The Outside Edge: Trailer Tour Launches Another Season

Players and fans from this year's Papas and Beers tournament.
Dave Kamena
Players and fans from this year's Papas and Beers tournament.

A few weeks ago I spent a day playing some games at my old stomping grounds, Cohasset Court in San Diego. It’s been all surfing and mountain biking lately for me, and not much beach volleyball in Baja during the winter. So over the course of several games I found I couldn’t hit, had trouble setting, and had no shots. Luckily our young warehouse manager Weston is tall and can do all those things without me, so we ended up winning a few games. The new Brazilian kid on the other side of our losing game had a blazing indoor-style serve and will undoubtedly be showing it off at some of the events listed here. Most of the guys I saw at the beach that day will attend at least one of the Trailer Tour events, and one or two may even win one (Hey, Derek Olson – I want those shorts back if you don’t win some stuff this year). Hopefully the AVP and the NVL continue to do what they do for the sport and help grow the base. Our support of the largest amateur events in the country will continue as always and we look forward to seeing you on the sand!

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The Trailer Tour always begins close to home with the 10th annual Plastic/Papas and Beer four person draw in April. Held in a giant open-roofed warehouse bar in Baja, Mexico, this beach volleyball tournament comes complete with mechanical bull, climbing wall, dancing poles (occupied by large, male volleyball players, actually), and a crystal-clear, freezing cold pool you can’t help but jump into.

In June, the action moves to Colorado. If you are a parent and want to play with your kid in a perfect mountain setting complete with waterfalls and blue skies, think about making a trip to the Vail King of the Mountain, June 14–16
(kingofthemountainvolleyball.com). Director Leon Fell and his crew run a smooth event, providing plenty of play and fun over Father’s Day weekend. With the stunning Colorado Rockies as a backdrop, the playing fields seem to stretch out and up into the pass, with nothing but sky above. There are three beach courts for the open levels and the rest are made up of well-manicured grass. Nationally-ranked players are often unseated by the ever-sharp Denver competitors, to the delight of the local crowd. Lodging is affordable this time of the year and divisions fill up fast, so make your plans early.

The guys at the Pottstown Rumble (pottstownrumble.com), just outside of Philadelphia, have been calling me all winter. They are so fired up about their event, June 22–23, they just can’t help themselves. They have all kinds of design and promotion ideas: Director Ken Kaas wants to make blankets; he wants to make towels; he wants to make a winter toboggan with a giant logo on the side featuring Clydesdales. He doesn’t care what sells, he cares what makes the tournament more fun for the players. Kaas and his crew scoff at rally scoring and short court. Not only do they not use it, they make fun of it. If you want to win this tournament you are going to end up playing late into the Pennsylvania night under the lights, toughing out your sideout game until you emerge victorious – old school style.

The Outside Edge is a preview of the major outdoor volleyball events coming up in the U.S. and will run in each of the summer issues of VBM. The column is written by Dave Kamena, president of Plastic Clothing, a volleyball performance apparel brand that sponsors many of the events. Send comments and feedback to plasticclothing.com.

2013 PAPAS AND BEER Winners

Derek Olson
Rafael Espinoza
John Safarik
David Kulstad

Originally published in June 2013

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