It was a competitive jape that Ryan Sheckler tried to shake off. But he couldn't.
“I didn't ignore it,” the 23-year-old said, in regards to fellow skateboarder Manny Santiago's public challenge of risking a kick flip off the towering heights of an industrial shipping container Sunday evening.
“I figured, might as well try something I hadn't tried the whole time,” Sheckler said. “And it felt really good, actually.”
In defending his Dew Tour skateboarding streetstyle title Sunday, the final day of the 2013 Toyota City Championships in San Francisco, Sheckler landed said kick flip on his third and final run of the contest.
But it was his first go on the three-block course along Harrison Street that earned him a second Dew Cup in as many years, taking the lead with a score of 90 — a lead no skater could overcome.
His winning run was one that flirted with disaster, however, with Sheckler nearly toppling to the pavement with an opening backside 360.
“I kinda got a little backseat,” he said. “But we didn't touch. It was all good.”
Yet despite the lofty score, Sheckler hardly felt his effort was enough.
“No. I definitely didn't think that was going to hold up. Especially with guys like Curren [Caples] and [Ryan] Decenzo — actually the whole field,” he said. “All it took was just one of them to put a run together and it would've been better. So I feel blessed. I put a lot of work into it, and I feel great.”
In the BMX streetstyle event that took place on the same course on the same day, New Jersey's Scotty Cranmer likewise built a lead with a flawless run in the first round. But unlike Sheckler, he couldn't hold it.
San Diego's Chad Kerley and Florida's Tyler Morrow eclipsed Cranmer's 85.75 score in the final run of the day with tallies of 87 and 86, respectively.
Kerley, 19, pulled off his winning run by starting with a risky 540-barspin.
“I kinda rolled the dice with that,” Kerley said. “It kinda got me going. Once I got the 540, I kinda just did the same lines. Kinda perfected it throughout the runs and stuff.”
Indeed. The highlight of Kerley's winning run was the front wheel nose manual — a stunt that sent him tumbling to the course floor in his opening round.
“I was crossing my fingers going towards that nose manual again,” he said. “Because once you go over the bars, the momentum's done. The run's over.”
Cranmer on his final try had an opportunity to recapture the lead — and the BMX streetstyle Dew Cup — but crashed attempting a front flip. But he wasn't the only one who fell victim to the course.
Biker Morgan Wade took a horrendous spill toward the tail end of his opening run that left him motionless for about five minutes.
“It definitely reminds me that it's gnarly,” Kerley said. “This course is nothing to play around with. The rail at the bottom is so gnarly. We were staring at it and it's so tall, and we heard that he hangered it. And then he was down.”
The Texan, however, proved tough as he walked away under his own power.
Cranmer settled for third place in the BMX streetstyle while Morrow took second place.
Second and third place skateboarding streetstyle honors went to rookie 17-year-old Caples with an 89.75 score and Portland, Ore.'s, David Gravette, who tallied 88.
Caples, of Ventura, was sitting in fourth place prior to his final run — a run that if it were not for Sheckler's first, would've been the finest of the day.
In the freestyle motocross final that took place in front of City Hall, Nevada's Adam Jones took first with 89.60. Temecula's Todd Potter claimed second with 88.80 and Japan's Takayuki Higashino took third with 88.67.
In Saturday's action, San Jose's Ryan Nyquist finished fourth and just missed the Dew Tour BMX dirt podium, an event he won last year. Top honors went to Kyle Baldock, Daniel Sandoval and Jaie Toohey, finishing in that order.
Garret Reynolds, who claimed the BMX streetstyle Dew Cup last year, finished first in the street event Saturday. Kerley took second in the event and Dan Lacey finished third.
Louie Lopez claimed the skateboarding street title Saturday, while Kelvin Hoefler and Decenzo finished second and third.