EVENT: Luan Oliveira Wins 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop One, Los Angeles
With a lineup of elites never before assembled in the history of competition street skateboarding, the first arena Stop on the 2015 Street League Skateboarding (SLS) Nike SB World Tour took place at Los Angeles’ Galen Center at USC this weekend in which Brazil’s Luan Oliveira took the win from SLS veterans Nyjah Huston and Chaz Ortiz, each placing second and third respectively. Giving it their all for the $100,000 first-place cash prize and Golden Ticket that sends the winner straight to the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship, it all came down to the final trick with Luan stomping a bold Switch Frontside Bigspin Heelflip off the launch ramp to roll away just 0.2 points ahead of 2014 reigning Champion Nyjah Huston and into his first-ever SLS win.
photo credit: Mike Blabac
This season marks the second year to include SLS Rookie newcomers into the mix under the new year-round program that establishes an achievable pathway from amateur to World Champion, shaking up the roster and bringing an unpredictable level of excitement to the arena. At the 2015 Tampa Pro, now the North American SLS Qualifier, Kelvin Hoefler and Felipe Gustavo earned their way into this year’s Tour. Bringing together the best international talent, the SLS Nike SB Pro Open took place this year on a purpose-built permanent skate plaza in Barcelona, Spain, where Cody McEntire and Evan Smith forged ahead in the battle of the world’s top non-SLS Pros to join the League. In this first Stop on the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour in Los Angeles, three of the four SLS Rookies – Evan Smith, Cody McEntire and Kelvin Hoefler – skated their way into the Finals, highlighting the potential in this new progression format that could easily see any of them as this year’s Champ.
The Los Angeles course was one of the most innovative yet, designed by California Skateparks in conjunction with Nike SB Pro Luan Oliveira, unanimously voted the 2014 SLS People’s Champ. With speedy transitions on each end, the course was packed with technical obstacle combinations requiring the athletes to remain quick on their feet to set for each trick. Kicking off the event, all 25 competitors brought their best for the Prelims that cut the list to just eight continuing to the Finals. Prelim highlights included:
· Tom Asta got things started with his impressive Run section, rolling straight into a Frontside Feeble Grind over the rainbow rail followed by a 360 Flip up onto the platform, a Nollie Backside Heelflip down the Euro gap, a switch Frontside Feeble Grind down the sloping end of the long flat bar and back into a Frontside Noseblunt Slide down the other end, then a Frontside Kickflip up onto the platform to finish with a Switch Frontside Kickflip down the Euro gap for a score of 7.3.
· SLS Rookie Evan Smith exploded into his first-ever run in Street League, showing his love for transitions with a massive Frontside Ally-oop Ollie over the gap between the two big quarterpipes, a high-speed Frontside 180 Fakie 5.0 Grind almost all the way through the smaller quarterpipe, reverting back in and straight into a Backside 360 Disaster Revert on big quarterpipe, rolling away for a speedy Kickflip over the bank-to-bank gap and scoring an impressive 8.5. For his best trick runs, Evan hit the big quaterpipe again with a transfer over to a fast Frontside Overkrooks to join the prestigious 9 Club with 9.0, a Backside 270 Nosepick Revert for an 8.8 score and a perfect Backside 360 Nosegrab off the launch ramp to the flat for an 8.0 and a place in the Finals.
· Solid as ever, Matt Berger nailed a long Smith Grind through the flat bar to a Frontside Boardslide down the end for an 8.1 during the Best Trick section, then for an 8.9 that got the crowd on their feet he stomped a textbook Backside 180 Switch Overkrooks down the gap to hubba.
· Bringing it on during his Best Trick run, Nike SB Pro Paul Rodriguez made the most technical tricks look simple, especially with his perfect Switch Frontside Bluntslide on the ledge from the platform to the flat for 8.9.
Televised live on FOX Sports 1, the Finals of the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop One included Evan Smith, Luan Oliveira, Cody McEntire, Ryan Decenzo, Chaz Ortiz, Nyjah Huston, Chris Cole and Kelvin Hoefler. Topping the highlights of Saturday’s Finals:
· Nike SB Pro Luan Oliveira joined the 9 Club in his first run with a 360 Kickflip over the bank-to-bank gap, into a lofty Frontside Air transferring between the two big quarterpipes, a Frontside Boardslide along the rainbow rail and around to a Frontside Feeble Grind down the end of the flat bar, Kickflipping up onto the platform to set for a Nollie Kickflip down the Euro gap, a Switch Tailslide 270 out on the ledge, a Frontside Kickflip down into the bank from the platform and into a Frontside Kickflip Disaster on the big quarterpipe, then finishing big with an amazing Hardflip off the launch ramp to the flat. A definite crowd pleaser earning him 9.1.
· Although the first SLS Pro to join the 9 Club, Chaz Ortiz came up just short with his 8.9 run. Starting with a long Frontside Smith Grind transfer along the flat bar, back around for a 360 Kickflip over the bank-to-bank gap and straight into a long Feeble Grind along the small quarterpipe to set for a perfect Backside Tailslide up onto the ledge, on to a quick 360 Kickflip over the bump and straight into a big Backside 360 Ollie off the launch ramp, a Krooked Grind Kickflip out up on the ledge, a Frontside Disaster on the big quarterpipe and finishing with a stylish Frontside Feeble Grind all the way through the rainbow rail.
· The bangers really came out during the Best Trick section as all eight finalists held nothing back for a place on the podium. SLS Rookie Kelvin Hoefler got the crowd making noise with a smooth Halfcab Noseslide to Backside Tailslide along the ledge and reverted down to the flat for an 8.6. Chris Cole, 2013 World Champion and 14-time 9 Club winner, showed his strength with a Backside 270 Nosegrind down the rail for 8.1, and a perfect Fakie Frontside Kickflip off the launch ramp for 7.6. Newcomer and already a crowd favorite Cody McEntire earned a quick 7.3 with a Blunt Kickflip out on the big quarterpipe, and a deserved 8.7 with a technical Nollie Bigspin Kickflip landed bolts.
· Ryan Decenzo, while not performing well in the Run section, came through with some crowd pleasers such as his high-speed Frontside Kickflip over the big hubba all the way to the flat.
· 2014 Champ Nyjah Huston gave the crowd what they came for with back-to-back Best Trick high scores, first on the big hubba with a Frontside 180 Switch 5.0 Grind to fakie for 8.8 and a Backside 180 Switch Krooked Grind for 8.1. Mixing it up he then hit the launch ramp for a flawless Caballerial Kickflip to score 8.6, then finishing strong with a long Backside Overkrooks along the flat bar for 8.2.
The next stop on the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour is set for Newark, NJ, returning to the Prudential Center where for the first time the complete SLS athlete roster will hold nothing back as the final eight are decided for the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) official street skateboarding world championship: the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship, this year being held in Chicago, IL.
SLS offers options for fans across the world to tune in and watch skateboarding’s most prestigious competition series. Fans in the United States can watch the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour on FOX Sports 1 and customers of participating cable and satellite TV providers may access the live stream of the Tour stops through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS, Android, Windows and Kindle devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGO.com. International fans can catch the official live webcast exclusively on StreetLeague.com.
SLS NIKE SB WORLD TOUR DATES AND VENUES:
• August 23 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop Two | Prudential Center | Newark, NJ
• October 4 2015 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship | UIC Pavilion | Chicago, IL
FOX SPORTS 1 TELECAST SCHEDULE:
2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: New Jersey: LIVE: Sunday, August 23 (5 PM ET – 6:30 PM ET)
2015 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship: LIVE: Sunday, October 4 (5 PM ET – 7 PM ET)
For more information visit StreetLeague.com. For all media inquiries contact Sarah Bronilla at VOCAL: Sarah@VOCALnyc.comJohn.Stouffer@FOX.com