Head over to streetleague.com for a replay of the Prelims right now.
When the best skateboarders in the world are all in one contest, predicting an outcome is virtually impossible. Paul Rodriguez's improbable win in Munich today is evidence of that. Not a single fan watching could say he or she saw this win coming without being called a liar.
Rodriguez was in 6th place when he took his first attempt of the best trick section, and prior to that moment it appeared as though Shane O'Neill, Nyjah Huston or Tom Asta was the safe bet to win it all, but that was about to change. The best trick section is where the standings rarely stay the same, and Rodriguez shook things up with a crooked grind nollie heelflip, for which the judges scored him a 9.3.
At the end of the first best trick attempts Huston was in first place followed by Asta, Oliveira, Rodriguez, O'Neill, Decenzo, Ribeiro and Lemos. On his second attempt Rodriguez landed a switch backside kickflip down the stairs for an 8.7, when he only needed a 3.8 for first place. He needed a 6.9 average for first when he took his third attempt, but missed.
Going into the fourth round of best trick attempts Rodriguez was in fourth place, ahead of Decenzo and Lemos but trailing Huston, Oliveira and Asta. He needed a 6.9 for first place and landed a switch flip backside nosegrind on the hubba for an 8.7.
The 5th and final attempts solidified Rodriguez's victory because the people who could have caught him, missed while those who had no shot at beating him, landed their tricks. Tiago Lemos scored an 8.8 for a chest high nollie nosegrind on the rail attached to the hubba. Then Carlos Ribeiro missed on his last try.
Next Paul Rodriguez attempted a grind he wanted to flip out of, but was unable to, yet still managed to land and ride away, earning him a 2.8 which kept him in the lead. From there Luan Oliveira needed a 10 but landed an insane hardflip off the course for an 8.6. The crowd booed the judges mightily for it. The remaining skaters (Decenzo, Asta, Huston and O'Neill) all bailed on really difficult tricks, and that's how Paul Rodriguez won his third SLS stop.
1. Paul Rodriguez – 34.0
2. Luan Oliveira – 32.7
3. Nyjah Huston – 32.1
4. Tom Asta – 30.4
5. Tiago Lemos – 27.2
6. Shane O'Neill – 24.9
7. Carlos Ribeiro – 22.7
8. Ryan Decenzo – 21.1
Words by Reggie Altema