There’s only one Tampa Pro contest in the entire skateboarding universe and today’s 23rd edition of the annual spectacle once again showed why. The high-energy crowd was in for a series of hammers and history-making runs, as all pros brought their A-game to the Team Payne-designed street course.
When the action moved into the finals, the level of competition intensified to a point where only a perfect run stacked with technical tricks would crack the Top 3. Ultimately, 22-year-old Louie Lopez took first place by putting down the run of his life for a 93.00 point score.
Nyjah, winner of 2014’s Tampa Pro, looked like a strong contender and covered the entire course with back-to-back technical tricks in otherwise perfect runs – except for a crucial final trick. Nyjah’s best run included a kickflip to frontside 50-50 transfer onto the quarterpipe, nollie crooked over the centerpiece rail to fakie into the quarterpipe, kickflip frontside nosegrind on the ledge, backside smithgrind and fakie 5-0 revert on the flat bar, fakie kickflip, frontside halfcab flip and frontside 360 ollie over the hip, and blunt to kickflip on the quarterpipe.
On his last trick, Nyjah attempted a highly technical backside 180 nosegrind to revert transfer over the long centerpiece rail and into the quarterpipe below, but could not bring in the landing. As Brazil’s Luan Oliveira and Kelvin Hoefler both stacked together flawless routines, Nyjah Huston’s 83.33 points landed him in fifth place overall.
Monster Energy’s Chris Cole powered into the finals by putting together a clean run: Backside kickflip over the big kicker, nollie bigger spin heelflip over the hip, frontside nosebluntslide, backside 180 nosegrind revert, and fakie ollie backside overcrook down the rail, alley-oop backside air over the quarterpipe hip, and a burly frontside 50-50 up the rail earned Cole a 81.00 point score. But as the finals upped the ante, Cole had trouble repeating the perfect routine and finished in ninth place.
Closely missing the finals, Monster Energy’s Ishod Wair put together a no-fall routine that kept going past the buzzer: Backside 5-0 revert up the hubba, ollie out to backside tail on the wall ledge, nollie inward heelflip over the hip, backside bluntslide to fakie on the flat bar, backside 5-0 to tailslide the pool corner and a huge frontside ollie late shove-it into the bank earned the 25-year-old Thrasher Skater of the Year a 76.33 point score.