It’s too soon to imply that Nyjah Huston has established a dynasty in the Street League Skateboarding series, an elite circuit in its second year. But the 16-year-old phenom and defending SLS champion issued a powerful statement during the weekend’s 2011 season-opener by becoming the first skater to nail a backside 270 noseblunt in a competition. (See video for a visual description of the subtle-looking but absurdly difficult trick.)
For those who don’t follow street skateboarding, high-level competitions involve jumping onto rails and over steps and other features while flipping the board underfoot, and sliding across obstacles with various parts of the board. The tricks require countless hours of often painful practice and many are so difficult that athletes rarely attempt them in competitions, where repeated falls produce low scores.
Huston, a skateboarder since the age of 5 and long-billed as a future superstar, appears to have arrived. He dominated the Seattle competition, sticking one next-generation trick after another.
He had already earned enough points to seal the triumph before his last run, so he went for the backside 270 noseblunt and earned a score of 9.9, the highest in Street League history. Those who watch carefully can see how perfect the spin and timing of the connection to the rail had to be; the trick could easily have been judged a perfect 10.
“I’ve been working on [that trick] for the past three months and I was just waiting for the right time to bring it out, so it worked out perfectly,” Huston told ESPN, which broadcasted the event live.
It couldn’t have worked out better. Huston, who has shown flashes of brilliance by earning podium appearances at premier competitions such as the X Games and Dew Tour, earned $150,000 for his Street League win. He pocketed an extra $15,000 for performing the event’s most difficult trick.
Said Street League founder Rob Dyrdek: “Nyjah is clearly a star and the trick he did today will be remembered for years to come.”