San Francisco Dew Tour transforms Civic Center Plaza into skating dreamland

San Francisco
Freestyle motocross riders test out the jumps in front of City Hall the night before competition begins for the Dew Tour. The Dew tour is a four-day action-sports tournament being held in Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Francisco. Photo by John Ornelas / Xpress

Huge dirt ramps and a street skating course transformed the Civic Center Plaza into an adrenaline junkies playground.

The Dew Tour Toyota City Championships, a free festival featuring skating, BMX and FMX starts up today. Xpress will be bringing you daily coverage of all the action and results.

After spending some time practicing on the street course the night before the competition, four-time X Games street skating gold medalist, Paul Rodriguez takes a break.

“I’m here to try to win,” Rodriguez said. “The best thing I can do is formulate a strategy and hope that it’s going to hold up against these other skaters. Because some of the best skaters in the world are here.”

Theotis Beasley, a 21 year-old professional skater — who once shredded at University Park North (cue to 1:35) — smiled as he high-fived kids struggling to balance on their skateboards while maneuvering the course. After skating the street course, he shared his excitement for the course’s layout that incorporates the challenging designs of legendary skate and BMX spots in San Francisco such as “Hubba Hideout” and “China Banks.”

“They got the pier 7 mani pad right there, so I’ve been skating that thing since I’ve got here. They created all the best spots in San Francisco,” said Beasley, who was signed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in May.

Beasley looks up to his team member, Rodriguez who also found success in skateboarding at a young age.

“Paul is a great role model,” Beasley said. “I always come to him with my questions. He’s a boss — just like Rick Ross.”

Other must-see features of the four-day tour are the Mongoose mini-jump course for kids in Civic Center and the downhill “Street Style” BMX challenge taking place Sunday at Rincon Hill on Harrison Street. These two courses will be opened to locals, according to Chris Prybylo, vice president of events and general manager of Dew Tour.

“This event is all about the city feel, the city atmosphere, the urban feel,” Prybylo said. “When looking for a venue ,we certainly found that here right in the middle of Civic Center Plaza with City Hall as the backdrop. We were looking for a city that had a great heritage and history in action sports and San Francisco has that.”

The Dew Tour has a lot of exciting events coming up in the next three days, the skaters-only course at Civic Center will be opened to locals Oct. 18. Lil Wayne will be making an appearance as a commentator for the skate competition Saturday.

You can watch the Skate Street event for free today at 1:30 p.m. in the Civic Center Plaza. Check out the full schedule of events here.

Tearsa Joy Hammock contributed to this report.