Up until now the UK BMXers, led by Monster’s Jamie Bestwick, have come across the pond to dominate the vertical space on and above the halfpipes here in the States. All that’s about to change as Great Britain-born skateboarder Paul-luc Ronchetti, aka “PLR” (a take off on Monster vert skate star Pierre Luc Gagnon’s moniker) continues to gain competition experience and momentum as teenager battling the world’s top vert skaters on the sport’s premier stages – X Games, Dew Tour and LG Action Sports World Tour. Ronchetti, who’s transplanted himself in Carlsbad, Calif., burst onto the American skate scene in 2008 when he won the Gatorade Free Flow Tour’s overall vert championship.
This past summer PLR wrapped up the ’09 Dew Tour with a smoking hot finish at the finals – cracking the top ten for the first time in his rookie pro tour debut with an 8th place finish. A 16-year-old excelling in vert is fairly rare on account of him not only facing veteran competition with ten to 15 years of experience, but also because, quite frankly, kids are more apt to skate street than vert. In fact, one of only several teenage vert rippers at such a young age is PLR’s Monster-backed teammate Alex Perelson, himself three years the senior of Ronchetti. So from a skate vert standpoint, Monster looks to be in solid hands in the coming years with the UK transplant living the SoCal dream and tearing it up on the world’s center stage of competition halfpipe riding.