EVENT: The 2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open Lands in Barcelona, Spain
world’s best street skateboarders converged upon Barcelona this weekend for the
SLS Nike SB Pro Open and the biggest opportunity in skateboarding: to compete against the elite Street League
Skateboarding (SLS) professional roster for the chance to join the ranks of the
2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour. Claiming victory to start the season strong was
Nyjah Huston, taking home the $20,000 cash prize and the Golden Ticket to this
year’s Super Crown. Coming up just short with his last trick but claiming second
place was fellow SLS Pro Paul Rodriguez, followed by newcomer Evan Smith who
will be joining the tour this season along with Cody McEntire.
has long been considered Europe’s mecca of street skateboarding, with an
incomparable abundance and variety of prime skate spots to attract the best
amateur and professional skateboarders. Launching their global program
unlocking this prestigious event series to the world’s top non-SLS talent, the
2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open took place on the newly built permanent Skate Agora
BDN Barcelona concrete skate plaza, a project brought to life by Lateral
Thinking and Nike SB in collaboration with the City of Badalona and California
Skateparks. Skate Agora BDN Barcelona hosted the qualifying event that offered
a $75,000 prize purse and granted the two highest-scoring non-SLS Pros a spot
in the coming season of globally televised arena events across the United
States. While the SLS Nike SB Pro Open offered existing SLS Pros the chance to
earn vital Championship Points that contribute to their inclusion in the SLS
Nike SB Super Crown World Championship SLS Pros and Qualifiers laid it on the
line to compete for the first-place $20,000 cash prize and the highly coveted
Golden Ticket straight to the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship in
2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open kicked off on Saturday with the Qualifier heats that
pitted the 30 very best non-SLS Pros from around the world against one another
to determine the Top Eight who would continue to the Semi Finals on Sunday. In
order of placing, the top eight skaters were Evan Smith, Nassim Guammaz, Chris
Joslin, Cody McEntire, Moses Adams, Youness Amrani, Louie Lopez and Ryo Sejiri.
First-place Qualifier Evan Smith also scored a 9.0 to win the Monster Energy Highest
Scoring Trick with a lofty Backside Ally-oop 360 Nose Grab to Fakie over the
two hips on the quarterpipe.
began with the Semi Finals in which the eight Qualifiers came up against the
roster of elite SLS Pros to again whittle the field down to the top eight that
advanced to the Finals. With a new format giving the contestants two 45-second
shots in the Run Section to express themselves through the park and five Best
Trick attempts which really let the athletes shine, the Semi Finals highlights
Ever-solid Cody McEntire showing his skills in the Best Trick section throwing
down a huge Backside Kickflip over the bench on the volcano followed by a
perfect Bigspin Heelflip down the stairs, both scoring an impressive 8.1.
• In his typical go-big style, Ryan Sheckler got the crowd on their feet with a high-speed Ollie over the planter box to the bank beyond for a well-deserved 8.6, followed by a massive Backside 360 Ollie over the volcano all the way to the flat, unfortunately slipping out upon landing and denying him a place in the Finals.
• SLS Pro Manny Santiago owned the seven-stair handrail with a smooth Varial Heelflip Boardslide scoring 8.1, followed by a perfect Varial Heelflip Backside 50-50 for an 8.5 – both technical tricks that take confidence and courage, and definitely of Street League standard.
• Nike SB pro Shane O’Neill stopped the show with a solid 45-second run starting with a Nollie Backside Boardslide down the handrail, rolling into a Nollie Kickflip Noseslide on the ledge, a 360 Shove-it over the wedge-to-wedge gap and finishing with a Switch Double 360 Flip down the stairs to earn a 9.4 and a place in the Nine Club. Putting him at the top of the Leader Board for the heat, O’Neil then stomped a perfect Kickflip Backside Lipslide down the rail for 8.8 during the Best Trick section.
• Top Qualifier Evan Smith kept his standards high with a massive Frontside Kickflip Stalefish Grab on the quarterpipe, breaking his board but continuing on to again land a cleaner and bigger make of Saturday’s highest-scoring trick: Backside Ally-oop 360 Nose Grab to Fakie, rolling away with a smile and a spot in the Finals as the only non-SLS Pro Wildcard.
• Coming up in the SLS Nike SB Pro Open last year and going all the way to the 2014 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship, Matt Berger gave it his best with big moves such as his Frontside Hurricane over gap to rail and Backside 270 Boardslide down the handrail, unfortunately not enough to see him continue through to the Finals.
Making the cut for the Finals of the 2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open in Leader Board order were Chris Cole, Evan Smith, Nyjah Huston, Shane O’Neill, Chaz Ortiz, Paul Rodriguez, Tom Asta and Manny Santiago. Topping the Finals highlights:
• Qualifying in first place, 2013 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Champion and SLS veteran Chris Cole couldn’t quite turn it up enough to make the podium, but impressed the crowd with technical moves such as the smooth Backside 180 Nose Grind 360 out on the ledge and his amazing Switch Frontside Kickflip Revert over the wedge-to-wedge gap.
• Always having a good time, Chaz Ortiz put in an impressive effort with his first run, scoring an 8.3 with a wedge-to-wedge gap Noseblunt Slide down the rail, a swift Backside Tailslide along the flat ledge, a Backside 180 Nosegride off the bank to the ledge, a Backside Noseblunt Slide along the ledge on the volcano, and finishing with a perfect Nollie Krooked Grind Kickflip out to get the fans making noise.
• Reigning SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Champion, Nyjah Huston, showing why he’s been the most winning skateboarder in SLS history, took the best score in the Run Section starting with a powerful Krooked Grind along the top ledge popped into the bank, an effortless Nollie Nose Grind along the ledge atop the volcano, a long Nose Grind up the flatbar to the platform, a Backside 360 Lipslide back down the handrail, a speedy Kickflip Frontside Boardslide on the down-rail over the wedge-to-wedge gap, and finishing with a perfect Bigspin Frontside Boardslide down the handrail. A typical Nyjah performance scoring 8.5.
• While not skating his best in the Run Section, Nike SB pro Paul Rodriguez let it fly in the Best Trick section making technical switch-stance moves look easy. First he made a stylish Switch Backside Smith Grind down the handrail for an 8.2, followed by a Switch Frontside Bluntslide down the hubba for another 8.2, then pleasing the fans and the judges alike with a casual Krooked Grind Nollie Heelflip out down the handrail to join the Nine Club with a 9.5.
• Also showing his switch-stance skills, Nike SB pro Shane O’Neill broke out a Switch Kickflip Backside Lipslide down the handrail for 8.8, then with another of his mind-blowing Switch Double 360 Flip down the seven-stair set for 9.2. • Using the course in his own creative way, newcomer Evan Smith found something unique every time he stepped on his board. From blasting a huge Indy Nosebone over the planter box above the small quarterpipe to his high-speed flat-ground Ollie right over the planter box adjacent the volcano, he continued to demonstrate why he earned his place as a new SLS Pro for the season.
Congratulations to 2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open winner Nyjah Huston, as well as the new SLS Rookies Evan Smith and Cody McEntire who will both be joining Street League for the 2015 season. The SLS Nike SB World Tour continues back in the United States with a series of televised arena events on FOX Sports 1. Starting in skateboarding’s hometown of Los Angeles, CA, it then continues on to Newark, NJ, and back across to Chicago, IL, for the street skateboarding competition that matters the most: the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship where the top eight elite street skateboarders will compete for the title of Champ.
For full highlights and re-airs of the exclusive SLS Nike SB Pro Open webcast visit StreetLeague.com. The exclusive kick-off special of the 2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open will take place on FOX Sports 1 on May 28 at 8:00pm ET for audiences in the United States. Skateboarding fans in the USA can watch the entire 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO while fans around the world can catch the official Street League live webcasts on StreetLeague.com.
SLS NIKE SB WORLD TOUR DATES AND VENUES:
• 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
FOX SPORTS 1 TELECAST SCHEDULE:
SLS Nike SB World Tour: Los Angeles: LIVE: Saturday, July 11 (10:00PM–11:30PM
2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: New Jersey: LIVE: Sunday, August 23 (5:00PM–6:30PM ET)
2015 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship: LIVE: Sunday, October 4 (5:00PM–7:00PM ET)
For more information visit StreetLeague.com. For all media inquiries contact Sarah Bronilla at VOCAL: sarah@VOCALnyc.com or John Stouffer at FOX Sports: john.stouffer@FOX.com.