skaters: Rocky Shaffer, DeMarquis McDaniels, Shawn Kelly, Drake Flores, Kyle Walker(street guy), Carston Boyer, Michael Webb, Frankie Heck, Erwin Hall, Jeff Halligan, Michael Tang, Taylor Jett and Steven Wood.Eddie Sanchez, Gary Morris, Shane Fruits, Gnarl Conner, Dalton Park, Kyle Walker(bowl guy)
Scion RAT Tour Blazes Through OKC for Stop #3
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. (June 22, 2010) - Last Saturday the Scion Regional Amateur Skateboard Tour made it’s first appearance in Oklahoma City. It was stop #3 of the 2010 RAT Tour and if we had shown up 3 days earlier, we would have had to bring lifejackets. Luckily the major flooding had subsided and by the weekend it was game on at the Mat Hoffman Skate Park.
The action started around 12:30pm on the street course and it was another barn-burner with temperatures close to 100 degrees. Thirty-two of the top amateurs in the region were split into six heats. Each heat included a five-minute jam with the top two in each heat advancing to the finals. Most of the action took place on a nice wide eight stair with fat hubba ledges on both sides as well as a rail down the middle. There was also a hip and several cement boxes and pads. The twelve riders who advanced included some Oklahoma City locals as well as riders from Houston, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth. The finals would include Rocky Shaffer, DeMarquis McDaniels, Shawn Kelly, Drake Flores, Kyle Walker, Carston Boyer, Michael Webb, Frankie Heck, Erwin Hall, Jeff Halligan, Michael Tang, Taylor Jett and Steven Wood.
After the street qualifying, focus switched to the bowl. Thirteen riders were split into two heats with the top 3 in each heat advancing to a six man final. Inspired by BMX legend, Mat Hoffman…the bowl set-up was massive in Oklahoma City. The odds on favorite was OKC local Gary Morris on his home course. Morris blew away the field at RAT Stop #1 in Dallas in March and he did not disappoint on Saturday. Each rider got a 45 second solo run and then competed in a seven minute open jam session. Morris advanced easily and the guys who would join him in the finals were his Embassy Skateboards teammate Eddie Sanchez along with Dalton Park and some local old school transition slayers…45 year old Gnarls Conner, 31 year old Shane Fruits and 39 year old Kyle Walker who are part of the OKC “Bowl Burners” crew.
Once the field was in place for the bowl finals, it was time to get street finals under way. The judges had their work cut out for them as every rider was going off as they battled for a spot on the podium. As part of the revised pay-out plan on the RAT Tour, the top six would get paid. OKC locals Shawn Kelly and Rocky Shaffer took 6th and 5th respectively, followed by RAT stand-out Frankie Heck from Dallas in 4th. They all received cash plus a custom Cricket skate deck and a case of Monster Energy. Third place went to another RAT regular, Taylor Jett from Houston who took home the win at RAT #2 in Corpus. Second place went to another OKC local, Kyle Walker. Jett won $100 and Walker took home $200. The top spot in Oklahoma went to 16 year old Michael Tang from DFW. Tang has been ripping it up at every stop of the 2010 series, but this was his first time to make the podium. He received $300 for his efforts and all-of-the top 3 received custom RAT “Check Decks” courtesy of Dallas based Sk8te Skins.
With the street competition in the books, it was back to the bowl section, which covered a good two-thirds of the park. The crowd was ready for some high-flying action…and that’s exactly what they got! Each of the final six riders would once again get a 45 second solo run, followed by a seven minute open jam. The Bowl Burners were all about speed and style charging the transitions with reckless abandon. Eddie Sanchez had his usual impressive performance filled with tech finger flips, “eddie-hanas” and blunts on every extension and Gary Morris did what he does best – completely killed it! Morris’ run included Christ Airs, 540’s and McTwists with lots of grinding and carving throughout. He also got the crowd stoked on a huge 540 rodeo flip out of the bowl landing on the deck. Gary would take first place in the bowl comp and a “Check Deck” for $300. His teammate Sanchez took home second and $200 followed by Shane Fruits in 3rd, Gnarl Conner in 4th, Dalton Park in 5th and Kyle Walker took the final spot landing in 6th overall. In addition to cash, 4th through 6th place also received a Sector 9 deck and a case of Monster Energy Drink.
Throughout the day and in between heats, head RAT announcer Rob “5 Star” Cahill kept the crowd entertained with various games and crazy stunts for prizes from our sponsors. As always…the Monster Energy drinks were flowing and Skullcandy DJ/Drummer duo Detroit Red kept the music pumping. Several of OKC’s best and brightest street artists manned the Sector 9 Inspiration Station creating some of the sickist art decks of this years series and Cricket Wireless brought in another well-known local graffiti artist who worked all day on a huge Cricket/RAT mural. Cricket also hosted some mean games of Guitar Hero out of the back of their promotional vehicle with top scorers winning custom skate decks and a Sector 9 long board. The Oklahoma Army National Guard set-up their giant Halo-Jumper and Hudiburg Scion hosted giveaways throughout the day topped off with the Scion/RAT Grand Prize Pack drawing at the conclusion of the event. The Grand Prize winner received an ipod Boom Box from Kicker Audio, Skullcandy T.I. headphones, a case of Monster Energy, custom Hudiburg skate deck, pair of Spy Optic shades as well as Monster, Skullcandy and RAT t-shirts…SCORE!!!
Stop #3 of the Scion Regional Amateur Skateboard Tour was made possible with support from Scion and there local dealer, Hudiburg Scion, Cricket Wireless, Monster Energy Drink, The Oklahoma Army National Guard, Skullcandy, Kicker Audio and Sector 9 Skateboards. Special thanks also goes out to Sk8te Skins, Spy Optic, local skate shops Arockalypse, Flip’d and Performance Boards, the City of Oklahoma City and all of the riders, filmers, judges, announcers and staff who make up the RAT Crew. To see additional pictures and video from the event go to SkateTheRat.com. Next stop…Round Rock Skate Park, just North of Austin, on September 11th.
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