It's a widely celebrated accomplishment between both the photographer and the skater who land the cover of our precious magazine every issue. It's the most prime of real estate; the first photo you lay your eyes on in the skate shop or on the newsstand before your start flipping through the pages. All 12 covers in our 2016 lineup were bangers but we left it up to you guys again—the TWS fans and twskate.com lurkers—to make the call on what you thought our best cover of 2016 was. When the dust cleared and the votes were tallied, it was Lizzie Armanto's Indy air in Denver, Colorado, shot by Bart Jones from our November issue that took the marbles. This same issue was groundbreaking in more ways than one as Lizzie was the first woman to ever grace the front page of Transworld in our 30-plus year history—a notion that was long overdue but well worth the wait. We all know that everybody loves Lizzie (and Bart), though, so it's really no surprise. Congrats you two!
We work with some of the most talented skateboarding photographers in the game and see thousands upon thousands of photos throughout the year. Only the best make it onto the pages of Transworld, but that doesn't mean there still aren't a lot of 'em! Choosing just one photo as your favorite couldn't be an easy task. Shit, it was hard enough for us to select our favorite photos to populate the polls for you guys. But there are awards being granted here so there can only be one winner and this year you guys decided that Sam Muller's photo of Tyler "Manchild" Pacheco's frontside flip shot in Santa Clarita, California, from our February '16 issue was the best TWS photo of 2016. The highway-turned-mega-hip looked like an apocalyptic wasteland but Manchild's grace made it a thing of beauty. Go ahead, stare at it for a little. It's hard to argue the victory. Let's go ahead and take a moment to salute all the fine photographers out there doing their thing!
Video Check Out:
A Check Out in Transworld is a huge deal for any up-and-coming skater. It's a pivotal turning point from an underground flow bro to a published, on-their-way-up amateur. Flip through any old TWS from the 90's or early 00's and nerd out on how many legit pros had Check Outs in their early days.
I personally remember seeing Justin Henry's Check Out photo drop in my inbox (it was a backside nosegrind backside 180 out from a loading dock onto an electrical box shot by Nick Adams in Columbus, OH). Nick is a buddy of mine and he spoke really highly of Justin and at the time he was getting boards from Quasi—two good signs right off the bat in my eyes. After a little investigation we quickly realized Justin was the real deal. I've been following the dude on the gram ever since (you should too, @wukeeper). It was his Video Check Out that really sealed the deal, though. The Ohio vibes were high! I'm stoked to see Justin's Check Out from our July '16 issue come out on top as the best Check Out of 2016, and I'm even more stoked that he's been steady killing it in the streets ever since. Keep it up, Justin! We see you.—Brian Blakely