Words: Sarah Kobal | Photos: Stretch
The award-winning Dew Tour Bootcamp took place at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Friday, 18 March 2014, where spectators were treated to jaw-dropping performances of BMX and skateboarding tricks and stunts throughout the day by some of the biggest names in South African action sports.
UJ was the final stop of all the major campuses in South Africa, and the roadshow offered thousands of students the chance to witness the country's best in freestyle BMX and skateboarding perform BMX and skateboarding tricks off ramps. When the show finished, students also had the opportunity to learn some BMX and/or skateboard moves by these adrenaline junkies, in the Bootcamp part of the show.
The overall vibe was fantastic; music was playing in the background, with a bar giving out complimentary, cold Mountain Dew drinks. There were also competitions being run and free goodies handed out to the crowd. Students were encouraged to get involved in social media to win even more goodies, as well as to have their tweets shown on the big screen next to the ramps. For those who preferred to keep their participation a little more virtual, a gaming zone was provided where students could play SKATE 3, from the award-winning SKATE franchise.
The show kicked off with the introduction of all the incredibly talented riders, who showed off a bit with what they can do on a BMX or skateboard. Colin and Stuart Loudon, Malcolm Peters, David Rigby, and Wayne Reiche continuously wowed their audience with their insane BMX tricks on the Mountain Dew ramps. Not to be outdone, skateboarders Adam Wolf and Martin Stoffberg showed the crowd some amazing tricks that were as high as the BMXers.
Every time a trick was performed, the crowd erupted with whistles and wows of appreciation. If one of the riders didn't land a trick, the crowd would shout out words of encouragement and chant their name, which quickly got the trickster back onto the bike or board to try it again until they landed it correctly. Although these guys have performed these tricks numerous times at each show, every time they landed one, huge smiles spread across their faces. This didn't look like a job to them, it looked like they were having fantastic amounts of fun.
The trick that was especially fantastic was the 720º turn performed by Stuart Loudon. This trick consisted of Loudon turning twice in the air on his BMX, something that sounds a lot easier than done. Unfortunately, the first try resulted in Loudon landing on the ground, but this didn't discourage him. He got right back onto his bike and then landed the 720º turn beautifully. This stunt resulted in loud cheers from the crowd. Stuart Loudon's brother, Colin, showed fearlessness when performing his own stunts too. Colin started BMXing around 2000. "I grew up riding and hung out with the right guys, so they helped me learn,” explained Colin, which clearly showed in the types of tricks he performed during the show.
Another trick of note was where the BMXers showed the crowd how high they could fly off a high ramp and over a pole. Everyone successfully got over the pole, and then came the skateboarders. Woolf and Stoffberg showed no fear in attempting the same height as the BMXers, by jumping 20 feet into the air on their skateboards. Woolf and Stoffberg tried this numerous times, but unfortunately couldn't succeed in landing the high jump. Just watching them attempt this jump was nerve wrecking enough, but thankfully they landed well on the tar, while showing off a bit of parkour in their landing moves.
When asked what runs through Woolf's mind when he's about to do a trick, Woolf explained, “I try to relax myself first of all because if you try to rush yourself into it [the trick], it happens too quickly and you end up messing up the trick. I try to take a couple of seconds before to relax myself and my mind.” Talking about fear, Woolf commented, “I don't really get scared, I get more excited and amped to do tricks. I don't like to have fear.” Stoffberg added, “I don't like to have fear because when you have fear, you break something and then you're out for months and months due to the injury.” When asked what runs through Stoffberg's mind when in the air and the skateboard is lost, he replied confidently, “If you're going to bail, look for a spot where you can fall, and aim for the softest bail you can go for to avoid injury."
"It was a really good show and I'm still excited to ride. I'm definitely bummed about it because the show was a lot of fun and we all got to ride together," says Peters. This was the general feeling that came from all the performers. Although this epic roadshow has come to an end, there are more events to come this year, and next year's Dew Tour Bootcamp is definitely worth attending.
Dew Tour Bootcamp is a 2013 Student Village Makoya Youth Awards winner of the OMG! category. This specific category was 'designed to highlight a brand’s ability to make an impression and be provocative' and student voters felt that Mountain Dew did exactly that.