It has been three years since the latest Dime event, so when they announced the return of the Glory Challenge a few months ago, I knew we had to find a way to be there. Skateboarding had missed what many would say was the best “contest” in the game, so it was obvious that Dime’s team would return with new tricks up their sleeve.

A pretty big change is that it’s now a paid event, rather than completely free and open to the public. According to the production team, this is a decision they made after having had to turn away people in previous years who traveled from all over the world and were unable to enter due to capacity. A bit of a pain, but it makes sense, and it wouldn’t stop people who really wanted to do it.

As the rest of the details unfolded, it was obvious that this year was aiming to be a blowout: two block parties, two days of skating, and enthusiastic skaters and participants from all over the world.

Our team gathered in Montreal from across the country, with our former intern Wilson Lucas (above) from North Carolina, our Sales and Partnerships Manager Thomas Barker from Los Angeles, and filmer Ian Ostrowski and myself from New York. Our meeting point was the block party, where Wilson got a good vantage point from the top of this shipping container.

The room space had a pretty epic feel to it, and not in the “Whoa, that was totally epic, man!” kind of path. I mean it really felt like you were there to watch a show, something more like Wrestlemania, where it was obvious that no detail was spared.

By now you’ve all seen tons of clips and photos of this expanding bump (and all the other obstacles, if we’re real). This thing reached an insane maximum height that towered over everyone present. Here is John Shanahan with a 180 front nollie well over the head of Evan Smith, who is easily 6’2″ tall.

We were joking around that everyone was basically skating a Fall from 16 height in Hollywood without realizing it, which, now that I see it again, might not be that far off.

Chief MC Conor Neson handled the mic for the event as usual. Turns out he’s actually the lead singer of a hardcore band called Disconcert of Montreal who played at the closing night on Sunday. I shouldn’t have been surprised by that one.

The expanding rainbow rail has reached a height of seven levels – that’s the same number as the colors of the rainbow if you went to kindergarten.

Joe Valdez’s famous hands were everywhere throughout the day. If you don’t know the tradition, there is a whole storybut they’re basically thrown around as a way to trick people into getting their turn or just used as a sign of approval.

It would be kind of funny if Valdez’s hands were just embraced by mainstream culture. Instead of your homies saying “You got that!” before you give a speech or ask someone out, it could be a bunch of jerks who put their hands up for Valdez all the time.

Here’s Zered Bassett doing his best Cyclops Footprint before the Game of Skate between Alexis Sablone and Breana Geering. There were so many different iterations of the famous “speed shades” floating around, and Dime handed out a free pair to everyone in attendance. I really don’t know where you would even find these shades, so respect to Zered for being on the cutting edge of fashion.

Nora tries to be neutral. It doesn’t work like that!

Alexis came out on top, representing the United States and the East Coast. I can’t say we were surprised, but we are also biased. She grew up skating flat land with PJ Ladd during his prime, which is like playing pickup with Lebron.

Once the contest was over, we headed out for a night of drinking and walking. Saturday we hit the usual spots on St. Laurent, Apt. 200 and TRH bar. HRT is your classic dive, except it has a back bowl and a secret mini ramp and upstairs souvenir gallery where you need the owners/managers to take you. In America they would never let you skate a bowl in a bar with booze, they would rather just sell you a gun.

The rain hit hard on Sunday, but that didn’t stop people from getting out. To be completely honest, it was pretty miserable between tries, despite everyone’s enthusiasm in the footage. I had an incredible hangover, I hadn’t eaten for 24 hours, it was cold, the raindrops were heavy and even if you had an umbrella, they were coming towards you from the side. However, seeing all the stuff unfold in person was definitely worth it.

When we got back to the Airbnb we realized that Ian’s camera had shit the bed and the screen had gone completely blank. He had to throw it in rice to try to suck all the water out and save it before it was completely fried. It worked out eventually, so we left Canada without any casualties.

Despite the rain and the call to the camera, we only have fond memories of that weekend, which felt more like a week (in a good way). If you’ve never participated in one, this reminds you to do so before you get old and jaded.

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