Building The Perfect Beast: Dew Tour Vegas
At the beginning of the 2011 Dew Tour season, the Dew Tour encouraged pros riding the Park competitions to work with Dew Tour BMX organizer Dennis McCoy on future park designs for the 2011 season. Beginning with Ryan Nyquist in Ocean City, the Dew Tour went on to include Dennis Enarson's input in Portland, and was supposed to include BMX legend Dave Mirra at the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. this weekend. Because of previous engagements, Mirra was unable to offer input and work with DMC on the design, so that course ultimately fell into Dennis' lap.
Given a huge area to design the course within, Dennis got to work and proceeded to design one of his most creative courses to date, offering riders a wealth of options, from tech to burly, and from precise to hucker. A lot of people might think that designing these courses consists of nothing more than putting two and two together, but as Dennis demonstrates below, that couldn't be further from the truth. Dennis actively studies the use of each Dew Tour course design, takes notes on what does or doesn't work, and continues to hone what will work best and challenge the riders competing in the contest.
Earlier today, we got Dennis on the phone to discuss some of his personal highlights with the 2011 Dew Tour Championship course, and of course, Dennis didn't hold back. Here's DMC.
The Slant Wall:
"We created a slanted wall. It remains to be seen how it will get ridden. In the past, we have had vert walls and the curved wallrides. Both are almost an obstacle -- you wallride in, you wallride out, that's it. This slanted wall is built to make the quarter that leads up to it a really air-able ramp. Not that you couldn't air a vert wall, but all of the guys on this course aren't going to haul ass at a vert wall with eight-feet of vert on it and blast out the top of it. But with this wall being laid back, I could see that being the piece that people either really blast or use for lip tricks up on the deck."
"One of my other favorite features of the course has to do with the two different options on the step-down. I'm always torn between what version of the step-down to put on the course. I started using these launch step-downs a few years ago, on the combined bike/skate courses, which gave us more room than usual. It allowed me to build bigger courses. Some of those early courses were real popular. Scary, but popular. You had guys using it in a way that separated the riders making it into the finals from the riders that didn't. But, other comps where I didn't have room to fit in the launch, I'd do a bunnyhop version of the step-down. I love the street element of people doing something like a truckdriver or tailwhip down into the transition below, as opposed to jumping it. Here, I got to fit both versions of the step-down in."
"In Ocean City, we had two curved wallrides there, and one of them got used less than the other. Here, I didn't want to cram in two curved wallrides, so I went with one curved wallride, but created two options to get to it. It's a tight run up, and if you want to use the launch side of it, you come across this bank thing, or if you're more into the bunnyhop version, you hop right onto it. This opens up more lines."
"The Combo-ramp is a lower transition attached to an upper transition, sort of like a Skatelite version of resi. That ramp is no longer with us, so in its place, I had to go with this big bank, and build the transition on top. We had to get creative with it. It hips into the box jump, and it's a gigantic three-meter bank. I just decided to add another piece on top. It's not a jersey barrier, but it's similar. So you can transfer from that into the bank, or the quarterpipe, and you'll have tons of speed coming into the box jump."
Perpendicular Box Jump:
"One thing that's really different on this course from others is that the box jump runs perpendicular to the course. Obviously, it's a popular piece on the course, but often, it becomes a back and forth type of thing, and that's not really the way I'd like to see the courses flowed. On this particular course, with a box jump running perpendicular to the rest of the course, I imagine people hitting it, but you're going to have to get creative with your line running up to it to use the box jump. To get to that quarter before the box jump isn't cut and dry."
"I kinda like when people pick a line, other riders see it and decided to stay away from it. Then, when the finals roll around, you've got a dozen guys interpreting this thing a dozen different ways, and to me, that's what makes me smile the most on a course I designed. It's tough for the judges, but that's why they're judges. On this course, I'm seeing lines that a rider that's into packing trick after trick after trick, could link a whole bunch of lines into one run, or if you're like Morgan Wade, and you wanna pedal full speed and do a huge transfer that no one else will touch, you also have that option. I feel like I've managed to create enough lanes to go either way."
"The straight wallride is a little lower than it was at the first two stops. I did that with the intention of lip tricks. Dillewaard had a crazy icepick to 270 line earlier this year, and a couple of guys used it as a big sub box. Even if you're not using pegs, you can fufanu it or whatever. I'd like to see the big sub box come back more."
"If I were to rank courses I've designed up to this point in time, it's over thirty now, Vegas last year and Ocean City this year would be my two favorites. But I'm hoping this one to be the best one yet. I'll be out in practice, putting pressure on people, asking them if they noticed lines we created, cause you wanna see stuff get done."