Dew Action Sports Tour – Playstation Pro
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 by Rob Meronek
Dew Action Sports Tour – Playstation ProWords by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
These events always have a ton of stuff going on. It’s like the Warped Tour for the whole family. They have an area called The Village that has everything from Right Guard to Oxy to The House of Dew (for real). Each tent has a kook with a mic making kids do dumb stuff for crappy promotional product. Damn I sound jaded. I’m not really, because if the kids are stoked, then I am, too.
Our friends at Vans hooked up Rob and me with Media badges, so we had all access, which was great. We even took our boards in and skated the street course for about an hour before getting kicked out. Everywhere we went, the staff was overly-friendly and courteous, even when they kicked us off the street course.
After our session ended, we searched high and low for some free grub and ended up atop the TD Waterhouse Center eating some quality beef and broccoli over rice. No free beer though, but I’m not complaining, because our badges got us front row seats for the Vert Finals.
Vert FinalsYou have to remember that these events are literally made for TV. NBC knows that they’re going to get killer ratings for these shows and that means that they’re going to make huge money off of advertising sales. If you remember that stuff ahead of time, you can understand why it’s run the way it is.
The overhead lights were dimmed and the strobe lights were going around the crowd. The music was perfectly chosen to hype up the 1000’s in attendance. The top 10 were lined up for “roll call” on the deck and introduced individually with multiple cameras in their faces and roars from their fans waving signs that read “Victory To Neal Hendrix” and “Buckyo Da Bomb.” Dave Duncan, the announcer, didn’t even say the format, but to that crowd it didn’t matter anyway. Around that time Neal Hendrix yelled to me from the top of the vert ramp, “Just like Tampa, huh?” Nothing could be farther from the truth. After the three, 45 second runs, here’s how it ended up:
10th – Neal Hendrix – qualified 10th and ended in 10th. Neal had a tough time staying on, but he has the cab heel Indy 360 over the 8’ channel every single time
9th – Lincoln Ueda – the bigger the ramp, the better he skates. I’ve never seen a 360 varial mute grab so perfectly executed...I thought there was no way he was going to put that back under his feet
8th – Chris Gentry – ‘Best Jersey of the Contest’ winner with “Gentry” on the back. The Phillips 66 was sweet, but we were hoping that he was going to take his final run on the Flowboard
7th – Matias Ringstrom – from about 7th down, the results were tough. Mattias ripped with a perfect fs noseblunt on the extension and front foot impossibles to lien grab over the channel every single try. He also did new deals, and if you know what those are then you’ve been skating for a long-ass time
6th – Anthony Furlong – Skatepark of Tampa’s finest qualified 6th and ended in 6th. His second run was perfect and included all of his tough moves. I’d like to say that he deserved a higher placing, but then that would mean that I would have to tell the guys that placed ahead of him that they didn’t deserve their spots. No thank you
5th – Rune Glifberg – style for miles and he can do switch kickflips to fakie about 2’ out. Rune is one of my favorite guys to watch skate transition. Editorial insert from Rob: Hell yeah, me too! Rune rips
4th – Bucky Lasek – Bucky did the “safety run” on his first two runs to insure his points standings (and $75k) for the entire series. It worked, but when he was about to bust out in his final run he fell on an Indy to fakie. Can you believe that?
3rd – Andy MacDonald – Andy asked me, “So do you still have those Flybars?” I said, “Oh, I think we sold them on eBay.” I think he was bummed, because he’s really into www.flybar.com. Regardless, Andy ripped the contest and ended in a well-deserved 3rd. His lien rodeos are crazy looking and he’s got the flip trick lines forever
2nd – Bob Burnquist – switch everything…lien air, bs air, ollie, fs invert…it was crazy. He rolled in switch to a 7’ switch stalefish. My favorite was his 360 frontside rock n’ roll slide – I may have seen that one done before, but I don’t remember it being as gnar as Bob’s
1st – Pierre Luc Gagnon – PLG dominated with a 94 in his first run that no one could even get close to. 2nd place was 89.5. His control was amazing. He would do a kickflip mute to fakie with his feet already in position for the switch heel frontside air revert on the other wall. Congrats to PLG, and I would venture to say that he’s on his way to being the best ever
Street FinalsI heard a couple of spectators say that the street course looked like it sucked, but I didn’t think that it sucked at all. Even though all of the ramps were pretty tall, it flowed together very well and was really smooth. The fact that the actual ground was Skatelite, too, made it seem like you were just riding this gigantic mini-ramp with a bunch of obstacles on it.
I was a little confused with how the format worked at first, but then it became clear. There were 10 guys in the Finals. You got two runs and then they cut it down to the top seven. 10th through 8th got knocked out, which included P-Rod (who totally blew it), Pat Channita, and Dayne Brummet respectively.
Here’s where the format got interesting. The top seven went for it on half of the course in a five-minute Jam. This half of the course consisted of the big step-up, pyramid deal, and various banks. Here are the guys that were ripping that:
- Jeff Ward – random kid that won the Dew Tour (for ams) and then turned pro…don’t really know if that’s the best decision for a career, but best of luck to him. He didn’t make it to the next round
- Wagner Ramos – Brazilian shredder with switch EVERYTHING couldn’t stay on
- Austen Seaholm – some people call his moves “circus tricks,” but I’m totally entertained by Austen. And for those that are wondering if everything is cool between him and Skatepark of Tampa…yes, it’s all cool
- Ronnie Creager – still destroying it at the ripe age of 32
- Ryan Sheckler – who would have even known that this kid was going to blossom into what he’s become? Congrats to Ryan on what he’s accomplished at such a young age
- Greg Lutzka – the 270 fs ollie to switch front blunt on the flat rail was crazy and he must have done it 20 times throughout the day
- Jereme Rogers – the kickflip backlip, switch backside flip over the pyramid, and various other stuff had Jereme dominating
You already know the results from the list above if you’re paying attention, but here’s some more commentary anyway. Also, just to clarify, the final scores were based on the runs, the first Jam, and then the second Jam all combined. So if you ripped one part and then blew it on the other, that means that you’d end up in the middle somewhere.
5th – Austen Seaholm – Austen is a bit stronger on the smaller obstacles, but he still went for it on the big hubba
4th – Ronnie Creager – fs 180 nosegrind on the hubba and a crazy hardflip attempt to flat (remember, he’s 32) landed ol’ Ronnie in 4th
3rd – Ryan Sheckler – little man that ain’t so little anymore skates more consistently and controlled than most seasoned veterans
2nd – Greg Lutzka – I tried to make a wager with his pops who was there watching. I was going to bet on Sheckler. Looks like Daddy Lutzka would have taken my cash if he would have accepted my offer
1st – Jereme Rogers – I would have never guessed that Jereme would become such a contest champ, but he does it with style. I don’t think that the switch feeble on the big rail hurt much either…damn
I was thinking, “How in the hell are the judges comprehending all of this?” the entire time I watched both Jams, but I think that they did a fine job. Rob, Sean, and I spent the rest of the day drinking beer and watching some BMX. Although it was a “totally extreme” situation, we had a great time heckling people and cracking jokes. Another fun time in our skateboarding lives…