Phelps has spoken: Tyshawn Jones is SOTY.
After a year of onslaughts from an array of pros in 2018, it was the kid from The Bronx who ultimately took top prize. And, whether you care for the award or not, it's hard to argue with that decision.
It's true: Zion Wright dropped more parts than Tyshawn this year. As did Austyn, and Chris Joslin, and Milton Martinez. Thankfully, Skater of the Year isn't about how many parts you put out, but rather the quality of your output. It's refreshing that, in an era where brands are pushing half-finished, poorly crafted edits at the tail end of November in shameless attempts to propel their skater into the SOTY spotlight, Tyshawn knuckled down with Bill Strobeck and put everything into "Blessed". It was, in our opinion, the best part of 2018.
That's not to say others were too far off. You could make a strong argument for Evan Smith, who was King of the Road MVP, scored a cover, and released an incredible part in the Element video. And while Evan's output was highly commendable, Tyshawn's exploits will be remembered with greater appreciation. Leaping subway stations in Manhattan tends to leave a longer mark than skating perfect spots in Barcelona.
At the end of the day, it's all a matter of opinion. In ours, Thrasher made the right choice. Does it really matter at the end of the day? Not particularly. Go skate.