This was an amazing event overall and not just the bowl comp. The Dew Tour made some massive upgrades to their entire event from comp courses and ramps to hospitality and spectator areas, concerts and a really cool interactive sponsor village. If you missed it, try to make it out next time because it was great. As a bowl skater of over 35 years, I’d have to say the this was one of the best competitions I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to The Hester Series, Gold Cup, NSA, X Games, Vans, CPH and many others and the was right up with the best of the best. If you’re thinking I am just saying this because I drank too much Mt Dew this weekend, let me explain my reasons.
First, the bowl itself is among my top 5 ever skated. It’s got flow and lines that are open to high speed transfers, big vert style airs and lip tricks as well as more technical skating in the shallow end. It’s versatility is showcased by the contrasting performances of Ben Hatchel and Pedro Barros.
Second, is the event arena itself. Dew Tour built a very spectator friendly viewing area. Bleachers on 3 sides and the VIP control tower on the other. There just wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Third, is who was there. At Ocean City we had ams skating the Free Flow Finals, Pros and Legends and even a locals session with Mt Dew “unlocking” the bowl for local shop crews to ride. On the deck and on the judging panel we had east coast legends and locals hanging with the pros and just generally having a good time. And finally the performance of all the skaters involved. I saw too many amazing runs and tricks to explain them all but the skating was amazing. Here’s my highlights.
Pedro Barros was on another level and is the most exciting bowl skater to watch on the planet. He easily won the Pantech Beach Championships with his high energy on edge style. Twice as fast and high as most in the bowl and 110% from start to finish. His transfers from shallow to deep were jaw dropping amazing.
Ben Hatchell’s lip tricks in the shallow end as well as his padless vert skills made me stoked. He has so many hard tricks and can do them seemingly anywhere he wants and makes it look easy. Watching my son Zach skate. He had a few too many falls but was shredding the bowl with some of the best flow and style of anyone in the finals. As a father and skater it was a pretty magic moment to be commentating on NBC national television while he ripped the bowl apart! – Chris Miller
Images: Crosland, Kanights, Ortiz