EVENT:Monster Energy's Nyjah Huston Takes 2nd Place at Street League Skateboarding Nike SB Tampa Pro
The high-energy crowd at Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT) witnessed a weekend of world-class skateboarding by competitors from Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Australia, and the United States.
When all was said and done, Monster’s Nyjah Huston, winner of 2014’s Tampa Pro, walked away with $15,000 and a close 2nd place finish after a down-to-the-wire finals battle at Nike SB Tampa Pro presented by Monster Energy.
Sunday’s finals event made history with countless essential “Tampa moments” – the kind of high-octane runs that get the crowd roaring, walls shaking, and temperature levels boiling at the Skatepark of Tampa. The finals came down to a head-to-head battle on the Team Payne-designed street course between Huston and Brazil’s Luan Oliveira, who emerged from the semi finals tied for 1st place with a 90.33 point score.
In a battle that made SPoT history, the two SLS veterans went blow-for-blow: On his third and final run, Huston nailed a series of perfect tricks including gap-out kickflip to frontside board over the centerpiece pyramid, caballerial kickflip over the hip, nollie frontside feeble, backside overcrook pop-out on the A-frame rail into the bank, switch frontside bluntslide down the stair rail and a nollie frontside nosegrind all the way across the pyramid rail for a whooping 93.33 points.
But in one of the closest showdowns in skateboard contest history, Oliveira’s flawless run – a series of high-tech moves including switch frontside 360 heelflips well past the buzzer – saw him take the podium with a close 94.67 point victory. Next to the $20,000 cash price, Oliveira secured a ‘Golden Ticket’ to advance directly to the Nike SB Super Crown Championship in October.
Yesterday’s first-place qualifier, Monster Energy’s Shane O’Neill – who recently dropped a mind-boggling video part with Thrasher Magazine – came close to landing a perfect run, stringing together a switch 360 flip down the stairs, bigspin backside tailside down the rail, and switch kickflip backside lipslide down the A-frame, earning the Australian a 7th place finish.
Monster’s Chris Cole put together a flawless run with a switch 180 to frontside smith grind down the A-frame, backside 270 to boardslide on the stair rail and huge airwalk over the centerpiece for 10th place.
Monster’s Ishod Wair started strong with a gap-out to frontside nosebluntslide over the centerpiece and nollie kickflip to backside lipslide down and frontside boardslide up(!) the stair rail, but the perfect run that brings the house down and wins the podium at SPoT eluded him on Sunday.
His teammate Curren Caples was flowing across the course all weekend with high lien to tail smacks on the bowl corner, kickflip to backside lipslide down the rail, and gap-out to backside smith grind over the centerpiece, but missed the finals by inches.
Following the finals, Street League Skateboarding officially announced the full schedule and locations for the 2015 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour:
May 16-17 SLS Nike SB Pro Open | Skate Agora BDN I Barcelona, Spain
July 11 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop One | Galen Center at USC | Los Angeles, CA
August 23 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop Two | Prudential Center | Newark, NJ
October 4 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship | UIC Pavilion | Chicago, IL
As the new official SLS North American Qualifier, Tampa Pro presented by Monster Energy added two new non-SLS pro skateboarders to Street League: Brazilian rippers Felipe Gustavo and Kelvin Hoefler will be bringing their skills to the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour with a chance to win the prestigious Super Crown Championship.
And there’s more: As part of the ongoing partnership between SLS and Skatepark of Tampa, the Tampa Amateur contest will send the best amateur to the SLS Pro Open in Barcelona for a chance to secure a spot on the World Tour.
Sending skateboarders from the swamplands of Tampa all the way to the Super Crown, Nike SB Tampa Pro presented by Monster Energy started the 2015 Street League season on a high note.
Will reigning SLS Nike Super Crown World Champion Huston take back first place at the next stop of the tour? And which non-SLS pro skaters will qualify for Street League at the first independent Pro Open in Barcelona?
Stay tuned and follow the live broadcasts on streetleague.com. Thanks for following Monster Energy during the 2015 Street League Skateboarding season!