2011 Skater of the Year: Grant Taylor
With the debut of his latest video part on the Thrasher magazine website and another (perhaps even gnarlier) video part due out on December 3, 2011, Grant Taylor has been awarded Thrasher magazine's Skater of the Year honor.
In a year rife with ripping and several skaters pushing the boundaries of what we deem possible, Taylor grabbed the attention and the award by doing things his own way. Standout skaters of 2011 including Nyjah Huston, Brandon Westgate and Dennis Busenitz all contributed to our sport and culture's progression but Taylor embodied the ethos that Thrasher promotes slightly more than the rest.
Taylor set off the year with two covers back-to-back for Thrasher [the only skater to do that since Neil Blender], went on his second Thrasher King of the Road contest tour event and his second Thrasher Skate Rock tour. While Huston won contest after contest and garnered lots of mainstream attention for skating, Taylor stuck to the more traditional venues for coverage [print mags, video footage, word-of-mouth]. Taylor also represents an archetype of a new breed ensconced in the older traditions, a skater that really and truly skates everything while Huston's path is a bit more specialized. Both skaters are incredible, had incredible years and represent the promise of much more to come. But the nod to Taylor is Thrasher's tacit acknowledgement of their side in the core versus mainstream battle.
Skateboarding may be getting swept up in a rising tide of recognition, popularity and acceptance, but that doesn't mean that the old guard has to like it. Those of us that began skating when it was still an outcast's activity are prone to smile when we recognize the rebellious among the rank and file of today's top talents. In that regard Taylor is an excellent pick for Thrasher and for skating as a whole. He's doing his thing and truly doesn't care what others think of him. He represents a bit of where we all came from and a bit of where we're headed next. Congratulations Grant Taylor. Keep it coming.
Taylor will likely continue his onslaught in short order with his video part in Nike SB's "The SB Chronicles," premiering online worldwide on December 3, 2011. So long as he keeps skating the way he has been, we'll keep talking about him.