Skaters arrived for Dew Tour Long Beach practice throughout the day on Wednesday for their first glances and grinds. Four freshly framed and poured courses created by CA Ramp Works were dissected for the first time by the pros, and the general consensus was that the weekend ahead was going to be rad.
This year, the Dew Tour has incorporated a Team Competition, which requires each team to assign a rider to one of the four courses: technical, transition, rail and gap.
As the first day of practice got underway, Micky Papa from bLind Skateboards was spotted feeling out the rails course and getting prepared for the section that has become his responsibility.
Dew Tour waited patiently for Micky to not only get his skate session in but a massage session, too. After the massage we caught up with Mr. Papa to pick his brain on the course and new team competition format.
DT: So, your section for the Team Competition is going to be rails?
Micky: That's right.
What's your first impression after your initial rolls through the course?
It's pretty crazy. Some of these rails I have never skated, like the rainbow rail is totally new to me. Then, these 6-stair rails are really high and short, so you have to be really quick on them. It's just kind of different, you have to learn every rail. It is just about getting used to all of them and figuring them out.
How about the fact that they are all round rails? Are you into that?
Yeah, they are way better. Square rails aren't as tight, for anything.
Is there one rail that you are digging more than the others?
Not yet. I will probably mess around on the 6-stair rail a little more to get used to that.
How about the "Long Freaking Rail," do you have anything for that yet?
I jumped on a feeble earlier and grinder across the pyramid, but i didn't go all the way. We will have to see as the practice days go off. If I can get anything on that it would be cool.
How about the Team Competition, what do you think about this new idea to invite teams and break up the course into sections?
I'm excited! I feel good about my squad because all of the bLind guys are super good. TJ [Rogers] on the tech section, I'm not worried about him. I know he is going to land a bunch of shit. Cody [McEntire] on the gaps is incredible. He is an amazing skater, so clean and lands amazingly hard tricks all the time. Then, Trey [Wood], on the bowl section. I know he is going to shred that super hard. He is a young kid with lots of energy and is going to keep going and going.
I just have to do my thing, here on the rails, and I feel like we have a really good shot.
Knowing that you have the backing of those three, does it make you want to put it down that much harder.
Yeah! I like that it is a team event in this respect. It is cool to not only want to in for yourself and do good, but to do good and have the whole team cheering you on. It's tight to win for everyone else and do as well as you can for everybody else.
How many things are you doing these days as a team?
This is the first time doing something together as a team for me. It's cool.
So, what is your general first impression of the Dew Tour?
I'm stoked. I've wanted to be a part of Dew Tour for so long, so it is sick to be in the contest now. Now I'm a part of it all.