A haven for action sports it may be, but San Francisco — despite it’s association with high-flying skaters and bike riders — has never hosted a Dew Tour event.
Thursday through Sunday, the heavyweights of skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross will convene in San Francisco, competing at the vert ramps and skate parks at Civic Center Plaza and Harrison Street in pursuit of the coveted Dew Cup — a renowned prize in the realm of action sports.
“We’re right in the heart of The City with City Hall in the background, so it’s a real authentic city feel,” said Chris Prybylo, vice president of events for the Dew Tour, a tri-city tourney that kicked off in Ocean City, Md., in August and will conclude in Breckenridge, Colo., in December.
The tour was modeled to embody the beach, city and mountain environments. San Francisco, fittingly, is the sight of the city portion of the tour. And also quite fitting is The City’s history with skating.
“The heritage and the history of action sports in San Francisco are great,” Prybylo said. “The athletes are obviously the lifeblood of our tour.”
Prybylo confirmed that more than 200 athletes representing 18 to 20 countries will compete in the Toyota City Championships’ six events — BMX dirt, BMX street, BMX streetstyle, skate street, skate streetstyle and FMX, respectively.
The winner of each contest will claim a Dew Cup. But capturing a Cup will be different than in years past.
The previous seven seasons, tour winners were decided via a points-ranking system after multi-city events were concluded.
But for these four days, athletes will be forced to fancy quality over quantity, as they’ll only have one event to display their stuff.
“These guys are going for the Dew Cup. It’s all or nothing with that one shot,” Prybylo said. “It obviously makes the event much more important in the context of the season.”
And the athletes don’t seem to mind.
“You go into an event knowing, this is the time,” said Ryan Nyquist, a Los Gatos native competing in the BMX dirt event. “If you have anything you want to unleash, it’s not really a time to hold back.”
In a first-of-its-kind event, the BMX and skateboard streetstyle finals will conclude on Sunday at the Harrison Street course, which will stretch from Beale to Fremont streets. The rest of the competitions will take place at the skate park in front of City Hall.