenage Wasteland" at L.A. High right after it dropped. This has to be one of the purest Thomas parts to date. Welcome To Hell ('96) is dramatically do or die; Maiden can do that to a part. Misled Youth, on the other hand, is just old-fashioned blue-collar grit. Edging out Stevie's Chocolate Tour ('99) part and Daewon's Round 2 ('99) ender is no small task either.
Jamie Thomas, Misled Youth Part 2
3. 2001—Eric Koston—éS, Menikmati, 2000
Whenever I see Fred, I still enjoy gently prodding him over the dramatic music laid down over Menikmati. Truth is, however, electro instrumentals aside, his rolling long lens, international locales, and later DVD-bound Penny retrospective bonus segment make éS' first video a Willennium landmark. Koston's curtains undeniably topped the barrel. First switch front blunt on a rail, Le Dome back five-0, that Med Choice switch heel, nollie heel noseslide the Wilshire 10, and back noseblunt Bricktown. Koston, pow.
4. 2002—Heath Kirchart—TWS, Sight Unseen, 2001
This part is just transcendent. "Nights In White Satin" ('67) fits religiously. Cardiel's Unseen part was also nominated and, barring Heath, should have won. But Kirchart's ender is unquestionably one of the best parts of the decade. The rollout on the UC Irvine back noseblunt slide, pretty much the first rendition ever on a legit sized rail (actually shot before Koston's aforementioned éS banger) is unforgettable. The tuck knee dismount on the UCLA rail to stair-drop tailside just deads it.
5. 2003—PJ Ladd—Coliseum, Wonderful Horrible Life, 2002
Shocking. If this part hadn't won, I think we could pretty much scrap the whole show. Tucked into a casual Boston shop video, PJ comes out of nowhere with a contender for the best part of all time. Inventing tricks and looking like he thought them up right then and there, the ledge combos half a decade before Lakai got to Mercado, switch frontside 360 heelflip, toying with the vert ramp like Tom Penny, a pressure flip/rolling flip binge, and that closing line. I don't think there is much more to say. Go watch it.
6. 2004—Danny Way—DC, The DC Video, 2003
After Heath and PJ, Danny Way's win completes a trifecta of unquestionable picks. The "traditional" vert footage felt like some of the first innovation on that front since, well, last time Danny dropped a full part with Colin six years earlier (The Revolution, '97). Switch 540 ollies off that DC extension. The switch tre. Switch flip back five-0s. Beyond that—a rodeo flip into the pool's shallow. Backside 360 MACBA. A mega gap 720. Two world records and a 23.5-foot backside air? Seriously. Gnar boots.
7. 2005—Justin Strubing—Foundation, That's Life, 2004
I really like that Strubing took this one. F—k it. I'm biased. Justin is one of those dudes who's been doing it right for a long time now—fast, proper, and full tilt. No half-cocked tailslides here. His That's Life part is a step-by-step instructional guide to raw urban skateboard deconstruction in both Barcelona and San Francisco. And, unlike many video parts that get nominated, it has that "someone just happened to be filming" vibe. In our day and age of heavy one-clip hammers, it was rad to see a dude just out to cruise nab the trophy. Even if, his cruising happens to be five times faster than mine.
8. 2006—Daewon Song—DVS, Skate More, 2005
It would be comical to argue that Daewon is not one of the most tech proficient skateboarders of all time. Few people are handed such a gift. But when they are, there is still a further question as to how they will take said talent and apply it creatively. After all, talent without creativity is as questionable as creativity without talent, possibly worse. In his Skate More part, Daewon scoops up his cream of the crop precision skills and applies them mercilessly to any and all terrains shy of a vert ramp and mega gap.
9. 2007—Jerry Hsu—enjoi, Bag Of Suck, 2006
Holding down the two-song last part of 2006-certified Best Video, Hsu went all in for BOS. This is what Tiltmode looks like when the gloves come off. Jerry, like Heath, is one of the few guys who can finesse impact-heavy skating. The rainbow rail back Smith. The cruisy S.F. no-push switch heel line with the haunting Sonic Youth Carpenters cover. Switch bluntslide off that ledge to dirt gap. The three bump-to-rail crushers. The nollie back heel ender down the Lincoln thirteen. Uzi does it.
10. 2008—Guy Mariano—Lakai, Fully Flared, 2007
Hopefully Patrick O'Dell's Later'd series earlier this year further enlightened some of the younger readers out there as to why this part meant so much to anyone old enough to know a G Bag from G Code. Then again, as explained in last year's convenient Award rationalizing text, Guy also took the Readers' Choice in '08… Meaning kids voted his part a winner with or without any knowledge of the incredible redemption background story. Whatever the reasoning, I don't believe much else on this list could have held a light to the MJ part(s). Taking the trophy over that speaks more than I could ever muster.