Skateboarding footage is as old as skateboarding, and almost as important as the sport itself. As 2012 winds down, we look at what’s come from the most talented, most-gnarly, most famous people on a board.
10. Austin Gillette by Street League
Street League has kicked up its share of controversy, but its 2012 selection of Austin Gillette is something we can all agree on. The 21-year-old Habitat rider already has command over PJ Ladd-level ledge tricks and tech moves that keep getting better over bigger and bigger drops. Watch him.
9. Riley Hawk at the Berrics
Riley Hawk's career has been closely monitored since he first stepped on skateboard at age zero, but 2012 seems like the year the son of history's best tech skater came into his own, joining Baker and arriving at the Berrics to make this this little bit of gnarlment.
8. 'Waiting for Lightning'
A feature film written by Harvard professor Bret Anthony Johnston, a video part this is not. But this thorough, intelligent documentary about skating's most savagely talented athlete examines how Danny Way's channeled the demons of a broken past to reinvent his sport again and again. P-Rod's line says it best: “You can’t break this dude.”
7. 'The Weight of the World' by Flip
A short road trip though the Southwest yielded one of this year's best videos. Everyone's great, but a special shout out goes to Louie Lopez. How that much firepower can fit into a 5-foot-8 body we don't know, but Louie's proof that the best things come in small packages.
6. 'Sheckler Sessions'
We know it's a Web show and not a video part, but Sheckler Sessions well demonstrates Ryan Sheckler's ability as a top street skater, a feat made all the more impressive considering he was almost exclusively a park/contest guy until his injury in 2009.
5. 'Join, or Die' by 5boro
No one knew what might become of the New York City skate scene when it's mecca closed in 2010, but the 5boro team inevitably emerged with the rawest and somehow most fluid video of the year. Music is by Staten Island's own Wu Tang Clan.
4. 'Pretty Sweet' by Girl & Chocolate
Just in time for the holidays, this smorgasboard of street skating from guys we’ve come to know on a first-name basis: Guy, Cory, Koston (OK, last-name basis) and — at long last -- Mike Mo. Also, the film was co-directed by multiple award winner Spike Jonze.
3. 'Bake and Destroy' by Baker
Andrew Reynolds, Justin 'Figgy' Figueroa, and the one and only Theotis Beasley usher in a perfect blend of graceful gnarlment in a video whose premiere brought a slew of riot-geared cops to the Vine Theater in Hollywood.
2. '5-Incher' by Almost
Pairing serious new talents like CJ Tamborino and Willow with old stanbys like Daewon Song, 5-Incher wraps with Chris Haslam's first full part since 2004. Haslam begins with a bombdrop-airwalk-to-manny into a Japan air off double-kinked bank and then somehow proceeds to get better. Now if only Rodney would show up.
1. Tom Schaar's 1080
Nothing tops history, and history was made when Tom Schaar, the 12-year-old wunderkind skater from Malibu, California, landed the first-ever 1080 at Woodward West. Schaar, who has since landed the 1080 in competition, quickly became a household name, after appearing on 'The Ellen Show.'
Cole Louison is the author of "The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding."