Mark Ortiz says his son, Chaz, is just a normal teenager.
"He has homework to do tomorrow," the Chicago dad said. "He'll clean his room, and he has school on Monday. He's just your normal 14-year-old."
Oh, and one more thing. On Saturday night in front of the largest, loudest crowd in Dew Tour history, Chaz Ortiz out-flashed the most glamorous guy in the Skate Park Finals with a trick he's only landed four times. Landing the kick-flip front board slide to a kick flip during the Jam Session of the Skate Park Finals at the EnergySolutions Arena Saturday night earned Ortiz his first win on the Dew Tour and the respect of the Tour's biggest star, Ryan Sheckler.
"I guess today was my day," said Ortiz after the competition in which he trailed Sheckler by 2 1/2 points going into the Jam Session. "I worked hard for it and it definitely paid off. I don't even know how to explain it. I'm still just trying to take it all in."
Sheckler was the first to congratulate Ortiz after the thrilling seven-minute free-for-all, in which both competitors pushed each other with riskier, tougher tricks throughout. At one point, Ortiz lost his skateboard over the side of the indoor ramp after landing a huge backside kick flip transfer over the hip. But spectators handed it back up to him and he immediately got on it and landed the night's most spectacular trick.
The crowd of 25,900, which is the largest for a skateboard park event, roared its approval and Ortiz just raised his hands above his head and smiled.
"I knew that was big," Ortiz said. "It's a trick no one does. Ryan skated great tonight, too. I'm just happy. I've seriously only hit it ... about four times. But once you get into it, you kind of know."
Ortiz earned his way onto the Dew Tour last year when he finished sixth in the Free Flow Tour Finals. Now that he's getting paid to do what he's been doing with his friends since he was 6 years old, Ortiz said not much has changed for the high school freshman.
"I have to go to school on Monday," he said laughing. He wasn't sure how his classmates would react to his first win on the Dew Tour, but he was looking forward to just skating with his friends.
"I'm at the skate park every day," Chaz said. "We just skate. We sometimes play a game called skate; it's like horse. This is all pretty crazy."
The finals took on an unexpected flavor when the Dew Tour's points leader Paul Rodriguez didn't qualify for the Jam Session, which is a seven-minute free skate made up of the top six scorers. Each skater got two runs in the finals in hopes of making it into that top six.
"P-Rod not making the finals really shook up the whole points race," said Neal Hendrix, a professional vert skater. "It was a knock-down, drag-out fight. The interesting thing is that it's only been about three weeks since the last Dew Tour stop and (Chaz) already had new tricks. He's super, super, super good. And he's still learning. He still doesn't even know what's possible. I don't think we've seen how good he can be."
Sheckler, the three-time Dew Tour champion, now leads the Dew Tour points total by eight points. Ortiz is second and both promise an exciting finish in Orlando next month.
"It's going to be a very heavy contest," Sheckler said. "Chaz was amazing tonight."
Hendrix said to Sheckler's credit, he isn't content competing with the same old tricks."He's pushing himself, too," he said. "He is still learning new tricks."
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