Men’s Skateboard Street: Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston Earns a Dominant Victory
The pressure was off the charts for the Men’s Skateboard Street final on Saturday. For the final stop before the SLS Super Crown season finale in Jacksonville, eight top pros were given a last chance to earn qualifier points and secure their trip to Florida. The eight finalists hailed from three countries: Brazil, Canada, and the United States.
Skating for Team USA, Monster Energy’s Huston came to Lake Havasu looking to set the record straight after finishing Stop One of the SLS Championship Tour in Salt Lake City in second place.
Starting his dominant weekend in Friday’s Prelims, the six-time SLS World Champion and current title holder qualified into the final in first place. Competing against 26 elite riders from seven countries, Huston put down a perfect Line laced with difficult tricks like a stylized fakie 5-0 down the rail for 8.3 points. In the Best Trick section, he finessed a switch frontside heelflip tailslide down the Hubba for one of the day’s rare Nine Club scores and a total score of 25.9 points.
The level of skating escalated quickly in Saturday’s final, as Team USA’s Jagger Eaton landed a Nine Club run straight out the gate in the Line section. Unfazed by the competition, Huston responded with a Nine Club routine of his own: switch frontside nosegrind the Hubba, Half Cab kickflip, and 360 kickflip the bump, pivot fakie on the quarter pipe, fakie 5-0 overcrook the rail, switch heelflip up the stairs, backside 180 nosegrind the Euro Gap ledge, and a technical nollie backside 180 nosegrind the tall Hubba earned Huston 9.1 points and the lead.
The next-level skating continued into Best Tricks, as riders like Brazil’s Lucas Rabelo earned Nine Club scores by landing big and difficult tech moves. After suffering a heavy slam on his first attempt, Huston regained his focus by posting a frontside Half Cab bluntslide fakie down the tallest Hubba on the course for 8.9 points. After Brazil’s Felipe Gustavo clinched the lead on a Nine Club trick, Huston rose back to the top by finessing a nollie backside 180 nosegrind revert down the Hubba for 8.0 points. Further cementing his lead, Huston spun a Caballerial backside noseblunt slide down the Hubba for 9.3 points; the day’s highest-scoring trick.
As the four top-ranked skaters moved on to their final two attempts, the wild crowd was treated to more Nine Club moves courtesy of Gustavo and American Dashawn Jordan. But when all was said and done, Huston’s 27.3-point overall score proved unbeatable. Taking his final attempt as a victory round, Huston dropped a switch heelflip to 5-0 grind down the Hubba before giving the crowd high fives to celebrate his victory.
“Salt Lake bummed me out a little bit. But my mindset’s always the same; just go out there and do what it takes to win! It’s skateboarding, so you can’t win every event. But you can go out there and give it your all,” said Huston upon winning first place in Lake Havasu. “Every win these days means more and more to me, because I’ve been out here doing it for so long… But I think I’ve got some good years left.”
Saturday’s victory takes Huston to the top of the 2021 SLS season rankings with 190 points. 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 has won more SLS competitions than any other skateboarder and owns 19 X Games medals, including 13 gold.
Also stoking the Lake Havasu crowd in Friday’s Prelims, 14-year-old Monster Army rider Filipe Mota put his outstanding consistency on technical tricks on full display. Mota strung together a perfect run in the Line section including backside tailslide the tall Hubba, gap to backside lipslide the A-frame, frontside noseslide fakie the stair ledge, as well as kickflip frontside boardslide and big spin frontside boardslide the rail for 5.1 points. The young prodigy also landed kickflip backside tailslide the tall Hubba and a rare heelflip frontside boardslide the rail in Best Trick, but closely missed the cut into the final eight. But as broadcast commentator Paul Zitzer said about Mota: “In a world of amateur skaters, he is a standout!”
Missed the live stream this weekend? No problem! Fans can go online now and watch the videos featuring all the action from the SLS Championship Tour in Lake Havasu 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? The Big One! As the grand finale, the SLS Super Crown World Championship contest will determine the 2021 men’s and women’s world champions at Jacksonville Landing, Florida, from November 13-14.