The street finals are a wrap at Maloof Money Cup South Africa and wonder-am Ishod Wair took the win and the $100,000 first place prize. After winning the amateur event at the Maloof Money Cup in Washington, D.C., Wair earned a spot to compete against some of the world's best professionals and showed that he's a force to be reckoned with in future pro events.
"I can't even believe it," Wair said afterward. "I'm so hyped right now."
Twelve skaters battled in head-to-head elimination in the finals, with the skater with the highest score in the four-minute jam advancing to the next round. The first jam was Kurtis Colamonico and Manny Santiago, who are teammates. Santiago had a rough go at it and Colamonico advanced with his array of technical tricks on the rails, hubbas and stairs. The next battle was Ryan Decenzo and Lizard King. Lizard has become the unofficial ambassador to skateboarding here in Kimberley, South Africa, since he arrived a week ago, but much to the crowd's dismay, he was unable to keep up with Decenzo's annihilation.
Then it was Nick Merlino and Dave Bachinsky's turn in the ring. Merlino battled the wind but was able to make a perfect switch flip over the big four and some impressive rails tricks. Bachinsky used the entire course to his advantage and amazed everyone with his quarter pipe tricks including a hardflip nose stall and a blunt frontside kickflip in. Bachinsky came out on top and advanced to the next round. The last heat in round one was Evan Smith and Jack Curtin, two completely different styles of skating but both equally as exciting to watch. Smith gave it a good run but due to a couple of minor injuries he sustained this weekend, he couldn't keep up with Curtin's incredible skating.
The winners of round one met the top four from day one's qualifier and the first round was Collin Provost and Kurtis Colamonico. Colamonico tried hard but he was unable to put his tricks together in the same fashion he did in round one. Provost, on the other hand, destroyed the course skating up and over obstacles and doing an awesome kickflip frontside lipslide from low to high on the quarter pipe to help him move forward in competition.
The next match up was Tommy Fynn and Ryan Decenzo. Decenzo started off strong and made a lot of tricks, but Fynn, who was born in South Africa, took the round by linking tricks together and making an amazing backside noseblunt slide down the big hubba ledge right before the buzzer. Next up was Ishod Wair and Dave Bachinsky. The round was close, with both skaters being very well rounded, but in the end, Wair's consistency prevailed. With only one more heat in the second round it was between Maloof Money Cup veteran Greg Lutzka and Curtin. Lutzka had some trouble with his normal bag of tricks and Curtin made a fakie 5-0 down the big hubba ledge at the end to help him move on.
Then there were four. Provost and Fynn started it off and both were landing difficult tricks one after another until Provost fell trying to frontside flip off the big four stair and over the gap to rail. When he got up it was evident that his shoulder had popped out of place, an injury that plagues him, and with one minute left on the clock it left the door wide open for Fynn, who gracefully stepped through and into the final round. The last to go before the final round was Wair and Curtin. Curtin gave it 100 percent but it was no match for Wair's consistency.
And so it was settled, Wair was up against South Africa's own Fynn. In the final round, the skateboarders were given an extra minute, which made the jam a full five minutes. Both skaters high fived and hugged before it started and right out of the gate you could see that Wair knew exactly what he was doing. Fynn landed a kickflip crooked grind on the tall hubba ledge down the small stairs and a textbook backside 180 nosegrind down the big hubba. The wind seemed to get in the way of his kickflip crooked grind that he had been landing all day and he spent a bit of time trying but to no avail. Meanwhile, Wair skated around the park like a bull in a china shop and did not stop until time was up. With a million tricks under his belt it was obvious that Wair was taking home victory in his first ever Maloof Money Cup pro contest.