(June 27, 2014) Athletes from around the world have made their way to Ocean City for the Dew Tour Beach Championships, which kicked off with practice sessions on Wednesday.
Competitions were scheduled to start yesterday, Thursday, and will run through Sunday evening.
Events scheduled for the Ocean City Beach Championships include Skate Vert, Skate Bowl and Skate Street Session, BMX Park, BMX Vert and BMX Street Session, Shop Battle: City vs. City and Surf Shop Showdown.
The Dew Tour unveiled competition course designs earlier this month.
The BMX Park course has been updated for this year. It was designed by builder Aaron Bostrom with endorsements from athletes Dennis Enarson, Garrett Reynolds and Ryan Nyquist, the 2013 Dew Tour Beach Championships champion. They provided input on the final layout of the course.
Nyquist captured his first Dew Tour BMX Park title in Ocean City last year. He said the competition will be very tough this year.
“It’s one of the most progressive and competitive disciplines in our sport. And they’ve only invited the best of the best so you know you need to be on your game if you want to place well,” Nyquist said.
To come out on top, Nyquist said it will take “difficult tricks, good flow throughout the course, and creative lines to link all your tricks together. It has to be a total package.”
Competing on the beach rather than inside a facility, Nyquist said athletes must deal with the elements.
“There’s humidity, heat and sometimes wind. I try to pace myself and keep cool and hydrated as much as possible so I don’t get worn out too quickly. Also, lots of sunblock,” he said.
When asked if he has any new tricks he plans to unveil in Ocean City, Nyquist said “I wish I did,” followed by a “hahaa!”
“I guess I’ll have to bring out a few oldies but goodies,” he said.
Nyquist, of San Jose, Ca., is looking forward to coming back to Ocean City. What he said he enjoys about the town is that “there’s so many options for things to do and see. There’s obviously the beach, but there’s shopping, great food and amusement park rides. Plenty of fun to be had.”
Nyquist said he likes being able to “take a break from riding and literally be at the beach. There’s no better way to cool down then a quick dip in the ocean.”
The Skate Bowl, which debuted in Ocean City three years ago, also has a new design this year. It was designed by skateboard legend Chris Miller, with input from skater and designer Charlie Wilkins and Baltimore native, skateboarder, Bucky Lasek. The bowl has a distinct, new shape and the addition of a clam shell feature.
Lasek will compete in both the Skate Vert and Skate Bowl events.
“[Competition will] be tough in both Bowl and Vert where everyone is ripping,” he said. “Doing two disciplines in one weekend takes a lot, not to mention all the press. I’ll have my hands full as usual.”
Lasek said he enjoys “how vibrant and stoked Ocean City is to have us back every year.”
When asked how competing on the beach differs from an indoor arena, Lasek said “it’s like unleashing a caged animal back into the wild. Being outside on the beach is great. I’ll enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and sand beneath my feet.”
Lasek, who grew up skating in the resort, said his whole family looks forward to the Ocean City Dew Tour.
“We use it as a personal vacation spot every year,” he said. “I love eating crabs, Fisher’s popcorn and having a great time at Jolly Roger [Amusement Park].”
Lasek won the Skate Vert contest last year. He finished second behind Brazilian Pedro Barros in the Skate Bowl competition.
“It’s always a pleasure to be out here in Ocean City with all the crowd cheering you on and having be able to skate this amazing contest and this amazing bowl with all the skaters,” Barros said after last year’s Skate Bowl victory. Barros will look to defend his title this year.
Like Lasek, Bob Burnquist, of Rio de Janeiro, is also slated to compete in both the Skate Bowl and Skate Vert events.
Competing on the beach, athletes have to deal with a variety of factors, including sand, Burnquist said.
“It’s also pretty hot and humid, but I’m used to that,” he said. “Just gotta work harder [and] make sure we drink enough water. Bowl skating takes a lot out of you. Add vert to the mix and you have to really manage your energy.”
Battling the top world-class athletes, Burnquist said “competing is never easy.”
To finish ahead of his competitors, Burnquist said it will take “a miracle and a lot of skateboarding.”
“[I’m] gonna skate and see what comes out,” he said. “Tricks are emotional…whatever goes, goes. I’ll just go and have a great time on my skateboard.”
What Burnquist said he loves about competing in Ocean City is “skating with all the guys at practice.”
“That’s usually the best part of any competition. It’s a wild town and the energy is a little too much for me,” he said. “I do love the fans that come out every day. I get to sit down at the Toyota booth and meet quite a few of them on my autograph sessions, and that has been a great part of coming out to OC. The fans are worth all the madness around an event like this.”
Jamie Bestwick of Nottingham, Great Britain, is going for his 10th BMX Vert Dew Tour championship. He is the only athlete to win the Dew Cup in the event since the Dew Tour’s inception 10 years ago.
“I enjoy Ocean City every time I come around,” Bestwick said after winning his ninth title last year.
Zurita, “Coco” Francisco
BMX STREET SESSION
Ronchetti, Paul Luc
SKATE STREET SESSION
*Subject to change