Following Friday’s Skate Street Semi-Final, the anticipation from the fans had everyone ready and waiting for the final to get underway as part of the Dew Tour Toyota City Championships in San Francisco, California.
Bringing back the top 10 skaters from the semi-final round, following a few injuries causing Felipe Gustavo and Paul Rodriguez to pull out, the final consisted of two heats and allowed for five skaters to partake in a five-minute jam. The top five scores advanced into the Final Round 2, aka the Super Final, where athletes had another five-minute jam followed by a two-minute open jam on the big hubba and stairs.
Kicking off the final was yesterday's second place qualifier and the first place qualifer from the prelims on Thursday, Kelvin Hoefler came in with confidence shown in his backside nose blunt across the top of the picnic table and a nollie frontside nose slide down the big hubba. The first heat also consisted of Chaz Ortiz kickflipping or spinning 270 into every grind and slide, plus the likes of the young blood Alec Majerus who has been on a tear landing everything, including a kickflip front 50-50 on the handrail to start him off.
Alec Majerus, kickflip front board
Ryan Decenzo started off with a bang, also. Decenzo held nothing back and nollie heelflipped into a nose slide down the big hubba. However, once the hometown hero Peter Ramondetta took to the course the crowd support came in strong. Ramondetta rocked the crowd with smooth front smiths across the picnic table and a big back tail down the hubba.
Moving into the second heat, yesterday's top qualifier making his Dew Tour debut, Louie Lopez came out skating strong throwing down an effortless bluntslide down the huge hubba. Sean Malto also put his effortless style on display with a perfectly executed nollie nosegrind down the hubba as well as a nose blunt on the picnic table. Next in line was David Gonzalez who has proven time and time again that his kickflips and impossibles to front 50-50 have no limit and went down the hubba with ease, add in his 360s over the gaps and Gonzalez was on fire.
Greg Lutzka, 180 nose grind
Greg Lutzka and Curren Caples capped off the rest of the rider roster for the second heat. Lutzka laid down everything from nose blunts down the hand rail to nollie 50-50s down the hubba, all with ease. Caples has been one to watch this week, with his high speeds he has been the only skater blasting from the China Banks over to the down hubba ledge proving he holds nothing back. Mix in some giant kickflips over the China Banks hip and his well rounded style acts as a threat to the rest.
Just before the Super Final was underway, Hoefler actually snapped his board, but fortunately for him his girlfriend was close by with a spare.
"Let's skate!" said Hoefler reflecting on what was going through his head at the time. "My mind was so excited to skate and I've put in a whole year of training. This is it, it's time"
Kelvin Hoefler, kickflip back tail
Moving into the Super Final round was Lopez, Decenzo, Malto, Hoefler and Ortiz. For the first six minutes of the Super Final every skater hit the course and stepped up their game. Ortiz threw nollie bigspin to lipslide, Hoefler landed a kickflip tailslide to fakie right into a switch bluntslide but everyone was waiting for the final two minutes to focus in on the hubba and set. We saw Decenzo land a buttery switch bluntslide to regular, Lopez rattle off varial heelflip, frontside flip and a half cab flip down the steps all while the rest of the skaters threw everything they had in the final minutes.
In the end of the epic session it was the 18-year-old making his Dew Tour debut Louie Lopez that earned his spot on the top of the podium. Lopez put on a truly amazing performance all week long - well deserved Lopez!
"I had this strange feeling that Louie was going to kill it, so I'm psyched that he won, said Decenzo following the podium and award ceremony. "He's really the underdog because he just turned pro, so he's really proven himself."
Decenzo wasn't the only one with that "strange feeling" coming into the final, but despite the pressure Lopez maintained and remained calm and collected.
Louie Lopez, ollie
"There was definitely some pressure, but I didn't really think about it too much – it's just unnecessary stress," said Lopez once it was all over. The humble Lopez went on to speak to the rest of the talent in the super final, "Pshh, man all of those guys were going off! Malto is my favorite, though. Malto's the man!"
1st Place – Louie Lopez
2nd Place – Kelvin Hoefler
3rd Place – Ryan Decenzo
4th Place - Sean Malto
5th Place - Chaz Ortiz