By Nick Lipton – Sheckler’s broken, P-Rod couldn’t find his groove, and the planets just wouldn’t align for Chaz Ortiz. Tonight was Rodolfo Ramos’ night, and the big check and sweaty hug from Adam Dyet sealed the deal. When Ramos won the Skate Park Finals at the Toyota Challenge you could tell he was hyped, and you knew he deserved it.
It needs to be noted though that the Chris Cole show was also something else. Ramos blew minds and pulled some magic out of the air, and the addition of Cole’s “I don’t care” attitude and mile-long list of tricks made this one final to remember.
The format was the same as in Portland: two heats, two jams, and that oh-so-fun ten minute, organized final jam (meaning skaters go in order, each getting one try at a trick before the next person). The sugar-buzzing crowd packed into the arena, cheering and frantic autograph requests ensued, and then it was go time.
Heat 1 was owned by Nick Dompierre and Rodolfo Ramos. Unfortunately Adam Dyet had some board issues and he couldn’t give his hometown crowd the show he thought they deserved, but Nick and Rodolfo picked up the pieces. Dompierre had his head on right and landed a great frontside flip and a heavy noseblunt. Ramos began his warpath early, with a risky but amazing hardflip back 180 and a picture perfect backtail on the sketchy hubba ledge.
The jam that followed Heat 1 was again owned by Rodolfo. In classic style, the Brazilian flew around the course and blunted everything, no breaks, no nothing, just push push push, blunt, continue. Dyet had a highlight in this jam, when another huge kickflip indy got a roar from the crowd. P-Rod had a real impressive 360 flip and as always had plenty of switch this and that in his set.
But if you had to throw together a Dew Tour highlight reel it would be full from Heat 2. Carlos de Andrade started the show with huge flip tricks, a backside 270, and a nollie nosegrind. Tyler Hendley skated well, probably finishing 2nd in the prelim boosted the boy’s morale. A solid run including a frontside flip on the quarterpipe, a huge 360 flip, and just good style bumped him into the Final Jam. Then there was the classically cool Lutzka.
The dude had some spins and flips for the crowd, but the 270 tailslide was his heavy hammer. Ryan Decenzo didn’t have the best run, but he made up for it later in the jam. Chris Cole dropped second to last and proved his status as a superstar. A backside 270, fingerflip over the rail, and anything else he felt like doing impressed skaters, fans, and judges alike. The thing about Cole is he’s just a great skateboarder, and doing whatever he wants on a skateboard is just what he does. Ortiz dropped last, and while the kid had flow and some serious style he wasn’t having the best night, and had a few spills towards the end.
The jam after Heat 2 was hilarious. Lutzka 270’d a few times, Carlos went big, Cole joked around while making sure to hit at least one or two of the most tech tricks in the book, Ortiz struggled for a while and finally landed a double flip front board, but Tyler Hendley came out of no where to hammer out a huge backside flip and follow it up with an even bigger backside big flip. After this heat it was safe to say the final jam would be full of unfamiliar faces.
This final jam really brought the emotion out of the public and the fan out of the friends section. First off, second-place finisher Chris Cole put down trick after mind numbing trick. Here’s an example of what Chris was up to: backside 360, double flip, shifty over the hydrant, three-shuv mute, switch frontsideflip, switch backsideflip, backside 270 on the down bar, and on and on and on.
Not to mention every trick Cole did down a rail he also did up it. In other amazing highlight news Decenzo used the fence, yes the same one that surrounds the park, as a rail by both 5050ing it and smithing it. The incredibly on-point Tyler Hendley showed the crowd the biggest backside bigflip in and out of the gap bank, the kid had a good weekend. Lutzka also threw in a hammer with a perfect frontside flip over the down bar to end the Jam. No one could mess with Ramos though, not even the unreal Chris Cole.
Ramos continued his all night onslaught by banging out one hammer after another until it was obvious he deserved the big check. The crook 180 out, multiple blunt slides, huge airs, and a freaking hardflip 5-0 sealed the deal and fooled people into thinking a hardflip 5-0 is a doable trick. When the contest ended everyone knew who had won, but five minutes later it was announced and Ramos was visibly emotional over his first Dew Tour win.