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Saturday, March 8, 2008

SKATE LESSON 11


SKATE LESSON 11


empiresk8.web.com

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK




Thirteen-year-old amateur skater Chaz Ortiz is making the most of his trip to Orlando: He earned his trip here after winning the Free Flow Tour Skate Park qualifier at Crush Skatepark in Chicago, then won the Finals on Thursday to win wildcard entry into the PlayStation® Pro Prelims. After putting down a perfect run in Prelims for 5th place – beating out top pros like Greg Lutzka and Austen Seaholm – the young skater is now on his way to his first pro Finals. “Wow. I’m so happy. I couldn’t be any happier,” says Ortiz. He had to ditch out on a few days of 8th grade to make it out here, and says he’s having the time of his life. “I just want to get back out there and skate my hardest. There isn’t anywhere I’d rather be right now. There isn’t anything I’d rather be doing. This is it.”Now in its second year of making the magic happen for young amateur skateboarders and rising BMX riders, the Free Flow Tour has become a golden ticket to help launch the careers of new action sports stars. Last year’s Free Flow Skate Park winner David Loy also skated his way to the PlayStation Pro Finals, and has been traveling the world skateboarding and making big appearances in contests ever since. And 2006 BMX Park Free Flow winner Mike Spinner – currently in 2nd place in the overall 2007 AST Dew Tour Standings – is now one of the biggest names in BMX.“I love the Free Flow tour because there are so many amateurs out there, many of them as good as a lot of the pros,” said Dave Duncan, Dew Tour emcee, introducing Ortiz during Prelims. “This is a great chance to get some new names in the game and give some great young skaters a big chance.” Ortiz says he isn’t going to let it all go to his head.“I look up to all of the skaters on the Dew Tour, especially guys like Ryan Sheckler and Paul Rodriguez,” says Ortiz. The young skater has been making his presence known for a few years now, and won the King of the Groms contest at 3rd Lair Skatepark in 2006. He’s picked up flow-team sponsorship from Zoo York, Bones, and ├ęS shoes, and says he plans to be a skateboarder for life. To anyone inclined to focus on his age or dismiss him as a little “grom,” Ortiz wants to remind Dew Tour fans of a few other guys who got started young: Ryan Sheckler, Shaun White, and Bucky Lasek.For all the 2007 Free Flow Tour action, check out Free Flow video partner BNQT.com. It might be the last chance to see Chaz Ortiz skating as an amateur.“I’m so lucky to be here, I’m so lucky to be doing so well, and I’m so lucky my dad came all this way to help make this happen,” says Ortiz. “You’d better believe I’m going to make the most of it.”