D-town Throwdown 2012 Recap
On March 16th, 2012 the Dallas Stars and the American Airlines center hosted Alliance Skatepark’s D-Town Throwdown presented by Scion and Red Bull. Skateboarders from across Texas and the surrounding states came together once again to battle it out for over $5000 in cash and prizes. Many of the skateboarders in attendance were made up of invitations which comprised a virtual who’s who of up and comers from the region. Others made their way into the finals through any of the three city preliminary qualifiers at Alliance Skatepark, Grand Prairie; Capital Skatepark, Austin; or Southside Skatepark in Houston. Each qualifier opened the gate to four new skateboarders rounding the D-Town Throwdown Finals field out to thirty total competitors.
There were six heats of six skateboarders putting it down on the KICKER Hand rail , MATIX Hubba ledge and all new REDBULL Barcelona banks which where a new addition to the contest this year. Each heat was eight minutes in length and gave these very talented skateboarders plenty of time to give the judges good reason to move them on to the ten person final. Once in the finals Torey Pudwill and Ryan Decenzo participated by judging the ten skateboarder field, lending the Downtown Throwdown Finals a world traveling pro’s take on how everyone’s skateboarding stacks up here in Texas.
With the unique location that we have for this event and the new setup by Spohn Ranch Skateparks it is not a surprise to see a new level of skating this year. Jonathan Sturgeon made it into the finals by landing everything he tried in the preliminary heats. Although he skated well he rounded out the ten person final heat in the 10th spot. Ricky Moore skated very hard and looked good doing it too. He made finals and put it down but ended up in the 9th place position when all was said and done. Kyle Stone coming in hot from a recent extended stay in San Francisco was making it look easy all day with his best trick being kickflip tailslide fakie on the Hubba, landing him in 8th place overall. Drake Flores might have placed a little higher but in true Drake fashion only the most ridiculous would do with a backside 360 flip over the lazy six and a switch backside flip taking up most of the heat and putting him in 7th place. Cory Hale was on fire during the prelims and kept it burning throughout the finals, one of our favorites from him was a heelflip sexchange as well many others kept the judges attention throughout the final heat landing him in 6th place. Sean Greene always going hard and he did just that. He worked out the new REDBULL banks with backside 270 and switch 270 into them, literally popping out beyond the end of them to flat. He put down a ton of other standards, as everyone knows he has a really solid backside 360, but in the end he rounded out the top 5 in 5th place. Just to make it into the D-Town Throwdown Finals is a very big deal and all of these guys should be happy to have made it in there, the competition this year was very intense to say the least.
Young Christian Dufrene was a new qualifier this year and carried the weight of all of Louisiana on his shoulders being from Baton Rouge. He is pretty much automatic on his skateboard with his switch frontside big heels, frontside flips, three shoves and treflips. He didn’t forget to skate the rail and Hubba and that helped him work his way into 4th place. Justin Vinson although failing to make finals found himself in the mix due to a Ben Havran injury. Everything that didn’t go Justin’s way in the prelims came together at just the right time in the finals. Bigflip frontside board fakie, Treflip lipslide and hardflip over the KICKER rail along with kickflip backside 5o and kickflip backside smith down the MATIX Hubba helped him into the money with a 3rd place finish. Taylor Jett skated very strong during prelims and was able to do it all over again and more during finals. Hardflip backside lipslide and frontside bigheel board both going down the rail. Then he went to work on the lazy 6 skating full speed and blasting way beyond with a huge nollie backside big heel and massive nollie backside heelflip. During the finals the judges were having a hard time understanding why he was skating so fast, but it kept everyone’s attention as he secured his $500 payday for 2nd place. Ryan Thompson seemed to possibly know it was his year about halfway through the final heat. He stepped up and absolutely assaulted the course working the set with some of his standards but really began to get creative when it came to the Hubba and rail. Tricks like frontside 180 fakie nosegrind back to regular and wallie up the back of the Hubba backside 5050 down all while smiling the entire time. He skated smooth, stylish and had fun doing it which gave him the well deserved 1st place finish and his cash prize of $1000.
Alliance Skatepark, Scion, Red Bull, Kicker Audio, DVS, Matix, Beta skateboards, Bones wheels and bearings, the Dallas Stars, and many friends came together to put on one of the most unique events of the year. What is so unique about the event is the real street feel that the SCION lazy six gives the rest of the set up for the event, also taking into consideration that it is set in one of the most beautiful areas of downtown Dallas, Texas. The finishing touch is the massive screen above the event that is playing live coverage of these young skateboarders play by play. The original intent for this event was to showcase Dallas skateboarders. Since then we have formed solid relationships between three of the top Skateparks in Texas. Houson’s Southside Skatepark, Austin’s Capital Skatepark and Dallas’s Alliance Skatepark, this setting helps the event continue to grow in popularity among these regions skateboarders young and old. The prize purse, on site course set up and on site entertainment rise to the occasion every year as well. Ryan Decenzo and Torey Pudwill both asked us to consider a D-Town Throwdown Pro. If the event continues on this trajectory it is entirely possible that they will get what they asked for. We thank everyone for their support over the past four events. We will continue to build the Throwdown and give kids a chance to be seen.
Words by Southside Skatepark’s Eric Visetin and Alliance Skatepark’s Mark Laue