A triangular paradise formed by three distinct street sections and a huge, freshly poured bowl that is big, fast and full of interesting hits! It feels like a summer party at the 2018 Dew Tour with the pastel pink and two tones of green painted on and around the fresh courses that sit just beyond the waterfront in Long Beach, and still days before the finals begin the place was packed for Pro Practice.
Wednesday kicked off the first day of practice and the sessions were heated. Not only did the guys rip the paint off the place, the sun beamed down without reservation. The session began at 3pm, which felt like the hottest part of the day and everyone dressed accordingly.
Heimana Reynolds was flying high and stalling out inverts during practice. Photo: Strand
The Hawaiian, Heimana Reynolds was flying his way well above the coping throughout bowl and without his shirt in order to let the breeze fight the heat. Heimana may have even nabbed the highest air of the day off the largest, center quaterpipe with metal coping. This mammoth ramp seemed to be the hot spot for most everyone whether they hit it straight on or from a step-up on either side.
"The step-ups to the big ramp are a cool idea and I am having fun figuring those out," mentioned the muscle, Chris Russell, on his way out to take a break.
Taking a siesta mid fronside boardslide, Cory Juneau relaxed and ready to defend his 2017 title. Photo: Durso
Russel's fellow Creature, Cory Juneau was also in the bowl and looking the part of his usual "sleepy turtle" self. Juneau's technique to beat the heat was to take a siesta mid frontside boardslide through the deepest corners. Juneau looks ready to defend his 2017 title in his sleep.
However, Pedro Barros was back in the Dew Tour bowl and skating his typical speed of twice that of anyone else. Long standup grinds, big airs and crazy line combinations are what Barros does best and he looked prime to claim back the top spot.
Hungry to reclaim his title, Pedro Barros flew high and fast on his first day back at Dew Tour. Photo: Durso
"The big wall is fun!" said Ivan Federico a few minutes after making a backside flip melon to nose blunt. “I also love the deep end and the [Stanley] banked wall feature is fun, too. The concrete is just perfect."
Over on the street course the attire was a variety of hats, including Alec Majerus wearing a bucket while stomping kickflip front cooked grinds, and lots of shorts, especially basketball shorts. Curren Caples wore no such weather-dictated apparel.
Wearing all black despite intense summer heat, Curren Caples looking as chill as ever during practice. Photo: Durso
"It's been pretty hot! But, I'm actually fine with skating in the heat. It is way better than trying to skate and warm up when it is cold out. At least we are already warm," laughed Caples. Caples will be the only skater taking runs on both courses this weekend, and admitted he was taken it slow with them both so far. "Everything on the street course is small, so it is easy to warm up. But I'm not that tech so it is hard for me to figure out exactly what to do. That's my problem. The kink rails are fun though."
Kickflip backside lipslide for a warm-up on day one for the defending 2017 champion, Kelvin Hoefler. Photo: Ferra
This year Dew Tour combined the usual three separate sections into a single course. Skaters could keep moving continuously between tech, rails and gaps courses the sections linked together with hips and quaterpipes to form a gigantic triangle.
One guy on the course that did don basketball shorts, a hat and even a quick-dry long sleeve, Zion Wright was ripping all over the course. Taking lots of time to hit tons of different rails on the course, Wright nailed multiple lengthy backside smiths across and down the pyramid rail in the tech section. He also back 180d out of quite a few, too.
Zion Wright looks to be feel fresh in his gear and feeling locked into that back smith. Photo: Ferra
"I'll for sure wear shorts [all weekend] and a nice shirt," said Wright as he explained that he still needed to run home and pick up more clothes for the rest of the event. "It is going to be hot this weekend! Right now, though, I'm trying to get focussed on all three sections. I'm trying to get in strong and get tricks out of the way so I can feel that much more comfortable on everything."
After the session Wright was seen walking out of the Athlete Lounge with a couple friends and a couple boxes of pizza laughing and saying, "Thank you Dew Tour!"
Make sure you keep up with all the action throughout the weekend!