Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 30, 2014
The world’s best street skateboarders took the Windy City by storm during Stop One of the 2014 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour at the fully packed UIC Pavilion in Chicago. After a down-to-the-wire finals session against teammate Shane O’Neill, Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston walked away with the $100,000 cash prize in this first big arena stop of the 2014 SLS tour.
Huston came into the contest at a disadvantage, having severely injured his wrist only days before the Chi-Town contest. Further upping the ante, the Chicago course layout marked a major break from the norm: For the first time in Street League history, the California Skateparks-designed course offered not one single staircase or handrail obstacle, where most of the high-scoring SLS tricks happen. Instead, the Chicago course challenged competitors with a geometric wonderland of angular banks, kickers, gaps and ledges – with the occasional quarter pipe sprinkled in – offering lots of room for creative lines and transfers.
Huston took the win thanks to a bag of tricks for all corners of the course. The 19-year-old secured an early lead in the Flow Section with a flawless 45-second run, charging the course with a barrage of difficult tricks such as nollie frontside 180 heelflip over the pyramid, huge backside 180 kickflip over the centerpiece kicker, backside 180 nosegrind to 180 out on the gap ledge, kickflip backside lipslide on the bank to double-sided ledge, and frontside nosebluntslide on the bank-to-tall-ledge for a 8.9 score, the highest Flow Section score of the weekend.
Following closely on Huston’s heels, O’Neill stacked his Flow Section run full of highly technical moves including nollie crooked grind on the gap ledge, crooked grind to nollie flip out on the up-ledge and a switch kickflip backside tailslide on the flat ledge for an 8.2 point score. But when the action moved to the Impact Section, O’Neill bumped Huston from the top spot by floating his signature switch double 360 flip down the centerpiece platform gap – the highest-scoring trick of the entire weekend at 9.8 points.
One of the most exciting and diverse finals in skateboarding history came down to the best four out of six scores in the Control Section with Huston and O’Neill going head-to-head, putting large scores on the board turn after turn.
Huston landed a highly technical switch frontside bluntslide on the tall centerpiece ledge for 8.3 points, to which O’Neill responded with a flawless hat trick consisting of nollie backside 180 kickflip, nollie backside 180 heelflip and switch 360 flip down the centerpiece gap, maintaining the pressure on Huston.
Taking the level of difficulty into 9 Club territory, Huston blasted a nollie frontside 180 heelflip over the centerpiece kicker all the way into flat, reclaiming his lead from O’Neill. With his back against the wall, O’Neill brought the house down by pulling an incredible nollie backside bigger spin down the centerpiece gap, coming out on top with 9.1 points. Ultimately, Huston had the last word by spinning a perfect caballerial kickflip over the big kicker gap for the winning 52.4 points final score, leaving O’Neill in third place with a strong 50.6 points finish.
"That was gnarly and a really close one,“ said Huston. I'm super stoked. Congrats to the other skaters that killed it, especially Shane and Luan.“
Monster’s Matt Berger, coming in hot as a newcomer to the Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour, held his own against the veterans by unleashing tricks including boardslide up the double sided ledge to gap into the bank and a highly creative ollie out to frontside wallride 180 out on the side of the centerpiece platform. After cementing a respectable 7th place SLS finish this weekend, the rookie turned heads by winning first place and $3,500 in the #DIAMONDLIFE Afterparty best trick session with a bigspin backside tailslide to fakie on the tall centerpiece ledge and a frontside bluntslide bigflip out on the kicker to double-sided ledge.
Having banked more than $1.6 million in SLS contest winnings so far, Huston is setting himself up as the skater to beat in this Street League season. He has already secured himself the highly coveted ‘golden ticket’ entry into the SLS Nike SB Super Crown Championship on August 24 in Newark with a win at the SLS Monster Energy Pro Open in Los Angeles in May, but nevertheless sits on top of the Super Crown Championship qualification leaderboards with 200 tour points so far.
Now all eyes are on Stop Two of the 2014 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour on Sunday, July 27, in Los Angeles to see if Huston’s winning streak will continue.
For more on the Monster Energy SLS skateboarders: Huston, 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 upcoming SLS events.
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Based in Corona, California, Monster Beverage Corporation is the leading marketer and distributor of energy drinks and alternative beverages.
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