I’m going to avoid making any predictions myself so nobody can dig this issue out of their parents’ garage in 20 years and rub this intro in my middle-aged face. I’m going to let the guys at the magazine do it.
The thing about predicting the future is that the big thing in 20 years might not exist yet, or maybe the person everyone’s banking on blowing up will make a sudden career switch, get fucked up and get arrested for masturbating on the hood of some poor stranger’s car in the middle of the day.
The 10 year anniversary issue of Manual was the first skate mag I ever laid eyes on. I got it with a Golden Dragon complete for my birthday and read it until the binding came undone. A lot has changed in those ten years. I’ve grown pubes, people stopped using instrumentals in videos, and the crew at Manual is completely different.
Considering how much has changed in the last ten years, I’ve got to slow down to think about the last 20. I was 2 when the magazine started, which is going to make some people feel really old.
The guys at the Manual office could have just sat back and relived the last 20 years for the whole issue, but instead they’re looking forward to pick out 20 people that are going to shape the next 20 years.
I’m writing this without knowing which people Manual have chosen, and I’m not trying to jinx anybody, but I know this article is about people who are relatively new to the game, but who have already made a significant impact. In the next 20 years some of these people might grow up and not have time to make music, some of these people might get on the crack and sell their camera equipment, or stop skateboarding.
Whether or not any of the above happens is irrelevant because what these people have already achieved will have a lasting effect.
Shaun Boucher (@shaunbouch)
In my opinion there hasn’t been a skateboarder in New Zealand with the natural talent, skills and drive of Shaun Boucher for quite some time. A man on top of his game, he’s a pleasure to watch. Will he turn into a pile and fade away or will he become a world class ATV skateboarder? Only time will tell. I’m intrigued to see how he manages the next few years and all that goes with it: the fans, the haters, the doomsayers and the arse kissers. Lots of guys talk shit and can’t walk the walk, but Shaun just let’s his skating do the talking. The sickest thing is he doesn’t have a big posse following him around or even a crew. He just does what he does on his own, which is the true sign of someone who’s in it for the right reasons. Tear shit up Shaun, show us what ya got. I can’t wait to see it. | Andrew Morrison
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (@zoisynnott)
‘For the love of it’ is what comes to mind when I think of Zoi and her snowboarding. Her approach is simple while her riding is powerful, stylish and technical. It’s safe to say that she lets her snowboarding do the talking. With a win at the Czech World Cup, a second place at the World Champs in Spain and a third place on home turf at Cardrona, Zoi’s results resemble those of a veteran pro rather than those of a rookie. With or without the bib she slays everything in front of her with style and ease. And with influences such as Kiwi ripper Mitch Brown, who is also her coach, and the likes of Carlos Garcia-Knight, Tiarn Collins and Christy Prior travelling the competition tour with her, it seems this is just the beginning for the talented youngster. Zoi is the real deal. | Sean Thompson
Cato Dobbs (@catodobbs)
Cato Dobbs is one of a kind. He’s leading New Zealand’s heavily influenced Instagram generation posting countless 60 second clips with flip in flip out switch combos only button bashing 90s kids could dream of. Maybe it’s the brightly coloured camouflage pants or the trap music. Who knows but my money is on this kid. The bottomless bag of tricks, style and talent that Cato has is a testament to the future of skateboard in New Zealand. |Kingsley Attwood
Name UL (@name_ul)
It’s hard to find artists these days that aren’t riding a wave of some form or another, especially within the oversaturated, easily-distracted world of rap music. Name UL, however, is an exception to most. Born and bred in the isolated paradise of Wellington, Name UL aka Emanuel Psathas first made his mark releasing lyrically charged hip hop music which transcended his age. He has the unique ability to observe, analyse and comment through his lyrics in such a genuine way listeners can’t help but gravitate towards his sound. | Ben Murdoch.
Bowman Hansen (@bowmanhansen)
I met Bowman many years ago travelling through New Zealand. He didn’t say much but he didn’t have to; his skating did the talking. Today, years later, he and I are travelling together through skateboarding as he competes at the highest level. Bowman, still without a board sponsor, is taking out the pros and putting New Zealand on the main stage. Most see Bowman as a transition beast that shreds concrete flipping his board and spinning padless, but there’s much more to Bowman; he also kills the street. In skateboarding today, limiting yourself to just one style can only hold you back or stop you from experiencing all that is great in skateboarding. Bowman would be best described as an all rounder, and in my eyes that’s the future of skateboarding. | Andrew Mapstone