PLG Takes Over in Skate Vert Final

For the fourth consecutive year, the Dew Tour Beach Championships return to Ocean City, Maryland. Last year, hometown hero Bucky Lasek took home the Dew Cup in front of his native Maryland crowd. This year, the fans were wild for Lasek and his fellow competitors but following a very uncharacteristic showing of four incomplete runs Lasek would not find his way through the entirety of the final.

After Thursday’s semifinal, only the top ten athletes advanced to today’s final. Today, each skater had four runs, with only their highest run counting toward their final score, advancing them into the super-final of the elite five riders for another four runs. The crowd was left in suspense after every heat.

Leading into the super-final it was Sandro Dias leading the charge, and charging he was as he skates with so much power the fans couldn’t help but get behind the Brazilian, aka the pitbull. Although, making the super-final is only half the battle and Dias would have to face Pierre-Luc Gagnon, aka PLG, Paul-Luc Ronchetti, Marcello Bastos and Jimmy Wilkins who had just come off of a major contest win in the weeks prior.

You’d think after seeing Dias take to a few 900 attempts he was a sure thing to take all, but in the end his competitors Wilkins and PLG came out firing as they too had a few new tricks to show in the super-final round. PLG would ultimately emerge as the Dew Cup champion, which put him in the lead for most Dew Cup wins in skate vert with a total of five of Dew Tour’s 10-year existence.

Moment of Stress:

PLG did come in first with his showing during his final run, but only after tracking down a stick in between runs to roll out his cramped calf he explained.

“My calf was starting to cramp up really bad, so I was starting to stress out a bit. I was like, “whoa, I’ve got to do something,” but then when I pulled my third run it gave me a lot of confidence going into my last run,” said PLG still taking in his win while removing his knee pads on the vert flat-bottom.

Top Tricks:

Jimmy Wilkins – ollie 540 and huge, lofty kickflip melons. Sandro Dias – his signature gnar jar (540 body jar) and a near make of a 900 where he did ride away after sliding a revert in the flat while his body slid on the ramp. Paul-Luc Ronchetti – a gnar jar of his own to earn his way into the final. Bob Burnquist – everything he did was switch with real power and finess. Although he didn’t make the super-final we would be remiss to not make a mention of his runs.

Winner’s Top Tricks:

Pierre-Luc Gagnon – alley-oop kickflip mute, switch heelflip 360, nollie heelflip McTwist, a nollie bigspin heelflip right on the buzzer and, not to forgotten, his own grapefruit grind where he spins 270 and lands into a switch feeble.

Winner’s Quote:

“I’m super hyped. I had a pretty rough year getting hurt. I only had two and half weeks after X Games getting hurt to get better. After just missing the podium from falling on my last trick two times in a row I was pretty upset about that, but now this makes everything alright.” — Pierre-Luc Gagnon