Nyjah Houston Wins (SLS) Nike SB World Tour At The Prudential Center

The Street League Skateboarding (SLS) Nike SB World Tour landed at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, today with the world’s top skateboarders bringing their est to compete for the last remaining chance to make it into the street skateboarding competition that matters the most: the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship. On perhaps one of the most interesting and challenging courses of the season – requiring a lot of speed to work in enough tricks during the Run section and technical skill on the big obstacles for the Best Trick section – the most decorated SLS Pro ever Nyjah Huston emerged victorious ahead of 2016 SLS Pick Chris Joslin and SLS Rookie Tommy Fynn to take home $80,000 and his first win since taking the podium at the 2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open in Barcelona.

Returning back to the US after two major events in Europe – the SLS Nike SB Pro Open in Barcelona, Spain, and SLS’s first-ever independent arena event in Munich, Germany – SLS has already created a
host of this year’s most memorable skateboarding moments. This stop in Newark marks the last
opportunity for the SLS Pros and SLS Picks to claim their spot for the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World
Championship, which is the official World Championship for street skateboarding as sanctioned by the
International Skateboarding Federation. Pros either had to advance through the winning of a Golden
Ticket as part of the first-place prize package, or through the accumulation of more Championship Points
than fellow SLS athletes. Adding to this tension, there remained just one available slot within the Final
Eight, with the other seven positions having been claimed through outstanding performance at events
throughout the season by Shane O’Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Nyjah Huston, Tom Asta, Luan Oliveira, Cody
McEntire, and Ryan Decenzo. Coming into the event, Ishod Wair, Chris Joslin and Evan Smith were sitting in the 8th, 9th and 10th places in Season Standings and were all expected to be the main contenders to beat for the final spot. With so much at stake, the crowd was ready to witness some serious action, which this collection of world-class athletes laid down.

In front of a high-energy crowd, the competitors brought their best for the Prelim Heats that would cut the lineup to just eight to continue to the evening’s Final. Prelims highlights included:

  • • 2015 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Champion Kelvin Hoefler – in his first event for the season
    due to a broken leg – showed his technical skills with a Halfcab Boardslide Body Varial to Backside
    Boardslide Lipslide to Fakie through the bank-to-bank flatbar (5.1).
  • Micky Papa’s clean Nollie Backside Noseblunt Slide down the hubba (7.4); Nike SB Pro Sean
    Malto’s Frontside Crooked Grind on the handrail (7.5); winning his place in the Tour at the SLS
    Nike SB Pro Open in Barcelona, Tiago Lemos’ beastly Backside Tailslide along the waist-high
    ledge above the banked gap (7.5); Ryan Decenzo’s smooth Frontside 360 Ollie down the 12-stair
    set (8.0); Nyjah Huston’s Switch Frontside Feeble Grind on the handrail (8.6).
  • Winner of the Munich stop, Nike SB’s Paul Rodriguez attacked the 12-stair set with a Switch
    Kickflip (8.1), a Switch Heelflip (8.1) and a Switch Frontside Kickflip (8.3).
  • Taking the highest scoring trick for the Prelims was SLS Rookie Carlos Ribeiro with his technical
    Nollie Backside 180 Switch Backside Smith Grind down the 8-stair hubba for a score of 8.7.
  • SLS Pick Chris Joslin put in a strong start with a flawless Run, starting with a big gap Backside
    Lipslide on the kinked rail, rolling up for a Kickflip transfer off the bank to upper deck, around to a
    Frontside Tailslide down the hubba, a 360 Flip over the banked gap, a smooth Frontside Smith
    Grind on the quarterpipe, a Frontside Boardslide along the flatbar into the bank (8.3) then stomping a perfect Backside Bigspin down the stairs just after the buzzer.
  • Evan Smith’s action-packed 9-Club Run that catapulted him into the Final: pushing full speed into a
    massive Ollie out of the quarterpipe over the bank to the upper deck before sliding off his speed
    and popping into a Frontside 50-50 Grind on the quarterpipe, blasting an Ollie back onto the upper
    deck and straight into a Backside Smith Grind down the handrail, through to a Backside Disaster
    Revert on the quarterpipe, a quick Frontside Halfcab over the bump, a Frontside Nosegrind Pull-in
    on the quarterpipe, then charging a huge Ollie off the upper bank over the gap and into the
    quarterpipe and across to the other quarterpipe for a massive Frontside Kickflip over the 8-foot
    channel before popping over the barrier to disappear behind the curtains backstage (9.3).

As the Final went live on FS1 and FOX Sports GO, the Top Eight took the course for a showdown that
determined the shortlist heading to the 2016 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship. In
Leaderboard order they were Evan Smith, Nyjah Huston, Chris Joslin, Paul Rodriguez, Tommy Fynn,
Chris Cole, Carlos Ribeiro and Luan Oliveira. Based off of current Championship Points, Nyjah Huston,
Paul Rodriguez, and Luan Oliveira had already clinched their spots for the Super Crown, leaving the rest
of the Top Eight in the Final to battle for the last Championship spot. As predicted, Chris Joslin and Evan Smith were the ones to beat going into the Final, either with an outright win or highest cumulative points to advance. Topping the Final highlights:

  • Paul Rodriguez laid down a solid first Run to put 7.4 on the scoreboard, opening with a Nollie
    Kickflip over the banked gap, then a Switch Backside Smith Grind on the lower ledge, charging
    around into a Switch Backside 5-0 Grind down the hubba and into a Switch Frontside Bluntslide on
    the lower ledge before finishing with a 360 Kickflip over the banked gap.
  • Tommy Fynn, having won his way into SLS with a great performance at the Pro Open this year, put down a strong run starting with a back-to-back combination of Nollie Nosegrind down the hubba and into a Nollie Crooked Grind on the lower ledge, straight into a Backside Kickflip over the
    banked gap, back over the same with a Backside Bigspin Kickflip, a Backside Tailslide through the
    ledge off the bank, a Noseblunt Slide down the handrail and finishing with a quick Kickflip Crooked
    Grind on the lower ledge for a score of 7.9.
  • Continuing to impress the fans with his second Run, Nyjah Huston blasted a huge gap Backside
    Lipslide on the long kinked rail, a speedy Backside Nosegrind on the quarterpipe, a Kickflip
    Frontside Boardslide on the flatbar, a Frontside Smith Grind over smaller channel feature on the
    quarterpipe, popping an Ollie over the gap into the quarterpipe to set up for a perfect Backside
    Smith Grind through the kinked rail, then a 360 Kickflip over the banked gap to finish strong with a
    Nollie Backside Over-Crooked Grind down the handrail (8.5).
  • Producing another crowd-pleasing Run with a smile from start to finish, Evan Smith pushed as
    hard as possible across the course to Ollie out of the quarterpipe and over the bank channel to the
    upper deck, again popping into a 50-50 on the quarterpipe and down the handrail with a solid
    Crooked Grind, then across to the other quarterpipe for a Frontside Blunt to Disaster Revert that
    got the fans on their feet, back to the other end to pop into a Nosegrind on the small quarterpipe
    channel feature into an Ollie transfer again into the quarterpipe to set for a high-speed gap
    Frontside Lipslide over the big quarterpipe channel, and finishing with a Frontside Kickflip over the
    banked gap, earning the highest Finals Run score of 8.7.
  • Bringing the bigger tricks and better scores for the event as usual, the Best Trick section made all
    the difference to the Leaderboard. SLS 2014 Super Crown World Champion Chris Cole kept it
    technical through much of the day, but for his second-last Best Trick he broke out a huge Blindside
    Kickflip to Fakie on the quarterpipe, flying right over the 8-foot channel for 7.7.
  • Winner of last year’s New Jersey event Luan Oliveira didn’t bring his usual consistency, but did get the stadium alight making the technical look easy with his Halfcab Heelflip Noseslide 270 out along  the higher ledge (8.1) and his Switch Tailslide Heelflip out all the way through the high ledge (8.2).
  • The newcomers kept pace with the veterans, as Tommy Fynn stomped a 360 Flip 50-50 down the hubba (7.5) and a Backside Noseblunt Slide down the handrail (7.9).
  • Carlos Ribeiro showed his worth with a Frontside Tailslide Kickflip out all the way through the ledge above the banked gap (8.2) and an amazing Nollie 180 Bennet Grind down the hubba (8.6).
  • Not to be shown up, Chris Joslin pulled out all stops with four strong Best Tricks. Firstly with a highspeed gap Backside Smith Grind through the kinked rail (8.0), then and solid Backside 360 Ollie off the bank and over the quarterpipe to the flat (7.6). Even after gaining enough points to solidify his place at the Super Crown from this event, he gave it up for the fans with two solid 9 Club tricks: an amazingly technical Hardflip Revert down the 12-stair set for 9.1, then a textbook Bigger Flip on the banked gap all the way to the flat for the day’s second-highest score of 9.3.
  • Four out of Nyjah Huston’s five Best Tricks scored high enough for him to take the clear lead and
    the big win, firstly with a gap Kickflip Frontside Boardslide on the kinked rail (8.5), then a
    Caballerial Backslide Lipslide on the handrail (8.7), and two 9 Club hammers – a gap Kickflip
    Frontside Lipslide on the kinked rail (9.1) and a Backside 360 Noseblunt Slide down the handrail
    (9.4) – to bring his 9 Club all-time total to 43 tricks.

Congratulations to 2016 SLS Nike SB World Tour stop in New Jersey winner Nyjah Huston, as well as to
SLS Rookie Chris Joslin who claimed the last-remaining slot for this year’s season Championship.

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