Men’s Skateboard Street: Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston Finishes in Second Place
The new street course at Utah State Fairpark provided the perfect backdrop for the Men’s Skateboard Street final on Saturday night. Lined by quarter pipes on both ends, the course offered multiple stairs, gaps, handrails, Hubba ledges, and kickers for technical tricks and creative transfers. The eight finalists hailed from just three countries: Brazil, Portugal, and the United States.
Representing Team USA, Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston came to Salt Lake City as the six-time SLS World Champion and current title holder. Without missing a beat, Huston proceeded to dominate the Prelims and qualified into the final in first place with a total score of 25.0 points.
Continuing his dominance into the finals, Huston started off by putting together a perfect Line Section featuring Caballerial lipslide fakie the big rail, Half Cab kickflip and 360 kickflip the kicker, 360 flip frontside lipslide the bump rail, kickflip frontside boardslide the flat rail, kickflip backside disaster the quarter pipe, backside Smith grind transfer the centerpiece rail and a switch heelflip frontside boardslide the big rail for 8.9 points.
From there, Huston claimed the top spot on the leaderboard by unloading a series of technical tricks on the big rail, including two Nine Club scores: switch frontside heelflip lipslide (9.0 points), Half Cab backside Smith grind revert (8.3 points), and nollie frontside heelflip noseblunt slide (9.3). When the field was cut down to the four top-ranked riders, Huston commanded first place with a 27.2-point score.
Huston continued delivering difficult tech tricks on attempt five by sending a perfect Caballerial kickflip over the centerpiece kicker into a backside lipslide fakie on the rail. But only netting an 8.9-point score, the trick did not advance Huston’s lead. On last attempts, Huston found himself bumped to second place by Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro, who landed the Monster Energy Highest Scored Trick of the day; a 360 kickflip noseblunt slide down the rail for 9.4 points and the winning score of 27.6 points total.
Known as the world’s most winning street skateboarder, Huston is the defending back-to-back 2017, 2018, and 2019 SLS World Champion. The only athlete in history to win X Games gold medals on five continents, Huston is currently working on a documentary feature about his Olympics journey with acclaimed skateboard video director Ty Evans.
Finishing closely outside the podium, Olympic silver medalist and Monster Energy rider Kelvin Hoefler took fourth place in Saturday’s final with a strong performance. In the Line Section, the 28-year-old from São Paulo, Brazil, earned 6.5 points for combining Half Cab Crooked the rail, backside 180 fakie nosegrind the Hubba, crooked grind up the ledge, kickflip frontside lipslide the flat rail, frontside blunt the quarterpipe, backside tailslide into the bank, nollie frontside nosegrind the Hubba and backside bluntslide to fakie on the bump to rail. In Single Tricks, the street skating powerhouse finessed Half Cab overcrook revert (8.6 points) and backside sugarcane grind (8.5 points) but could not post another trick in the final to improve his 23.6-point final score.
Also making the cut on Saturday, 14-year-old Monster Army recruit Filipe Mota held his own as the youngest rider in the final eight. What’s more, the Brazilian upstart was the youngest men’s finalist in SLS history. Filipe is quickly becoming a fan favorite and was given a wildcard entry to skate in Salt Lake City after narrowing missing out on qualifying during the SLS Pro Tour Qualifier back in July. In the Line section, he put down a frontside feeble and bigspin frontside boardslide the big rail as well as backside tailslide and kickflip backside 50-50 the Hubba and finessed a frontside bluntslide transfer on the flat rail to finish in seventh place. Watch out for this kid!
Missed the live stream this weekend? No worries! Fans can go online now and watch the videos featuring all the action from the SLS Championship Tour in Salt Lake City on YouTube. The television showcase was produced by Thrill One Sports and Entertainment, the world’s largest independent action sports company.
What’s next on the SLS calendar? From October 29-30, the 2021 SLS Championship Tour will continue with Stop 02 at the SkateBird facility in Miami, Florida. And for the grand finale, the SLS Super Crown World Championship weekend will crown the 2021 men’s and women’s world champions at Jacksonville Landing, Florida, from November 13-14.