The 2012 Street League season kicked off in Kansas City this past weekend as it did last year– with skateboard technician Nyjah Huston taking home $150,000. Huston’s ability to land difficult and technical tricks consistently makes him almost unbeatable in the current Street League format.
“It was a hard one tonight, that’s for sure!” said Nyjah. “I definitely had to work for it. I love the challenge, though, and to skate with these guys is great.”
Street League rookie Bastien Salabanzi provided some much needed excitement on the big section, giving Huston a run for his money. But in the end Salabanzi was unable to land the tricks when it counted most.
Now in its third season, Street League’s instant scoring allowed for the possibility of pressure-packed moments, but very few times did the skateboarders deliver. Big names like Sean Malto, Ryan Sheckler, Chris Cole, and Paul Rodriguez had their opportunities but were unable to land tricks with consistency.
Improvements to the format, broadcast, and scoring of Street League raised the spectator experience of skateboarding to an all-time high. However, Street league was created with the hope of appealing to more than just skateboard fans. It was designed to reach a household audience including some who have never set foot on a skateboard. Does this competitive format, which is modeled after team sports appeal to the mainstream? Most likely not.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to appreciate and understand just how impressive the level of skateboarding is unless you actually skate. Even high quality cameras in slow motion don’t convey the level of difficulty.
In the meantime, skateboarders can appreciate Street League for what it is– amazing skateboarding from today’s best street skaters. Nyjah Huston also took home the Monster Energy Best Trick Award worth $15,000 for his Big Spin Frontside Hurricane Grind.
1. Nyjah Huston 51.5
2. Bastien Salabanzi 47.8
3. Chaz Ortiz 44.2
4. Paul Rodriguez 42.5
5. Chris Cole 39.8
6. Ryan Sheckler 29.7
7. Sean Malto 14.6
Photo: Aaron Smith from Skateboarder Magazine