This year has been truly exciting for skateboarding. Aside from the fact that skate culture now dictates the majority of the underground fashion, art, and music scenes, the actual skate scene itself has metamorphosed past its strange Instagram-built cocoon, transforming into something absolutely gnarly and beautiful once again. The proof is indisputably provided by the imposing class of ams who went pro this year – most notably Tristan Funkhouser, Nora Vasconcellos, Jamie “Big Boy” Foy, Oski Rozenberg, and Axel Cruysberghs.
From bombing full-coping-length nose bluntslides around pool corners, to laying down backsmith-body varials on big boy hubbas, San Fernando Valley native Tristan Funkhouser aka TFunk can make skating anything look easy. And, at the mere age of 20 years old, he has gone pro for the legendary Baker Skateboards. Between the constant touring, traveling, and demos, Tristan handled business this year and managed to put out two full parts, Thrasher’s VXtinct, and the opening part in The DC Promo. Watch his Thrasher part VXtinct below and keep an eye out for the kid in 2018 and beyond.
Welcome Skateboards might be a relatively young brand, but they’ve made a strong impression on the scene by putting on for left-field skaters like Daniel Vargas, Jordan Sanchez, and most recently Nora Vasconcellos. Nora has had an incredible year, garnering co-signs and sponsorships from Adidas, Stance, and Welcome while taking first place at the 2017 Vans Park Series World Championship. She was also a guest star on VICE x Thrasher’s King Of The Road this season, holding it down for Creature on the road. Watch her full part on Welcome’s Fetish below at 11:14.
I know it’s not particularly fair to play favorites, but I’ve got to have a special shout out for my fellow Florida man. Straight out of Deerfield, Jamie Foy is hands down the best skater this year. There’s nothing that he can’t skate. And, after his revered performance on King Of The Road, there’s a reason the most notorious company in the game made him pro – Deathwish doesn’t fuck around. Watch his pro part below.
I must admit, Oski Rozenberg is a name I hadn’t heard of until recently, but he’s someone I absolutely had to mention after seeing his part on NIKE SB’s Elite Squad, and seeing his maddening winning run at the Vans Park Series World Championships. There’s something about Swedes and speed that is simply a byproduct of evolution, maybe its the Viking in their blood, I don’t know… but this guy is a frickin’ mad man.
Watch his part on Elite Squad below.
Last but certainly not least is the Belgian monster, Axel Cruysberghs. This guy is one of my absolute favorite up and comers. He reminds of some of my favorite skaters from back in the day, laid back, level headed (as much as a skater can be), and purely in it for the love. His style and attitude have earned him the support of Toy Machine, Independent, Spitfire, and Volcom, and personally, anyone with Ed Templeton’s backing is forever okay in my book.
Watch his 2017 Thrasher Am Scramble Rough Cut below.