Zitzer: Welcome To Portland

Follow Zitzer’s blog throughout the Wendy’s Invitational stop of the Dew Tour.

This just in: Sheckler is out for Portland, I repeat, Sheckler out for Portland… But we’ll see. I spoke to him last week Thursday and he informed me he was going under the knife Friday morning to repair in injured hoof from the backside flip gone bad at X. And you thought having to cut the grass over the weekend was a bummer. As you read this Ryan’s eyes are probably lolling around in the back of his head from the pain meds. Tough break. Literally. And we all got to see it happen, in bone shatteringly sloooooooow motion. He said the back injury lead to the foot injury and that he knew he shouldn’t have been skating in the first place but he’s a man possessed. I’m paraphrasing. I forgot to ask how the back was feeling though. Even if it’s in bad shape I’m assuming that by the time the foot is through convalescing so too will the back.

So, for all intents and porpoise flips, it looks like Sheckler’s lead in the points race for the Dew Cup will be wiped out in Portland, meaning Ryan Decenzo is the new de facto leader in the race for that coveted Dew Cup. I gotta admit, I didn’t see that one coming. I love how when sideline reporter Tiffany Simons asked Ryan (D) if he planned on going to the rest of the stops after his second place finish in Boston he said something like, “As long as I’m not hurt and as long as they’re not too far away…” There’s room for interpretation there.

Here’s how I see it. Him being from Vancouver and all I’d imagine he won’t consider Portland too far away, and even Salt Lake City could be considered within a somewhat reasonable range, but boy oh boy, wait ‘till he hears that the finals are in Orlando. Will he even show up? I checked into it and he’s looking at a 3,300-mile journey just to get there. And then there’s the pesky business of getting back home. It sounds even worse at 5,399 km (remember, we’re dealing with a Canadian here). I’m not sure if he would be driving there or not, if he is I’d tell him my favorite part of that particular trip has to be the 1,500 miles on I-90 East. Don’t worry about missing any crucial turns, there are none, just drive until your head is spinning and you can’t feel your lower extremities, then you’ll know you’re half way there. But I digress. Oh, one more thing that could probably be addressed is whether skateparks and vert ramps have sidelines. I’m not so sure about that.

Maybe the craziest thing about Ryan (D) doing so well at the Boston Skate Open in that he started out unranked and unseeded, meaning he had to battle his way through the international qualifier, prelims, semi-finals, then finals, where he finished, 1st, 3rd, 2nd, and 2nd respectively. Going into Portland, and the rest of the Tour, (considering they’re not too far away) where there’s only prelims and finals, Ryan (D) might just be the man to beat out there.

Here’s why: He skates like a beast, making minced meat of the big stuff, and while the crowd loves him, the judges love him even more, and they are ones he needs to impress after all. That’s not to say Cole, Ortiz, Lutzka, P-Rod, etc. don’t go big, but Ryan (D) seems to be a little more of a Wildman. Secondly, he’s consistent. (See results above). Thirdly, he has a wide range of tricks to pick from, meaning he’ll be able to adapt well to each individual course. But I’m not about to start making claims about anybody. I’m not crazy.

I mean, with the list of dudes coming to Portland it’s pretty much anyone’s game. We just saw P-Rod swish a three pointer (read: 12 stair switch heel) at the buzzer to win X-games, so you know he’s got ice water in his veins when it comes to pressure situations. And Cole finished third in Boston and didn’t even seem to be skating all that Chris Cole-ish. But…maybe he was, I’m not like some Chris Cole expert. Perhaps I’m just used to watching his part in the Fallen video where he makes every trick every try. I should also probably mention Ortiz. While it’s true that he’s last year’s defending champ, and that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing him in first, he’s still only like nine years old (I’m kidding, he’s gotta be at least 11 by now) so it’s not like his fourth place finish in Boston is something to sneeze at, especially considering that you KNOW he’s going to be right in there at each stop, because he’s a relentless little bugger in the runs AND the jams. In Boston his dad (who is NOT Chris Ortiz), told me their goal was to just have fun. Same as last year. That’s a refreshing thing to hear when you hear what some of the other park course dads have been spreading around.

So, again, my park predictions going into stop number two is that Sheckler will lose his lead in the Dew Cup race, and that somebody who is very good at skateboarding will take it over.

Now, back at the vert ramp, it’s a little easier to make predictions. After all, it’s not like 20 new dudes showed up on Boston and tried to ruin everything for the vets. Quite the contrary, Boston’s top five have been Dew Touring since its inception, with first place going to two time champ Bucky Lasek, and second going to last years winner PLG, and third going to the guy who’s never not in the top five, Andymac. It’s a pretty safe bet to say that those same three guys [with the possibility that one of them might get swapped out for Bob B. or dark horse Danny Mayer] will be right back up on the podium in Portland. Of course everybody, myself included, wants to see the planets line up for Alex Perelson at a stop or two this year, only time whether it’ll actually happen.

Well folks, that’s all for now. Check back for updates all weekend long and by please, by all means, chime in with your comments, questions, and concerns. Thank you.