Dew Tour – Am Series Amsterdam 2015 Dew Tour – Am Series Amsterdam 2015

My primary task for a late August weekend was to shoot photos of one Chris Oliver – winner of the UK Dew Tour qualifier at Radlands Plaza a few months back.
The fact that said photos would be at the Dew Tour Am Series finals in Amsterdam was definitely a bonus. Amazing weather was forecast at the outdoor street course located in the beautiful Museumplein park amidst The Uitmarkt festival. This three-day celebration of the Netherlands cultural scene sees over 2000 performers entertain 500,000 visitors (if the hype is to be believed).

What could possibly go wrong?

I met Chris and his plus one (who turned out to be none other than stalwart west country skate legend Max Ellis) in their plush Marriot hotel room on the Friday night. As my ‘photographers brief’ from Dew included ‘behind the scenes’ on the list, I had to oblige. Chris and Max had wasted little time in becoming au fait with the wares from one of the local coffee shops, which is why a selection of colourful and rather pungent bags of ‘plant-life’ adorned their respective beds. After a surgical procedure involving the smoke alarm and a flowery sock, a distinctive aroma filled the room. I don’t remember too much after this point, other than faint memories of watching the Paul Alexander documentary followed by ‘Withnail and I’ including Max’s Uncle Monty quotes.

The next morning, feeling a slight disconnection from reality, we met none other than Charlie Munro and his girlfriend outside the hotel. We all took the short walk down to Museumplein and the Dew street course. It was well laid out for the smallish area that was allotted with a classic rail/stairs combo, hubba and flat ledge and a slightly more creative kicker over gap/flat bar and angled driveway wedge.

Chris got to work warming up, and it wasn’t long before we had shot a couple of cheeky photos. Looking around, a few other notable European rippers were shredding the course: Benjamin Garcia, Rob Maatman and Woody-Hoogendijk to name a few.

After a short demo from the Dew pros: Sean Malto, Chris Colbourn and Jordan Maxham, we got down to the serious business of the ‘Tricks for Cash’ contest. Sessions on each obstacle were judged by the Dew pros and money was given out for the best tricks. The skaters that performed best overall got a wildcard entry to the Dew Tour Am series finals on the Sunday.

As Chris and Charlie were already entered for the Sunday comp, they took it easy during ‘Cash for Tricks’. In fact, they took it so easy that I noticed they’d left the comp site entirely.

My suspicions on what they were doing were confirmed later on by a couple of  random texts from Chris:

‘I’m behind the scenes of my own mind right now, it’s chaos!’

And my personal favourite:

‘I’m in a hotel room with Max, who’s talking to a Lion inside his hat! All he needs is a cigarette holder and he is fear and loathing!’

Sunday dawned with a few strong coffees to get the UK contingent on the go. Mr Oliver got some lines down on the course, including a crooked grind the entire length of the middle quarter, which had some rad polished granite coping.

Chris did this in his initial comp run during the qualifiers which, along with a sick fs flip melon and nollie bs heel over the gap/bar combo, got him through to the semi-finals.

Unfortunately, the debauchery of the last two nights seemed to catch up with him during the semis and no amount of strong coffee could assuage his uncharacteristic loss of consistency! The ginger ninja was out, but I don’t think he was too bothered after a fun weekend.

After having missed his heat, Charlie got on the course for the first time before the finals started and proceeded to smash out a couple of photo worthy tricks.

I had to leave before the end of the finals, but it seems that local Dutch skater Woody Hoogendijk was crowned Dew Tour Am Series winner with his arsenal of big airs and hardflips.

Thanks to Mountain Dew for putting on a rad competition and looking after the UK contingent, and Amsterdam for delivering the madness as per usual.

In the words of Chris Oliver:

‘It’s like a dozen trans-atlantic flights without ever getting off the plane!’

Shajen Willems killed it! Frontside heelflip deep in the chaos

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