Arguably skateboarding’s greatest competition, the Maloof Money Cup, wrapped-up yesterday in Orange County, California. The Maloof Money Cup, held at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California, features the best skateboarders, the best vert ramp, the best street obstacles and offers the largest purse in the history of professional skateboarding.
The Maloof Money Cup Vert Ramp
The halfpipe, built by California Ramp Works, incorporates a mini mega ramp, complete with 20 foot gap and a rainbow rail, banked and curved corners for tech tricks, tombstones and a death gap over the mini mega ramp’s opening to the main halfpipe.
The 2009 Maloof Money Cup Vert Competition
The Maloof Money Cup Vert Competition was comprised of two competitions. The first competition was an organized mini mega rail jam (riders were scored only on their performance on the rainbow rail) and the second competition was a traditional halfpipe contest in a jam format with the option to use the mini mega ramp. A rider’s total standing was calculated by their performance in the mini mega rail jam competition (33% of their score) plus their performance in the traditional halfpipe competition (67% of their score).
The mini mega ramp session was tech with speed. PLG threw a shove-it to 50-50 and a shove-it to nose grind. Andy Macdonald looked solid. But the favorite when it comes to tech on mega ramps, Bob Burnquist, was doing it all and doing it switch. After judges had tabulated their scores, Bob Burnquist had won the mini mega rail jam competition.
As the halfpipe competition began, it was clear that the guys were going for it. Not only were they looking to walk away with the famous Maloof Money Cup chalice, they were also looking to take home the $75,000 first place prize. Not bad cash for a few hours of work. Adam Taylor and Rob Lorifice put in their work but did not have the variety of tricks to keep up with the leaders. Always popular with the fans, Bucky Lasek, could not stay on top of his board. Bucky’s first three runs resulted in bails within the first three hits. Andy Macdonald (double kick flip) and PLG (nollie heel indy 540) rode smooth and consistently. Bob Burnquist’s first run lit the place on fire. Between Bob consistently hitting the mini mega ramp, his switch mastery and his one-footed backside smith grind over the death gap, the guy had it going on. But if Bob lit the place on fire, Alex Perelson blew it up. Alex, the 18 year old from San Diego, went big and rode confidently for the entire competition. The bigger Alex went, the more the crowd cheered. So Alex Perelson threw a 900 and the crowd went beserk. And it was a 900 with room to spare. According to sources, Alex Perelson becomes the fourth or fifth person to ever land a 900.
All that being said, I still had Bob Burnquist winning the competition. While Bob did not pull the best trick in the competition (and this was not a Best Trick Competition), he did put together the most runs with the most difficult tricks. The whole idea begs a larger question, can you win a skateboard competition from one trick?
But that is not to rain on Alex Perelson’s 900 or his big airs or the $75,000 for winning first place. Alex got the crowd excited and gave them skateboarding history.
While the Maloof Money Cup brings the best skaters, the best obstacles and the big bucks, the competition format is still clunky. The competition sets the stage for the riders to go big but it completely removes the drama of being able to follow the progress of the competition. Just as we can follow a basketball game and understand that a team needs two baskets or a three-pointer to win, the Maloof skateboard competitions need to devise a system to make the competition more intriguing from a spectator perspective. What are the scores? What is being judged? Are big tricks weighted more heavily than consistent runs?
2009 Maloof Money Cup Skateboard Mens Pro Vert Results