Paul Rodriguez and Theotis Beasley preview Dew Tour Toyota Championship

San Francisco has long been a bastion of action sports and is home to many iconic skateboard spots. As an ode to these spots and the skaters who made them famous, the Dew Tour replicated several famous spots on the street course for the Toyota City Championships, which is being held at Civic Center Plaza Thursday through Sunday.

We caught up with reigning Dew Tour champ Paul Rodriguez and his Mountain Dew teammate Theotis Beasley for their insight into the street course and what they’re looking forward to this weekend.

Paul Rodriguez

How do you think the street course turned out?
I think it’s really cool. There are four iconic San Francisco skate spots replicated here, so it’s really cool to pay homage to the San Francisco skate culture.

What was your involvement in making the course?
All of the skaters in the contest had the opportunity to go to meetings to chip in and pitch ideas for the contest, so the Dew Tour just kept open hears and open minds and let us make suggestions to make it happen.

Do you have a favorite feature on the course?
It depends. Competition-wise, I like the rails and the stairs section, which is Hubba Hideout, but just for like an everyday fun kind of skate, I like the ledges in the center, which replicates the China Banks.

What are you most looking forward to this weekend?
I guess, with any contest, I think what you’re most looking forward to is the opportunity to potentially win the contest. I’m not making a claim, that I’m going to or not, but every time you go to a contest, I hope that everyone’s mindset is going there to try to win. Otherwise, I don’t see the point in why you would want to go. I’m most excited to see if maybe I’ll be able to pull it off. I don’t know, maybe not–I’m up against some of the best skaters in the world.

Who do you think are your biggest rivals on this course?
Oh man, that’s tough. There were a lot of guys out there today, but I think it will be some of the usual guys that you see–Ryan Sheckler, Chad Ortiz if he comes out, and Jeremy Rodgers could all be around the top three. I also think Ryan Decenzo will be in the hunt as well, and actually probably a lot of others will be also.

What tricks should we watch out for from you?
I don’t want to lay out my game plan, but you’ll definitely be seeing some switch skating from me. I’m sometimes known to do a lot of switch-stance skateboarding in contests–it seems to collect a lot of points–but I got a couple of things I want to try and pull out. If I can do it, it will definitely put me in a good position. So we’ll see what happens!

San Francisco is known for it’s rich skate culture, what does it mean to you have the contest there, with all of these legendary features?
Well for me as being skate-nerd, a guy who grew up loving street skateboarding, I think it’s a nice gesture to the San Francisco skateboarders and skate culture, integrating the most famous spots on this course. Most of the spots aren’t actually even skate-able in real life, so it’s really nice bringing them back and resurrecting them a bit. It’s really just paying homage, and that’s what I think is special, really.

Theotis Beasley

How do you think the course turned out?
I think the course is great. The Dew Tour got all the athletes input on the course, so everything out there is a replica of something from San Francisco that was famous, and is still known today. It’s great. One of the features replicates Hubba Hideout. But it’s big, almost bigger than the actual Hubba Hideout! There is also one called Pier 7, and one that is like China Banks. I skated them all, and think it’s great. I’m excited for this course!

If you had to pick one favorite feature what would it be?
Pier 7 and the manual pad.

What are you most looking forward to this weekend?
I don’t know want to spoil anything, but I’m most looking forward to the special guest. I’m excited–it’ll be real tight!

San Francisco is known for it’s rich skate culture; what does it mean to you to have the final skate Dew Tour here?
To have the replica of all the known skate spots in California is great. The course has all the spots that many skaters came up from. San Francisco is like where skateboarding originated. This is where it all started. It’s an honor to be here and to be sponsored by Mountain Dew. They just really support the sport like 110 percent, and there’s no better place to have the final stop than in San Francisco.

Who do you think are your biggest rivals for this contest?
Well, San Francisco has just a good vibe, and everyone will be out trying to get that money, but it’s all great. As far as my biggest rivals who are looking good, are, of course, P. Rod (Paul Rodriguez) and not just because he’s my mountain Dew homie–he’s been skating well. But I’m also looking forward to Nyjah (Huston). He wins every contest because he’s so good and all he does is train. So probably Nyjah, P. Rod, and Ryan Decenzo would be my top three.

Any unique tricks up your sleeve we should watch out for?
I like to do backside lip, and backside heel, so I’m going to try those down the stairs. And I’ll be working on the manual pad as well. I’ll be all over!

Check out the full schedule of events from the Toyota Championship here.

Photos courtesy of Alli Sports