Sometimes I get PR for industry events, and sometimes I take them up on their offer to attend the event under the guise of “covering it,” which usually means I get in free with my kids, and we all enjoy it for the most part. It’s fun, but I’m not paying for it, and I can take it or leave it each time. Sometimes I feel guilty, not for the big corporation, but for the freelance PR agent that gave me the press credentials and got essentially nothing from it. I hope that doesn’t affect your job performance review. To make up for it, here are some photos from the San Francisco stop of the Dew Tour. Thanks to Lorrie Palmos for sending these in. You might remember her from her long standing “Shot of the Week” that’s been up since June. It might be time to retire that part of the web site. (The SOTW curator spot is open!)
We stopped by to check out Spohn Ranch’s modular bowl being assembled for the Dew Tour. It’s pretty impressive. Up close the individual sections don’t appear as massive or thick as you might think. There were a couple local faces in the crew which was nice to see. Word is that a Wally Holiday crew is coming in to do the finishing. Grover was ribbing the crew because some of the sections were out of numerical order, judging by the big numbers scrawled on the back. One interesting thing, the parking lot is sloping, so the whole structure is being erected on scaffolding with a giant corrugated metal subfloor. Check out the pictures after the jump.
So… an “unlocked spot” courtesy of the Dew Tour:
We’ve unlocked a cool spot for all you Portland locals to skate next Wednesday 11am at the Pioneer Courthouse Square. There’s normally no skateboarding there, but we’re hooking it up for you guys.
While I applaud the idea of lifting the ban, if only temporarily, I have to laugh at the suits at Pepsi “hooking me up.” Still, that’s a novel form of social/guerilla marketing. I wonder how much it cost to “hook us up?” ( Egads that’s awkward punctuation. Any English majors out there that can tell me what I did wrong? ) The photo on the bottom? That’s Spohn Ranch’s portable concrete bowl system being disassembled and loaded up for the trip to Portland. Grover is chomping at the bit to ride that thing.
– Thanks to Craig Smith for the tip.
You’re looking at massive portable and reconfigurable concrete bowl made by Spohn Ranch. In much the same way that you’ve seen Tony Hawk’s metal framed vert ramp carted along in pieces to assorted demos and Boom Boom Huck Jams, except it’s concrete, and more complex. It’s a pretty amazing from a technical standpoint, something that heavy than can be set up, then torn down and transported on regular roadways, to be set up again in a different configuration. The current incarnation is still in beta. As it is now, the waterfall and intermediary walls are poured in place on each stop, but plans are to get those fabricated and surfaced for reuse as well. The rough sketch for the bowl (shallow 7′ 6″ , deep 12′) was conceived by Chris Miller before being worked over in CAD to engineer it. The individual sections are laser cut, with 3/16″ of steel between every other section. It’s supposed to be precise enough to not feel the seem on rollover. A CNC cut floor template helps everything fit together. The coping is modular as well. The goal over the next 5 years or so is to build a giant library of sections to keep it fresh.
As rad as the X-Games park looks, all these giant sports spectacles are just big business at heart. They don’t really give back to the skateboarding community in an direct. At best they just pad the pockets of some of the pros on the circuit (nothing wrong with that) and lend a little bit of respectability to our public image. I’m completely in favor of corporate responsibility. Building giant temporary skateparks for single events is incredibly wasteful. I say build it and leave it, or make it portable and reusable like this one.
ESPN has let out a few photos of the skate structure for X Games 17. They chose the now more commonplace method of pouring a concrete over a wooden substructure. This kind of facility is temporary and seemingly very wasteful, although the concrete and wood can be “recycled” into new concrete and new ramps. However, I’m pretty skeptical that they are going to store all that wood somewhere until the next time they use it. Landfill seems more likely. On the other hand, the Dew Tour is going a different route via a familiar name in precast concrete. Don’t confuse this with ordinary prefab, these massive pieces are cut with the aid of lasers and designed to be interchangeable and self aligning. The plan is to eventually build up a large library of interchangeable parts. If you’re confused about the strange look of these, then join the club. We’re supposed to get more information shortly, so stay tuned. SPeaking of the Dew Tour, I heard a rumor that PDX local Dave Tobin was being flown back to judge!
I saw a whole mess of Toyota marketing money that looked like it was trying to bite Jim Phillips’s style, but it’s probably legit.A quick search for Jim Phillips and Toyota reveals that he appears in a Toyota commercial that airs in Japan, so it’s highly believable that they also hired him to illustrate for the Extreme&trade:! sports market.
Got this one out quick, results are just in And it goes like this. 1 S white 2 Bucky 3 PLG. The guys at the Dew Tour give me a pass every year. I wonder if they know I am not the real Media Director at Skate and Annoy. That’s the title I tell them I am branded with. I suppose it could be true I will have to check with Human Resources to be sure. This year I had the honor of being able to film practice here’s what I got. Oh yeah X-games gold medal winner Pedro qualified into the final and fell during practice and dislocated his elbow he did not ride the final. Arm in cast Vicodin in mouth. It was fun as hell to watch him practice. This contest always gets me so excited about Vert let’s build a ramp. GROVER OUT.
UPDATE: The video is back, not quite sure why it disappeared.
In a scene ripped from the cutting room floor of Ideocracy, here’s two kids at the Dew Tour covering their bodies with temporary tattoos of corporate logos. They aren’t even Extreme!&trade logos, it’s for Ball Park Franks. Check out the Annoying Kid of the Month.
The Gatorade Free Flow Tour hits the Department this Saturday July 10th. Get some before it shuts down. The Department, not the contest series. The Alliance of Action Sports puts on this tour and the Dew Tour. I saw some of the Dew Tour on TV the other day under the program name of “Action Sports.” More interesting is the fact that they aired a commercial for their online store. I don’t know if they are carrying their own inventory and doing their own fulfillment or… hold on. I just called the 800 number, and once I got past the corporate phone tree messages, the person that answered said they were from StandardBoardShop.com.