White Wins Again in Cleveland
Welcome back, Mr. White. After missing the first stop of the 2008 AST Dew Tour with an ankle injury, 2007 AST Dew Cup champ Shaun White came back to Cleveland to reclaim some glory.
“I’m loving Cleveland right now,” says White, minutes after edging out Bucky Lasek and Andy Macdonald to win the 2008 Right Guard Open Skate Vert Finals. “Last time I was here I won, and there’s something about coming back to this place that just feels good.”
In Skate Vert Finals, each skater gets three 45-second runs, but if you fall even once in the run it’s over. Falls from White and most of the top riders made for a lot of shuffling in the standings, but White put full 45-second runs in his 2nd and 3rd attempts, ruling the day with a score of 92.00 for a run with an alley-oop caballaerial heelflip, a frontside gay twist revert, a 720, and back-to-back 540 variations including a frontside stalefish 540 and a frontside rodeo 540 at the buzzer.
“Honestly it’s really hard,” says White. “You fall one time and you’re out, and that was the hardest thing for me coming from snowboarding to skateboarding. The board gets away from you and it’s over. It’s that easy to fall. At the level these guys are skating at, it’s amazing if you can even put a full run down.”
Bucky Lasek claimed 2nd place with a Run 1 score of 88.25, scoring big points for a stylish indy grab 360, a nollie flip mute grab, an off-axis backside 540, a gay twist, and a new trick he unveiled last month: The frontside boneless 540, planting his foot on the coping before spinning.
Andy Macdonald was one of the only skaters to make it through all three runs without falling, and his Run 2 score of 87.25 held up for 3rd place: 540 varial McTwist, 720, kickflip Indy grab, lein frontside rodeo 540, nollie heelflip indy grabâ€¦ This vert veteran is still an innovator and is one of the most consistent skaters in vert competition.
“It’s such an honor to stand on a podium with Bucky Lasek and Andy Macdonald,” says White. "Those guys were like gods to me when I was younger and watching all of this and wanting a piece of it, and now we’re all friends. It’s such a cool thing to be on a personal level with the people you’ve always looked up to.
With a win in Baltimore at the Panasonic Open and a 2nd place finish here in Cleveland, Lasek is the current leader in the overall Dew Cup points race. White says schedule conflicts mean he will miss other events this season, and says he’s looking forward to seeing each of his skate heroes battle it out in his absence.
“I’ve been working pretty hard and I’ve had a lot of really fun opportunities lately,” says White. “It’s all happening at once, but I’m just letting it flow.”