Skateboarding honors its best.
Subtle chaos is probably the best way to describe it. Los Angeles’ El Rey theater, site of many festive skateboard video premieres and parties, once again welcomed our culture’s most enthusiastic imbibers and socialites. But more than just an occasion to drink and mingle, this event was designed to bring focus to and bestow honors on a few individuals who inspire us with their craft. So the 700 who managed to get in took it upon themselves to both drink themselves into oblivion while simultaneously aiming one hand at the other when someone won something. It didn’t really matter who or what, so long as they had enough drink tickets.
Co-sponsored this year by video-game developer Infogrames, the TransWorld SKATEboarding Awards honored winners of the TWS Readers’ Poll and Riders’ Poll in various categories, plus top finishers in last year’s contests. The Readers’ Poll was voted by skaters who mailed in ballots from TWS, and the Riders’ Poll winners were voted by the pros themselves. Some of the differences between Readers’ Poll and Riders’ Poll winners proved interesting, and illustrate the differences in perspective between pros and the general skateboarding population.
World Cup Skateboarding, organizers of most major skateboarding contests, also presented awards to top finishers in last year’s contest series. Rather than accumulate points and give the advantage to those who simply enter more contests than anyone else, WCS’s Don and Danielle Bostick took each skater’s top six placings in either street or vert from 1999 to determine who most consistently placed well. To determine the overall winner, WCS added skaters’ top-six street placings to their top-six vert placings. This system allows skaters who rode in more than six contests to use only their best six scores. Those who skated in less than six contests were clearly at a disadvantage. But no one contested the results, and The Brigade’s Andy Macdonald (Vert Most Points and Overall Most Points) and Pat Channita (Street Most Points) walked away with all three awards.
Hosted by TransWorld SKATEboarding Editor Dave Swift, the awards portion of the evening featured various presenters who introduced the various winners in the further varying categories. After Don Bostick congratulated WCS winners Channita and Macdonald, Jason Ellis and Colin McKay teamed up to present the Readers’ Poll awards, a task slightly complicated by a persistent and inebriated Bill Weiss who hovered about the podium most of the evening, despite Ellis’ plea for security to remove him.
The Riders’ Poll awards were presented by Sal Barbier, who insisted that Jeff Jones should have won every category. But the true champ this evening was Bob Burnquist, who was nominated in four categories and won two of them. Perhaps the most enthusiastic response came when Tony Hawk was awarded the Readers’ Poll Best Vert award. Despite his broad commercial exposure, Hawk remains an inspiration among his peers.
When the awards were delivered, TransWorld premiered its new video, Modus Operandi, the latest release from Ty Evans and Jon Holland. The pair had just won the Riders’ Poll Best Video award for their work on The Reason. Modus Operandi features parts by Brian Anderson, Chany Jeanguenin, Mike Carroll, and Marc Johnson, with appearances by Brad Staba, Chris Lambert, Stephane Larance, Rick Howard, and Scott Johnston. As has become Evans’ and Holland’s style, the video is the result of creative collaboration with each of the skaters, and seamlessly blends the different styles and personalities of these individuals.
When the event finally wrapped up, a few bodies had to be lifted from the floor and carried home–or off to one of the many after-show parties. It was Don Bostick who put it best in his introduction to the WCS awards when he paused to appreciate the fact that such a large and diverse group of skateboarding’s most influential pros and industrialists had come together to honor a few individuals. It wasn’t a contest, and it wasn’t a trade show where everyone competes, negotiates, or what have you. It was just a bunch of friends having a good time and enjoying each others’ company.
1999 TransWorld SKATEboarding Awards
Best Video Part
Readers: Jamie Thomas–Misled Youth
Riders: Jamie Thomas–Misled Youth
Readers: Osiris–The Storm
Riders: TransWorld SKATEboarding–The Reason
Readers: Bob Burnquist
Riders: Heath Kirchart
Readers: Tony Hawk
Riders: Bob Burnquist
Readers: Peter Smolik
Riders: Donny Barley
Readers: Rick McCrank
Riders: Brian Anderson