Eight riders just finished up one of the best vacations, uh, I mean double-up contests, of the year. The Oakley Riot was just held in Dubai and put on by Al Boom Marine. I’d heard about it for several months from some of the other guys, but my name was thrown into the hat only a week before the event. Even with the short notice, it turned out being a pretty epic experience.
The contest itself was only a single day, which left us with four days to play tourist. This honestly isn’t a luxury we get during most of our travels. During the bulk of the travel season, we have events on either side of a tournament, and typically heading directly on to the next spot is the only option. Not only were we able to be tourists, but the organizers set aside time in there own schedules to spend a couple days as our tour guides.
Looking at the world’s tallest building, the 2,625-foot-tall Burj Dubai, or the only 7-star hotel on earth, the Burj Al Arab, is impressive, but the crew knew they were dealing with short attention spans and had other things lined up for entertainment. They packed about 15 of us in a Hummer limo and took us to the desert where the crew from KTM had bikes and quads for all of us. I’ve spent some time on dirt bikes but never in the open desert and sand dunes. It was awesome! Turns out Shawn Watson, JD Webb and some of the other guys are pretty fast on two wheels. I’ll be honest: For the first hour, everyone was waiting on me, but towards the end, I was hanging comfortably. Only a few of us took spills and all of us had a great time.
JD, Aaron Rathy, Keith Lyman and myself stayed a little bit longer than the rest of the crew and decided the best thing to do with our extra day was go for a surf. The waves were only a foot to foot and a half, but it was still fun to surf a new place in the shadow of one of the most recognizable modern buildings around.
This turned out to be one of the most enjoyable trips of the year. Even with a contest at the center of it, the whole atmosphere was laid back. I look forward to heading back next year. A big thanks to the organizers for a great experience, and Ten-80 for helping me get there on such short notice. — Andrew Adkison
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