At the end of August, Skatewarehouse team riders Aaron Jago and Adam Keats headed out to Amsterdam to compete in the Dew Tour AM Series...
All Photography & words by Peter Pickford.
Both guys had gained entry to the Dew Tour different ways. Aaron won the NASS AM series in July which was one of several Mountain Dew Bootcamp events held all around Europe, and Keats won the AMSearch video contest, where skaters from around the world had to produce a 2 min edit which was then put them to the public vote to decide the winner.
All 35 competitors arrived in Amsterdam, eager to see the course setup and skate the streets.
The Competition kicked of on the Saturday where local riders had a shot at qualifying for the main event on Sunday. The level of skating was unbelievably high, which seems to often be the case at European events.
Saturday evening saw a 'Tricks for Cash' session, where all the guys pulled out the big guns to earn some cash to spend in the city that night. Aaron Jago got quickly acquainted with his Jart TM before sticking a bs 270 lip, winning some dollar from Theotis. Keats stepped it up in the long down rail jam with a FS smith to blunt which also won him a few bucks.
On Sunday, we woke to a familiar British sight of fog and rain outside. After taking full advantage of the hotel buffet we ventured outside into the bleak morning, contemplating what will happen if the Finals get rained off. Thankfully, the Dew organisers hadn't snuck off early into the city the night before, but fully covered the park in a tarpaulin. By midday, the sun was shining and the comp was on.
After an hour warm-up, Keats and Aaron 'Yaygo' (as translated in Dutch- English) kicked things off in the 1st heat and got those nerves settled by both sticking solid runs which saw them comfortably progress.
Out of the 10 AmSearch riders, only Keats, Maycon Luan (Brazil) & Marius Christian (Romania) progressed through to the semi's.
The field was cut down from 32 to 15 riders with Keats and Aaron both being drawn in the same heat again. Keats nailed a super consistent run, using the whole of the park and hitting up the transition as well as the rails and ledges. Aaron was caught a bit off guard after retreating to the stands, having thought he hadn't made the cut and gave himself a small amount of warm up time. He still managed to put down a good run, nailing a bs 270 lip on the A frame rail, but it wasn't enough to get him through to the finals.
The finals consisted of Roger Silva (Brazil), Rob Maatman (NL), Adam Keats (UK), Simon Deprez (Belgium) and last years winner Woody Hoogendijk (NL). The Final heat had a different format to the semi's and prelims. Each rider had a 30 second introduction run which was then followed by a 5 minute Jam.
Rob, Woody and Simon had uncharacteristic error strewn opening runs, but all still managed to land a couple of bangers including Simon's hard flip Front Board down the A Frame.
Keats, who had almost let his guard down not anticipating getting into the finals, laid down a perfect opening run including the crowd pleaser Front Board Sex Change down the A Frame rail.
Roger Silva put down a Street League worthy performance in the Finals, not putting a foot wrong. The Brazilian was in a class of his own, stomping everything bolts and with perfection. The skaters and onlookers knew before the official result who had clinched the victory.
At the end of each run, each skater had 3 tries at a Dew coined 'Special'. Keats nailed a full cab board down the handrail, which potentially clinched him an incredible 2nd place. Roger managed 3 'special' tricks, one of which was a switch backside blunt 270... enough said!
All together it was a crazy weekend, and amazing to spend it with the AMSearch guys and all the other competitors. A massive congratulations to Keats and Aaron who both punched above their weight and did British skateboarding proud on the big stage.
A big thanks to Mountain Dew for hosting the competition and putting us up in the Marriott for the weekend!!! Hopefully we will be back next year!