News flash: with 50 percent of the 2010 Dew Tour in the books, Ryan Sheckler is not leading the race for the Dew Cup. As a matter of fact, he's a full 24 points behind Cup race leader Greg Lutzka and a mere two points ahead of P-Rod and Ortiz. But before we try to get to the bottom of what's going on at the top, I think some credit is due to a few of the guys that, despite having ripped it up Portland, have fallen slightly off the pace.
Jani Laitiala is from Finland, and if you've been paying any attention you already know he's been laying down solid footage for days. What you might not know is that he's never made the top-12 on the Dew Tour. Until now. And although his final wasn't quite as good as his prelim, his nollie frontside noseslides across the little used Jersey Barrier were all it took to make one particular blogger happy to see him in there. And I'm guessing it might have been something like 80 degrees warmer on the course than he's used to, so, here's to hoping that next month in SLC will by some miracle be a little cooler for him.
Fabrizio Santos always seems to get a little bit overlooked. And a pretty good argument can be made that he's a victim of making everything look too easy. You ever seen his Caballerial back lip? They don't call him The Breeze for nothing. I'm not saying the judges had him wrong, but if he had finished a lot higher than the 10th he ended up with, that wouldn't have been so wrong either.
Tyler Hendley has some of the best tre flips and backside big flips in skateboarding. Exclamation point. And in the finals he did them bigger and deffer than ever. This is just a little shout out to a job well done, not that it does anything to help his eighth place finish, but I supposed it won't hurt it either.
Bastien Salabanzi did exactly what he needed to do to win. Or so I thought. With his cab kickflips, backside double flips, and whatever else he tries and always seems to land, I thought he'd be a shoe-in for the top three at least. But...I thought the guys in the top three were shoe-ins for the top three as well. So at this point getting him in there might be more of a math problem than anything really.
But now, back to the leader board. To Sheckler, finishing fourth probably feels like getting dead last. He's that good. But in the finals he threw caution to the wind when he attempted to backside 360 kickflip from the Rose Quarter straight over your house. He could have played it a lot safer and made it into the top three, or top one, but he didn't, and that is what made him the toast of the jam. In the end no one cared half as much about his scores as they did just seeing him out there going for it.
Ortiz and Lutzka got third and second respectively because they're both really great at skateboarding and they landed pretty much all of their bangers. Lutzka seems to have cleaned up his act a little bit this year and has looked amazing in both of the first two stops. For both him and Chaz their skating looked like it might be good enough to win. But they both ran into the exact same problem: P-Rod.
No matter how big time P-Rod gets, he still comes out and practices, pay his dues, puts in work or whatever you want to call it, and in Portland he spent more time on the course than anyone. That still doesn't explain how he can switch back tail a rail or switch tre flip the double like he does though. In that way he really is just the best, and when he's landing his tricks, like he was in the finals in Portland, what can anybody really do to beat him? In this case the answer was absolutely nothing. Say it again.