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|Ryan Sheckler's first run was big enough for him to hold on and win the inaugural Streetstyle event at the Dew Tour City Championships in San Francisco, Calif.|
Ryan Sheckler, a Dew Tour dominator since he was a teenager when the series was founded in 2005, is no stranger to Dew Cup glory.
Still, Sunday's Skate Streetstyle competition -- a new format staged on steep three-block downhill section of Harrison Street in downtown San Francisco for this weekend's Toyota City Championships -- was a different beast altogether from the Skate Park formats of the past and from Saturday's Skate Street setup. The Streetstyle course favored skaters comfortable with big speed and big, street-inspired features, providing Sheckler with a proving ground to show show just how much he's been manning up as an adult.
The contest featured a best-of-four runs format, but nearly all of the action in the overall standings came in the first run. Sheckler came out swinging with a stylish kickflip over an A-frame kicker at the top of the course, a nose manual to prove his technical chops, and a backside 180 ollie out of a curb cut feature that felt like a tribute to the first footage of Tommy Guerrero bombing the hills of S.F. back in the Bones Brigade day. Sheckler continued to gather speed heading into the bigger bottom half of the course, with a half-Cab onto a flatbed truck, a backside lipslide down the biggest handrail on the course, an ollie over a car jump featuring a Prius from event sponsor Toyota, a huge frontside 360, a half-Cab stepdown, and an ollie at speed off of a flatbed truck.
His Run 1 score of 90.25 stood up through the next three runs, intense challenges from David Gravette, Milton Martinez, Ryan Decenzo, and David Gonzalez notwithstanding.
"I really liked the course and the format," Sheckler said. "It was cool to be back at Dew Tour and skate with these guys I haven't skated with in, realistically, five years competitively. That whole event was awesome! I'm a super fan of this. I hope they do a lot more events like this and I hope I get invited."
Decenzo also posted his highest score -- 86.75 -- in Run 1, taking an entirely different approach to the course with a kickflip to manual off the first feature, a tre flip up onto the flatbed truck on the course, and a 180 over the rail on a wheelchair ramp feature, before pumping for all he was worth into a massive backside melon grab in a step-up feature fashioned out of a deconstructed dumpster. Gonzalez had the most speed and the most style on the course, with a 50-50 on an A-frame rail fashioned out of steel I-beams, a kickflip to nose manual on the manual pad near the top of the course, a tweaked out crail grab over a step-up jump fashioned out of a banged-up dumpster, a kickflip step-down, and an old-school boneless over a shipping container gap, all with more speed than seemed possible.
His score of 81.50 left him in podium position until the very end, when Gravette bumped Decenzo down to third and knocked Gonzalez to fourth and Milton Martinez bumped them both down another notch.
Gravette's final run provided a flash of last-minute flair, kicking things off with a 50-50 up and over the A-frame rail into an arcing G-turn nose manual, followed by a wallie on the Jersey barrier, and ollie to backside powerslide speed-check on the flatbed of a truck near the top of the course, a super-sketchy one-foot ollie over the Prius gap, a backside 360 on the dumpster jump, and a frontside 180 step-down, earning the podium-rattling score of 89.00 but falling just short of Sheckler's mark.
And Milton leapt his way to the podium, jumping all the way to second place, after a run that kicked off with an ollie to flat off the roof of a trolley car that was serving as VIP seating at the top of the hill.
|From left to right: Torey Pudwill, Nyjah Huston, Paul Rodriguez.|
In between heats during Saturday's Skate Street comp at the Dew Tour Toyota City Championships in San Francisco, Calif., the street setup for the contest transformed from a replica creation of infamous San Francisco skate spots to a makeshift stage for hip hop artist turned skateboarder Lil' Wayne.
Followed by a cameraman on skateboard, Weezy shot lyrics from atop the 3rd and Army manual pads, and in the end, no surprise to anyone in attendance, Nyjah Huston was awarded the 2012 Dew Cup for skate street. Huston seemed more enthused about the Lil' Wayne performance than the first place finish, quipping that it was "great to have Lil' Wayne out there supporting skateboarding."
Behind Huston was Torey Pudwill in second place, followed by Paul Rodriguez in third place. Rounding out the top five was Milton Martinez in fourth place and Felipe Gustavo in fifth. Familiar faces that did not qualify into the finals included Chaz Ortiz, Ryan Decenzo, Manny Santiago and David Gonzalez.
The street course consisted of historic and iconic S.F. skate spots, including the hubba hideout ledge, the China banks, the 3rd and Army manual pads and the Pier 7 stairs with manual pad.
Twelve skaters advanced from the semi-finals, and the finals consisted of two six-man heats allowing all skaters a 30-second intro run before skating in an organized jam. Following the first two heats was the super final, and from the start, Huston dominated the entire course.