Underground SOTY? UPDATE!


Top 10 lists are always unnecessary and usually way off... especially with something as subjective as skateboarding. And I'm not sure what you always thought but there are no rules to being a "Skater of the Year". Especially when you throw an "Underground" in front of it. What does it mean? Is it just having one crazy part? Or putting out multiple parts and print coverage throughout the year? Can you be underground and have a cover? Does instagram count? Is one heavy part better than two solid online edits? Can my sponsors pay for it? As you can see, the deeper you go analyzing this stuff it starts to get kinda ridiculous. So after reading all the comments from Instagram as well as on the actual website, it feels like the majority of comments are split between Max Palmer and Kevin Coakley.

So we are going to have to concede that this will be a split decision. The majority of Instagram comments picked Max but we said that the voting needed to take place in the comments of this article. And the majority of those commenting here chose Coakley. Also, all of us here at TOA agree that Coakley deserves it. So Kevin and Max will have to share this new title between the two of them and split the throne as the first two Underground Skaters of The Year.


After watching Tiago get robbed for SOTY this year we figured it might be good for us to launch a poll of our own. But instead, an Underground Skater of the Year poll, catering to the skaters who crushed it this year but will never make it on Thrasher's list. Yeah, maybe this kinda thing is corny because there's obviously no way to choose a "best" and the lines are a tad blurry for deciding who would fit into the category as an official "underground" skater. So we're not in any way suggesting that ours is THE definitive list. But we've tried our best to be impartial and cast a wide net here across brands, continents and skate styles. 

So without further ado, here's our top 10 skaters it was hard not to notice across the stormy seas of Instagram and in the strongest videos and edits all year long. Instead of a poll, we want you to vote in the comments section below. We'd rather hear your comments than just your simple vote in an online poll.....

                                       TOP 10 UNDERGOUND SKATERS OF THE YEAR

Cyrus Bennett -Cyrus came out swinging this year with his full 917 part. And then if that wasn't enough he upper cut us all immediately afterwards with his Nike part.

Kevin Coakley -From a full part in State Footwear's intro video, to his Traffic video part to the new "Liberado" edit and the Push Periodical "Partial World Tour II" video, Kevin was busy this year.

Mike Arnold - You need only to watch the Atlantic Drift series to understand how much Mike has been making waves this year.

Hjalte Halberg - Every time you look on Instagram Hjalte is killing it and keeping us stoked. But he came through this year with his plaza part with Bobby Worrest and then capped the year off with his surprise guest part in the Frog edit.

Max Palmer -Max is an underground sensation in general. But he silenced any haters this year with his awesome 917 part and really sealed the deal as a NYC heavy hitter.

Ben Gore -Ben is constantly filming amazing clips in SF that appear in different indie projects all year long, but this year he started off with a full part in TWS "Riddles in Mathematics" and then the next week dropped another part in State Footwear's "Free" video. Add in a couple of solid Magenta video pieces and Ben was a busy lil' bee in 2017.

Brett Weinstein -This dude seems like one of the hardest shredding dudes in the underground. Coming hot into 2017 with a full part in Studio's "Elan Vital" video, he backed it up immediately with another part in Deep Dish's "Realm". Then he had tons of footy in the Theories "Chicago" edit and when you thought he couldn't do anything else the Snack x Deep Dish "Crypto" part releases with 2 more minutes of Brett.

Joey Guevara -You might not have known much about Joey in 2016. But at the end of 2017 he seems to be all over the place. From what we can tell this Alien Workshop am put out at least THREE parts this year. With a full part in the "Pyramid of the Sun" video, a joint part with Yaje Popson and then, believe it or not, a new part of Joey just went up TODAY

John Shanahan -John had a good year putting out some solid footage throughout 2017. His DC intro part was really strong and probably would've kept everyone pretty stoked on it's own. But he backed it up with another batch of shredding footage in LurkNYC's "Mean Streets"

Yaje Popson -After Yaje's multi-year disappearance we assumed we weren't hearing much else from him after his Static V part dropped. But fast forward to 2017 and he's really made up for that absence with a full Transworld part and a short AWS edit and a new part that just dropped this week.