Thrasher Skater of the Year: the complete winners list

December 21, 2020 | Skateboarding
Skater of the Year: the annual award is announced by Thrasher Magazine | Photo: Red Bull

Thrasher Magazine's Skater of the Year (SOTY) is one of the most prestigious awards in skateboarding.

It's "the one," the first, and the most respected trophy.

SOTY is also a marketing campaign that has helped keep Thrasher Magazine afloat while others struggled or closed their doors.

Every end of the year, the legendary skateboard magazine highlights the performance of the sport's most prolific rider.

Winning the Skater of the Year trophy could be a life-changing moment in a skater's career, resulting in more media coverage, more sponsors and, ultimately, more income.

The publication, founded by Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello in January 1981, debuted SOTY in 1990.

The selection process starts with the announcement of the contenders.

After the initial nominations list, all magazine readers and skateboarding fans are invited to cast their votes online.

When the voting process is complete, the editors of Thrasher announce the Skater of the Year recipient.

It's not clear how the fans' votes influence the editorial decision, but they do no play a critical role in the ultimate selection.

Thrasher's first Skater of the Year was the one and only Tony Hawk.

Skater of the Year: Milton Martinez won the trophy in 2019 | Photo: Red Bull

SOTY Criteria

The criteria for picking the finalists involve the riders' participation in video parts, special projects, and death-defying stunts, as well as trick innovations and input from other professional skaters.

The variables are flexible and subjective and also include horrendous face-plants, signature movies, magazine covers, event appearances, outstanding contributions to the skate industry, and even gut instinct.

Although there are no written rules or tips for claiming the award, the complete list of Skater of the Year recipients breathes coherence and speaks for itself.

There has always been lobbying from advertisers, brands, skate shops, companies, and even athletes themselves because there's a lot at stake.

But in the end, the SOTY is always someone who stood above his peers - a seasoned veteran, an up-and-coming talent, or a fearless young gun.

The award recognizes the skater who displayed extraordinary skills, commitment, dedication, spirit, and determination to the sport, whether by achieving competitive success or pushing the boundaries of skateboarding.

Only two riders won SOTY twice - Danny Way (1991 and 2004) and Chris Cole (2005 and 2009).

Never has a female skateboarder won the Skater of the Year.

Skater of the Year: the American skateboarder Jamie Foy claimed Thrasher's annual award in 2017 | Photo: Red Bull

Thrasher Magazine's Skater of the Year | Award Winners

1990: Tony Hawk (USA)
1991: Danny Way (USA)
1992: John Cardiel (USA)
1993: Salman Agah (USA)
1994: Mike Carroll (USA)
1995: Chris Senn (USA)
1996: Eric Koston (THA)
1997: Bob Burnquist (BRA)
1998: Andrew Reynolds (USA)
1999: Brian Anderson (USA)
2000: Geoff Rowley (ENG)
2001: Arto Saari (FIN)
2002: Tony Trujillo (USA)
2003: Mark Appleyard (CAN)
2004: Danny Way (USA)
2005: Chris Cole (USA)
2006: Daewon Song (KOR)
2007: Marc Johnson (USA)
2008: Silas Baxter-Neal (USA)
2009: Chris Cole (USA)
2010: Leo Romero (USA)
2011: Grant Taylor (USA)
2012: David Gonzalez (COL)
2013: Ishod Wair (USA)
2014: Wes Kremer (USA)
2015: Anthony Van Engelen (USA)
2016: Kyle Walker (USA)
2017: Jamie Foy (USA)
2018: Tyshawn Jones (USA)
2019: Milton Martinez (ARG)
2020: Mason Silva (USA)

  • The sport of skateboarding has an extensive bag of tricks. Discover the complete list of skateboard tricks and maneuvers.
  • How does an electric skateboard work? What makes a good esk8? Is it legal to ride an e-skate? Here's everything you need to know.
  • Every skateboarder falls, and learning how to fall comes with practice. Here are a few tips on how to do it without getting seriously injured.
  • It is one of the most popular street elements used in skateboarding. Learn how to build a skate grind rail to improve your ollies, slide tricks, and transitions.

SurferToday.com uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.