Volume 7, Issue 2, March - April 2003

Dan Shaw

Dan Shaw Takes Home Trophy in Second Annual International Tint-Off
by Penny Beverage

Super Bowl weekend was a time for competition, and not just in San Diego.

San Antonio had its own competition, the second Annual International Tint-Off, where professional applicators were able to strut their stuff just like professional football players. 

However, in San Antonio, it was a Washington state native that took home the spoils: Dan Shaw of Auto Glass Plus Bremerton, Wash. Second place went to a Texan, Eric Lucio of Mothers Window Tint in San Antonio and third place went to last year’s tint-off champion, Danny Sanders of Custom Sun Control in Marietta, Ga.
Franz Hyland Dan Shaw Willie Williams

The tint-off was held in conjunction with the International Window Film Conference and Expo™ at the Adam’s Mark San Antonio on January 24-25.

All 21 contestants tinted two side windows of a 2003 Mercury Sable with a time limit of 20 minutes in the beginning of the competition; scores were given among three heats and the top five scorers, Dan Shaw, Scott Flemins, Eric Lucio, Danny Sanders and Marco Salazar, advanced to the finals. In the finals, contestants applied film supplied by their distributors to the back window of the same car with a time limit of 30 minutes.

Contestants gather for a group photo after the tint-off.

Judging was completed by Gregg McKay, distribution manager for CPFilms Inc., which is based in Martinsville, Va., Bill Stewart, national sales manager for St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Film Technologies International and Fred Zwilling, director of training for Carson, Calif.-based Johnson Window Films. They based scores on cleanliness of the film, cleanliness of the vehicle, visible damages and quality of application, and were sequestered during the competition so they did not know who completed which installation.

Shaw, who also competed last year, was pleasantly surprised by the win.

“You can’t go in there thinking you’re going to win,” Shaw said. “It was a very good 
competition.”

As for challenges, Shaw didn’t see many with the 2003 Mercury Sable used for the competition, which was held at the Adam’s Mark San Antonio on January 24-25.

“It’s a little more difficult than the average car with the door glasses, but the back glass is pretty standard,” Shaw said.

Stewart, who has judged more than 20 tint-offs, agreed.

“I felt it was a good choice in cars. Anything used in a tint-off should be difficult, but still an everyday-type vehicle,” he said. “If anything, [difficulty] would have been felt around the roll-ups.”

McKay brought up another point. Due to the consecutive nature of the three heats on the first day of the competition, the conditions of the car were unusual.

“The challenge I saw with the car was the felt [gasket], and being that [the cars] were wet already from the other tinters, that meant the type was not going to stick,” he said. “These [cars] are known for the felt.”

Zwilling, who has been in the industry for 20 years and has now served as a tint-off judge twice, also pointed to the felt problem.

“Next time, I would recommend a car with a rubber gasket,” he said. 
Judeg BIll Stewart poses with winner Dan Shaw.
Shaw, a Sun-Gard dealer who’s been applying film for six years, used Film Technologies International film in the tint-off. Last year, Shaw was one of the five finalists at the first annual International Tint-Off.

As first-place winner, Shaw went home with a $1,000 check, a custom leather jacket and a 4-foot trophy.

McKay said that while all of the tint jobs done over the course of the 2-day competition were well-done, Shaw’s had no errors whatsoever.

“I feel that what set the winning car apart from the 2nd and 3rd places was that it was a great job. I mean, it was hard to find anything wrong with it,” McKay said. “The other two had some things that the other judges and I found—one of them had blood left on the seat. Simple things like that kept them from getting first place.”

However, McKay added that the second- and third-place applications were not far behind.
“These were still first-place tinters in my eyes,” he said. “They both did a great job and I would like to see them compete again next year.”

Zwilling agreed.

“If the second- and third-place guys hadn’t cut themselves we would have had a really hard time judging the final day,” he said.

Stewart, who has been in the film industry for 17 years and once owned his own shop, said when scoring, he pretended it was his own car he was inspecting.

“Basically, the installation should be customer-ready and anyone that installs film knows what that means,” he said.

McKay said cleanliness was paramount to him.

“We had to look at [the job] like we had no knowledge of what should be there and should not be there,” he said. “I looked for clean work on every window. That meant I should not have seen water left behind, dirt, fingerprints and lint.”

Zwilling agreed.

“The way you present the car to the customer plays a big role in the way you tint,” he said. “I’m sure if you left a car at a tint shop, you would want to pick it up the same way you left it—not with blood everywhere.”

This was the first competition for second-place winner Lucio, who has been tinting for 8 years.

Sanders, who took first place last year, stressed that a time constraint put a damper on the competition.

“The challenges of the car were not the car itself, but the time limit placed on doing two roll-downs,” Sanders said. 

McKay had some suggestions for future contestants.

“Relax and shut out everyone else around you ... If you have time to redo it, redo it!” he said. WF


Penny Beverage is the editor of Window Film magazine.


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