Saturday morning gave way to Saturday afternoon, and thousands of fans gathered in Hart Plaza to watch the finals of Red Bull’s newest skate competition, Hart Lines. Weather was a bit of an issue, and the time had to be changed back and forth to accommodate potential thunderstorms, but we got lucky, and the sun came out.
The competition came from the mind of Ryan Sheckler, one of pro skateboarding’s top athletes. It featured two distinctive lanes, each peppered with its own set of unique features, as well as a first-of-its-kind timing element being factored into the scoring of each run. Hart Lines is part of the Red Bull Signature Series, which is a collection of extreme sports events, covering some of the wildest pursuits on the planet.
It was incredible to watch these guys compete up close. Their boards serve as extensions of their bodies, and that bond is only severed by subtle error. Another thing that was on display was the athletes kind demeanor with all the kids and other fans. Before the event they were available for pictures, and after each run they ran along the fence slapping high fives and signing things for the fans. All of them had big no smiles, no matter the outcome of their runs. There didn’t seem to be any of that childish behavior that haunts other sports. It was refreshing to see. Skaters are seen as rebels in a lot of ways, but the only thing we saw was top drawer athletes acting like pros.
19-year Old Curren Caples, who was the youngest guy in the competition, took the top spot on the podium. He was basically stone cold all day, and was comfortable in the lead after all 3 heats. The skaters run each lane once, then pick which lane they want for their third heat. Caples, had the fastest time at 24:11, and also nailed one of the nastiest tricks of the day, a gap to frontside nosegrind on the 10-stair square rail, that dropped him just a few feet from the crowd.
Not bad for a 19-year old. Caples walked out of Hart Plaza with not only a check for $35,000, but also a brand new 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T passed his way by Penzoil Synthetics.
“I never thought I would be here right now,” said Caples at the end of his third and final run. “The competition format was so new to me but I just focused on hitting as many features well in a short amount of time, and it worked out great for me today.”
Torey Pudwill occupied the second spot on the podium, and Sheckler, the brains behind the event took third. They both put down some pretty wild tricks, but Caples’s precision and timing were too much to jar him from the taking the number one slot.
“It’s a super challenging course from top to bottom, but lane 2 was definitely my favorite,” said Pudwill. ”I’m just stoked I got to skate in this contest and be in the D.”
All photos by: Stephanie Hume
Here are the results of the Red Bull Hart Lines Finals:
|Name/Nationality||Overall Score||Time Penalty||Adjusted Score|
|1. Curren Caples (USA)||89.17||-1||88.17|
|2. Torey Pudwill (USA)||83.33||-7||76.33|
|3. Ryan Sheckler (USA)||79.17||-4||75.17|
|4. Chris Cole (USA)||77.67||-3||74.67|
|5. Evan Smith (USA)||78.33||-5||73.33|
|6. Alec Majerus (USA)||72.17||-6||66.17*|
|7. Ryan Decenzo (CAN)||68.17||-2||66.17*|
|8. Youness Amrani (BEL)||66||*|