By: Nick Lipton – After winning three of the four Skate Vert competitions this summer Bucky Lasek is taking home his third Dew Cup. Bucky's big win was no walk in the park though. The level of skating in today's Final was the best it has been all summer. Call it experience, talent, skill, or whatever you want–Bucky managed to crush the best of what Vert skating has to offer, again.
The contest format allowed for a blitzkrieg of Vert ramp destruction. Ten riders, split into two heats were given a ten minute running clock to squeeze in all the spins, flips, and slides they could. I think the plan was to have one skater fall and another drop immediately, giving everyone plenty of riding time, but somehow these guys came out and skated bigger, faster, and more technical than they have been all summer.
In Heat One our champ Bucky Lasek dropped first. Bucky came out and immediately began a spin to win campaign that set the tone for the rest of the night. Each following rider came out hot, punching out flip tricks and forcing around spins that usually cripple their runs. Sandro Dias was unreal, skating faster than normal, which is completely mind boggling when you consider he already owns the gnarliest guy in Vert award. Bob Burnquist also dropped in this heat. Mr. Switch was throwing out back to back switch lines and adding a little something extra with legit lip tricks. Rob Lorifice and Anthony Furlong didn't make it to the super final, but they both gave the crowd something to talk about. Rob owns the 540: in one run he dropped five's over and over again, but never in the same way. Rob was hammering out rodeos, alley-oops, mctwists, and more. Rob's banger was a Kickflip Indy over the gap. But, that Kickflip Indy might have been overshadowed by Furlong's gap trick, a Tailgrab 540. I'm willing to say Furlong has the best Tailgrab spins in Vert skating–he just makes 'em look good.
Bucky frontside feeble grind
Bucky Fronstide Boneless
Rob Lorifice Kickflip Indy Air
Burnquist frontside rodeo 540
With Heat One over it was time for a short practice, quick rest, and then more hammers. PLG started this one off. Pierre's a competitor, and his desire to win was obvious. Also fighting for that top spot was Andy MacDonald, and again, great riding and abnormally huge and dangerous tricks poured out of Andy just like all of the other guys. I guess when the Dew Cup's in sight these guys are willing to get broke-off for it. The three youngsters skating in Heat Two didn't make the super final, but they too helped push this competition into the record books. Alex Perelson, who is always skating huge, flew even higher. For a shy kid he sure skates loudly. While in orbit, Alex was flicking out manic Kickflip Indy's and some super slow and stylish spins, but Alex's bangers were for sure on the coping. To finish a run Alex popped on 50-50 slid for a bit and then popped a tall back 180 back into the ramp. Paul-luc Ronchetti brought his A-game as well, the kid’s 720 got the crowd screaming, and at 16 years-old Paul’s only going to get better. Adam Taylor, the local Floridian, had his fair share of trickery to offer the crowd, but his Cab Heel was for sure his best moment.
PLG Kickflip Mute Air
Paul-luc Ronchetti Method
With both Heat's over PLG sat in the top spot on the way to the super final jam, but that wouldn't last. This super final may have been the best Skate Vert moment this summer. The star studded event brought PLG, Andy MacDonald, Sandro Dias, Bucky Lasek, and Bob Burnquist together, and an all-out clinic ensued. PLG couldn't hold onto his top spot, but you can't blame him, everyone was going for it and no one rider could stay on top for more than a run or two. For example, Pierre came out with 540 after 540, 720's, back to back flip tricks, and an error free run, but that still left him sitting in fifth place today, and third overall. Bob Burnquist suffered a similar fate. While Bob fell more often than he probably would have liked to, he still crushed the ramp and brought some serious variety to the table. Bob's switch 360's, switch flips, switch grabs, switch whatevers were on point, and a Handplant 360 wasn't too shabby either. All of that backwards riding landed Bob in fourth place today, and fifth in the overall standings. With PLG and Bob sitting in fifth and fourth that left Sandro, Bucky, and Andy, and those three put on a show like I've never seen in Vert skating. The third place finisher, Sandro Dias, is a nutcase. That guy can skate at break-neck speeds for a full run while landing tricks that most riders won't even attempt. Sandro's Gnar-Jar is a no joke type of trick, and today he was doing them eight maybe even nine feet out. Sandro was throwing spins, flip tricks, and Body Varials while spinning and kicking his legs, the guy is too fun to watch. This super final had a little magic surrounding it, maybe because Disney World is down the street, but the summer's big Skate Vert showdown played out perfectly.
PLG cab kickflip mute
Andy Macdonald Melon 540
PLG Kickflip Mute Fakie
Burnquist switch backside air
Sandro Dias Alley Oop Kickflip Indy
Andy Macdonald and Bucky Lasek have been neck n' neck all summer chasing the Dew Cup, and tonight they both put it on the line. Andy skated the best I've ever seen, and had the top spot for most of the super final. At 36 years-old Andy and Bucky showed what you can do with a few years of experience. Andy's second place finish was awesome: 720's, Rodeo's, a nollie front 540, and a rad Crailslide over the hump gave Bucky something to sweat about. But Bucky dumped a trick list on the judges that you just can't mess with. Bucky flew into the ramp switch and started it all off with a switch 360, he followed that up by taking the entire ramp apart. Bucky backlipped the hump, front feebled it too, had more switch spins, including a 540, he kicked off the coping and landed a ridiculous boneless 540, and to cap it all off Bucky put down his signature trick, something no one else is messing with: a nollie flip Stalefish. So after all of that Bucky's score came in and it crushed the competition. This gave Bucky the Playstation Pro win, and just enough points to win the Dew Cup over Andy.