Dewing It: Three Days at the Toyota Challenge

Posted September 24, 2009 in

The Toyota Challenge returned to Salt Lake City for its third year in a row, the fourth of the five stop Dew Tour, this contest is on a grand stage similar to that of the X Games. And even though the economy is recessed worst than Ron Howard’s hairline this did not stop the masses from descending upon the Energy Solutions Arena for a four day smorgasm of extreme sports.

Thursday marked the beginning of the contests. This is probably the best day to attend as all the athletes are out either practicing or trying to qualify for the main events. What is also appealing is the lack of a crowd and a lax security outfit. You can pretty much watch whatever you want from anywhere without being surrounded by 40 little girls who think every skater is Ryan Sheckler (fortunately he was injured and didn’t compete but that didn’t stop the wanton teens from swooing over him).

Friday evening is probably the best night of the entire stop for the BMX Dirt Finals. Luckily, the rain and wind subsided just in time for the riders to take the course. I personally am not a big fan of BMX but damn, can I respect that dirt track and the tricks they do. In the end, the real winner and crowd favorite of the contest miraculously lost out to a bigger name individual Ryan Nyquist (sorry but TJ Ellis deserved to win that event). Ironically, another big name, rider Scotty Cranmer, didn’t fair too well and I would like to think it was do in part to my voodoo hex  (hey, no hard feelings, but you owe me $14 bucks for that incident in Jersey). After the finals, the crowd was treated to a free concert performed by Pacific Division (Pac Div) and the newest white phenom rapper made popular due to Myspace, Asher Roth. The kids seemed really into and I also witnessed one of the greatest dance-offs ever.

I returned early Saturday afternoon to catch sunburn, heat exhaustion and the BMX park finals. I remember back when the skaters and bikers used to share a course. Well, thank God those days are history, because a park built for bikers really allows them to push their skills to the next level. Although, I didn’t make it to the end of the competition I did get to witness Daniel Dhers (the winner) absolutely destroy the course, especially the mini ramp area. And being a Jersey native I’ve got to congratulate Garrett Reynolds for his second place finish. 

The Gatorade Free Flow Competition was held on Saturday as well and showed that kids nowadays are progressing at an unbelievable rate. The one local competitor, Tyson Bowerbank beat out a large contingent and took home 5th place honors. Another local hero, Adam Dyet was showcased later on in the Skate Park Finals. Unfortunately, he had a tough time and didn’t qualify for the super final jam session. This event (my fav) held the biggest crowd I had witnessed and the skaters showed why they get paid to do what they do. Standouts of that contest included Rodolfo Ramos, who went on to win the event and Chris Cole whose bag of tricks is bigger then Don “Magic” Juan’s.

I decided to skip Sunday because, well, football was on and I had enough of dealing with huge crowds (I tend to get a little claustrophobic). As a whole this year’s event was the best one to date. The overall crowd might not have been as big but seemed a lot more energetic. And finally, before we part ways, I would just like to warn the masses to be prepared to see Nike 6.0 day glow orange gay-ban’s everywhere. If you’re one of the thousands of kids that scored a pair, by all means, rock the hell out of them, but I’m still trying to adjust my eyes from all the orange shoelaces distributed last year.

left to right: Brett Banasiwicz, Daniel Dhers, Dennis Enarson I pitty da fool dat can't 3 flip Seriously Yup, Take off Classic Kickflip Melon, Adam Dyet P. Rod switch bs flip Left to Right, Chris Cole, Rodolfo Ramos, Nick Dompierre Lasek getting ready to drop Burnquist puts up a fist for the crowd from left to right: Andy Macdonald, Bucky Lasek, Sandro Dias BSNBS $ 2500 Switch 270 Backlip Fakie 270 Backlip Fakie Landed it Money in the Bank