By Nick Lipton – The Orlando Dew Tour stop always holds a special contest for the local Floridan skate talent. The contest is appropriately titled "Locals Only" and the top skate rats from around the area are invited to compete in the Dew Tour Skate Park while a screaming crowd watches on. This year 15 kids were lucky enough to skate and the contest even had Gatorade Free Flow Tour vets Aaron Collier, CJ Dixon, and Dalton Dern. You might remember those three from the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Skate finals in Salt Lake last month. In the end, CJ's experience may have paid off because he took first, and did so with some heavy bangers.
Skate Park Local Podium
CJ Dixon Kickflip Frontside Lipslide
Three jams split the competitors up, and each jam was split into two heats to ensure the park was sufficiently beat down. In the first heat it was all about Aaron Collier. Aaron ended up in 2nd place, and his first heat trickery started with a switch 50-50, back 180 over the death gap, and a nollie feeble, but then Aaron threw out the end notes. For an Am these tricks sure looked pro, kickflip nosestall on the construction barrier, a nollie bigspin backlip, and a full cab backlip. Blake Kovarik's 360 flip back board was also a first heat highlight and Lam Le handled a huge backside bigflip down the stairs.
Chris Blake Frontside Lipslide
The skaters in the second heat were spitting fire. Three of the finalist came from Heat Two, including the champ CJ Dixon. Apparently CJ's go to rail trick is a blunt, because he blunted everything in every way, and in every direction. When not blunted CJ also put down a smooth nollie halfcab down the stair set, a bigspin back board, a front shuv front lip, and took on the step up to bank with a big slow kickflip. TJ Harris and Chris Blake also stepped up, TJ landed in 4th and Chris 5th. In their heat TJ's bangers were a nollie back bigheel, a nollie bigspin back tail, and a nollie bigspin back board. Chris brought his bangers too, and his front tail 270 put him right into the finals. Kenny Day and Kanaan Dern didn't make finals, but they skated really well. Kenny hardflipped down the stairs and got a big old yell from the crowd. Kanaan followed that up by skating the biggest rail on course and the death gap almost exclusively. Kanaan could go far, the kid has no fear.
Chris Blake Backside Tailslide
Heat Three wrapped up the pre-final skating. Only Johnny "Tsunami" Scianneaux made finals, but Vert and Park threat Dalton Dern put on a great show. Johnny showed talent with a solid bag of tricks on the bigger features. His frontlips, nosegrinds, 360 flips, and crazy gap to this and thats impressed the judges, but a kickflip frontboard locked his finals spot. Dalton Dern, Gatorade Free Flow Tour Vert and Park finalist, is a fun kid to watch skate. His Vert influence is super obvious when watching him wreck Parks. Dalton grabs and gaps everything he can, and manages to throw in Vert tricks on the weirdest features. To make sure he's still "street" Dalton has the backlips and all that down handrails, but his airwalk fastplant on the hydrant and alley-oop back 360 up the step up and into the bank made him one of my favorites to watch. Brian Ortiz took a heavy approach to the gap to bank too, the kid landed a hardflip on it, I didn't see any of last nights Pros trying that. Bryan Pederson also had some pro spice up his sleeve, he 270'd onto the down bar.
Johnny Scianneaux Crooked Grind
Aaron Collier Frontside Boardslike Fakie
Imagine being a local skate kid dreaming of the whole pro thing and then you're sitting in the final round of a contest at the Dew Tour. That's what happened today, and it was rad. The final was an all-out free for all jam session and CJ Dixon used it to his advantage. CJ hit the gaps, the rails, the boxes, and whatever else was in his way. What was his banger? I'm going to say either the kickflip frontlip, nollie noseblunt, or shuv back board. In all seriousness though, CJ threw trick after trick for the entire jam session and that's why he took home the gold. Aaron Collier, 2nd place, kept up his intensity too, throwing 270's left and right and even landing a fakie hardway 270 on the down bar. Johnny Scianneaux grabbed 3rd with his wallie 50-50 and a freaking amazing kickflip backlip. Then there was 4th and 5th TJ and Chris, who rode just as well as they did in their heat. TJ had a 270 and a shuv backtail, and Chris put down a good blunt or two.
TJ Harris Frontside Boardslide
After the contest there was a big photo shoot, and CJ Dixon, having just won, seemed more interested in getting back to his friends. CJ took 6th at the Gatorade Free Flow Tour finals this year, and while he wasn't too hyped on how he finished there, he was stoked to have won the Locals Only and hopes he can keep it up when he flies to his next contest, the Damn Am.