Dew Tour Notebook

Ortiz Skates Into Finals

The Dew Tour's season-opening event begins at Camden Yards Sports Complex in Baltimore.
By Christopher Smith
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, June 20, 2008

BALTIMORE, June 19 -- Mark Ortiz nervously watched his son, 14-year-old Chaz, navigate the quarter-pipes and rails. It was the first time dad was on hand to see his son skateboard professionally.

If Chaz was experiencing butterflies, however, he hardly showed it, carving through skatepark with a fluid third-place run in Thursday's preliminaries at the AST Dew Tour's first stop in Baltimore.

Ortiz displayed a dazzling array of crowd-pleasing tricks with various flips over quarter-pipes and onto rails while qualifying for the skatepark finals.

Ortiz, from Chicago, won the Free Flow Tour last year, the amateur counterpart of the Dew Tour. He earned a wild-card bid into the skatepark prelims at the PlayStation Pro, making the finals and finishing sixth at the 2007 Dew Tour's final stop.

Ortiz's "friends" include 23-year-old mainstay Paul Rodriguez, who finished second Thursday's prelims. Rodriguez and Ortiz are filming "Proof," a skate video scheduled to come out this fall, at Warp Skatepark.

His father is just glad school's out for the summer.

"Oh, my God. The summertime is good," Mark said.

Burnquist Crashes

Vert skateboarder Bob Burnquist slid off the side of the ramp during his final run, crashing 13 feet onto the asphalt. Burnquist stayed down for a full minute while security prevented a mob from rushing to him.

Dazed but wiggling his fingers in the air, Burnquist finally got up and limped off with help from medical personnel. He acknowledged the crowd before disappearing from view.

Burnquist had already qualified for the skateboard vert finals before he crashed. . . .

Dubbed "the Grandfather of BMX" at the original X Games, Dennis McCoy is hardly showing his age.

McCoy, 41, considered something of a pioneer in his sport, treated the crowd to a bar spin 540 trick he invented in 1992, qualifying for Friday's BMX vert finals.

"I've pulled the last dozen or so I've attempted, but it can knock you out. I love the trick, but it's scary," said McCoy, the only BMX rider to compete in all 13 X Games.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company