Dew Tour offers free admission to O.C. event

Dew Tour organizers are hoping free admission and the addition of skateboarding legends will amp up the action at this summer's Pantech Beach Championships in Ocean City.

This year's competition, set for Aug. 16-19, will offer free general admission to all of the events. Those spectators who want reserved seating or premium access, can begin purchasing tickets online today at Admission for last summer's Ocean City event ranged from $24 to $29.

Organizers also announced the lineup of invited athletes for what they say will be an improved event with new elements, including a Skate Legends Bowl and a Mega 2.0 for skate and BMX, featuring athletes using a mega-ramp, designed to boost them up and give them as much air as possible. Unlike the bowl and vert portions, which are timed sets, athletes just get one jump from the mega-ramp where they are judged on the trick they do and the height they get.

Other events this year will include Skate Vert, BMX Vert, Skate Bowl, BMX Park and Surf. In the vert portion riders will use a U-shaped ramp to get air and do tricks while airborne. In the bowl portion riders will use a concrete skate bowl- think emptied out pool- to get air and do tricks. This style gives athletes a little more freedom and creativity. The bowl is inspired by the emptied out pools that some of the earliest skaters used to do tricks.

More than 50 competitors are expected for skating including hometown favorite, Bucky Lasek, along with Shaun White, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, Pedro Barros and Bob Burnquist. For BMX, competitors include Brett Banasiewicz, Scotty Cranmer, Jamie Bestwick, Steve McCann and Kevin Robinson. The Skate Legends Bowl will feature some of the pioneers of the skateboarding industry, including Steve Alba, Steve Caballero, Eddie Elguera, Jeff Grosso, Christian Hosoi, Tony Magnusson, Chris Miller, Lance Mountain, Pat Ngho and Duane Peters.

The action sports tour is returning to Ocean City for the second year in a row as part of the new "Beach, City, Mountain" format for the event. Each tour stop will include expanded and new sports and disciplines, and an enhanced on-site experience featuring more live music and a new "Dew Tour Experience." After the Ocean City event, the tour will move to San Francisco for the "City" event, Oct. 18-21, and then conclude in Breckenridge, Colo., with the "Mountain" stop Dec. 13-16.

A spokesperson for the tour, sponsored by Mountain Dew and Alli Sports, said organizers drew inspiration for the competitions from athlete input, hoping to improve the competition. "The Dew Tour is working with a committee of industry experts and course designers to ensure the most progressive competitions possible are featured at the new Dew Tour," organizers said.

The Pantech Beach Championships will also feature live music performances, to be announced at a later date. The compeittion is expected to be broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network.

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