As seen in our May 2016 issue.
The first-ever 50-50 video contest happened in 2015. What began as an idea of 50 states going head-to-head with 50 video parts soon became a reality as the submissions started flowing in from all over the country. Fifty states, 50 edits, 50 winners, all to be funneled down into regional winners and finally into one grand-prize winner. The catch: You couldn't be sponsored already.
The country has countless ripping skateboarders in every nook and cranny spanning from coast to coast—the hometown heroes, the hungry up-and-comers, or that unsponsored friend of yours who leaves you in constant bewilderment as to why. These were the people we were looking for.
Our idea wasn't to shine the light on the obvious next big name in skateboarding, but rather to find those underdogs across the United States who might not get those industry eyeballs on them as often as others. It was for the dudes who are constantly in the streets killing it, risking it all, skating the same boards for months and months, Shoe Goo'ing their shoes to get a little extra life out of them, and breaking and bruising their bodies just to get that next clip for their sponsor-me tape. The talent spanned across the board.
Everyone kills it these days, there's no denying that, but our dude Matt Bullinger from Fork, Maryland, came out on top with the best footage overall. His part kept us entertained, the personality was there, and in the end Matt and a buddy of his got to hop in the van with the enjoi crew, travel down the California coast to the TransWorld Awards and premiere of our newest video, Substance, and without a thought continued to film and stack clips the entire time. Gear for a year from Emerica, Kr3w, Independent, Bones, and enjoi was just the icing on the cake. Congrats to Matt for winning the first-ever #TWS5050 contest. —Brian Blakely
Matt Bullinger | Fork, Maryland