Over the last twelve months, we have witnessed the return of freestyle skateboarding to prominence alongside mainstream skateboarding. We have seen the largest and best attended contests in decades, mind-boggling new tricks, beautifully crafted video parts and the development of new freestyle communities across the globe.
In line with the rising quality of freestylers, 2014 is set to be another fantastic year for the sport. As such, we’ve picked out some of the names to keep an eye out for over the coming year. You will probably have heard of these riders before, but we feel that these riders in particular are set to make their mark this year in a big way.
Romania’s leading freestyle skateboarder, Marius spent 2013 driving forward the freestyle scene in his home country and pushing his own skating to the next level. His progression between 2012 and 2013 has been phenomenal, as he rose through the amateur ranks from 12th place to 2nd place with his impressive skating at the World Championships. We expect to see Marius continue to develop and continue to push for the top amateur spots in 2014.
Having skated and filmed with John several times this year, we can attest to the fact that he has an incredible array of technical park and freestyle combinations under his belt. Having suffered from an injury attained during the NASS Festival in July, John has spent most of this year watching from the sidelines, but we believe that John’s return to skateboarding in the coming months will produce some incredible video parts and memorable contest performances.
Taking the top spot in several contests across Japan in 2013, Isamu ended the year with style by joining up with the FS.com team alongside some of Japan’s finest freestylers; such as the incredible Masahiro and Toshiaki Fujii. Backed by his supportive family and with a commitment to pushing his own abilities, we expect Isamu to take more top spots over the next year and continue to release some incredible video parts.
Proving that age is simply a state of mind and that anyone can compete in professional level freestyle, Bert performed solidly in the US Championships and the World Round Up, desplaying his unique and seemingly endless array of highly complex handstand tricks. As 2013 progressed, Bert seemed to be developing other aspects of his skateboarding repertoire and we anticipate the coming year will see some more top place positions or at least a pretty impressive video part.
It’s been 10 years now since the last full Rodney Mullen video part and all the signs point to this year being the return of the Mutt. With increased exposure online, including interviews on the Ride Channel, TED Talks and a surprise appearance in the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Rodney has been gearing up for his triumphant return. 2014 will be the year of the new full-length Rodney Mullen section!…. We hope.
So these are our picks for the ones to watch in 2014, but is there anyone else you foresee stepping up and making a mark this year? Do you have any predictions for who could take the World Round Up or any other major contest this year? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, so join the discussion on the LateTricks Facebook Page or on Twitter @FSLatetricks. Happy Freestyling in 2014 everyone!