I wish I paid attention to the entire Street League Flyer for this past weekend’s event in Glendale. Being so close to this venue, I prepared heavily for this event to show my true action sports spirit and to represent Lat34 well. Unfortunately, this 3rd stop of the 2011 Street League did not take place in Glendale, CA; home of super nice CARS, 25 mph speed limits, the Americana, and some of the best pastries your lips ever touched at the world famous PORTOS. No, the 3rd stop of Street League is far, far away in a place called Glendale, Arizona? Is there a such place?
I guess so because a crowd of over 16,000 fans packed Glendale’s Jobing.com Arena for the third stop of the 2011 Street League DC Pro Tour Fueled by Monster Energy. Fans witnessed some of the world’s best skateboarders go for broke for the top prize worth $150,000. These guys are making more money than I was making at the same age while working at BORDERS BOOKS (which by the way is shutting their doors in the next few days). In a trick for trick battle with Ryan Sheckler and Chris Cole, Nyjah Huston came out on top, continuing his streak for an unprecedented third consecutive SLS contest win this year, and walking away with his now third first place purse, totaling $450,000.
Fans watched in anticipation as Sheckler and Huston went back and forth between first and second with each other during the Big Section of the Finals. Neither Huston nor Sheckler held back bringing in huge scores at every attempt with tricks like Ryan’s Backside Lip Slide down the huge Hubba ledge and Nyjah’s Kick Flip Backside 5-0 Grind. In the end Nyjah Huston was out of reach from the pack being over ten points ahead of the rest of the pros with a 77.8 over Sheckler’s 66.0 score. Chris Cole rounded out the top three with a 59.6 score and landed the highest scored trick of the weekend with an amazing 360 Flip 50-50 Grind down the chest high Hubba Ledge in the Big Section.
“This is the best win yet,” said Nyjah Huston after winning his groundbreaking third SLS contest. “This course was really gnarly, so I had to work for this one a lot more. It feels really good!”
“Huston is unstoppable!” said Rob Dyrdek, Street League Founder. “It’s unbelievable to see a 16 year old, let alone anyone, skate the way he skates. Sheckler was on fire, Ryan gave him a real run for his money. Today was professional skating at its’ best.”
Street League pros put it down at the Stop Three Finals, skating a course with obstacles that were fairly larger than any previous Street League course. It did not stop Chris Cole, however, from taking home the Monster Energy Best Trick Award worth $15,000 for landing a 360 Flip 50-50 Grind in the Big Section.
Sandoval won the last remaining spot in the Stop Three Finals during the Make Your Own Luck Last Chance Qualifier that was held immediately prior to Sunday’s Finals, marking his first time to compete in Finals and ultimately qualified him to the Street League Championship in Newark, New Jersey on August 28th.
The 24 SLS pros voted for Sean Malto to win the Zumiez 24-7 Award worth $7,000. Malto was forced to drop out of the finals after sustaining an injury during practice. After the finals, all the skaters had one more chance to skate in the Wonka Free Ride for a shot at $10,000. It was once again Chris Cole who ended up with the prize, doing amazing tricks all over the course including a Frontside 180 to Switch Crooked Grind on the Big Section Hubba. This is Cole’s third consecutive Wonka Free Ride win.
By the end of Stop Three, 10 skaters stood on top of the overall standings after consistently dominating over each stop of the series. Nyjah Huston, Ryan Sheckler, Chris Cole, Paul Rodriguez, Shane O’Neill, Billy Marks, Chaz Ortiz, Mike Mo Capaldi, Mikey Taylor and Tommy Sandoval have all qualified to compete at the SLS Championship – a winner-takes-all event that is positioned to be the biggest contest in skateboarding history. The SLS Championship takes place on August 28th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and will feature the top ten ranked pros of the 2011 competing for a $200,000 first place prize, the Nixon Championship watch and ring, and the revered title as Street League Champion. The Finals will air LIVE on ESPN2 at 5PM ET.