Paul Rodriguez didn't grow up skating in parks, he was a street skater from the very beginning so the Dew Tour's new concrete street course was his exactly his element. He led the 12-man final from the start of his heat with switch tricks on the rail, but as the level of intensity increased and he advanced to the superfinal with the top six guys, he had to put it all on the line.
"I had to try some things that I was avoiding in practice on the big rail that made me nervous but I knew if I wanted to at least have a chance of winning I had to step it up and try certain tricks down the bigger rail and just go for a couple more tech tricks that I added in there that I didn't do before," Rodriguez said.
Some of those tricks were a switch back lip in the big rail, a switch crooked grind and a switch front feeble. In the end it all came together for the win, and his final score of 88.18 set the bar. P-Rod said he was thinking about switch back lipping the big rail all weekend, but it took to the heat of competition to bring it out of him.
"I guess the extra adrenaline of being in the moment of the superfinal allows you to have the guts to try it," he said. "Because in practice I was really trying to avoid that rail, it scares me." The top six skaters with the highest score our of both heats combined move on to the superfinals.
"Being a competitor and wanting a chance at winning I knew I had to step up to that because these guys were flipping on to that rail and doing all kinds of stuff so I just had to use my switch abilities to try and hopefully keep up with them," Rodriguez said.
Ryan Decenzo finshed second with solid stair tricks, a switch 270 front board and a nollie heel over the tabletop to score 85.20.
"P-Rod did really hard technical tricks, everything the crowd wanted to see," Decenzo said. "I wish I could have been landing it more than him but I couldn't. Maybe next stop."
Decenzo advanced to the finals along with his brother Scott and their roommate Adam Dyet. It was the first time all three of them have made it into the same final.
Competing for the first time at the Dew Tour, Manny Santiago made it all the way through qualifiers into the finals and ended up on the podium in third with a score of 82.73.
"It's unreal because once I stepped on the course I did not think I was even going to make the cut," Santiago said.
But after his insane front shuvit back 5-0 on the hubba, he earned his spot and then some.
"That front shuvit back 5-0 made me think I was going to die," Santiago said. "I rode away and I don't know how, but thank God for that."
Other surprises of the event included Greg Lutzka breaking his board on the rail during his heat and testing out board after board after his friends kept handing theirs over from the sidelines. But it was tough luck for him because he lost him momentum and wasn't able to advance to the superfinals. And Mexico City’s Mario Saenz made it all the way to the finals, but he got hung up on the rail and hit his knee so he had to drop out after his first run.
Click the link for the full results from the skate street finals.
Skateboard Street Overview
Paul Rodriguez – 1st Place
Ryan Decenzo – 2nd Place
Manny Santiago – 3rd Place
Kelvin Hoefler – 4th Place
Danilo Do Rosario – 5th Place
Adam Dyet – 6th Place
Scott Decenzo – 7th Place
Alec Majerus – 8th Place
Greg Lutzka – 9th Place
Timmy Knuth – 10th Place
Ryo Sejiri – 11th Place
Mario Saenz – 12th Place
Paul Rodriguez and Manny Santiago