As the entire industry fights over the same dollar, and as that dollar becomes less valuable each day, everyone's been forced to stretch it so far that it's on the verge of snapping. There are less opportunities than there were last year and even less than the year before that because companies are trying to do more with less, but no one ever did more with less. You do less with less until you either quit or fade away and someone with more takes not only your place but ten others as well. So, in this new economy, in this new world we live in, how do you make it today when the keys to the kingdom are held by a handful? How does your dream become your life when there are 60 million more people in America since the time Eric, myself and most of today's skateboard brands and pros came into prominence? How do you get in where you fit in when there isn't enough room for the people in it already? How do you get more when everyone's telling you there's only less?

Bang Yoself started back in 2008 when we realized the window of opportunity for unknown skaters was shrinking in proportion to the number of pages being slashed from the magazines thanks to the new economy. The less the companies had, the thinner the magazines got and the more important it became that whatever pages they were printing they fill them with people you knew not people you didn't. This was the downside to print media.

By creating a contest on The Berrics where everyone from all over the world could participate and be seen, we could now serve as the gateway to new faces that would hopefully some day grace the pages of print media without print media having to take the risk. We could introduce a whole new generation of skaters that weren't propagated by advertisers. We could give unsponsored, unknown people the chance to be seen by the companies that hold the keys to this little kingdom because those companies all watch the Berrics. Bang Yoself is a symbol of the internet and what it can do for someone whose told there's nothing out there but less.

This year was so hard to judge. There wasn't a clear cut winner in our eyes. The LRG panel, the Berrics panel and the amount of facebook likes were supposed to be the determining factors, but when we found out that Diego Oliveira, who had the most facebook likes, was already a pro down in Brazil, we decided, for purposes of this contest, it was only fair to exclude him and go with Yoshi who was only trailing by a few hundred. That would have been great if the panel wasn't all over the place in terms of who they thought the winner should be though. Yoshi, Blake Carpenter, Paul Hart and Kevin Tshala were all names tossed around but it was Derek Swaim who came out on top and after a few hours of arguing over who had the sickest Bangin between he and Yoshi, we realized, in a day where there's less and less, we had to do more, we had to pick two winners. So we did. Both Yoshi Tanenbaum and Derek Swaim are the winners of the Bang Yoself 3 contest and we're excited to fly them out here to see what they got and hopefully put them on a long road towards making their dream their life. -- sb


Click here for an interview with Yoshi Tanenbaum


Click here for an interview with Derek Swaim