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Great Desert Pool Duel.

A small selection of the top pool skaters gathered in a backyard in Palmdale, Ca yesterday for the first annual Great Desert Pool Duel Invitational. This was not your conventional skateboard contest by any means. Organized by Billy Runaway and the Palmdale Pool Project crew, it was unlike any other I have seen; in an actual backyard pool that was not built to skate. Like most real pools, this one has it quirks. Kinky and quick in spots and some areas that seem to have perfect skatepark transitions. One difference is that this is quite a large one. I overheard someone say it was somewhere in the 11 foot range.

When we arrived, I didn’t know what to expect. There was a food truck parked on the front lawn with a few people milling about. We walked through the gate and the vibe was pretty mellow. A few guys warming up, sponsor logos well placed around the pool, music trickling out of the corner, and the contest was just about to get started. I took a look at the rider list hanging on the gate and got really excited about what I was about to witness.

Riley Stevens, Front D

Kevin Burke, high speed FSG

The contest started off as 3 man heats, winner goes to the finals and second place went into a losers heat. This all funneled down into some 3 minute, one on one, heats. While battling Tristan Rennie for a spot in the finals, Al Brunelle hung up on a sweeper disaster that took him straight to the drain. It was a scary sight, but everyone took care of him and made sure he got the proper care. He made it safely home, very sore and bummed he couldn’t finish, but doing fine.

Al Brunelle, Sweeper Disaster, the same trick that took him out just moments later.

Jack Given, Indy Nosepick

As the day went on, you can tell the high desert heat and free Black Star Beer was starting to take a toll on everyone, but the contest charged forward and at the end of the day it was a final that consisted of Tristan Rennie, Kevin Kowalski and Ben Raybourn. When the dust settled, it was 13 year old Rennie in the top spot with Kowalski in second, Raybourn in third, and Jake Reuter taking home 4th place.

Jake Reuter, smith on the hip

Ben Raybourne, Inverted

Tristan Rennie, into first place

Video from the contest here:

Palmdale Pool Duel final results:
1. Tristan Rennie – $400
2. Kevin Kowalski – $300
3. Ben Raybourn – $200
4. Jake Reuter – $100

DEFECT MAG best trick over shallow stairs:
Ryan Johnson backside ollie – $200

Black Star Beer best trick over stairs/death:
Kevin Kowalski backside smith – $200

Black Leather Racing best line of the day:
Kevin Kowalski – $200

Thanks to the Palmdale Pool Project, all the sponsors, and skaters for a rad event.