TOP 10 INSTAGRAMS OF 2020

Because going on a beer run nowadays means having to gear up like you want to kill E.T., social media is more essential to our need for connection than ever before. Throughout the quarantines of 2020, many of us dulled our fingerprints with hours of compulsive scrolling. Deeply missing friends & acquaintances, projecting frustrations into judgmental ideation, and some days, diving so deep into the insta-abyss that we had to pull the rip cord and parachute over to zoom therapy.

 

On an evolutionary timeline, we are still in the Stone Age of social media and approaches to instagram are pretty diverse. Some accounts are curated, some are casual. Some highlight the imperfections of life and some scramble to project an idealized view of food, relationships and… everything.

 

The way that social media has and will interact with skateboarding is in flux; style and skateboarding have always been symbiotic, but where is the line drawn between “skateboarder” and “influencer”? The two are not mutually exclusive. How will this age of social media posturing ultimately impact the industry? Will the people who go to the skatepark primarily for content gain industry attention over the ones who are legitimately good at skateboarding? Time will tell.

 

We like accounts that are both fun and authentic. Not too authentic- please keep your fucking stubbed toe to yourself. Also, looking at cool shit, like memorabilia on the @og_coors account. Love riding the virtual waves of this crazy world with people that inspire like @noravexplora and watching sick skate clips of skaters showing mind-blowing style, like @clubmaiteee. With so much fakery and peacocking going on, cruising instagram can feel like being sucked into a black hole of bullshit. But these accounts prove that instagram can also generate happiness. We hope this list will help you scroll positively and progressively into 2021.  –Migz

Nora Vasconcellos

@noravexplora

“Down to Clown”

As the people’s princess and #1 purpatrator of women’s skateboarding, Nora has large insta-shoes to fill, so she does it the same way she puts on her pants in the morning- two legs at a time. From the jump, @noravexplora has always been an awesome account to follow and 2020 did not disappoint. We saw her relationship develop with pro surfer Albee Layer @live.fast.die.old as they quarantined together for months in Maui. There were many sweet moments- enjoying each other’s company and life in paradise with a precious extended family/quarantine bubble. Also stressful ones- Albee caught a serious concussion from a Northshore big wave battle. But Nora was there to have his back- and yours!

 

How can she hook you up from her tropical paradise? By serving up the quarantine content you need, breakfast, plate lunch and dinner. Sick skateboarding action, shredding the island’s skateparks. Funny moments dished up by the dozen, like cheesin’ on a 4-wheeler with that classic Nora V sass. Cuddles with the cutest animal friends, cool drawings and whimsical family throwbacks. And surprises aplenty.

 

Nora is also great at interacting with her people. She’s great about reposting her tags in the ol’ story, like when kids set up her Welcome board and when BIGFOOT throws up dope shit. That time when we snagged Nora’s ‘first like,’ we knew we were killing the game.

 

Takeaway: Add social media guru to Nora’s long list of talents.

The Past Participle

@thepastparticiple

Yesterday is History

We only got turned onto this account recently, but that’s ok because the content is timeless. These are pictures of skateboarding primarily in the 1980s to early 90s; after clay wheels but before copers left the building. These are time-honored pictures of big boards, sketchy backyard ramps, and punk rock parking lot hangs. In today’s mainstream glory many younger folks don’t know about the hood rat history of skateboarding. Back then, skating was for the four-eyed freaks and McSqueeb-rocking weirdos. Jocks like Nyjah would have hated skateboarders, in fact, his distain for women in skateboarding is a perfect example.

 

“Some girls can skate but I personally believe that skateboarding is not for girls at all. Not one bit.” -Nyjah

 

At some point, arguably when wheels got really small in the 1990s, everyone that wasn’t a straight dude became the outcasts. It’s the typical cycle of abuse- internalize your experience and take it out on the next sucker, blah blah blah. It’s an old dusty story we’ve all heard before. Well, now joke’s on the haters, cause women and non-cis men are now the shapeshifters. And the guy that runs this account gets it. His words:

 

“If you grew-up skateboarding in the era, covered by this feed, then you knew what it meant to be targeted, hated, and ridiculed. Thus, it’s really vile and disgusting to now see skaters mimicking that same behavior (in a modern form) against others skaters (I’m talking about the comments on the new SMUT video over at Thrasher). If a lack of jock attitudes and vapid social conformity in skateboarding is problematic for you, I suggest you get the fuck out of our subculture. Go try football instead.”

 

Takeaway: Being sponsored by Monster doesn’t mean you have to BE one.

Gen X-travaganza

@genx_travaganza

“Shop Dal Santo”

Marisa is a style icon of skateboarding and  the world at large. In her part in Zero’s decade-old “Strange World” she hit skaters around the globe with a legendary one-two punch of the best skateboarding AND fashion kits. In a clip that didn’t make the final edit of her recent Postcards from the Ledge episode, Breana listed Marisa as one of her fashion role models, remarking how sick her leather jacket look in Strange World was (big 10-stair, can’t miss it.) And, how difficult just the act of skating in a leather jacket is, in general.

 

Marisa concreted her spot in the vault of legends when she distanced herself from skateboarding after that video. She didn’t enjoy the kind of pressure she was under to break herself off so she said *fuck it and went to Colorado to trim weed.

 

In Denver, Gen X-travaganza was born and blossomed. There are plenty of vintage resellers online, but Marisa stands way out from the crowd. Her inventory is slick, authentic and warmly reminiscent. She points out any holes or blemishes in the clothing items she posts, but none of her stuff is crap. It’s the cream of the crop; inperfections just give Marisa’s goods more character and originality. The two items I have ordered from her instantly became stars of my closet.

 

*Saying ‘fuck it’ and doing exactly whatever you want is one of the most holistically gangster moves you can make in life.

 

Takeaway: If you want to win friends and influence people, try just being yourself.

Valley Buds Flower Farm

@valleybudsflowerfarm

“Best Smelling”

Michelle Pezel must have made a deal with the devil for a 36-hour day. What was on her end? That’s her business. All we can say that it’s absurd to believe that she does all these cool projects and is still super chill and like, has time to kick it. Or maybe it’s partially due to the whole “don’t own a cell phone” tall tale. Genius.

 

In 2002, Michelle founded Antisocial Skate Shop in Vancouver B.C. with Rick McCrank. Since then, she has been managing the best skate shop community there ever was. She hosts art shows and bands, supports the young in skateboarding and mentors them in life. She lead the effort to legitimize Leeside Skatepark, the most magical DIY on the globe. Her contributions are endless.

 

Somehow, she still had some time to spare ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ so she went into business with photographer Alana Paterson on a one-acre flower farm tucked in the mountains outside Vancouver. In the garden-verse, this is a HUGE space and an insane undertaking- a real head-exploder. But somehow, they created a successful CSA and expanded Antisocial into a seasonal flower and farm stand. COVID has kept us from visiting IRL, but we still benefit via this gorgeous feed.

 

Takeaway: Follow this feed and cleanse your soul of Instagram influencer garbage. 

Breana Geering

“Girl on Gram”

We’ve made it clear what big Breezy fans we are at BIGFOOT. If you’re not following, pull your head out of that hole and smash that button cause she’s on the loose. In the skateboarding realm, Breana is top banana. Her talent truly ain’t nothin’ to fuck wit. But what makes this account rule isn’t only the great skate clips she posts from the Plaza in Vancouver and elsewhere, it’s the overall perspective she shares from her kick ass life. Friends, stick-n-pokes, beers and often a proverbial cheese platter; @Breezeana is having a party and EVERYONE is invited, insta-wise.

 

Takeaway: The line to kick it with Breezy is long. Follow her lead and throw a party of your own. Also, check out Breezy’s recent interview on POSTCARDS FROM THE LEDGE

OG Coors

Cold Activated Memories

The main reason we love this account is clear- it’s the preferred water. But Rocky Mountain refreshments aside, @og_coors is an awesome feed with all kinds of classic throwback memorabilia. There’s sick photos of people of years past slugging down Coors in old-school attire, athletes of yesteryear peacocking around at classic Coors-sponsored events, and iconic photos of legends like Jimi Hendrix enjoying a cold one. Unaffiliated with the brand, the  genius behind the account is a true Coors-nnoisseur and vintage collector, who runs a web store attached to the feed. My only complaint about these type of shops is WHY can’t they remove the shit that already sold? Ok I get it- from a marketing perspective, that amazing pair of throwback shorts will probably keep me cruising back around. But for god’s sake, flip that inventory! It’s annoying mousing through all the stuff that’s already gone like Homer Simpson on a treadmill… doh! doh! dohhh!

 

Takeaway: Coors Light is the best beer (besides Miller Lite). Period, end of story!

Napkin Apocalypse

@napkinapocalypse

The Kids are Alright

Real talk: this may be the most perfect instagram account. It is everything- creative, precious, precocious and consistent. Also, inspiring. Also educational.

 

Also, there’s a great backstory. Creator Courtney Jaedtke was the genius behind @pamlovesferrariboys which followed the sassy exploits of the family bulldog, Pam. A bit of a high-maintenance dogginista, she loved cruising in her red convertible, drinking wine, and messing with her human brother Sammy. We could all relate to Pam, she was loved by fans all over the world. The story ends with the inevitable tragedy of every family pet, but there will always be a special place in our hearts for Pam.

 

After taking a break, Courtney returned to instagram to document life with her son, twin girls and husband Dane with @napkinapocalypse. Here, we follow their life in Carpenteria, surrounded by animals, art, inspiration and hilarity. Son Sammy’s obsession with watching the garbage pickup evolved into a “Trash Boy” clothing line, with many fantastic offshoots. There are SO many good moments, but we laughed until we cried when she filmed her daughter Bobbie boogieing down to Eminem, an artist those twins seem to really dig!

 

If you want to do instagram right, just follow Courtney’s lead. She paints a relatable, imperfect, heartwarming portrait of her life that evokes positive vibes. If you have kids, you can even catch ideas about cool projects and things to do with them. Also, helpful information about her personal parenting experience, challenging and joyful. But you don’t have to be a parent to love this account – when you see great people raising awesome kids like this, there is renewed hope for the future.

 

Takeaway: You better lose yourself in the music, the moment. You own it, you better never let it go.

Maité Steenhoudt

@clubmaiteee

“Styles for Miles”

A lot about it sucks, but some things about the ‘gram are awesome, like discovering Maité. She keeps her feed pretty low key and doesn’t post that often, but when she does it’s raining likes and comments. So here’s what we know; Maité is 21 years old, from Antwerp, Belgium and skates with wild abandon that will blow your hair back. She’s got that young, free, quintessential spirit of skateboarding that Jonah Hill could never can & sell. She is a beautiful young creature that skates with spastic & classic creativity. And she knows how to dress; she can really rock a pair of patchwork 40oz jeans. There is no predicting what her skateboard is going to do- just when you thought you had her figured out, she’ll pull some amazing tuck knee smith like a young Jay Adams.

 

Maité does something with her account that older farts find hard to replicate. Breana does it too. With little effort, they slap together honest portraits of their lives in a way that is not boasting or intentional. They’re having a good time, and inviting us to share some moments. Feeds like these make you feel good; it’s uplifting to see Maité out there getting it in her own, unique way. Even is this kid wasn’t showing incredible skateboarding talent, I’m sure her feed would still be killer because her energy is more contagious than a damn Corona virus.

 

Takeaway: The world is Maité’s oyster, and you shuck. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Maité (@clubmaiteee)

Nika Washington

@cranberryinmycup

Keep it Crispy

Quick! Check out Nika’s feed because she could dip out at any time! Well, let’s hope not, but hurry up and get those likes in because, the hand that feeds will taketh away, it has disappeared in the past. And we all need that cranberry in our cups.

 

Nika is a rad, hilarious person with amazing style, on and off the board. We got the chance to get to know her better last March right before the muted chatter of Corona virus became a jarring test of the Emergency Broadcast System. We didn’t skate because Nika took a bad slam to her back the day before, but we had a mighty good time tripping around Long Beach anyway.

 

One thing we didn’t know before that day, but makes sense now considering how she skates, is that Nika is meticulous. She checks the dates on corn nuts before she buys them. She keeps her outfits crispy as hell, the day we went out she wore a monochromatic corduroy kit that made all of us jealous. Perfection at it’s finest.

 

Her feed is just as clean. She keeps it neat and tidy with solid, consistent skate clips. When she posts a new one, you feel lucky to catch it- she ain’t jamming up instagram with any bullshit. It’s just clean, solid skating on a tidy, trusty feed.

 

Takeaway: Marie Kondo your feed for the New Year.

Tonya Harding

@therealtonayharding

OG Ratchet

Tonya is a local legend of the PNW. These days, she lives somewhere around Washougal and runs a landscaping company with her husband. There is an ice-skating themed bar that she hangs at, and you bet your ass that’s one of our first stops when things get crackin’ again. After all this stationary bullshit, it’s going to be time to attack that bucket list.

 

If you have ever been in rural Oregon, where Tonya grew up, you should have a deeper understanding into how “operation knee knock” incident came to be. Imagine being an Olympic-level ice skater in an impoverished area where everyone spends all day looking for a “come-up.” Also, as young woman in an entirely misogynistic culture. It ain’t easy being steezy.

 

Our guru’s feed is full of holiday salutes, turkeys in tinfoil and above ground pool parties. She recently put her old turquoise Dodge pickup for sale. She is clearly loving life in Southern Washington with her family and friends. It is great to see Tonya happy just being Tonya. Yes, it’s possible she curates this salt/earth life intentionally for the ‘gram and it’s all a lie too. In this case, we don’t really care, cause Team Tonya until the tires blow. Love you.

 

Takeaway: She should have won dancing with the stars.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

@porus_walker R-rated pen and ink drawings and more quality crass & creative content.

@stickydickies Stylin’ skate clips from up-and-comer Nat Shwartz.

@nicolehause Catch clips of Nicole’s consistently sick skating, eating shit, icing it, and then doing it again on her backyard ramp.

@fabiana_delfino It’s Fabi. She’s the greatest. ‘Nuff said.

@thealexwhite Has discovered the meming of life.