Allow yourself to savour SOTY season | Simply Ranked

Plus: Dick Rizzo: transition hog, the big "M", x-treme weather events, and more.

The definitive weekly ranking and analysis of all the skateboarding and other online things that I cannot stop consuming and how they make me feel, personally.

Dick Rizzo: Transition Hog

Rank: 1
Mood: 🐷🔺

From Quasi’s Mother

It’s not that he hadn’t been looking before. A cursory, chronological watch through Dick Rizzo’s recent video parts will show you as much. They paint a picture of a skateboarder increasingly determined to find the transition at any spot he skates.

From Quasi’s Grand Prairie

Like a truffle hog digging its snout further into the earth, Rizzo begins to find more new and abstract ways to turn his board’s flight path from horizontal to vertical, vertical to horizontal. He’d always done this to some extent, taking off from loading docks to land in the slant of a cellar door. Leaving the end of a ledge to ride into a slender embankment.

From Quasi’s Grand Prairie

But now, the approach has become more complex, layered. A slappy introduces a barrier. A climb up a steep bank leads to a nose manual on another steeper bank before shooting back into the original.


These “spots” often require a bit of magical thinking to make them work. To believe that your board will float across competing concrete angles in the way Rizzo’s does is a testament to wonderment and staying light on one’s feet.

From Bronze 56k’s The Reuben

Watching the evolution of a skateboarder’s trick and spot selection is a fascinating thing. Sometimes it follows trends or comes with age, but you can tell when it’s genuine. Like it does with Rizzo. His ability to suss out these rare transitions has become refined over the years, further evidenced by his latest video part in Bronze 56k’s The Reuben, where the truffles, well, they’re everywhere.

The big “M”

Rank: 3
Mood: 👹

“Jhancarlos. He’s got his Monster can ready. He’s ready.” Guest MC Manny Santiago announced wryly while the top three skateboarders from last week’s Tampa Am gathered around the podium. It’s an obligation, that can. Monster Energy Drink endorsed athletes must carry it into the winner’s circle or, one assumes, risk a breach of contract. The cans are usually empty, mere vessels for a logo. Make sure the “M” is facing outward. Do not forget. Even if you’ve just been in a fistfight in front of millions, the can must be as present, if not more so, than you are. Your success is merely a vessel for a logo.

Brandon Moreno. He’s got his Monster can ready. He’s ready. Photo: Zuffa LLC

Jhancarlos Gonzalez would place third, behind Richard Tury and Yukito Aoki. The latter’s run was so impressive that he’d still take first place despite his foot clearly touching the ground on a backside flip over the tabletop, spoiling an otherwise flawless effort.

Regardless of the result, that ever-present “M” was still visible on the podium, just a little right of centre. It’ll be there the next time and the time after that, too, because that’s all it wants. The can always finding a way to weasle its way into frame, waiting like a hammy child for a hand to hoist it into the air and turn it towards the camera.

Expected. Inevitable.

Rank: 7
Mood: ⚡️

As #skatetwitter-er @sk8b0rt would note, while executing this absurdly difficult run at Tampa Am, 11-year-old Ginwoo Onodera skates to the MGMT song “Electric Feel,” a release 3-4 years older than Onodera himself. “Electric Feel” had once filled the speakers of every car, shopping mall and grocery store so thoroughly it became a part of the cultural wallpaper of late-aughts life. Constant. Inescapable. That state is similar to the one I imagine a kid as talented as Onodera will occupy in a few short years. Expected. Inevitable.

X-treme weather events

Rank: Not good, regrettable headline
Mood: 🔥 🌪 ☔️ 🌊

British Columbia has faced deadly heatwaves, wildfires, blazes that erased entire communities, storms and flooding that submerged towns, mudslides that trapped and killed commuters, and highways that seemingly disappeared—all in the last six months. This is not a pleasant reality, and it’ll only get worse as our governments continue to make empty promises on climate change, kowtow to the fossil fuel industry, fight against land defenders, and generally refuse to grapple with the truth.

It can feel hopeless, our collective drifting towards an expected fate, much like the barge that became unmoored during last week’s storm and began to make its way along downtown Vancouver’s scenic oceanfront. Before it was able to crash into Burrard bridge, it ran ashore at Sunset Beach. Disaster delayed. Now it’s an attraction.

Throngs of us gawk and pose for photos with it at our backs, marvelling at the surreality of this near-catastrophe as twilight stains the sky crimson. It’s a strange, short-lived catharsis. Because to move this thing onto the right track, we’ll need a Herculean effort, but first, we just have to make sure we’re all helping push in the right direction.

Savouring SOTY season

Rank: 2
Mood: 💆‍♀️

Like the deer playing in the surf—leaping, kicking, scanning the horizon made of an endless, splendorous tide that only seems to flow—I cannot get enough of SOTY season. That special time of year when companies release the reams of content they’ve been saving up and widdling down to its very best essence in hopes that their person—the skateboarder they pay to wear their logos—will be crowned Thrasher’s Skate of The Year.

Yes, it is all a bit contrived, everyone clamouring for validation in this way, but that’s fine. All it means is that we get to see the very best skateboarding day after day for six-to-eight weeks. No matter who gets the little trophy, we all emerge victorious, damp from the waves, each one bigger than the next.

Something to consider:

Good things: strange, beautiful, less-scary weather events.

Photo: Peter Hofbauer

Until next week… try out a sweater vest. You might like it.