Skateboarding's stars came out in force last night, packing The Avalon for the 14th Annual TransWorld SKATEboarding Awards Presented by New Era. Veteran emcees Brian Schaefer and Lizard Kingpresided over the biggest night in skateboarding as the best skaters of 2011 took the stage to receive their awards.
Starting the night, the Eric Stricker Memorial Award went to former pro and longtime industry leader Don Brown. He's been continually contributing to skateboarding over 20+ years and was the perfect recipient for the award.
In the Best Rookie category, Sk8mafia's Wes Kremer took the award. Wes dropped two video parts and landed on our cover in 2011. With talent for days, a spontaneous skate style reminiscent of Tom Penny, and the best attitude around, this couldn't have gone to a better rookie pro.
Best Video Part went to Nyjah Huston for his mind-blowing Rise & Shine solo part that was released on iTunes on 11.11.11. Nyjah truly raised the bar this year with enormous handrails, technical rail skating, and cheating death with some heavy slams.
Nike SB's SB Chronicles, Vol. 1 took Best Video. With Jason Hernandez' high production value and an eclectic mix of skaters from Wieger Van Wageningen to Grant Taylor, it was the total package that couldn't be beat.
Best Team went to Real. With such a huge team stacked with incredible talent, it was a no brainer. They put out a five-year-in-the-making video in 2011 and Dennis Busenitz won Tampa Pro.
Grant Taylor won Best Transition for the second time in his career (first time was in 2010.) As Jason Dill put it, "He's the greatest skater on the face of the Earth right now."
Nyjah Huston got up to accept his second award of the night for Best Street. With two TransWorld covers, multiple magazine interviews, and the amazing Rise & Shine part, his year was undeniable.
The New Era Readers' Choice Award, the only award not chosen by the TWS staff, but rather by the readers of the magazine and skateboarding.com, voted Nyjah as their fav. This brought Nyjah to three trophies on the night (only done before by Guy Mariano in 2008 who won the exact three categories).
This year's TWS Legend Award went to Jason Jessee. Jason changed the direction of skateboarding in the 80s with not only his style on the board, but also his lifestyle off it. His timeless persona has influenced generation after generation—a true skateboarding icon.
After the awards, the films began. First, the crowd was treated to our Skate & Create 2012 winner: Skate Wars by Creature. Then we announced the winner of our Cinematographer Contest, Ohio native Dan Mizicko, and premiered his winning entry: Skate Harvest.
Then it was time for The Cinematographer Project to take over. TWS' legendary filmmaker Jon Holland had thirteen of the best filmmakers in skateboarding contribute a part to this undertaking. The result is over an hour of the best skating and filming from the industry's best. The crowd was blown away at the A-list pros and full-length parts that they didn't expect to see. When it was all said and done, this was the biggest and best Awards night yet. Stay tuned to skateboarding.com for more photos, videos, and updates from last night's amazing show.