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Image from Sunday's 2017 Street League Series in Chicago, IL

Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston Takes Fourth Place at SLS Nike SB World Tour Chicago

Aug 142017

Street League Skateboarding returned to the Windy City with a bang. The second official 2017 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour stop in Chicago, Illinois, stoked the high-energy crowd at UIC Pavilion with some of the best street skateboarding and one of the closest finals in series history. 

When the dust settled, Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston finished strong in fourth place after suffering a heavy slam in a down-to-the-wire finals session against the world’s top street pros. Having secured two Golden Tickets by winning the previous SLS competitions, the 22-year-old from San Juan Capistrano will advance to the 2017 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship in September.

Huston came into today’s contest as a favorite after winning both the 2017 SLS season opener in Barcelona in May and Stop One of the SLS Nike SB World Tour in Munich in June. Two flawless Prelim Runs and Best Tricks such as 180 to switch crooked and kickflip backside Smith down the hubba saw Huston emerge as the number one qualifier with a 34.1 point score. 


But once the Finals on the California Skateparks-designed street course got rolling, riders like rookie pro Dashawn Jordan and Tommy Fynn kicked the level of trick difficulty into high gear. Known to thrive under pressure, Huston put together two perfect Runs featuring kickflip into the bank from the center piece, kickflip frontside boardslide on the center barrier, as well as backside blunt slide, backside Smith Grind, backside noseblunt slide and frontside noseblunt slide on the kicker ledge, 360 kickflip up the Euro gap, blunt kickflip fakie on the quarterpipe, half Cab crooked down the bank rail, ollie transfer to disaster on the bank, and a backside 180 to backward nosegrind on the big hubba for 8.5 points each.


Going into the Best Trick segment at the top of the leaderboard, Huston missed his first two attempts on a big gap fakie kickflip, while Dashawn Jordan, Torey Pudwill and Shane O’Neill clinched the top spots. With his back against the wall – and still needing at least two high-scoring tricks for a shot at the podium – Huston pulled out a huge switch frontside kickflip off the tall centerpiece platform, but suffered a heavy slam as he lost his footing upon landing. Determined to finish the contest despite injuring his leg, he landed the switch frontside kickflip for a 9.0 point score on his next attempt. "But on the very last trick of the contest, Huston lost points for not grinding his truck on a frontside 180 to switch crooked down the hubba. Scoring only 6.7 points brought his overall score to 32.7 points for fourth place – missing the podium by a mere 0.3 points – while SLS newcomer Dashawn Jordan took the win.

Huston’s Monster Energy teammate Ishod Wair also raised the bar in today’s Final as a crowd favorite. 


Fresh off a win at last month’s CPH Open in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Thrasher magazine Skater of the Year stacked his best Finals Run with a huge alley-oop frontside air and frontside crailslide revert on the large quarterpipe, frontside nollie heelflip and switch 360 kickflip up the Euro gap, switch ollie blunt on the small quarter, and massive backside kickflip over the center kicker for 8.4 points, but could not lock in Best Trick hammers such as nollie heelflip down the big gap. 


Also stoking out the Chicago crowd with strong skating today, Monster Energy’s Matt Berger

landed a perfect Prelim run full of technical street tricks including kickflip backside tailslide up the Euro gap rail, nosegrind on the quarter pipe, frontside noseslide and big spin frontside boardslide fakie on the centerpiece barrier, and a frontside bluntslide down the big hubba after the buzzer. But although he put down Best Trick hammers like backside 180 to switch Smith grind down the hubba and big flip frontside boardslide fakie on the center barrier, the street pro from British Columbia, Canada, missed a spot in today’s final eight.

Berger’s Monster Energy teammate and 2013 SLS Super Crown winner, Chris Cole, put down a perfect run in the Prelims, including fakie 5-0 grind revert on the rail to bank, frontside tailslide 270 out on the ledge, frontside 180 to switch feeble up the Euro Gap rail, backside 360 nosegrab over the center kicker, as well as frontside bluntslide and backside bluntslide down the hubba for 8.0 points. But although he landed a technical fakie frontside heelflip bigspin down the stairs in Best Trick, the two-time Thrasher SOTY could also not secure a spot in today’s high-stakes finals.

Now that SLS Nike SB World Tour Chicago is in the books, the final eight contenders for the 2017 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship are locked in. Will Huston claim his 20th career SLS victory and take back the Super Crown title? Stay tuned and make sure to follow the action on September 15 live from Galen Center at USC in Los Angeles, California.

If you missed today’s live Web Cast on ETN you can re-watch the action from today’s SLS Nike SB World Tour: Stop Two in Chicago on ESPN 2 on August 15 and on ABC’s World of X Games on August 27.


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