For Olympic skateboarder Jordyn Barratt, the Dew Tour marks the first contest since the Tokyo Games

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When park skater Jordyn Barratt heads to Lauridsen Skatepark in Des Moines for Dew Tour on Friday, it will be her first competition since August 2021, when she and 19 other women made history in the first-ever women’s Olympic competition of park.

“I think I’m going to be a little nervous,” Barratt said with a laugh.

Most Olympic snowboarders, unaccustomed to the rigors of Olympic qualifying and competition, needed time to decompress this year. For the two years leading up to the Tokyo Games (after they were postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19), Barratt focused entirely on park skating. This meant she was avoiding her two other board sports, surfing and snowboarding, as well as her mountain bike so she didn’t increase her risk of injury.

So the past year has given the 23-year-old the opportunity to supplement her time on concrete with cross-training in the water and on the snow. The Encinitas, Calif.-based skateboarder surfed with fellow park skater Heimana Reynolds, one of her childhood best friends in their native O’ahu.

She has also spent time camping and riding Mammoth dirt bikes with her two dogs, Buzz and Jessie, who have reaped the rewards of Barratt’s Clif Bar sponsorship through the new line of plant-based dog treats. of the brand.

And in May, Barratt and other members of Team USA visited the White House, where Barratt met Tracy Evans, the founder of Kids Play International. This meeting turned out to be fortuitous, as Barratt was able to join a trip to Rwanda planned for June. The organization promotes gender equity through sport, rooting deep in post-genocide communities to implement lasting change.

“It was a really amazing experience to see what these coaches did with these kids there. It was a really eye-opening experience,” Barratt told me over the phone. “These kids have never seen a skateboard from their life, they have no preconceived idea of ​​what a skateboard is. I was able to bring 10 skateboards there thanks to my sponsor Birdhouse, and told them there is no right or wrong way to skateboard – it’s a ride of magic carpet.

Barratt’s career has taken her on a magic carpet across the globe, from California to Tokyo to Africa in the past year alone. But for the past two weeks, she’s been spending time at Lauridsen Skatepark ahead of the Dew Tour to dial into her skateboarding muscle memory.

It was in Des Moines in 2021 that we saw the level of women’s skate park progression surge as women and girls from around the world tried to earn enough Dew Tour points to be named to teams. Olympic Games in their respective countries.

This year’s iteration of the Dew Tour is once again taking place at Lauridsen Skatepark, now the largest skatepark in the United States, which opened just in time to host the event last year. But while the landscape will be the same, the competition couldn’t be more different.

Last year, Dew Tour served as the Olympic qualifying event. This meant that 41 women in four heats earned two points each, with the best counting, to earn a place in the eight-woman final, as well as valuable points for their Olympic ranking.

“It’s hard to compare that it’s an Olympic qualifier and completely open to almost anyone who wants to enter the contest this year, where it’s straight to the finals, with just eight women for the park being invited. “, Barratt said. “I’m really honored to be invited, but I feel bad for the other girls who weren’t invited. There are probably 30 girls who deserve to be in all of these pageants.

Last year, Barratt made the cut and finished eighth in the final, won by Japan’s Sakura Yosozumi with a 540 she had perfected in secret and had never done in competition until then. . But she needed it to fight for the podium – and this year Barratt could too.

Japan’s Misugu Okamoto dominated the competition in 2019 thanks to her backside 540. Britain’s Sky Brown, another Clif Bar athlete alongside Barratt, has a frontside rodeo 540 as well as a backside 540 in her bag.

Barratt and fellow American Bryce Wettstein, 18, brought the style to the Dew Tour last year. Wettstein, who uses a retro skating style that belies his young age, made the crowd Oh and ah with its rock and roll above the Toyota Extension Element, the highlight of the course. Barratt’s crail tailslide and iconic eggplant tucked-in knee were also a crowd pleaser.

But the women’s park gets so technical with the 540s that whether it’s good or bad for the sport or not, women need to have them in their arsenal to threaten the podium at major competitions.

This year, Yosozumi, Brown, Wettstein, Lizzie Armanto, Cocona Hiraki, Mami Tezuka and Nora Vasconcellos complete the list of female guests at the park, with Kisa Nakamura, Minna Stess and Ruby Lilley serving as alternates.

Japan’s Yosozumi and Hiraki and Britain’s Brown won gold, silver and bronze respectively in the women’s park final at the Tokyo Games. Finishing 11th out of 20 in qualifying, Barratt just missed the cut for the final.

“All women are moving at an absolutely insane rate and really cool to be a part of it,” Barratt said. “It’s really cool that there are so many girls now doing 540, it’s so crazy to me.”

As for what can we expect at the Dew Tour this week?

“There will probably be variations of 540s — maybe a 720 is next — and different variations of kickflip indys, varial flips,” Barratt said. “The way people put the tricks together in lines and broadcast them really high, it’s just progressing at a pace that’s really cool to be a part of. This year will certainly bring a lot to the table.

For his part, Barratt doesn’t get bogged down in the minutiae of degrees of spin for his spin tricks. Just having a seat at the table – and having sponsors like Clif Bar, Birdhouse and Toyota continuing to support his career, including his goal of qualifying for skateboarding’s second Olympic appearance at Paris 2024 – is sufficient.

“I’m super grateful to Clif Bar and what they’ve done for me, and extremely grateful for the life I’ve been able to live and how far skateboarding has come,” Barratt said. “I never would have believed if you had told me when I started skateboarding, ’10 years later, you’re going to be in the Olympics.’ I just want to give back to the community and keep the trend of women’s skateboarding in the right direction as much as possible.

Barratt has also worked with the organization Exposure at its Skate Rising events, which aims to empower female, trans and non-binary skateboarders and develop the next generation of skateboarders.

“A few different girls told me they started skateboarding because they saw it at the Olympics,” Barratt said. The main benefit, without exception, of including the sport in the Games, she says, is that the visibility will directly lead to more interest and the construction of more skate parks in communities, such as the Lauridsen Skatepark in Des Moines. .

“It’s very intimidating the first time you come to a skatepark. It’s tough, especially for young girls,” added Barratt. “[Exposure co-founder Amelia Brodka] has created a great safe space for girls and women to come and make friends and learn to skate.

After Dew Tour, Barratt will return to Tony Hawk’s Vert Alert in August, which held its inaugural event in 2021 in Salt Lake City.

Only skate park and street were on the Olympic program in Tokyo, but Hawk hopes green skate can be approved for the next Games, Paris 2024 or LA 2028. This would provide a platform for an additional cohort of women specializing in green . or could potentially qualify in both park and green.

The level of progression being what it is, the mind balks at imagining what the women’s skate park might look like in two or six years. But Dew Tour will provide a good overview.

Barratt and the other women in the field will compete in the women’s park final on Friday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. CT.

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