“It’s so sick that Dew Tour is coming back to Lauridsen Skatepark because it’s one of the world’s biggest and best skateparks, and I’m stoked to get a chance to come back and revisit it, kind of get a redemption from last time when it was raining so much,” said Women’s Street competitor Marhia Duran, after practice on the Dew Tour Street course on Thursday night. “Right now we have beautiful weather and it’s just such a vibe.”
Duran helped host one of the five Unlock The Spot events in the leadup to Dew Tour 2022, at the large 3-block stair set in Civic Plaza in her hometown, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“It’s really cool for Dew Tour to care about both contests and true street skateboarding, and .I can’t believe we unlocked the spot we unlocked in Albuquerque because that one is for sure ‘No skating,’” Duran said. “ I’ve been kicked out of there personally by security more times than I can count, so it’s really sick that they unlocked it for a few hours: we had a jam session, everybody who wanted to skate it got to skate it, a lot of never-been-done tricks went down that day, and that’s definitely one of the bigger hardflips I’ve ever done. I was so stoked to bring it to my hometown.”
Duran said her main takeaway from skating in practice and watching the tricks her competitors are working on is… awe.
“It’s insane: I feel like the bar is being reset every day, and everybody’s here to show up and perform,” Duran said. “That’s what skateboarding is about and it’s super sick to be a part of it, to watch it and to adapt to the new level of skating.”
Friday’s action begins with the Women’s Adaptive Street Final at 4pm CDT, followed by the Men’s Adaptive Street Final at 5pm.
Adaptive Street skater Kanya Sesser, here for her Dew Tour debut after watching the first inaugural Dew Tour Adaptive Street contests in 2021, was working on putting together full contest runs during the practice session, and building up to her ender, a long 50-50 grind from the bump-to-flat-rail feature, but said she’s more focused on the bigger picture than on winning on Friday.
“I’m really happy to be here and this is such an amazing opportunity for adaptive action sports, as we’re making a push to bring skateboarding to the Paralympics and really growing our sport,” Sesser said. “It’s cool to see a lot of my professional skater friends here supporting adaptive skateboarding, too: I feel like everybody knows everybody and we’re all like one family, one team. It’s just so positive.”
Last year’s Women’s Adaptive Street winner Tia Pearl and Men’s Adaptive Street (and Park) winner Felipe Nunes is back in the mix, and this year’s fields feature a split between 2021 competitors and newcomers.
The Women’s Park Final on Friday should be one of the heaviest contests of the weekend.
Defending gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi is back, as is last year’s silver medalist, Sky Brown. Yosozumi went on to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics after her Dew Tour win in 2021, and took her first X Games win in Chiba, Japan in April 2022. In practice on Friday night, she had an incredible Ollie straight over the Mountain Dew can feature on the center island volcano jump, and was also sending backside 540s and Ollie 540s: she’s the only woman who has ever landed the Ollie 540 in competition, and did it for the first time in her Dew Tour 2021 run.
The Women’s Park field also includes Mami Tezuka (4th in 2021), Cocona Hiraki (5th), Bryce Wettstein (6th), Kisa Nakamura (7th), and Jordyn Barratt (8th), and the return of Lizzie Armanto (who missed the top-8 cut for the Final in 2021).
The Men’s Street field includes last year’s silver medalist Yuto Horigome, and 11 other skaters including Sean Malto, Carlos Ribeiro, Felipe Gustavo, Jake Ilardi, Chris Joslin, Kelvin Hoefler, Dashawn Jordan, Jamie Foy, Vincent Milou, and Shane O’Neill.
“Dudes were going wild out here tonight and it’s just getting started,” said Joslin. “Any time you get this group of skaters together on a proper course like the one here at Lauridsen, it’s gonna go off.”