OCEAN CITY – This week The Dispatch caught up with Team Toyota athletes Bob Burnquist and Jamie Bestwick, as they were preparing to return to Ocean City this to compete in the Pantech Beach Championship of the Dew Tour this weekend.
Burnquist is from Brazil and is a skateboard vert and Mega ramp specialist. His achievements are too numerous to list, but some of note are being voted by his peers three times as the best vert skateboarder, victory medals from virtually every meaningful action sports/skateboarding event series and capturing the coveted Laureus World Sports Award for Alternative Sports Person of the Year.
Burnquist is looking forward to getting back into the Dew Tour’s action this year since a shoulder injury last year left him out of most of the competition.
Despite an injury-plagued 2011 contest season, Jamie Bestwick claimed the biggest titles in the action sports world, including his seventh Dew Tour crown. Bestwick is bar none the best BMX vert rider in history as he combines supreme style and flow with the discipline’s most difficult tricks.
Bestwick is from England and is also never one to take for granted what he has accomplished in life. He takes the time to give back to charities and is a strong supporter of the Steven Murray Recovery Fund.
Q: What do you think about returning to Ocean City this year for the Dew Tour?
Burnquist: I am happy because now I have a shoulder and last year I didn’t. I was hoping we would go back there and I would get to skate for everyone. I got to hang out with everyone and it was a great hang but I can’t wait to skate, that will be good.
Ocean City is going to be the one stop for skateboarding for myself especially. It is going to be the one that I am going to be the most active in because of all of the different categories.
Bestwick: Last year it proved to be very popular with the fans in Ocean City. I think the TV coverage looked great. The vert ramp was positioned with the ocean in the background, and it was a wonderful effect, and I truly think that it went well for everybody involved.
Q: Did you enjoy your time here in Ocean City last year?
Burnquist: I enjoyed it a lot actually. I got to visit the skate park that has been there a long time and that was really cool to check out the local scene. It’s a great town with a great beach, kind of like Rio where I grew up and it reminded me a lot of Brazil.
The one thing I am not looking forward too, which I never do no matter where it is, is the heat. Growing up in Brazil and knowing what it takes to skate while how intense it is I am going to make sure that I am ready.
Bestwick: I am always pretty busy when I get to the Dew Tour because I work for NBC doing their TV commentary and then I have commitments with Toyota, signing autographs and hanging out with the fans, and then after all that I have to compete. So, I usually have this crazy schedule but I did manage to get out and enjoy some of the restaurants … It was fun, it was a cool place. I have a 7-year-old son so he enjoyed just hanging out on the beach and checking out all of the hermit crabs and getting some of the seaside snacks.
Q: Tell me about the new event Mega Ramp 2.0?
Burnquist: Mega Ramp 2.0 is a smaller version of the real Mega Ramp, which is the full version. We jump 50-70 feet, the quarter pipe is 30 feet big and we go 20-foot plus in the air, that’s the real deal.
The Mega 2.0 is smaller but it’s still bigger than the vert ramp … you have a launch ramp into a landing, and then into a quarter pipe. It is a two trick combo so when you put a run together, whatever trick you did on the jump and then connecting with the quarter pipe, that gives you your final score.
It should be fun no matter what and a lot of the pros are going to get technical, it usually is a pretty high level so it is going to add a different field to it.
Q: Are you looking forward to the new event Skate Legends Bowl?
Burnquist: I will most definitely watch. When the legends skate, it brings back memories that make skateboarding all worthwhile. I was growing up in Brazil looking up to all of these guys, and now here we are in 2012 and we have a place in the sun with the top competitive skateboarders of today and you still get to see the skateboarders of yesterday still ripping it and being amazing.
Bestwick: I think it’s cool. When the guys who were the first generation of riders come out and pave the way for all the new guys involved in the sport it is a rare treat for the fans. The Dew Tour is always thinking outside of the box, they are thinking what they can bring to the tour, and what they can bring to Ocean City. The Legend and the Mega ramp with what they have set up in the athlete village is great combination, just a treat for all the fans to come out.
Q: How are you feeling about the competition this year?
Burnquist: Well my plan is to win all of it. There is a bunch of other guys with that same plan so I don’t know. On Mega I think I have a chance and I am putting it out there, I am planning the tricks that are going to put me on the podium. The vert, I usually roll the dice with and the dice has been good to me, but who knows. If anything, I want to go out there and skate to my best and see where I end up.
Bestwick: I am at an airport right now. I am just coming back from the Olympics. I rode my bike once or twice in England and then had to get on the road, so I am not brimming with confidence. It’s the Dew Tour so I am pretty sure that everybody is razor sharp and they have been polishing up all their vert riding skills while I have been away but we will see what happens, you never know.
Q. What are you most looking forward to?
Burnquist: We are coming into town and it’s the Dew Tour, but you know where all the fun lies, it’s having fun with your friends and getting out there. Winning is great but it is even better when you have a good crew of people around you and your learning new tricks and all that. So, take the inspiration of the Dew Tour and all the skateboarding that you see and go have a blast with your friends.
Bestwick: The one highlight for us is when we interact with the fans at Toyota zone. Bob Burnquist, and Drew Bezanson and I will be down there, and that is something we all look forward to.
Burnquist will be signing autographs at the Toytoa Zone on Friday 2:30-3:30 p.m., Bestwick will be there on Friday 1-2 p.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m., and Drew Bezanson will be there on Saturday 2-3 p.m., but his time will most likely be moved to Sunday.
It is Toyota’s eighth season as a founding partner of the Dew Tour. Toyota will be represented by six athletes from the 2011 Dew Tour, including undefeated Bestwick, Burnquist, and up-and-coming BMX park rider, Bezanson.
“The Dew Tour allows some of the most exciting athletes in the world to display their talents to a nationwide audience,” said Jim Baudino, engagement marketing manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Toyota has been an established, action sports brand for decades and we are thrilled to bring the excitement to Ocean City.”