The Men’s and Women’s Adaptive Skateboard Street events were the first main event finals of the weekend on Friday, the second year Dew Tour has hosted adaptive events, and the 2021 winners in each doubled back more: Felipe Nunes took down the men’s contest, and Tia Pearl won the women’s contest.
“I’m just so glad to be here again, my second time at Dew Tour, and be able to win again,” Nunes told reporter Chris Pastras after his repeat win. “I’m so glad to be able to skate with all these amazing people and I can’t wait to do it again: it’s super good to have a venue like this to show the real power of these amazing people, like, no excuses.”
The Brazilian skateboarder has become one of the highest-profile personalities in skateboarding: In July 2021, shortly after his Dew Tour Des Moines 2021 win, he turned pro for Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse Skateboards and released a groundbreaking video part, Limitless, that has helped spark the conversation around bringing adaptive skateboarding to the Paralympics and helped reframe perspectives around what’s possible on a skateboard. He has also been competing in non-adaptive divisions at events like X Games, Tampa Pro, and the Copenhagen Open.
In his best run on Friday, Nunes landed a 50-50 grind to kickflip out on the Tech Deck ledge, a 5-0 grind down the 9-stair handrail, a half-Cab 5-0 down the Hubba ledge, a frontside bluntslide, and a 360 to gfakie on the quarterpipe at the buzzer.
In 2nd place: Steven “Lefty” Breeding, who impressed with a poked Ollie over the U.S. Air Force gap, a long backside 50-50 grind on the quarterpipe, a late kickflip step-up, a front foot impossible on the quarterpipe, and a 360 flip.
And, in 3rd: Justin Bishop, the blind skater who finished 2nd in the Adaptive Park contest in 2021 and made his Street debut on Friday with an incredible Ollie down the double set stairs, a boneless on the bank, a kickflip varial, and a layback handplant, tossing his cane to an assistant on the deck mid-trick after using it to find the lip of the quarterpipe. In Run 2 he attempted to use a knotted rope to help judge his distance for a boardslide, but missed it on two attempts.
Tia Pearl repeated in the Women’s Adaptive Street division, sharing the podium with Dew Tour rookies Kanya Sesser and Darian Haynes. Her best run included a 180 off the kicker, a nose stall to fakie, a fakie 360 shove-it using her crutches for support, a pop shove-it, and a firecracker down the double set stairs.
“The back-to-back wins just feels so epic,” Pearl said after the podium presentation. “I felt the pressure was really on this year, so I was really trying my best to stay with my skateboard and not think about anything else”
Pearl said she hopes adaptive events at high-profile events like Dew Tour helps bring new people into skateboarding, and said she was stoked to see Dew Tour first-timers Kanya Sesser – an adaptive skateboarder, surfer, and snowboarder who has also had some recent acting opportunities – and Darian Haynes bringing new tricks and new styles to Dew Tour fans.
“We need this level of representation, we need people to show up and show the world we’re out here,” Pearl said. “I think it’s going to make such an impact for everyone to be able to see this and I hope it helps them find the kind of freedom that a skateboard has come to represent for me: when you find skateboarding as an adaptive athlete, one of the first things you realize is that it’s already a free sport and you can adapt it in any way you want: the great thing about skateboarding is that any way you can do it is the best way to do it.”
Women’s Adaptive Skateboarding Street Results
1.) Tia Pearl, 71.33
2.) Kanya Sesser, 62.33
3.) Darian Haynes, 40.00
Men’s Adaptive Skateboarding Street Results
1.) Felipe Nunes, 95.66
2.) Steven Breeding, 91.66
3.) Justin Bishop, 88.66
4.) Josh Tancos, 85.00
5.) Vinicios Sardi, 83.00
6.) Mike Minor, 75.66
7.) Andy Hernandez, 61.00
8.) Dan Mancina, 56.33
9.) Oscar Loreto JR., 37.66