|ESPN.com: Skateboarding||[Print without images]|
On April 28th, in the high desert town of Palmdale CA., the first annual Great Desert Pool Duel was held in a real backyard pool, hosted by the legendary Billy Runaway. The weather was blazing in true desert fashion for a contest that has been long overdue. In today's climate of over publicized and cookie-cutter contest formats, the Great Desert Pool Duel was a breath of fresh air. An invite only format with some of the biggest names in the underground world of pool skating, the Pool Duel had some heavy hitting action.
Kevin Kowalski, Ben Raybourn, Ryan Johnson, Jake Reuter and a slew of backyard heroes set up shop to rip down the pool. With Lance Mountain, Dave Hackett from Black Leather Racing, Robbie O'Connell and Chris Cooper from Defect Mag as the guest judges, the scene was set for some backyard rippage.
|13 year old Tristan Rennie, frontside boneless in the deep end.|
When we showed up the last heat was coming to an end with Kevin Burke, Jake Reuter, Ryan Johnson and Al Brunelle all jousting for the last spot in the finals. I envisioned a huge snake session before we arrived but things were running like clockwork and everyone got their digs in.
It wasn't until Al Brunelle went for the sweeper to disaster, back trucks hanging up on the coping and an 11 foot drop to his head did the heat come to an end. Al was alright, a bit dazed and confused, but he'll live to fight another day.
As the finals started it became obvious that Kevin Kowalski and Tristan Rennie were the ones to beat. Kevin had the power and lines that set him apart with big body jars (backside air to tail), frontside inverts and I think the best trick of the contest: backside Smith grinds over the stairs and death-box. But it was the 13 year old young blood Tristan Rennie that stole the show with a huge boneless in the deep end, backside ollies on the tight wall, lien-to-tails and just making an 11 foot deep backyard pool look like a playground.
Congratulations to Billy Runaway, the skaters, judges, all the sponsors and the people that came out to support the 1st Annual Great Desert Pool Duel!