Bucky Lasek

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Thrasher has named Ishod Wair as Skater of the Year. I was looking over the list of those included in this years selection as contenders. Impressive top five. Ishod, Sandoval, Burman, Westgate, Huston. I’m unsure as to what criteria they use and it really doesn’t matter. For those of us who love pools and bowls, these top five are barely a glitch on the radar. I’m betting that there are more than a few pool aficionados who have never even seen any of these top five contenders skate. I saw Bob Burnquist and Ben Raybourn on the original list as well. Bob just dropped a crazy video part that will be just as impressive in a decade as it is right now. Other world skateboarding. Ben Raybourn oozes style, talent and is a standout in every session. It must be difficult to choose one guy… I don’t envy Thrasher. Everyone has a favorite skater. Everyone could choose their own skater of the year. The factors in a specific choice are impossible to calculate. Do you base a decision on video footage, style, contest placings, technical difficulty displayed? Do you just choose the gnarliest guy?

I was wondering about Bucky Lasek. This year, Bucky had turned forty years old. Two of his major sponsors -Vans and Element- had walked away from him. At Dew Tour, X Games and Bondi, there were the unending comments about Bucky being, “…the oldest guy out here competing.” Bucky would shrug it off. “What does age have to do with any of this?” I  saw Bucky do what hasn’t been done before. He won all of the major vert and bowl contests he entered. He did so at forty years of age. In any other sport, people would be lauding this as, “…  a milestone.” In skateboarding, it was just another day. I’ve known Bucky for a long time. I’ve always admired his consistency, work ethic, style and love of skateboarding. He gives back. I’ve decided to make Bucky Lasek the Blue Tile Obsession’s ‘Skater of the Year’. – Ozzie

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“Bucky has brought bowl skating to an entirely new level. He is already an unstoppable force on vert, creating impossibly difficult tricks that nobody else can do. He has now taken that technical wizardry and brought it to the concrete realm, mixing old and new like no other.” – Tony Hawk

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“What more can be said? Forty years old and forty times better than everyone else. My favorite skater of all time.” – Brad McClain

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“I think one of the coolest things about Bucky is that he’s one of us. He fucking loves skateboarding… it’s part of him. Even after all the ups and downs over the years he just has a good time skating. That’s where the similarities with the rest of us end though. Once he’s on his board he has a focus and a natural ability unlike anyone I have ever met. I saw it twenty some years ago when he was just a kid, it still burns in him today and no doubt will make him a winning rally racer in the future. As far as skateboarding goes, I’d have to say Bucky is up there in the top ten best skateboarders ever and 2013 proved that. He steam-rolled through all the major vert contests as well as the  Vans  Pool party and a second at the Dew Tour Bowl event. He progressed with tricks like his stalefish boneless, and no-handed boneless plus the stuff he threw down on the bar of death he put up in his bowl. He wasn’t filming a video part for months on end throwing out all the bails for one make on film, he was putting it all on the line, live and when it counted.” – Paul Wisniewski

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“Bucky is by far the most technical concrete transition skater the world has ever known. The thing I appreciate is that his focus isn’t just hard tricks on big open walls, it’s putting it all together into astounding combinations and use of the terrain in interesting and original ways. Plus he’s one of the nicest, coolest, most real humans ever. As for skater of the year… I vote yes on Bucky!” – Chris Miller

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“No one goes as big as the Chuckster aka Bucky Lasek. It is proven by his actions.” – Tony Alva

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“Longevity. Ability. Steadfastness. Evolving. Kindness.” – Lance Mountain

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“He’s a beautiful man with a beautiful family and a beautiful Andrecht. Ha! He’s one hell of a good skateboarder and one of the sweetest guys I know.” – Jeff Grosso

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“Having seen Bucky go from being a little amateur kid from Baltimore to one of the best skaters of all time, who moved to California and to boot, built one of the best pools in the world in his backyard, I feel fortunate to count myself as one his brothers.  Now I’ve seen a lot of kids become very successful at skating and move to California and more often than not, something is lost along the way.  There’s a lot for reason’s to ride a skateboard. I like to succinctly sum it up as fun, fame and fortune.  But there’s another reason to skate; the kick back skate session with your bro’s.  The beautiful thing about skateboarding is that you don’t have to skate with people that are at your level. You just skate with your brothers. Dudes whom you enjoy spending an afternoon with, whether it is at Buck’s world-class facility or a home-made quarter pipe in someone’s driveway.  Through my rather lengthy career in skateboarding, the local session has been one of the things I’ll remember the most about skating.  That is one thing that Bucky didn’t lose along the way. To you, he is a world champion skateboarder.  To us, he’s one of the boys that we ride with.  That makes Bucky Lasek a 100% skateboarder.” – Tony Magnussen

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“My early memories of Bucky are of a skinny little kid from Baltimore who’s protective gear covered him head to toe. He was awkward and sketchy but would hold on and commit to landing every trick he wanted. Seems that fierce determination has never left him, keeping a strong focus on what he wanted to accomplish through the ups and downs of skateboarding’s popularity, or more so what’s “popular” within the skateboard community. At the ripe young age of 41 he shows no sign of slowing, continuing to push through that boundary of impossibility. 2013 has been a banner year for Bucky, every achievement hard earned and well deserved.” – Adrian Demain
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“Bucky Lasek is one of those rare individuals who comes about only once in a lifetime. As most of you know, he has had an amazing career spanning some thirty odd years. But at in the age of forty, he has done what no other skateboarder has ever done. In 2013 he won ALL of the XGames, Dew Tour and Pro-tec. Every major contest he entered. He won not just every vert contest he entered, but also the biggest most important bowl contest of 2013. A truly amazing feat! However for some reason if you try to vote for him as Skater of the Year. Bucky Lasek is not even in contention. Go figure. Yet I have a feeling that Bucky doesn’t really give a shit, because he has already won! You see, his skateboarding career is not the only motivation in his life. He also has as beautiful wife, three beautiful daughters, a successful rally racing career and most importantly he is an amazing person! Skateboarding would not be the same without him!” – Owen Nieder
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“There’s something to be said about Bucky having the best competitive season in his entire skateboarding career here in 2013. He’s continued to progress and maintain such an incredibly high level of skating that is still by today’s standards setting the bar for the younger generations. It’s guys like Bucky that inspire people to push themselves to be better skateboarders and at everything they do in life. As a father, a husband, a professional skateboarder, and a professional rally car driver, Bucky is a great guy who deserves to be recognized as one of the best skateboarders of all time.” – Aaron Astorga
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“Hard to believe where that Baltimore kid has gone over the past twenty five years. He has faced the challenge of how sponsorships transition in and out over the years and has kept grinding through regardless.  At age forty this year he showed how determination combined with the intoxication of skateboarding keeps us rolling. This year he won the Protec Pool Party, Dew Cup Vert along with a 4 peat at the X games vert all in one year! They when you look back you see he has been winning for years! I’m proud to have built his board for many years. Bucky expresses himself on 4 wheels in many ways, one time I even saw him rip on a BBQ!” – Paul Schmitt
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“I looked for Bucky on the Thrasher ballot–  Stoked Ben Raybourn was on it at least!   Bucky: Absolute vert ruler– progression, evolution, domination–all with roots deep back east.” – Tom Groholski
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“His technical wizardry and consistency are on another level and he has been pushing the limits of vertical skateboarding for a few decades now. THAT is gnarly!” – Arto Saari
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Thank you Bucky Lasek for ruling it. Thank you to everyone that spoke with me about Bucky. Thank you to MRZ for the images. Thank you Scott Taylor for the video clip. I love skateboarding. – Ozzie
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17 thoughts on “Bucky Lasek

  1. Bucky has always been and will always be The Ruler at any session. He has technical ability, power, creativity , positivity and the motivation/encouragement for everyone else to push it. Definitely not a Jock but better than everyone else nonetheless(might as well cash those contest checks). Bucky gets my vote. PMA!

  2. SOTR is for who’s hottest at the moment, not who’s the “best” or whatever numerous criteria could be used to decide this. Phelps said it in one of the Thrasher vids at least a decade ago, “Vert is for jocks” and they seem to be sticking with a certain commitment to street skating being the “real” deal. Thrasher sometimes becomes its own stereotype, maintaining some cool image, boosting their own ego/logo/image. I couldn’t choose the SOTR but they seem to take heat even year. Out of 23 years of SOTR selections it looks like they have given it to vert dudes 4 times (Way twice). My personal pref is when it is an all rounder like Grant Taylor, Cardiel, Trujillo, etc. Note: The Gonz has never gotten it, proving it’s stupid.

  3. I’ve had the privilege of watching Bucky go from being a little grom at Hell Ramp in Baltimore, to the world class skateboarder he is today. I’ve skated with him and enjoyed his company many times over the years. I’ve had many “favorite” skaters over the years, Bucky being one of them, but I have an incredibly hard time believing that no one at thrasher fuckzine had Bucky on their radar for SOTY! Bucky has accomplished more in one year than any of those idiots at the magazine has in a lifetime! I don’t care what anyone at Thrasher thinks, Bucky Lasek… You are the every day skaters SOTY! You fucking rule brother and I’m extremely proud and honored to know you!

  4. Skater of the year. Thank goodness I don’t have to be on the decision team at Thrasher to figure this out. My guess is that Bucky doesn’t have any hurt feelings that Thrasher didn’t put him on the list. The man just had an incredible year and turned 40. Thrasher is as Thrasher does. I like Thrasher as it is more of raw look at the skateboard scene with fewer corporate filters in place. Maybe Bucky was deemed too corporate to get in there. Maybe it just wasn’t his “turn”. Whatever the reason, Bucky is a scene builder. The man poured 17 truckloads of concrete in his backyard and invites the industry over every year to skate. I don’t see anyone else doing this to the level that he has. Bucky truly has his own scene because he is at a different level. He has transcended the Thrasher scene. It’s obvious the guy skates because he loves it. He has navigated his way through the industry and now he’s at a point where quite frankly the industry doesn’t matter to him anymore. It’s almost like he stopped worrying about what the industry was doing. Lo and behold, that’s the year he pulls off the X-games sweep and his massive Boo B Q event. Sounds to me like Bucky has taught us that getting too caught up in the industry is bad for your soul. If there is something to take away from the SOTY thing and the Bucky’s glaring absence from it, perhaps this is it. If I had to decide for SOTY this year, it would be guys I skate with regularly. I like Ryan Wood, Geoff Johnson, and Mark Landy who have each had more personal progression in the past year than I’ve seen from anyone in a long time. It could be some other unnamed compadres that kept it together and skated through all kinds of personal turmoil/injuries. Heck my skater of the year is the person standing next to me in this evening’s session. Cheers to Thrasher, you picked your skater of the year based on what you thought was right. Cheers to Bucky, you obviously have mad respect from all of the greats and are a scene builder. Cheers to BK, Mark, and DMC who I will be skating with tonight. You are all skaters of the year. Geoff, you’re not . Maybe next week you frickin’ ditcher.

  5. What more can I say, Bucky your an incredible skateboarder and insperation to us all. I only hope that I can put some of the heart and dedication you have back into skateboarding. Thank you!

  6. It’s official. Bucky Lasek has been chosen “Skater of the Year” by his peers and friends (who also happen to be the best vert and bowl skaters in the world) Done deal, trophy please. Who the Fuck cares what Thrasher says or thinks ? That corporate pandering rag has been an irrelevant joke for a long time, not even any good for toilet paper.

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