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2021 Reviewed Pt.2

Dec 2021 by Route One

Best of 2021: Zane Timpson 'Sufferlove'

Continuing with our retrospective review of 2021, we find ourselves reflecting on those we've lost, tipping the proverbial cap to friends no longer with us. Back in July Heroin Skateboards released 'Sufferlove,' Zane Timpson's inaugural pro part and, as we tragically now know, his last.

We've copied and pasted the description of this part exactly as we wrote it back in the summer; Zane's zest for life means his skateboarding ought to be celebrated, not mourned, and so we feel it's only right to judge its original merit, exactly as it was intended.

Skateboarders are often pigeonholed, we're sure you'll agree. Originally categorised as bowl, freestyle or slalom, as time progressed so did the sub genres of our sport. Vert came onto the scene, followed by streetstyle (thankfully the "style" was soon cast to the wayside) and then things just went crazy. You had handrail skater's, park guys, ledge pro's and the ubiquitous ATVs - there really was a term for everyone. Well, there was until Zane Timpson showed up...

Riding for Heroin and with an affinity for footplant variations it would be easy to designate Zane "mosher" status but that would be so wrong. Here's a man who is boneless-ing into sugarcanes on handrails one second, half cab crooking vertical concrete the next. Chuck in some monstrous banks and the long overdue return of the front crunt and it's safe to say there's no current part of our classification system fit for labelling this man. Well, other than to say he's a beast!

Rest in peace Zane.

Best of 2021: Almost 'Rosarito'

With his sixth part in two years, John Dilo's skateboarding was impossible to ignore in 2021 and his efforts were justifiably rewarded with SOTY finalist status

The Willem Defoe look-a-like certainly doesn't subscribe to the 'less is more mantra' (rather he's the 'can't have too much of a good thing' kinda guy) and with his infallible work ethic he knocked it out of the park in '21, bringing the kind of creative approach to skateboarding the 'one part every five years' pros can only dream of.

Honouring Almost's legacy with some supreme manual balancing, it's the brainchild of Rodney Mullen and Daewon Song lest you forget, the lad from Jupiter (that's Jupiter, Florida, not the really big planet) also brought his top tier ledge game and some real fine jumping. In fact, it's hard to pinpoint where he really shone as this is bonafide 'Grade A' all-round skate wizardry and catch on the switch 5.0 flip ender has to be seen to be believed!

Best of 2021: Kyle Walker 'Ruby'

It's been de rigueur over recent years for the gnarliest parts to be held back until mid-November; a ploy to cement a skater in the public consciousness right around the time the SOTY nominations are being drawn up (well played Mark Suciu, well played!). But Kyle Walker already won Thrasher's Skater of the Year award back in 2016 so he's not constrained by this mindset, meaning he dropped one of the strongest parts of the year in early August and our summer was all the better for it!

Another trend, this one stretching back much further than the SOTY push, has been the release of "ender" spoilers; we can't begin to recall the number of times we knew the after black hammer in any given part because it had either appeared as a photo in print form or shared on Insta the moment the video went live. Again, Kyle sidestepped this common trope and took us all by surprise with a video game worthy last trick that nobody saw coming.

Sure, we'd all clocked the massive 5050 photos and the wall ride of doom in thumbnail below but those just led us up the garden path, the lad had an ender ender we had no clue existed and that's the way we like it! More mad hammers taking us by surprise in 2022 please!

Best of 2021: Crailtap's Slice of Life with Breana Geering

Back in August Breana Geering turned pro for Girl Skateboards at a surprise get together, the first female with her name on a board in the brand's 28 year history. To honour this momentous achievement Crailtap, Girl's parent company, saw fit to spend the day in Breezy's company to capture first hand a 'Slice of life' to share with us, the viewing public.

Now whilst one could argue this video doesn't contain the hammers of Yuto's Spitfire part or the seismic shift in technical prowess Suciu displayed in Flora III,  the importance of Breana Geering going pro for Girl should not be underestimated. And for that reason we stand by the notion that it's the perfect video to end our lookback over 2021.  

From technically enhanced sleeping aids to a penchant for Pokemon cards, West Kelowna local Breana starts things off by showing us around her shared flat. A failed attempt at watching Baker 2G on VHS prompts a quick trip out for brunch and a mission to the local park where young Ms Geering shows us exactly why the guys at Crailtap ennobled her to signature board status.

Of course the main man, Girl legend and Anti Social skate shop owner, Rick McCrank makes an appearance and the friends proceed to tear up 'The Courts' before we're afforded front row seats to Breezy's surprise pro party - it's no exaggeration to say this day in the life really was rather special, especially if your name is Breana Gearing!

That's it for 2021, the year skateboarding finally hit the Olympics and Mark Suciu completed handrails - here's to even more madness in 2022!

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