The inaugural Maloof Money Cup Championships in Kimberely South Africa are upon us with the top skaters from NY and DC Money Cups competing for almost $500k and the Maloof Championship title.

Heading into the event the competition is wide-open with a number of skaters having a legitimate shot at the title and a huge pay day. Like most skates competitions these days there’s usually one or two guys you feel strong about winning, but with this years MMC’s that’s not the case. BUT we’re prepared to go out on a limb and make a prediction.

The Maloof All-Star team set to do battle in Kimberely includes D.C. winner Andrew Reynolds and NYC winner Greg Lutzka. Reynolds win in D.C. was sort of a surprise, not because of his talent or for what he means to skateboarding but with the lack of recent competition results. Take away D.C. and Reynolds hasn’t won many contests, but did prove he’s capable at anytime. Greg Lutzka is a different story, he’s made his mark in the past few years on the competition scene, competing in multiple X Games and Dew Tours. If we had to to chose between the two, Lutzka may be more of a lock over Reynolds to win in South Africa.

A skater with a bit of momentum coming into the contest is Ryan Decenzo. He recently won his first Dew Tour stop in Salt Lake City. Decenzo has come close in major contest before but has been unable to land the big tricks when it counted. With the contest format for the MMC being one that rewards big tricks, it’s easy to see how Decenzo could walk away with the victory.

Ronnie Creager is trending upwards as one who has a chance heading into the championships. He’s a perfect example of a skater with big tricks capable of beating anyone man on man. Remember with the head-to-head format you don’t have to be the best skater all day, you just have to be better than the guy your skating against.

With that said, there’s a whole crop of talented skaters with enough tricks in their bag to walk away with the title, but like we said we are here to make a prediction and we’re sticking to it.

Our pick for the winner of the Maloof Money Cup Championship is Manny Santiago. He has what may be most important in the head-to-head format. He has the ability to skate all day long. Manny goes big and he goes often. Combine his huge tricks with his stamina and you have the recipe for success.

Hopefully we didn’t put the Grind curse on Manny as many of our predictions in the past have failed miserably, but we truly believe in this one.

Bonus Prediction: Mitchie Brusco or Elliot Sloan lands a 900 on the MiniMega Ramp…

Here’s a video to help get you hyped as the skaters begin to arrive in South Africa.
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