Torey Pudwill wins 2012 Tampa Pro
TAMPA, Fla. -- Torey Pudwill won the Tampa Pro on Sunday. Chaz Ortiz took second and Sean Malto got third.
"It feels insane," Pudwill said about the win. "I couldn't believe it and it's such a big honor for me to even be here again. I've been coming here since I was 13 and this has been the best year yet."
The contest, now in its 18th year, started with the 28 qualified skaters from Saturday with the winners of past Tampa Pros going straight to Sunday's semifinals.
Although Pudwill had only about half as many tricks in his winning run as Ortiz did in his second place run, every trick was a banger. He started things off with a lipslide to bluntslide across and down the multipurpose ledge and kept the momentum going. Switch kickflipping up the stairs and smith grinding the out rail from flat certainly helped him rack up the points. In the end, it came down to quality versus quantity and Pudwill joined the elite group of skateboarders who can say that they have taken home first at Tampa Pro.
Ortiz, who just recently had his own skatepark built, had a flawless second run with 17 tricks total. He looked calm and comfortable throughout the entire weekend, but his downfall was that he played it too safe. During his best run he switched up the frontside hurricane pop out on the flatrail into the bank that he had fallen on in the previous run and did a backside smith grind pop out instead. By taking the trick difficulty down a notch his score dropped and he ended up in second place.
Malto was riding great until he missed his last trick in his best run. When he fell twice in a row on the fakie ollie to switch nosegrind fakie flip out on the flatrail, his third place fate was sealed.
Leo Romero, who took fourth, took some serious risks, like crooked grinding up the hubba to start his run and doing an ollie over the handrail into frontside nosegrind down.
Other highlights of the contest include Mike Vallely, who ended up in 32nd place, and took both his runs to do an insane foot plant out of the quarterpipe on the wall and then back in. Ryan Sheckler made semi-finals and showed his ultimate support by getting a Skatepark of Tampa tattoo.
David Gonzalez narrowly missed the top 10 by landing 11th place. His lines were fast and aggressive and the airs he was doing over the channel in the quarterpipe were massive.