The OTY-iest time of the year | Simply Ranked

Plus: Leal and Covell, homie video magic, today's pros are tomorrow's vloggers, and more.

The OTY-iest time of the year | Simply Ranked
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.

It’s the OTY-iest time of the year

Rank: 1
Mood: 🏆 🥇 🥈 🥉 🏅 🎖

So far this month, Thrasher announced SOTY, Bottom Feeder declared one of my personal faves, Nelly Morville, Gay Skater of The Year, Quartersnacks dropped their annual Readers Poll where dedicated Snackolites chose their favourite full-length and individual video parts of the year (you can find me blurbing T-Funk’s “Deep Fried x Baker” part in this year’s edition.), and this very newsletter posted the inaugural and immediately indispensable SSOTYs. Street League also has their Trick of The Year contest, but the winner doesn’t get announced until 2023, which is not helpful for the sake of this argument, but it deserves mentioning here because it increases my word count.

All of that to say, “Of The Year” awards are the premier End of Year content. They’re not just a helpful mechanism that allows us to indulge in and celebrate all of the stuff and people we loved from the year that was, but they’re also fun. Usually. Unless you’re the strange bandwagon Nyjah Huston fans who, for a tortured few days, became roiling, reeling balls of misplaced anger and frustration toward the winner of an entirely made-up award.

Perhaps all of that post-SOTY whinging we endured was due to us not having enough OTY awards? With so few places to focus our attention, it hardens, concentrates, and mutates into unfavourable forms when it has no other place to go. Also, Skater of The Year? How general and vague is that? So in an effort to allay any future angst, here are some ideas for hyper-specific OTY awards in a few different categories that we can spread our attention across in 2023.


  • FGTOTY (Flatground Trick of The Year)
  • FMOTY (Fakie Manual of The Year)
  • SRIOTY (Scariest Roll-In of The Year)
  • ULHOTY (Unnecessarily Large Handrail of The Year)
  • PSTGOTY (Pop Shove Tailgrab of The Year)


  • POTY (Pants of The Year)
  • CTOTY (Crop Top of The Year)
  • GBOTY (Graphic Beanie of The Year)
  • UBOTY (Unconventional Belt of The Year)
  • CAOTY (Cumbersome Accessory of The Year)


  • NSOTY (Nicest Skater of The Year)
  • MRSOTY (Most Relatable Skater of The Year)
  • SWOHOTY (Skater With Other Hobbies of The Year)
  • PSWYKOKOTY (Pro Skater Who You Kind of Know of The Year)
  • SYWLTBFWOTY (Skater You Would Like To Be Friends With of The Year)

The homie video as a binding agent through time and space

Rank: 1
Mood: 🔗

For over 20 years, a group of childhood friends living on Vancouver Island have been making skateboarding videos. Led by lensman Chris Gaetz and featuring a regular cast of characters (including one of Canadian skateboarding’s unheralded legends, Trevor Ribeyre), the ongoing series and their crew go by “Rudy.” Over two decades, they’ve released seven Rudy videos. If you watch them in order, you witness a friend group grow from literal children into adults with children of their own.

What a special thing that is. Skateboarding, and specifically, the skate video, serves as a steel thread through the lives of so many people. Even as time tacks on and it gets trickier to schedule filming missions between careers and kid’s soccer tournaments, they make it work. As we see in their latest, Rudy Seven, they’re still out there pushing themselves for those clips and, occasionally, getting wrecked in the process. From a busted knee and a broken wrist to a clean KO—skateboarding hasn’t become any more forgiving for the crew, yet, from what the viewer can tell, it appears to be just as rewarding.

Ultimately, these videos are the result of a shared love of skateboarding and its byproducts: community, friendship, and a reason to get out of the house. How much longer can the Rudy gang keep doing this? Who knows. But as long as it continues being as fun to do as it looks on screen, here’s to another ten years.

Leave Rayssa out of this

Rank: -10
Mood: 🚫

As crypto, NFTs, and Web3 as a whole continue to collapse spectacularly in real-time, revealed to be the grift they really hoped we’d believe they weren’t; someone thought it was a good idea to get one of the best up-and-coming talents skateboarding has ever known to shill for NFT shoes. Metaversal fashion. Whatever this shit is.

It’s unclear if Leal has much choice in the matter, with the NFT company in question, RTFKT, having some sort of partnership or collaboration with Nike, her shoe sponsor. But can we please leave her out of this? Let’s not work to actively tarnish her image. All we can hope is that if she got paid for doing this spot, she got paid in cash.


Rank: 1
Mood: 💪

Speaking of phenoms, holy hell, is Chloe Covell good at skateboarding. At just 13 years old, she’s podiumed at X-Games and Street League and is starting to pop up with solid street footage in local Aussie videos. She possesses a technical ability far beyond her few years and looks poised to do some big things in the industry. A few years back, I wrote for King Skate about how Rayssa Leal seemed destined to end up in the position she currently occupies. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that in a couple of years from now, Covell might find herself in a similar place and that Leal will have some stiff competition on the contest circuit for some time to come.

tom asta vlogging????

Rank: 1.1
Mood: 👨‍🚀

Tom Asta is vlogging. For the last few weeks, he’s intermittently uploaded videos of himself at local skateparks to his YouTube channel. In them, he talks directly to the camera, to us, in between trick attempts. And while there are only a handful of these vlog-style videos, you can see his channel and approach evolve with each. First, he started a nascent “ON LOCK” series where he does tricks that he has, I guess, on lock. Then he veered into classic YouTuber genre territory with a video titled “I SUCK at these tricks…” where he attempts to do various flip tricks that he’s not particularly good at. This one comes with an accompanying thumbnail that captures the promise of the frustration you’ll witness from Asta as he struggles his way through the fan-submitted suggestions up a Euro gap. But vlogging is a new addition to the burgeoning Asta media empire.

Previously, he’d mostly been livestreaming on his Twitch channel, where he plays Call of Duty: Warzone, Skater XL (in which he is a playable character), and watches skate videos with his nearly 4,000 followers. He has a professional-looking intro/countdown bumper that kicks off his streams, and his “about me” blurb is as wholesome and humble as I’ve always assumed him to be.

Pro Skateboarder, not pro gamer! Im 32 years old got an awesome family and were based out in PA. Here for a good time with my homies! join us in the chat!

It wasn’t until I started to watch one of Asta’s stream replays that I realized I’d never heard him speak at length before. He is poised and comfortable in front of the camera and speaks to his audience as if they’ve been there for years (it’s been about two). In an industry with as much churn and so few ways to connect with an audience besides video parts and Instagram posts, Twitch streaming and vlogging seem like interesting avenues for today’s professional skateboarders to leverage their fandoms into something more.

Is it corny? Yep. Am I personally going to tune in every Tuesday and Thursday at 9pm EST to see Asta play with himself (in Skater XL)? No. This isn’t for me. I’d rather stretch out on the couch in my longjohns with a hot toddy by my side as I tune up Death incarnate in Castlevania: Symphony of The Night than watch someone else play a video game. And I’m always a little wary of learning too much about pro skaters, athletes, and any level of celebrity in general, and a three-hour stream is a lot of time for that to happen. But if that’s your thing, you could do a lot worse than follow Bucks County’s favourite son.

Something to consider: Donating to the GoFundMe supporting Ashley Rehfeld’s  mom’s cancer treatments.

Good thing: Eating Canadian billionaires in The Breach’s “Billionaire Banquet” game.

Another good thing: Marbie riding for Rhianna.

Until next week… have some nice holiday times if that’s what you’re up to. If not, have some eggnog, regardless. Really. Just a sip. C’mon.