We have a new World Champion! Rayssa Leal took first place in the 2022 SLS Super Crown World Championship in Rio de Janeiro this weekend. Cheered on by a hometown crowd, the 14-year-old from Imperatriz, Brazil, claimed the first world championship title of her career after remaining unbeaten throughout the entire 2022 Street League Skateboarding (SLS) World Tour competition season.
In Sunday’s Men’s Street final that came down to the last attempt, 21-year-old Monster Energy team rider Braden Hoban from Encinitas, California, rose all the way to the podium to finish in second place. Not bad for an SLS rookie
From November 5-6, the SLS Super Crown World Championship determined the official world champions in men’s and women’s street skateboarding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For two action-packed days, the world elite of street skateboarding descended on Arena Carioca Stadium inside Rio’s Olympic Park to end the 2022 SLS season with a bang. Saturday’s prelims narrowed the field of contestants to eight finalists each in the Men’s and Women’s Super Crown finals. Broadcasted live by ESPN in the United States and streamed online worldwide, Sunday’s final competition featured riders from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Japan, Portugal, and the United States.
Riders battled for trophies on a California Skateparks-designed street course stacked with massive handrails and Hubba ledges, several banks and quarter pipes, as well as a humungous centerpiece gap-to-Hubba obstacle. Consistency was the key to claiming the trophy: According to new SLS competition rules, overall scores are now computed by always factoring in one score from the Line section. Winning scores are now computed by adding a rider’s best Line score and the two highest-scoring Best Tricks.
The energetic crowd at Arena Carioca witnessed spectacular skateboarding at the highest level in the Women’s Skateboard Street Final on Sunday. As SLS commentator Andrew Cannon said on the air: “This is the gnarliest women’s final we have ever seen!”
Coming in as the rider to beat, Monster Energy’s Rayssa Leal qualified into the final eight in first place after remaining unbeatable at every stop of the 2022 SLS World Tour. Leal had a chance to make (personal) history: This year already marked the third SLS Super Crown contest of her young career, but she had finished in second place at both previous outings behind defending SLS World Champion Pamela Rosa. That was about to change…
In her first of two 45-second Line attempts, Leal put down a perfect run. Starting with a clean backside lipslide the big rail, she landed a kickflip up the Euro Gap, backside Smith grind the Hubba, backside tailslide the bump to ledge, frontside feeble grind the rail, and a burly gap-out to frontside lipslide down the kink rail for 6.7 points and the day’s highest Line score.
Moving into Best Trick attempts with confidence, Leal expanded her score with a technical gap to backside lipslide the kink rail for 7.0 points. But as she missed the landing on her second attempt in Best Trick, she needed a consistent score to remain in the top four of riders advancing to the Super Final. Leal found her score by putting down a perfect gap to backside 50/50 on the massive centerpiece Hubba obstacle – untouched by any other rider in Sunday’s final – for 5.2 points.
When the action advanced into the Super Final with two last attempts, defending SLS World Champion Pamela Rosa found herself eliminated from the competition by a strong contingent featuring Olympic gold medalist Momiji Nishiya from Japan. Monster Energy’s Leal came into the final four in third place and looking for a big score. But when she missed the landing on a kickflip backside Smith down the Hubba on attempt number five, the race for the title came down to the last tries.
No stranger to high-pressure situations, Leal finessed a burly gap-out to backside Smith grind down the kink rail on her last attempt, securing 7.4 points and the win on the strength of 21.1 points total. And just like that, the young skateboard phenom from Brazil claimed her first Street Skateboarding World Championship at the mere age of 14!
Born and raised in Brazil, Leal first caught international attention in 2015 at the age of 6 via a viral video. Today, she ranges among the sport’s top competitors: In 2019, Leal made history at age 11 as the youngest rider to ever win an SLS tour stop and took second place at the SLS World Championship in Brazil that year. In 2021, she represented Brazil in the Tokyo Olympics and claimed the silver medal in the Women’s Skateboard Street event. At X Games Chiba 2022, she became the youngest gold medalist in Women’s Skateboard Street.
In Sunday’s Men’s Skateboard Street final, Monster Energy rider Braden Hoban from Encinitas, California, once again proved that he can hold it down with the best of the best. After finishing the previous contest, SLS Las Vegas, in third place, the 21-year-old newcomer raised the bar even higher in Rio.
In his career’s first SLS Super Crown final, Hoban came out the gate swinging by posting a Nine Club score on his first Line attempt. His flawless run included gap-out frontside 5-0 the Hubba, 50-50 grind up(!) the tall rail, frontside feeble grind the rail, 360 kickflip the Euro Gap, gap-out kickflip frontside boardslide the kink rail, kickflip backside 50-50 the gap ledge, and a massive backside noseblunt slide on the centerpiece kicker-to-Hubba obstacle for 9.0 points.
But with American Chris Joslin and Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro both posting Nine Club runs, Hoban was in third place, moving into Best Trick attempts. After missing his first attempt, Hoban remained in contention by landing a gap-out kickflip frontside nosegrind the bump to Hubba for 8.7 points. And while the trick level escalated with Brazil’s Felipe Gustavo and Canada’s Ryan Decenzo posting Nine Club tricks, Hoban stayed in the top four by landing a kickflip crooked the massive centerpiece Hubba for 8.4 points.
Next, Hoban upped the ante by posting the highest score of the day: An ultra-technical kickflip backside noseblunt slide on the centerpiece Hubba earned the rookie 9.6 points and boosted his score to 27.3 points heading into the Super Final.
When the Men’s final came down to the last tries, Hoban once again posted a technical banger with an impossible to 50-50 grind on the large bump to Hubba for 9.1 points. As his overall score rose to 27.7 points, Hoban briefly held first place – and the potential world championship title – in his first-ever SLS Super Crown final. But Portugal’s Ribeiro landed a technical trick on the last attempt of the contest to take the win, bumping Hoban to an outstanding second-place finish in the world’s biggest showcase for competitive street skateboarding. Congrats!