Whether 2015 was an awesome or a terrible year is up for debate. If you are more of the “glass half empty” type, then it is undeniable that the state of blading truly is worrying. With social networks slowly killing legit media sources, Magma & [MAG] both quitting this year, iconic companies like SSM gone, more shops closing down, without any money to actually pay our best pros and print magazines becoming rarer and rarer, one has to admit things could be better.

On the other hand, 2015 has brought in the most fresh new faces to blading we have seen in a long time. The steadily rising level of skating is nothing short of incredible, and more diverse than ever before. Dedicated brands are still pushing and new, innovative products like the Aeon skate and CRS frame have hit the market this year. Finally, many contests, festivals & skate camps are putting in the work to raise blade awareness and get new kids on skates… Glass half full.

No matter how much he drank, there is no argueing that 2015 was THE year for Joe Atkinson. Hailing from Yorkshire’s green pastures, the young harpsichord fanatic took the blading world by storm, attending more events than anyone else… And winning most of them, too! With his first signature 65mm wheel for the Go Project, a full-length feature in Jonas Hansson‘s highly anticipated SOTA video, and the FISE World series title under his belt, Joe simply killed it all year round. Let’s take a look back, and get ready for 2016: cheers everyone!

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Words: Freddy White
Photography: Dustin Werbeski, Kaspars Alksnis, Sam Cooper, Dominik Wagner, Drew Humphrey, Mathieu Hennebert, Sheldon Lapointe, Sebastian Hofer & Thibaut Vankemmel

My events in 2015:
Pannonian Challenge
NL Contest
NASS Festival
Ghetto Games
BCN Extreme
Offline Sport Games
Concrete Madness
Lausanne roller contest
AIL
Blading Cup
SSM Madness
Dee Cup
RT Jam
Streetfest
Liga Spanish Championships
FISE Aluna Festival shows
FISE World Montpellier
FISE World Chengdu
FISE Shenzhen Honor mobile Shows
FISE Langkawi Island Shows
Real Street Contest Nürnberg

My Tour Life in 2015:
May: Hitchhiking with Martina to FISE MTP then road trip to NL
June: SOTA tour / France – Belgium – Czech Republic
August: IAMPRO tour / Croatia – Italy – Switzerland
September: GC / Jara tour / Germany – Hungary – Czech – Poland
October: Round the world tour / Brussels – Chengdu – LA – San Diego – London
December: FISE Alcoholics Anonymous tour / Shenzhen – Langkawi – Hat Yai – Krabi – Bangkok

My edits/parts in 2015:
2015 Highlights video
WWW.SOTAMOVIE.COM
Lasek land bowl edit
GC City Missions edit BCN
Garlic Club BYSP Session
Many Revolutions

My Cities in 2015:
Too many but my top 5:
Prague
Krabi
Lyon
Shenzhen
Lausanne

My Countries in 2015:
England
China
USA
Malaysia
Latvia
Czech Rep
Thailand
Hungary
Croatia
Switzerland
Germany
Poland
France
Wales
Spain
Italy
Scotland
Belgium
Holland
Sweden

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My injuries in 2015:
15ft to broken nose & minor concussion, other than that a few sprained ankles. It’s been a lucky year.

Any specific moment or experience that stood out?
Chengdu nights
Water fight in the FISE shuttle bus in Langkawi
Surfing Venice beach with Wakefield warrior Martin Peel
Getting caught up in the middle of a gang shoot out on NYE in Krabi Thailand.
Grinding a 25 star rail in a congo line with riot police at the bottom right before everyone got pepper sprayed at the FISE Rail Contest

What was your worst day in 2015 and why?
Hearing my dear grandmother Frieda passing away age 101, I thought she would live forever.

Is there such thing as a best day in 2015?
Winning FISE or skating the Mega ramp at Woodward West.

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Best in 2015:
Travel Buddy? Burston / Quinny / Wagner
Event? FISE / OSG / Pannonian challenge
Country? Switzerland
City? Prague
Meal? Roasted Garlic on toast
Song? Ping island / Lightning strike – Mark Mothersbaugh
Girl? Martina
Website? LocoSkates.com
Company? Go Project
Movie? SOTA
Beer? that one
Party? TAG 21st Floor, Chengdu
Tricks you’ve filmed? Hand Cruiser Topside soul
Story? Nearly getting in a knife brawl with Langkawi pirates for refusing to pay an over priced taxi fare, it was about to get messy until Dom Wagner (20 beers in) stood up and negotiated a deal for our freedom.

Bestest in 2015:
Blader? Stéphane Alfano / Roman Abrate
Up-and-comer? Danilo Senna
Bladie? Becci Sotelo / Manon Derrien / Chihiro Azuma
Video? MTV The Grind haha!
Profile? Umberto Toselli – Le Seans 3
Videographer? Jonas Hansson
Writer? Freddy White
Photographer? Dom Wagner
Visual artist? Mathieu Heinemann / Rémy Meister

What’s planned for 2016 so far?
Let’s wait and see!

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