There has always been something fascinating about watching amateur freestyle skateboarders. In many ways, video parts and contest runs are made all the more exciting by the sheer unpredictability alone. In a world with such an array of talented professional freestylers with finely polished routines, a little chaos is a breath of fresh air!
It almost seems unfair to name Ryan Brynelson one of our top amateurs in 2014 considering he turned pro in May and has already gone on to win a pro contest! After turning pro for Protest Skateboards at the 2014 World Round Up, Ryan took 6th place in his first pro contest. Later that year, Ryan went on to take 1st place in the intensive Battle Format All Japan Freestyle Contest. Never mind one of the top amateurs in 2014; Ryan was one of the top pros!
We picked out Isamu as one of the ones to watch in 2014 and he did not disappoint. This kid is insanely talented! Isamu won every single amateur contest he entered in 2014, including the World Round Up; arguably the most prestigious amateur title in the world. Considering his young age, Isamu is already well on the way to mastering mind-bending technical combos and will undoubtedly only develop with age.
Over the last 12 months, Marius has become a real powerhouse in European freestyle. In June, Marius took 1st place in the prestigious Paderborn BBQ Freestyle Contest with a flawless run; improving from 9th place just 2 years prior. Frequently producing new videos and sharing footage of up and coming Romanian freestylers, Marius is becoming an ambassador for freestyle skateboarding; and it shouldn’t be too long until we see Marius turn pro.
Pete Betti – After some incredible video parts and placing 5th in the World Round Up amateur contest, Pete turned pro for Temptation skateboards. He went on to take 5th place in his first pro contest and win best trick at the 2014 US Championships. Pete rounded out the year with a video on the Braille Skateboarding channel, bringing freestyle to the attention of a massive audience.
Casey Ray Schultz – Casey won the amateur contest at the 2014 US Championships in Philly and given some of his previous footage, we can only imagine it was a fantastic run. Unfortunately, no footage from the amateur contest has surfaced online yet, but hopefully it’ll turn up online one of these days: and we can’t wait to see it!
Joe Moore – Technically, Joe could be defined more as an “anyskater” than a freestyler, but his skateboarding has a clear freestyle influence and his flatland tech-wizardry is enviable by freestylers worldwide. In 2014, Joe turned Pro for Mentality Skateboards and released two incredible parts: One for Skateboarding Realms and the other with renowned skate film-maker Brett Novak.
Robert Wagner – Despite being relatively new to the freestyle scene, Robert has a very impressive contest track record. Returning to Paderborn, Robert took 3rd place with his mix of clean tech and creative footwork. He then made the trip to Slatina to visit fellow freestyler Marius Constantin, taking some time to film an excellent full length video part.
Kaue Arujo – Kaue is one of the top up and coming freestylers out of Brazil. For the second year running, Kaue took 2nd place in the amateur World Round Up contest, then going on to take 1st place in the 2ª Etapa do Circuito Brasileiro de Freestyle Skateboard amateur contest in December. Given his continued progression, 2015 may just be Kaue’s year to take the top spot at the World Round Up!
These were our picks for the top amateur freestylers of 2014, but was there anybody we missed? Who do you think could make a big impact in the freestyle world in 2015? Join the discussion on the LateTricks Facebook page or on Twitter @FSLateTricks.