Last year, the Dew Tour brought the top skateboarders in the world to Long Beach for a weekend of competition and entertainment for both the skaters and the crowd. While other well-established action sports events like the X Games and the U.S. Open of Surfing may dot the rest of SoCal, the newest major skateboarding competition finally gave the skater kids of Long Beach something to do for a weekend other than getting chased off rapidly gentrifying sidewalks by rent-a-cops.
“Southern California is a pretty big mecca for skateboarding and action culture — most of the board sports industry was founded here — but after we looked at San Diego, LA, Orange County, and Long Beach, we knew we wanted to bring Dew Tour to Long Beach,“ says Dew Tour Vice President and GM Adam Cozens. “There’s a lot of stuff that happens in LA, but we wanted to be in a place where we felt the community would really appreciate and embrace a festival of this size and nature.”
As of today, Dew Tour is back once again — but this time it’s bigger and better in just about every way. Competition-wise, there are 120 more athletes this year compared to last thanks to a few new contests, but the rest of the four-day weekend is where 2017’s rendition really shines. The festival’s sprawling layout contains everything from craft food and beer to gardens, art, technology, and of course a whole lot of skateboarding and action sports culture. There are even some exclusive Father’s Day events going down on Sunday for those who need to get Pops a last-minute gift.
“There’s a lot more of a cultural component and lifestyle component added to it this year,” Cozens says. “There are also some really cool VIP and Father’s Day experiences. If you want to have a really special experience, we’re selling tickets to allow fathers and their kids to skate the actual pro course bowl with a couple of professional athletes in the morning, and then the rest of the day they get the whole VIP experience.”
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Aside from the bowl (and the other three sections of Dew Tour’s pro competition course), Dew Tour’s public skatepark is also a whole lot more impressive than last year. In a unique and local twist, the festival’s skating area for the masses will also have some skateable art sculptures that’ll be donated to a Long Beach skatepark after the weekend is complete. That’s something other competitions aren’t necessarily doing yet, and it’s just one of the things that Cozens says help separate Dew Tour from some of the other major events.
“We’ve really carved out our own path among other competitions,” Cozens says. “We’re the only one that has a team competition where we’re pitting the nine biggest brands against each other, and we’re also the only one that has competitors compete across four different courses. But at the end of the day, we’ve really just embraced the entire skate and action sports industry along with the lifestyle and culture. It’s not a competition with the other brands out there; we’re just doing uniquely what our brand stands for and what we want to do.”
Another thing Dew Tour brings to the Long Beach community is the event’s accessibility. General admission for the entire weekend — including the Saturday night concert headlined by Cam’ron and featuring Metro Boomin — is free for anyone who wants to check it out in person, and the competitions will be livestreamed through several outlets in case you’d rather watch without leaving your couch. On a holiday weekend that’s probably best spent with family, Cozens believes Dew Tour’s cultural side makes it somewhere to spend Father’s Day whether you’re into skateboarding or not.
“It’s a great event for not only skateboarding fans, but also for families,” Cozens says. “When you think of the competition, but then also the art, the culture, the technology, the partner village, those are all fun experiences for everyone. The craft food and craft beer is very local to Southern California and Long Beach, and that’s aside from the athlete signings and giveaways and shwag for everyone.”