Volume 8, Issue 2, March-April  2004


The Winners Circle
The "World's Best Tiner" Named at the IWFE Tint-Off
by Brigid O'Leary

The third time was the charm for Franz Hyland, owner of Shades Custom Tint and most recent winner of the title “World’s Best Tinter.”

Hyland had competed in both previous International Window Film Expo (IWFE) Tint-Offs (2002 and 2003) and failed to place in either one, but he returned to Fort Lauderdale with little deterrence, making it into the finals with three points more than the next ranking competitor. Hyland took his win in stride, however.

“I was just there to learn something new and have a good time,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I was more confident, than in previous years … it just went my way this time.”

As winner of the Tint-Off, Hyland received a four-foot tall trophy, a customized leather jacket, and $1000 monetary prize.

Joining Hyland in the winner’s circle was Andrew Doiron of Window Kote in St. Petersburg, Fla., taking second place and Paul Hensel of Ace Window Tinters in Port St. Lucie, Fla. finishing third.

Judging for the competition was based on the same criteria as last year: cleanliness of film, cleanliness of the vehicle (customer readiness), light gaps, edge cuts and visible damages and the quality of the application. 

Speed was not a factor, exactly, though the time in which a tinter finished was used to determine ranking in case of a tie, and all tinters only had 20 minutes to get the job done in the preliminary rounds.

Y’all Come Back Now!
The 27 tinters competing for the prizes this year tinted the front and back sidelites of a 2004 Chevy Classic driver or passenger side of the car within the established time frame. Each contestant’s initial position in the tint-off was determined by random drawing prior to the start of the competition. 

The tinters with the four highest scores advanced to the finals, though it was close. There was a three-way tie for the last two slots open in the final, broken only by each competitor’s time in the preliminaries. The two who finished fastest went on to the finals, where all four finalists had 30 minutes to tint the rear window.

The time limit, in some cases, proved to be the downfall of several tinters, though many still enjoyed the experience the tint-off gave them.

“Since I lost, it sucked…no, really, the tint off was great,” said Stewart McCallum of Sunshades Auto Glass Tinting in Alpharetta, Ga., who also said he plans to compete again in the future. “I’ve got to go back and do better. I’ll keep going until I win. I messed up a little bit and took too long on one window, and ran out of time.”

Jack Mundy, official master of ceremonies for the competition, also noted that McCallum wasn’t the only one who battled the clock as much as the competition.

“The pressures of competition can take their toll, and we certainly witnessed some great installation techniques and quality tinting, with some very fast completion times,” he said, but he added that there is more incentive for them to return next year—the monetary prize amount has increased. 

McCallum will be back next year. Hyland said he would return, too.

“Of course!” he exclaimed when asked if he’d return for the 2005 Tint-Off. “I’m going to be the first two-time winner.”

Unless, of course, someone else has things go their way.


© Copyright 2004 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.