EVENT: Luan Oliveira Wins 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop Two, Newark
The 2015 Street League Skateboarding (SLS) Nike SB World Tour continued this weekend at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, with the full line-up of all 25 SLS Pro skateboarders giving it everything for their last opportunity to make it to the 2015 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship. In a heated final that saw some of the most intense competition of the season, Nike SB Pro Luan Oliveira rolled away in first place ahead of reigning World Champion Nyjah Huston and SLS Rookie Kelvin Hoefler. Having only recently won his first SLS arena event in Los Angeles, for this Stop Luan Oliveira put down three 9 Club hammers in the Finals and is now heading into the Super Crown atop the Leader Board, 20 points ahead of SLS teammate Nyjah Huston.
With four SLS Rookies introduced into the roster this year – three of which made it to the Finals at Stop One in Los Angeles – the season has become more unpredictable than ever. Having earned their way into the Tour by qualifying at Tampa Pro and SLS Nike SB Pro Open, both of which are official International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) sanctioned qualifiers that preceded the official season, Cody McEntire, Evan Smith and Kelvin Hoefler are all bringing the high scores to shake up the Leader Board. Added to this, SLS veterans David Gonzalez and Ryan Sheckler are back in the game after a season of injuries last year, while 2014 Rookies Matt Berger and Trevor Colden continue to turn up the heat against the more seasoned of the SLS Pros.
All 25 SLS Pros pushed into the Prudential Center on Sunday for the Stop Two Prelims, determining the shortlist of eight athletes that continued on to the Finals. Prelim highlights included:
• While most of the high scores during the Prelims came out during the five Best Trick attempts by each athlete, notable in the Run section was Shane O’Neill’s near-perfect run of 8.5, only outdone by himself on his second run with a 9.0. This 9 Club performance started with a stylish Backside Tailslide through the ledge and straight into a Nollie Heelflip over the hip, back around to a 360 Flip over the bank-to-bank gap then a Switch 360 Flip over the same gap, a Switch Kickflip Frontside Boardslide down the handrail, and finishing with a Switch Kickflip down the big set of stairs.
• Back from injury, David Gonzales put in a typically high-velocity run for a 7.5, but really came to life in the Best Trick attempts and his relaxed 360 Flip 50-50 Grind down the long hubba for a score of 8.6.
• Newcomer Cody McEntire also came into the Best Trick section strong with a solid Nollie Backslide Bigspin (7.0) and Switch Kickflip (7.4) both down the big set, pushing him ahead into this year’s Super Crown. Fellow SLS Rookie Evan Smith, in his anything-but-normal style, landed a crowd pleasing Backside 270 Nosepick to Fakie on the wall above the bank, then reverted on the way out for 8.4. He followed this with a massive Backside Kickflip Indie to Disaster on the quarterpipe, rolling away on a broken board that unfortunately came apart under him and denied a score.
• Nike SB Pro Trevor Colden’s Krooked Grind up onto the flat bar with a Kickflip transfer over and into the bank (8.5), and Backside 360 Ollie down the big set (7.5); Tom Asta’s Kickflip Krooked Grind through the up-ledge (7.7); Tommy Sandoval's massive Frontside Kickflip over the gap and all the way to the flat (7.1); Ryan Sheckler’s impressively cool Backside Tailslide right through the long ledge (6.6); Manny Santiago’s technical yet relaxed 540 Shuv-it over the bank-to-bank gap (7.3); and Matt Miller’s almost robotic Nollie Frontside 180 Fakie Nosegrind on the platform ledge to drop down to the flat (8.3).
• Still showing signs of his injury that sat him out last season, SLS veteran and Nike SB Pro Sean Malto came through with a perfect Nollie Backside Nosegrind all the way along the long ledge for a 6.9 and cheering crowd.
• Although 2013 World Champion and Monster Energy Pro Chris Cole put down an inventive Wallride Kickflip out from the extension onto the bank (7.2) and a massive 360 Flip down the big set (7.7), he didn’t make the cut for the Finals but has earned a place in this year’s Super Crown.
Televised live on FOX Sports 1, in scoring order those making the cut for the Finals of the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop Two, were Shane O’Neill, Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Kelvin Hoefler, Paul Rodriguez, Ryan Decenzo, Chaz Ortiz and Matt Berger. Topping the highlights of the Finals:
• Luan Oliveira’s opening 9 Club run: 360 Flip over the gap, back for a Switch 360 Flip and then Frontside Kickflip over the gap, Krooked Grind on the up-ledge, Frontside Tailslide up onto the platform ledge, Switch Frontside Kickflip down the stairs, Frontside Kickflip Disaster on the quarterpipe, Frontside Bigspin Kickflip over the gap, and Switch Frontside Heelflip Wallride on the extension above the bank (9.1)
• Nyjah Huston’s following 9 Club run: a casual 360 Flip over the pyramid, lofty 360 Ollie over the gap, Halfcab Kickflip back over the gap, Fakie Kickflip up the Euro gap, Backside Smith Grind up and along the flat bar, Kickflip Backside Lipslide up to the flatbar on the platform, Switch 50-50 down the handrail, Nollie Heelflip on the flat bar, Nollie Kickflip over the gap, and Backside Nosegrind transfer into the bank (9.0).
• Again, the most consistent high scores came out in the Best Trick section. SLS veteran and long-time Nike SB Pro Paul Rodriguez made it look easy with a smooth Nollie Front-foot Kickflip over the gap for a deserved 8.2. Although injured from a bad landing in his last run, Monster Energy’s Shane O’Neill powered through a Krooked Grind on the up-ledge with a perfect Nollie Kickflip out for 8.3. Already slotted for the Super Crown, Chaz Ortiz got the crowd making noise with his Kickflip Backside Tailslide down the small hubba with a Bigspin out for 8.8. In response, SLS Rookie Kelvin Hoefler set for the same trick on the long hubba, rolling away with a slightly higher score of 8.9.
• Showing why he deserves his place among the world’s best street skateboarders, Kelvin Hoefler earned his first 9 Club spot with an amazing Halfcab Noseslide to Backside Tailslide on the long hubba, rolling away fakie with a score of 9.1 and a place at the Super Crown. Also earning his first 9 Club spot, Ryan Decenzo nailed a lofty Kickflip right over the gap to Backside 50-50 Grind down the hubba for 9.1. As if picking up the challenge, Nyjah Huston then claimed another 9 Club for his career with his super technical Halfcab to Backside Smith Grind down the big hubba with a Backside 180 out for a clean 9.0.
• Running hot from his first SLS victory in Los Angeles, Luan Oliveira kept stealing the show into and right through the Best Trick section. His Switch Frontside Tailslide through the long ledge with a Frontside Heelflip out earned him an impressive 8.9, but the real hammer came out as be stomped the day’s highest-scoring 9 Club trick: a 360 Flip Noseslide down the hubba with a 360 Shovit out that scored a dizzying 9.5. While not having to skate his last attempt, having already secured first place, Luan gave the fans what they came for with yet another – his third for the event – 9 Club gem: the most stylish and calm Switch 360 Flip down the big set that deserved its 9.0 and the crowd’s screaming rise to their feet.
In order of Season Standings based off of cumulative Championship Qualification Points, the Top Eight heading to the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship in Chicago are Luan Oliveira, Nyjah Huston, Kelvin Hoefler, Chaz Ortiz, Paul Rodriguez, Shane O’Neill, Cody McEntire and Chris Cole.
The 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour continues on to the season’s culminating arena event in Chicago, Illinois on October 4, where all will be given for the title of Champ. As the street skateboarding competition that matters the most, nothing will be withheld at the official street skateboarding world championship as sanctioned by the ISF – the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship.
SLS offers options for fans across the world to tune in and watch street 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:
• October 4 2015 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship | UIC Pavilion | Chicago, IL FOX SPORTS 1 TELECAST SCHEDULE: 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.com or John Stouffer at FOX Sports: John.Stouffer@FOX.com.