Panasonic Open


The fine folks of Louisville, Kentucky, recently hosted the Panasonic Open, one of the many events of the Mountain Dew Action Sports Tour. The Oakley team made their presence known by taking first place in both vert and skate park finals.

Chris Senn, Ryan Sheckler, Fabrizio Santos, and Austin Seaholm all advanced to the skate park semifinals and finals, taking the majority of the available spots. Greg Lutzka would have advanced, but was disqualified because his helmet parted ways with his head during his run. Weak.

Austin Seaholm was scheduled to skate first in the finals, but having hurt his leg in the last-chance qualifier, he asked the judges to let him skate last and they obliged. Chris Senn had an amazing run, with enormous transfers and almost every kickflip variation you can imagine. Ryan Sheckler’s run wowed both the judges and young ladies in the stands with a flawless backside lipslide down a rail and a silky-smooth backside smith grind on the euro gap rail. Austin Seaholm skated next and despite his injured leg, he put down a fittingly amazing run. This guy never ceases to amaze everybody with his effortless style and unusual trick variations.

After six hours of skating, everybody was more than ready to relax and find out who would enjoy the $15,000 fruits of victory. Here’s how it panned out:

  • Ryan Sheckler, 1st place, 88.08
  • Chris Senn, 5th place, 78.50
  • Austin Seaholm, 6th place, 76.08

The vert competition was equally amazing and the crowd on hand couldn’t seem to get enough of the action. During the warm-up runs, the competitors threw ridiculous airs and technical combinations to the delight of all in attendance.

The competition began, with each skater getting three 45 second runs, with the best run being scored. Rune Glifberg and Sandro Dais’ runs were awe-inspiring to say the least, with huge airs and ridiculous coping tricks. Shaun White was at the top of the pack with a run that included some of the biggest airs of the day, a frontside varial heelflip roast beef over the channel gap and a switch 720. His strong score of 91.75 maintained the lead throughout the final round. With Bob Burnquist was doing almost half of his tricks switch, It was truly an all-out battle for the win and the first place prize.

Shaun White ended up clenching the win, his biggest yet. This victory proved to the skateboarding world that this kid isn’t just a snowboard phenom. He could probably ice skate at an Olympic level if he had about 15 minutes practice. Here’s how the scores ended up:

  • Shaun White, 1st place, 100.00
  • Bob Burnquist, 4th place, 90.75
  • Sandro Dias, 7th place, 86.00
  • Rune Glifberg, 10th place, 82.50


Staff Writer


June 09, 2005