For the crowd of onlookers, it was a burning hot reflection of the course shining in their eyes. And the freshly poured cement was probably blinding every person skating each course, too, but it was all worth it. In the middle of it all was the VIP tower--two levels with catered food, free ice cold waters and Dews, tons of fresh fruit and all the goddam Doritos you could eat! All your favorite pros and ams in one place, a stand-alone bowl contest, live music, food trucks, a beer garden, skateable sculptures, a pop-up public skatepark, and plenty of sunshine--the 2017 Dew Tour in Long Beach, California was even more successful than last year. If you want the full story and all the nitty-gritty details, head over to dewtour.com for all the post-contest coverage, because they obviously nailed it. And for those of you who are here right now, here are a few of my personal thoughts and moments from the nice, long Dew Tour weekend.
TWS Team Challenge:
Our addition to the new Dew Tour contest format--the TWS Team Challenge basically tasks nine teams to choose four skaters to skate each section of the course. All four scores from each team rider are added up at the end, giving us one final overall score for each team. This year we had: Birdhouse, Santa Cruz, Flip, Zero, Darkstar, Foundation, Plan B, Element and Blind--and for the second year in a row, the camaraderie of the Blind Skateboards team led them to the win. Click here for a recap from the Team Challenge.
Zumiez Destroyer Award
One-off awards like these are always the best. Everyone is usually skating their legs off during the contest but we all know that judging skateboarding can be an incredibly hard thing to do--especially on a level of this proportion! But this year, Zumiez decided to step up and throw out some cash to four skaters (Am Street; Am Bowl; Pro Street; Pro Bowl) who were destroying the contest but didn’t place in the Top 3.
#ZumiezDestroyerAward | Alec Majerus Highlights (Pro Street)
Another rad thing about awards such as these is that everyone can usually agree with who the picks are, these results being no different. And it’s just a solid way to shine some light on the dudes who are putting in work but potentially getting lost in the mix.
Big thanks to Zumiez Marketing Manager, Fernando Freire for coming through with a unique addition to the Dew Tour.
These two runs don’t even give The Muscle any justice, but whether you’ve seen him skate in person or on the screen of your smart phone or laptop, you know he’s a madman on the board and one of the funnest people to watch skate a bowl! Here are a few highlights that earned him the Destroyer Award.
Although Zumiez put everything behind the award, the contest judges still had to choose the Destroyer Award recipients. When you’ve got all the best street/bowl Ams and Pros in the mix, it can’t be any easy choice. But there’s no denying that Trevor McClung earned the Am Street Destroyer title and walked away with the saw and some extra dough. Congrats again to all the Destroyers Award recipients!
2017 Destroyer Award Recipients:
Pro Street - Alec Majerus (not pictured)
Pro Bowl - Chris Russell
Am Street - Trevor McClung
Am Bowl - Bryson Farrill
Am/Pro Bowl Contests, stand-alone events this year:
The Am/Pro Bowl contests were stand-alone events this year, as apposed to last year when the Am/Pro contest featured all four disciplines that the DT course has to offer; rails, gaps, tech and bowl. As you might imagine, it was interesting seeing some of your favorite pros (who don’t usually, or ever skate bowls) cruising around the bowl last year looking a little uncomfortable.
Separating the contest this way was a great idea and it made both bowl contests arguably the funnest to watch. The consistency that these dudes have in that bowl is pretty unreal. High speeds, huge airs and plenty of technical tricks were all going down on each wall of the bowl throughout the entire contest.
Standouts in my mind were Keegan Palmer (pictured above), CJ Collins, Cory Junea and Heimana Reynolds. Again, these are the standouts in MY mind. I’m not even going to try and attempt to talk about every person who I thought was ripping that contest because this post would become even longer than it already is.
Santa Cruz’s Eric Winkowski even got out there and did a little ho-ho mid run just to spark up the crowd that much more. Works every time.
Pro Bowl Results:
1st – Corey Juneau
2nd – Heimana Reynolds
3rd – Clay Kreiner
Am Bowl Results:
1st – Keegan Palmer
2nd – Tate Carew
3rd – CJ Collins
Am/Pro Street Contest:
Between running back and forth from the media tent, to the VIP tower (where $10 beers were flowing like… $10 beers) and back to the course to be a kook and take iPhone videos/photos while all these hard working professional photogs were sweating and shooting, I’d catch glimpses of both the Am/Pro street contest either on the course OR via the live stream that Dew Tour was hosting.
More times than not, I like watching the Semifinals and even Qualifiers more than the Finals because that’s really when you get to see the dudes going for it. A lot of the time, those who don’t make it past Qualifiers are usually trying the gnarliest shit but maybe not pulling it during that specific run. That said--and not to take anything away from the Finals--the real takeaway always is seeing the consistency that these professional skateboarders have. Whether they’re the type to do the same run over-and-over (even though I hate that shit) or you’re constantly switching it up and letting it happen as naturally as possible, the fact that they can do such difficult tricks on call, in front of thousands of people, will always be amazing.
All your favorite pros were skating the Finals on Sunday along with all the household names of your favorite Ams, who kicked off the morning with a bang. Shane O’Neill was leading the pack going into Sunday but the Brazilian-contest-king, Kelvin Hoefler rightfully took first place to end the Dew Tour on Sunday afternoon--most likely sealing the deal with his Cab back tail on the big-set rail during the Superfinals.
Pro Street Results:
1st – Kelvin Hoefler
2nd – Nyjah Huston
3rd – Yuto Horigome
Am Street Results:
1st – Tyson Bowerbank
2nd – Maurio McCoy
3rd – Jack Olson
Random Notes & Highlights:
This is a selfish one, but I love Zero and I was stoked that they agreed to skate the Team Challenge for the first time this year. Being an avid Zero fan, like many fellow skateboarders around my age, it’s always rad to see everyone from OGs like Tommy Sandoval to new blood Franky Villani skating the course in their own way. Tommy’s frontside flip up and out of the park was a crowd favorite. If there was such thing as a runner-up for the Destroyer Award, Tommy’s name is written all over it. Shout out to The Chief and the entire Zero crew for coming out and killing it.
As fate may be, Anthony Acosta was having a photo show on Saturday night--unplanned with Dew Tour, but still a fine coincidence--and the one-and-only Ray Barbee played a live show out on the sidewalk in front of the retail store that Acosta’s show was at. Not long after he turned on his amp, I turned around and was in the center of a huge block party. Tons of familiar faces from the contest were out on the sidewalk listening and it was just another takeaway from this extended DT weekend.
Just wanted to throw this picture of Alex Papke in the mix because he’s tight.
Nyjah was so pleased with his second place win that he couldn’t bare to selfishly keep his trophy, so he hooked up a young fan on his way out! Whether I’m trying to be funny or not, you’ll never know… but that’s actually pretty tight.
The skateable sculptures and the pump-track in front of our booth were rad but there was heavy traffic throughout the weekend as they were open to the public. So many yellow Pro-Tec helmets were moving around like those little minions, but it was just another rad addition to the contest atmosphere.
We had a 30-minute window to skate the bowl during the Pro Street Finals. Our editor-in-chief, Jaime Owens opted to keep it street while our Account Executive and all-around-enthusiast, David Jurusik pulled through with some heroic moves (with 15 seconds left to spare) ending his run with a bang. Really though, he nailed it.
After our heavy-hitting bowl session, we took to the birds eye view and watched the remaining heats of the Pro Street finals--Kelvin’s Cab back tail fully included!
All good things and all good weekends must come to an end. Thanks to the entire Dew Tour staff and production team who put this event on, CA RampWorks for always running game so properly, all the skaters who ripped around despite the aching heats, and all the fans and onlookers who stopped by all weekend and roasted in the sun. People definitely don’t realize every bit of hard work that goes into producing a huge contest like this. In fact, just calling it a “contest” is quite an understatement. This was much more. And with that said, we’ll see you all in 2018!