(PRWEB) July 28, 2014
The high-energy crowd at USC’s sold-out Galen Center witnessed street skateboarding history unfold during Stop Two of the 2014 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour. After the dust had settled, Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston walked away with the $100,000 cash prize – his third consecutive win of the season – in the last big arena stop of the 2014 SLS tour before the Super Crown Finals in New Jersey.
Huston’s victory was against the odds. After a heavy slam in Saturday’s practice session, it was unclear whether the winningest skateboarder in SLS history – $1.7 million in contest earnings and counting – would even be able to compete today.
Adding to the challenge, the California Skateparks-designed street course at Galen Center put an emphasis on board control and technical mastery. It featured multiple banks and kickers, 20-foot long Hubbas, and the largest amount of manual pads in Street League history. But without the usual large drops and rails to post huge 9 Club scores – only two tricks surpassed the 9-point benchmark this weekend – gradually building scores with consistent, technical tricks was the winning strategy.
Undeterred by yesterday’s injury, Huston put together a flawless Flow Section run during the Finals, featuring a 360 kickflip into the Euro Gap bank, bigspin frontside boardslide on the bump to rail, backside nosebluntslide on the gap to Hubba, ollie up onto the A-Frame to backside overcrooks down the rail and a kickflip backside lipslide on the gap to rail. In the Impact Section, Huston whirled up a 360 kickflip to 50/50 down the gap to Hubba for an 8.6 score.
The high-octane finals in front of what may have been the most enthusiastic crowd in Street League history came down to a head-to-head battle in the Control Section between Huston, Chaz Ortiz, and crowd favorite Torey Pudwill. While Chaz consistently stacked tricks like crooked grind to nollie flip down the 20-foot-long Hubba and Pudwill nailed tech moves including nollie kickflip to backside lipslide on the bump to rail, Huston kept up with a big backside kickflip over the A-Frame manual into flat and a kickflip to backside tailslide down the gap to Hubba. But when he broke his truck on a bigspin kickflip attempt off the kicker over the A-Frame manual, the odds once again seemed to have turned against him. On a board borrowed from teammate Shane O’Neill, Huston landed the enormous bigspin kickflip all the way into flat for the second 9 Club score of the weekend at 9.2. With a kickflip frontside nosegrind on the gap to Hubba, he had cemented his third consecutive SLS win of the season.
Monster Energy’s Ishod Wair brought the house down in the Prelims with a 9 Club banger – a frontside feeble grind on the flat bar atop the quarter pipe – for the highest score of the weekend at 9.4 points, but could not post a qualifying score for the finals. The reigning 2013 Super Crown World Champion, Chris Cole, fell a few crucial leaderboard points short of qualifying for a chance to defend his title.
Also skating well the entire weekend was O’Neill. After barely inching into the Finals on a last make-or-break attempt in the Prelims, the Australian found his feet going up against the weekend’s Top Eight: For the highest-scoring Flow Section score of the weekend, a whooping 8.7 points, the Australian delivered a flawless run featuring switch frontside bigspin into the Euro Gap, nollie kickflip crooked on the flat ledge, impossible up the Euro Gap, and a highly technical big flip frontside boardslide to fakie on the bump to rail.
Monster Energy's Matt Berger, who secured a spot as a newcomer to the Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour, powered into the finals where he stacked strong tricks including a bigspin frontside boardslide in the gap to rail, an extremely rare frontside 50-50 going up the Hubba onto the platform and a backside tailslide 270 out across the entire 20-foot Hubba. His 8th place finish in Los Angeles secured the rookie a trip to the Super Crown Finals in New Jersey.
O’Neill combined technique and board control with a nollie flip crooked grind to nollie flip out down the 20-foot-long Hubba, winning second place and $1,500 in the #DIAMONDLIFE Afterparty best trick session.
Now all eyes are on the SLS Nike SB Super Crown Championship on August 24 in Newark, when Huston, O’Neill, Wair, and Berger will be among the final eight skaters to battle it out for the coveted title of 2014 Super Crown World Champion.
For more on the Monster Energy SLS skateboarders: Huston, Cole, Wair, O’Neil, Ramondetta, and Berger, check out monsterenergy.com, and for more on the 2014 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour, check out streetleague.com.
Tune in to Fox Sports 1 to see all the action from today’s contest and the upcoming final SLS Super Crown World Championship event.
FOX SPORTS 1 TELECAST SCHEDULE:
About Monster Beverage Corporation:
Based in Corona, California, Monster Beverage Corporation is the leading marketer and distributor of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Beverage Corporation supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers and fans.