Dew Tour rolled through Long Beach this past weekend, and it brought with it some serious heat both in temperature and in competition for the second straight year. Although many of the local fan favorites didn’t have their best performances, no one in the crowd left the four-day event disappointed.
San Clemente skateboarding phenom Nyjah Huston was narrowly topped by Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler in the Pro Street Finals while fellow South County skater (and last year’s champion) Ryan Sheckler was eliminated after an on-and-off performance in the semifinals. Earlier on Sunday afternoon, San Diego’s Cory Juneau and Clay Kreiner landed at first and third in the Pro Bowl Finals.
A relatively full grandstand followed the skaters from one section to the next on both scorching hot days. Despite the heat, Dew Tour’s public skatepark also saw action pretty much all day everyday from Thursday afternoon until Sunday evening (although the real trick was to go cool off with the shade, fake snow, and beer of the Rainbow Lagoon area).
For the bigger skateboarding picture, the weekend served as a bit of a welcome party for the teenage Yuto Horigome from Japan. Largely unknown in America, the 18-year-old dominated the gap section to help Blind Skateboards repeat as champions in the team competition and then further established himself by finishing third in the Pro Street Finals and only narrowly missing out on the top spot. Considering that skateboarding will be a part of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, we should see a whole lot more of Horigome in the coming years.
Horigome's Canadian teammate Micky Papa also continued to show that he could hang with the best of them, snagging the last spot in the Pro Street Finals after also helping carry Blind to their dominant team win on Saturday. Even if he didn't end up on the podium in the individual event, Papa's techniques and daring style made him a fan favorite by the end of the weekend.
From the charities and organizations giving back to the community through skateboarding to the technology and art fusing together for the Art of Doing exhibit (which featured artistic designs generated from the biometric readouts of the skateboarders competing), Dew Tour proved again the mainstreaming of the sport.
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Among some of the in-competition highlights from local pros were Chris Cole’s caveman on the rails section of the team competition, the entire Birdhouse team’s energy and hilarity (particularly Ben Raybourn’s ridiculous bowl session, which included posing for cameras and taking a brief nap) and a wide variety of skateboarders — concluding with Sheckler — choosing to expand the gap portion by launching themselves over the edge of the course and on to the pavement below.
As always, the parties, giveaways and other general festivities surrounding Dew Tour were just as important and enjoyable as the competition itself for fans, families, and skaters alike. Oh, and Cam’ron (along with Metro Boomin) performed on Saturday evening, but he didn’t wear any pink or fur, so did it even really count?