You wake up from a night of heavy drink, and begin the all too familiar ritual. Where am I? Where are my keys, my wallet, my phone!?! Who is next to me? The smell of alcohol still strong on your breath. You begin to move. Flashes of the weekend come back to you. Quickly, too quickly to decipher. Yesterday actually happened. It was as grand as you think you remember. You have been on a two-day binge with some of your favorite people and there was a skate contest in the middle of it all! Friday night you and this group of characters visited Dealey Plaza to pour one out for JFK and some took the chance to smoke on the infamous Grassy Knoll to commemorate the 50th anniversary. Saturday morning the group needs sustenance before we embark on the Texas Skate Series Dallas stop. Chipotle is filled with people carrying semiautomatic rifles. This is happening? Maybe more sleep would’ve been good, in any case at least they’re taking the cops attention away from the street contest that will be happening.
Spot One: Creatures emerge from their vehicles and it’s obvious who partook in the nights activities and who didn’t. People are happy to see one another and skates have already been strapped on and tricks are being hit. It’s a down-rail line spot and not your standard first spot, but this is Dallas and if you can’t handle it don’t skate it. Quickly things escalate as the contest begins. People are pushing themselves to try things you didn’t know they had in them, and a clear standout has emerged and awoken the group. He closes the session with a disaster soul that draws the mob to their feet as they cheer him on and move to the next spot.
Spot Two: A famous Dallas down rail that will keep up the momentum brought from spot one. The rail quickly claims its first victim. He will not skate for the rest of the day but he is okay. The contestants don’t let this intimidate them. The final heat comes quickly and the standout is continuing his reign on this TSS, forcing veterans to step things up yet another notch. But with this moment a simple slip causes another man to go down. He rises and skates away only to reveal a stream of blood flowing from his hairline. You are quick to react and help your friend, and realize the cut could be much worse. This draws the second spot to an end. The fallen have been patched up and will continue on with the group to the final spot.
Spot Three: With very little run-up and drops on each side, the third and final spot is intimidating. There are options here though, with the ledges having wall rails and the competitors are quick to take advantage. The spectators are eager to see where this will go, the standout being called the victor early on. Creativity and technicality are drawn upon and the crowd is showing their appreciation for both. The howls of the spectators and jokes between them and the competitors keeps the contest going strong. The finals are not timed. Give these guys a chance to do what they do and let the best man win. One by one competitors have reached their limits. The stand out refuses to quit, going back again and again until he is completely happy with his trick. This young man has learned from his Dallas peers that nothing else will suffice. The end is a back and forth between this standout and a Dallas veteran. They go big. They go bigger, more technical, and finally in the end it’s anyone’s guess who will be announced the winner.
The standout is an 18-year-old Dallas local named Hunter Grimm. He won the crowd early with big and technical tricks at each spot, but it was Dallas veteran Fritz Pietzner who will take home the win. The judges agree it was the hardest decision but it was one they stand behind. Fritz is known for his Dun Dada antics in more parts of the world than he’d like to admit, but today he came with a clear head ready to do whatever it took. He pushed himself and it caused the others to do the same. This was one of the most memorable Texas contests with a vibe that made you proud of the scene in its entirety. Texas is spread out and everyone doesn’t get to see each other regularly but the respect and admiration amongst them is nothing short of family.
— Jason Reyna
Photos by Randy Edwards