SALT LAKE CITY, SEPTEMBER 22—”There’s no way they’re going to be able to dry all this sh-t in time.”
Story by guest writer Erik Bragg
A couple of dudes with leaf blowers, a chick with a shimmy, and a couple of giant fans did everything they could to dry the soggy street course. And it worked. The ramps were dry and the stands were more than occupied when the pre-competition practice session started.
It lasted about two minutes and then sweet, cuddly, baby Jesus had to tinkle. The rain was in full effect and we bounced. We were messing around in the arena and waiting for the official cancellation when Shecklebot had an idea. “I’m gonna go skate the BMX course. Where’s my board?”
The BMX course is right next to the vert ramp inside the arena where vert practice was going down—there were a mob of kids already inside peepin’. But as soon as the first dude in the stands noticed Ryan playing on the BMX course, IT… Was… ON.
Literally thousands of kids scrambled to find seats on the BMX side of the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Ryan’s solo skate sesh turned into a demo in front of a packed stadium and the word spread quickly. After about ten minutes Pete Eldridge showed up and the two were killing the giant BMX Euro gap. The pros and the voyeurs kept pouring in and eventually the official AST Dew Tour caught on.
Dave Duncan grabbed a microphone and announced an impromptu best trick contest with a $1,000 purse. Almost all the qualifiers for the street contest were already skating and the session turned into a contest. Everyone’s effort got a boost and the crowd was hyped. I’ve never seen kids yelling so loud and flipping out over skateboarding. Maybe it was the MTV influence or maybe it was the fact that skateboarders were throwing insane tricks over a massive gap meant for bikers, but either way, this session had eyes wide open.
Ryan landed an onslaught on tricks prior to the technical contest, and kept going during the “contest.” He kickflipped, for the second time, a drop big enough to shoot my shins through my thighs and sent the crowd into a frenzy. He ended up taking home the sounds of screaming Sally’s in his ear drums but from the judges, he only got second.
Austen Seaholm landed quite a few tricks that I’m sure nobody has ever seen before and snatched third while Pete Eldridge had this ramp all figured out. Pete ended up taking first with his nollie cab and landed a few more tuffies just to guarantee free lunch for a couple of months. I’ve got to give it up to Rodolfo Ramos for trying an INSANE tailslide on the railing at the top of the Euro: Click, click, pop, pop!
By the end of the best trick contest, the actual street competition was officially rescheduled for 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning. A few of the skaters might have been a little pissed about wearing themselves out the night before the big event, but they had just skated in an actual session. A few skateboarders had a little fun off the clock and I think everyone appreciated that.—Erik T Bragg