The reimagined Dew Tour has arrived in Long Beach, CA, and the four all-new skateboard courses are looking prime.
In the center of the competition venue lies a giant viewing tower with various levels for athletes and VIPs. Surrounding the tower are the four new courses: technical, transition, rail and gap.
This year, the Dew Tour is taking a new approach to the traditional "Pro Competition." For 2016 Dew Tour will have 18 pros taking on the technical, transition, and rail courses with only the top six skaters advancing to the gap course for the final showdown based on the standings from the previous three sections. Once all four courses have been skated a new champion will be named.
Ryan Decenzo was spotted on the opening practice day giving three of the four courses his first attempts. At first we watched in awe, but ultimately we pinned him down for a few questions regarding the new format from the perspective of a seasoned Dew Tour veteran.
DT: How many courses have you ridden so far?
Ryan: I've ridden three out of the four courses.
How do you feel about cement parks versus wooden boxes for contests?
Cement parks are way sicker. Dude, of course, by far. You go faster and have more consistent pop.
You have skated a bunch of Dew Tours and will be skating the "Pro Competition" for this one. Are you very familiar with the new format?
I know what it is all about, but I never skated something like this before. I don't know exactly what to expect, but I know it will be fun.
With the four small courses and completely different courses, how are you feeling about the new way of doing things?
I think it is going to be a really good competition. Super fun to watch and hangout in the tower. It will definitely be fun to spectate. I think it will also be fun for the skaters to skate this way, too. Hopefully everything goes as planned.
Do you like that the course sections have been split up like this?
I don’t know how I feel about it yet, we will just have to wait and see. It is kind of weird going into the tech section and being forced to skate like that, because usually I like to do my tech tricks toward the end of a line where I have already done some big tricks. So this is a little different, it forces me to go right into those flippier and more shuvtier type of tricks. But who knows. Maybe I will land more, maybe I will bail all of them (laughs). I have no idea.
Let's rattle off a couple points of interest from each course. In the tech course did you you have a favorite obstacle?
Yeah, one of the out ledges or out rail. I like the bigger obstacles, more impact.
How do you feel about the course overall with the cement pours and embedded coping?
Yeah, it is all really good and super fun. I like having the concrete and I like the way the coping is set everywhere. It's just really fun. It feels like a quality skatepark.
How about the bowl? What is your first impression on the size of the whole thing, the extension features?
The bowl is rad. It's super good, because it is easy to get speed for everything. It is also super mellow so you can get techy in it.
What was the first trick you started to go for in there?
I think the back smith over the channel gap.
How about the third park you hit. Did you hit the rails or the gaps?
I hit the rails. I liked that one, too. It's fun.
Any rail in particular in there you like more than the rest?
I kind of liked the [really freaking long] one, but I don't know if I will get anything too awesome on it. I like going across and down al the way.
After your first hot lap around the rails course, were you liking the idea of an all rails section?
Yeah, I like the idea of an all rails section. I think the old hubba is getting a little slept on, because that is my favorite obstacle to skate, but the rails are cool. It is definitely cool that they are all round rails, and did not switch up to any square rails.
Well, we don't want to keep you from getting your practice on.
It's all good, I'm just cruising. I don't want to burn myself out by over practicing on all of these courses. I feel like that could be easily done.
Are you going to spend anytime practicing on the gaps? Or, do you want to hold off on that since you need to earn your way there through the other three?
I actually don't think I am going to skate the gaps until I need to. I might roll around in there, but I think if you can skate all the other stuff it will just work out by the time you get to that point.
This year we've been calling it the "reimagined" Dew Tour. I know you have been to a ton of these events. Does this feel any different quite yet?
I think once all of the teams are here, hanging out together doing the team thing it is going to be way different. Also, there is only skate at this stop, which is a big part of it. I like all of the other sports, but this is straight skateboarding and I'm a skater that is all about skating. This is going to be a fun one!