The 2009 Ultimate Boarder has come to and end and brought new Champions to light. The Ventura County Fairgrounds played host to group of celebrity skateboarders that were brought together by their love of boardsports. This event was created by a man with a vision and plan to see who really has what it takes to be an Ultimate Boarder; to be proficient in all three disciplines. Tim Hoover has to be proud. It's unheard of to see legends Tom Curren and Shaun Tomson in a surfing event these days, a surfing event together, never mind in a heat at the same time. Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero rode together today in the finals, need I say more. Dave Downing, Bjorn Leines and Todd Richards all showed up in Bear to represent the sport that has propelled their careers to superstar status. This event is supported by the most respected names across the board, no pun intended.
Not only did we see the heroes of theses sports come out, we saw the future as well. Teenage athletes like Curren Caples, Adam Taylor, Logan Preston, John Florence, Nathan Groff, Louie Lopez, Eddie Moreno, Ricky Lovato and Nate Florence rode their hearts out and had an experience they will never forget. Ultimate Boarder give a new goal for future generations to aspire to become great at board sports in general, not just in the one they favor. Mutual respect for these sports is the what and why behind Hoover creating this event and to watch people be good at all three is extremely impressive. Big props to Tim Hoover and his family for creating what really is the triathlon of our generation.
The finals for skating individuals broke out into two 15 minute heats today. The first heat was Kristian Philipp, Tosh Townend, Toad Dintcho, Logan Preston and Kurt Wastell. Kristian Philipp was skating fast and aggressive while he showed good skills on the lip as well as at the vert of the 10' pipe. Tosh has by far the most street skill out of the group and was kick flipping, transferring and using every piece of tranny available. Toad and Logan have great flow and were picking unique lines and combos and Toad launched a transfer stalefish that will most definitely make the highlight reel. Kurt Wastell could be a pro skater if he wanted to. He was the only rider in the skate finals who's strongest discipline is not skating. You can tell he rides snowboards non stop because he skates so damn fast that his airs always end up head high.
Heat two was stacked as well with Omar Hassan, Chad Shetler, Aaron Astorga, Adam Taylor and Chris Kays up for their 15 minutes of fame. Last years UB champion "AA" Astorga had no problem remembering the lines that took him to the #1 spot last year. Adam Taylor is a vert skater for Birdhouse and has serious skills that usually bring him 6-7 feet out with a varial, kickflip or both included. Chris Kays skated the whole ramp well and showed an impressive amount of overall skill with blasting airs and long grinds. Chad Shetler is amazing to watch. He has every trick on lock and was back lipping on anything with coping. Chad landed super sick combos and pulled the most crowd pleasing move of the day when he shot out of the bowl end of the ramp and stalled up on the judges booth, then ollied far enough back into the ramp to stick a disaster and roll back into his run! Ridiculous! Omar Hassan deserves all the attention his career has gotten him. Masterful in the 10' pipe and had no problem lining up combos in the mini's as well. It was truly a pleasure to watch him skate today.
In the end it was Omar's airs and technical ability that earned him a 1st place finish. He was followed by Chad Shetler and Aaron Astorga, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The teams riders all skated well and with a very diverse age group competing it was clear that although new tricks are progressive, skateboarding is timeless. Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero and Andy MacDonald skated against each other in the finals and it was beyond words to witness. That's a lot of experience on one ramp. Caballero has been a pro for over three decades and his handplants and indy airs were as clean today as they day he invented them. Hosoi said he was nervous coming into the event following Bjorn and Tom Curren's 1st place finishes, however once he took to the ramp and the crowd got behind him there was nothing but the podium in front of him. Andy MacDonald ended up taking 1st place followed by Hosoi and Caballero. His points added to his team mates previous wins made Christian and team Hosoi the 2009 Ultimate Boarder Team Champions.
Chad Shetler's 2nd place in skateboarding, 3rd place in snowboarding and 28th in surf earned him enough points and everyone's respect to be the new Ultimate Boarder Champion. Congratulations to Chad and all of the other competitors who participated in this years event!