When we were in Big Sky, I was precariously trying to back up on a snowy road sidewalk and some lady frantically flagged me down and exclaimed, “Oh my god, do you have a backup camera!” Stunned, I thought about it for a second and was like, oh yeah, I do, and it’s covered with snow. The lady very deftly uncovered it and sent me along on my (much safer) way. The point of this story is, it’s 2016! Asking if you have a backup cam is totally a thing. But that doesn’t mean we can forget about 2015, which is why I enlisted Yobeat analyst Joey Leppien to break down the results of our authoritative annual polls and tell you what it all means, as well as what you can look forward to in the coming year.
Rider of the Year: Scott Stevens
Scott Stevens, man. What is there to say about Scott that hasn’t already been said? From basically pioneering a new age of one-foot and no-foot snowboard tricks, still filming heavy street parts, completely ridiculous skate edits, to being a regular in the I Ride Park City series, Scott never ceases to amaze. His ender part in ThirtyTwo’s full team movie, “2032”, was full of shots that make you tilt your head and wonder how moving your board in that way is even possible. That creativity and general luster, only found in someone like Scott, surely helped him secure his spot with the voters as Yobeat’s Rider of the Year. Congrats, Scott.
Female Rider of the Year: Mary Rand
When you’re born into a family that already has birthed one Yawgoon into the world, you’re basically being born with the silver spoon of snowboarding. Mary Rand, Yawgoon and sister to Marcus Rand, seemingly put forth her best effort this past year towards diminishing the relentless stereotypes associated with women snowboarding. From her cameos and shots in Yawgoon videos, to her insta-videos featuring Mrs. Pam Rand, to her part in Rendered Useless, Mary kept herself in the snowboarding spotlight. A tough venture to set forth upon, given the heavy criticism brought on by being a girl in the cold, cold patriarchy of snowboarding. Mary is a heavy hitter, exciting to watch, and clearly has too much fun on a snowboard, but we never said there’s anything wrong with that.
Stunt of the year: Halldor Helgason’s existence
Honestly, Halldor, that mustache itself is death-defying enough. Add on top of that the fact that you allowed Stan to tag along on your European adventures, and you’re downright fucking nuts.
Everything Halldor does in the Sexual Snowboarding edits is head-turning. From the X-Games to instagram, the dude is everywhere. Let’s not forget the roof-to-roof backflip with his neck in a brace.
Known for his various edits composed of gnarly tricks and fun, entertaining riding, Halldor always has our attention one way or another.
Jesus Christ, Jesse Paul. The dude is something else. His Impaler part last year was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever watched. I can’t tell you how many times some random kid I grew up with has posted the video of Jesse’s boardlide-backflip-boardslide on my Facebook wall.
In 2015, Jesse won Rock A Rail, Rails To Riches, some SnowFlex contest in Virginia, tore up Hot Dogs N’ Hand Rails and SuperPark 19, and basically starred in every Mt. Hood edit. Jesse also earned the honor of a spot on the Session MFG. pro team, even though I still can’t believe he’s not pro for Salomon, still stoked for him on the Sessions team spot! On a related note, if you haven’t looked into the Sessions relaunch yet, do it. Jesse is nothing short of a fucking powerhouse and I truly can’t wait to see what he brings forth in 2016.
Ah, man, Rendered Useless. The underdog, the David and Goliath of 2015. With team movies coming out from companies like ThirtyTwo and 686, and the typical powerhouses such as Videograss and Absinthe, it’s diffucult for a small group of guys like the Rendered Useless crew to make a heavy impression on the industry. With the videographic history that Jon Stark, Matt Roberge, and Eli Olsen all have combined, I think it would be hard for them to fail. Featuring riders such as Mike Rav, Johnny Brady, Fuckmire, Cole Navin, Mary Rand, etc., R.U. made a strong impact that was almost unforseen. Marty McStark and the boys did not disappoint, and fully earned the title of Video of the Year.
Video Part of the Year: Cole Navin – Rendered Useless
Cole Navin, one of my favorite riders and a close personal friend. Actually, I’ve never met the dude, but his part was fucked, nonetheless. I’ve always had an admiration for riders who can film a heavy part set to a slow, mellow song. Like Jed’s part in Shoot The Moon. Cole’s part had everything; gnarly shots, creative shots, one-footers, skating, etc. I’m also still not sure if my jaw has come up off the floor after trying to comprehend his ender trick. Strong work, Cole. Let’s be friends.
And during our commercial break we awarded trend of the year to carving! Hooray!