In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to predict the outcomes of contests, know who is going to drop the biggest video part of the year or stand up and make an incredible contribution to the development of freestyle skateboarding.
In the past, our ‘Ones to Watch’ have included Isamu Yamamoto, Marius Constantin and even Rodney Mullen, all of whom have made a unique contribution to freestyle in recent years; and once again we have similar hopes for this year’s picks! So without further ado, here’s our top five picks for freestylers to watch in 2016.
Moldova’s finest freestyler Boris Staver is a real up and coming freestyler who is at the forefront of the latest wave of talented European freestylers. In his first contest, Paderborn 2015, Boris took the 5th spot in the amateur contest and easily could have placed higher with a perfect run. We’re looking forward to seeing the run he puts together at this year’s contest and whatever else he has in store for us.
Dan had a fantastic 2015, gaining major coverage on the Ride Channel and with his Extreme sponsorship, skating solidly at the World Round Up and even joining the new Moonshine Pro team. Since we picked out his three teammates in last year’s picks, it just didn’t seem right to exclude Dan, especially considering he’s been firing out some incredible Instagram clips already this year and is looking good to improve his placing at this year’s Round Up.
Gustavo is unquestionably talented, demonstrating a fantastic variety of tricks and consistently solid landings, earning him the top spot in many of the amateur freestyle contests that he enters. Like many of the top Brazilian amateurs, the man is practically skating at professional level; how many pros can land rolling handstand flip varial flips in contests every single time? Definitely another one to keep an eye out for at this year’s Round Up.
If people were to liken Isamu Yamamoto to Rodney Mullen, then Ikkei would definitely be the Pierre Andre to his Rodney. Another young Japanese freestyler, Ikkei skates with power, throwing 540 shove its, bigflips and hand plants into fast adrenaline packed contest runs, ending 2015 with his first contest win. It’s safe to assume Ikkei has the potential to become yet another powerhouse in the Japanese freestyle community.
There’s something refreshing about watching Daniel Adam’s fresh style and mix of classic freestyle tricks. After just one year of freestyle skateboarding, Daniel has come a long way, taking part in two contests and even picking up sponsorship from Never Enough Skateboards. When Daniel returns to Paderborn this year, we’re expecting to see a fantastic routine.
So who are you looking forward to seeing skate this year? Do you have any predictions for contest results? We’d love to hear your thoughts so please join the discussion on the LateTricks Facebook page or tweet us @FSLateTricks.