Despite celebrity deaths and Trump-elect 2016 was a remarkably rad year. The new breed drove their stake in deeper, the well-known became even more refined. The pressing question is: who will be crowned New Zealand Skater of the Year for 2016.
Jake Darwen needs no introduction around here; 2016 saw the talented photographer switch roles once again to provide us with his signature finesse on the other side of the lens.
Lenard’s progress in 2016 was off the charts. His dominance at competitions was unrivalled. Coupled with constant clips showing us just how much he was progressing.
Hailing from the Hutt Valley, it’s the unofficial mayor of Lower Hutt, Luke Blackman. Hell! With a video part like this, he may as well be the official mayor.
Christian Low is no stranger to the NZSOTY line up, and with good reason. 2016 saw C-Low move back to the motherland, smash out a handful of photos and to top it off, he released the following part in his brothers new vid Working Class.
Josh ‘Morph’ Malthus
If there was ever an award for the most blood shed while filming a part, it’d go to Morph, hands down. Morph put flesh to concrete on more then one occasion over the past 12 months, in the process claiming a cover (an invert at Albany bowl), piecing together one of the gnarliest Close Up features in recent times and releasing his highly anticipated Possessed part.
A true skate rat, Jack is always skating and always producing; 2016 was no different.
Mr. Boucher started his year off by being crowned the first New Zealand National Bowl Champion, what followed this was a series of mind-melting placings in events across the country. Not bad if you ask us.
Luke Browne is some sort of modern day renaissance man, and he does it all while looking like he’s up to fuck all. Putting in equal amounts of work on both sides of the lens, along with a feature interview for Issue #63, makes LB an ideal contender from all angles.
One of Dunedin’s finest new gens, PJ doesn’t mess around; tackling mammoth sized sets is just the beginning.
What can we say about Cade that hasn’t already been said before. He’s the man child from out West with a timeless style that keeps us coming back for more. That, and he’s got one of the best 360 flips in the South.
He’s a hell-bent maniac that rides like he’s on fire. Clear the decks and let him through.
One of Aotea Square’s resident locals, a tech powerhouse and an all round exceptional skateboarder. Watch Zach’s Up For Grab part below as reminder of just what he’s capable of.
It wasn’t until we took a step back, that we realised just how much Mikey Gibson had accomplished in 2016, appearances in multiple issues throughout the year, a solid online presence and rounding it out with a part in Up For Grabs.
When it comes to Karl every year seems to superseded the year the before. 2016’s achievements include: a cover and a heavy Close Up feature in Issue #61, along with appearances in videos, both here and across the ditch, including ALC’s A Lost Cause 2. A definite favourite for 2016NZSOTY.
Matt Markland is nothing if not a hard worker; when he’s not leaving his mark somewhere around the country, you’ll find him posted up at Lower Hutt’s recently built skate plaza. Did we mention he also had a Turning Point feature in Issue #62?
One might say this isn’t Chase’s first rodeo, and considering he was crowned the 2015 NZ Skater Of The Year, they’d be right. The Big Rig was back in full force during 2016 with video guest appearances and photos all year round, and a full video part in Working Class to boot.
2016 was Hootie’s year, he seemed to step everything up. His skating popped up in nearly every clip that came out of Wellington and Melbourne, he produced photos in every single issue last year and shows no sign of slowing down. Oh, and he nabbed the cover of Issue #64.
If there is anyone you can attribute the word stalwart to, it’s Dan Gemmell, looking back on every year Dan comes through with incredible skateboarding. Whether he’s filming parts for videos or making his own, Dan does it all with a grin.
Including a stand out part in the Capital.DV video, Bone maintained his shred it all reputation. A true power house and one to keep an eye on.
New Zealand’s own Switch God, Jesse Egden, once again proving himself with countless feats throughout ’16, including but not limited to a solid section in A Lost Cause Pt. 2 and the cover of the Skateboard Codex Zine.
If you haven’t yet, you need to watch Maluai’s part in the new A Lost Cause Pt. 2 video to get a real sense of how good he really is. While you’re at it, go and check some of the photos he had published over the last 12 months.
The Navigator or evil twin turned heads in 2016 with his signature style managing to compete and do well at different events around New Zealand all while going through some major injuries.
The man with the perma-grin, from his Close Up feature in issue 64 to some incredible skating in the new ALC video. One of the most consistent & smooth skateboarders you’ll see.
The man with the mouth who is also part of the NZ SOTY alumni hasn’t taken a day off. From countless trips to China, to a handful of heavy parts, the Runanga local keeps it moving.
344, School Holidays and Domingo 2 – If one thing’s certain, it’s that there was no shortage of Ducky footage during 2016. We can only hope this is case for 2017.
Geoff is refined as they come, an auteur and leading man. He’s responsible, in part, for the cinematic success of many a skateboarder from our south isle. Including his own.
Flying relatively low under the radar during 2016, Scott Olds left his mark where it mattered most, on our screens, in particular with his Capital.DV video part. Watch it and see for yourself.
After making the move from Auckland to Melbourne, Elijah took everything up a notch, from his parts in Onti Goes & Up for Grabs video to images in international magazines and a Close Up feature in our very own magazine. Elijah is one to watch.
When he’s not organising events Billy manages to shoot interviews, film full video parts. All in a days work.
Coming back from a major knee injury Snape came through with some incredible clips for the recent Sports Class video, Partners In Crime, followed by the adidas Away Days tour later in the year. We should probably also mention Snape’s cameo in the Away Days video. Going from strength to strength Snape is always a contender.
Coming from relative obscurity Joe burst onto the scene with his Turning Point feature in issue 64. It only takes a glance over those pages to see the kid has it.