It`s a wrap! The second international SLS Nike SB Pro Open in Barcelona made Street League history with never-before-seen tricks, 9 Clubs, and two new pros added to the 2016 season. When the dust settled, Monster Energy’s Shane O’Neill took first place in front of a pumped-up crowd at sold-out Skate Agora BDN plaza. With a dominant performance against over 50 of the world`s best street skateboarders, the 26-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, walked away with $20,000 and his second(!) Golden Ticket to the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship this October. Teammate Nyjah Huston took second place and O’Neill also won the #Diamondbesttrick contest.
As the official international qualifier for the 2016 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour, the Barcelona Pro Open attracted competitors from 14 countries, including riders from Australia, Brazil, Europe, Japan, South Africa, and the U.S. The action on the California Skateparks-designed public skate plaza was off the charts the entire weekend, as the chance for two non-SLS pros to join the tour and an instant Golden Ticket for the winner raised the stakes.
The intensity culminated in the finals, where O`Neill went head-to-head with Huston in the Runs section. Last year`s winner, Huston set the bar with a perfect run, stringing together frontside Smith grind down the ramp rail, frontside 360 ollie and backside 360 kickflip over the bump gap, nosegrind the entire planter rail, nollie frontside noseblunt slide over the volcano ledge, and bigspin frontside boardslide on the big rail for an 8.6-point score.
Coming in hot off a recent win at Tampa Pro, O`Neill edged ahead with a crooked to nollie flip and extremely difficult backside big spin to fakie 5-0 on the flat ledge, big spin to frontside boardslide up the ramp rail, switch backside tailslide on the ledge, and nollie frontside boardslide down the big rail. For his ender, O’Neill landed a switch kickflip to frontside boardslide down the big rail, leading the pack with an 8.7-point Run score.
When the action moved into Best Trick attempts, O’Neill continued stacking highly difficult moves, despite facing heat from Huston, Paul Rodriguez and Cody McEntire. O’Neill expanded his lead with a 9 Club trick never seen before in an SLS final; a switch big flip to frontside boardslide down the big rail for 9.2 points. And when he added a perfect switch kickflip to backside lipslide to his score, he was already leading the other finalists by 3.0 points after third attempts. The Australian`s lead held until the end – O’Neill finished with 34.8 points – followed by Huston, who stacked a frontside halfcab to fakie bluntslide, backside 180 nollie to backward nosegrind revert and a 9 Club cab to frontside bluntslide down the big rail for a 32.8-point score.
"I’m feeling good, I just learned how to skate a little better in contests and it’s going good so far,” said O’Neill upon winning the Barcelona Pro Open. "Barcelona is my favorite park and I was excited to skate here and do the tricks I wanted to do. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the year.”
After the finals, O’Neill brought his technical wizardry to the #DIAMONDBESTTRICK presented by Diamond Supply Co. Right before the buzzer, he shut down the 15-minute session with a video part-worthy backside bigspin to fakie 5-0 kickflip out, earning him the win and an additional $5,000 prize money.
Also skating well all weekend, but missing the Final Eight, O’Neill’s Monster Energy teammate Ishod Wair blasted backside smith grinds over the volcano ledge, frontside noseblunt slide the planter rail, and nollie frontside 180 to switch crooked and nollie frontside boardslide the big rail. Monster Energy’s Curren Caples covered the entire course with his signature flow style and big moves including huge frontside kickflip over the eight-foot quarter pipe gap, gap-out ollie to frontside nosegrind and frontside noseblunt slide on the bump rail, and nollie frontside noseblunt slides over the centerpiece volcano. Monster Energy’s Chris Cole attacked the course with nollie varial heelflip and nollie inward heel to revert over the bump, switch backside lipslide the rail, and frontside bluntslide fakie the planter ledge.
Now that a busy weekend of world-class skating is wrapped up in Barcelona, the pros already set their sights on the first stop of the SLS Nike SB World Tour at legendary Olympic Park in Munich, Germany, on July 2. Will this season be the "Year of Shane" – or will Nyjah reclaim the top spot? Stay tuned!
Next stops on the 2016 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour:
• July 2 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Munich | Olympic Park | Munich, Germany
• August 28 SLS Nike SB World Tour: New Jersey | Prudential Center | Newark, NJ, USA
• October 2 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship: Galen Center at USC | Los Angeles, CA, USA