If you didn't watch the Street League Skateboarding contest in Kansas City, Mo., then you missed out on some of the best skating ever in an arena. The finals were action-packed with myriad insane tricks. Nyjah Huston, Chris Cole, Dylan Rieder and a host of others were annihilating the course and throwing down some heavy tricks. But there was one thing missing when it came down to the last few minutes -- Kansas City's own Sean Malto, who didn't advance after his front truck fell off.
XGames.com caught up with Malto to find out exactly what happened with his trucks during the SLS Kansas City stop, his plans going into Munich X Games and if he thinks anyone can dethrone Nyjah Huston.
XGames.com: What do you think of the new international stops of Street League?
Malto: I think they're cool. I'm excited to travel and skateboard and there has been a great response to them all so far, so I'm just looking forward to Munich.
Have you gotten to take advantage of any sightseeing while you've been at the stops?
I got to go see the waterfalls in Brazil, which was really cool, and Jamboree in Barcelona [laughs].
What is Jamboree?
It's just some stupid nightclub that everyone goes to [laughs].
How was the recent SLS stop in Kansas City and what's it like having an arena full of people chanting your name and holding up signs for you?
It feels good, you know? I'm psyched to support K.C. and psyched to see all my friends and family coming out to support the contest. It's just good for skateboarding there. The [local] skate shops had a great weekend and lots people around the city who don't know much about skating got to come out and actually see what it's all about. Just the fact that people showed up is a blessing, not just that the city supports me but that it supports skateboarding that much.
What about when you're trying to skate the event, is it nerve-racking?
Oh yeah, it's so scary [laughs]. You have to go up against these gnarly dudes. It's fun because all those guys are my friends, but when it comes time to drop in for the first time it's like, "Alright, here we go, this is what we're here for." Obviously you want to win, that's the whole point of being in Street League. So yeah, it's a lot of pressure, especially the one in K.C. because all my friends and family are there. But yeah, those contests are scary.
What went down in Kansas City? Your front truck just fell off?
Yeah, it didn't break -- the bolt just loosened up on me. It was the first time that's ever happened. I don't ride lose trucks but I knew my bolt wasn't on there quite right. I was kind of messing with it in practice but I didn't think it was actually going to fall off. But I can't blame that for not advancing, I had a second run and that's just skateboarding in general -- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
It was a bummer because all of Kansas City wanted you to advance.
Yeah, and I loved that course, that was one of my favorite courses of the year. The one time the bolt of my truck had to fall off was then. It's pretty unlucky, but at the same time, it's life and you learn from it. In Munich I'm going to make sure my equipment is dialed [laughs].
Do you actually make a plan going into these contests?
With so much money on the line it seems almost crazy not to. You have a game plan, but I'm still trying to figure out this new format in my head. You do your run, you do your best trick and then you have six tries in the big section and only four of them count. Before I was like, get four safe tricks down and then try to get two off-the-wall tricks. Ones that are a little iffy but will score you higher. But now I'm thinking you need to do two safe ones and then use those four tries to get something that will score higher points. Against Nyjah [Huston] and Paul [Rodriguez] you're not going to win with three safe tricks and one that you took a little bit of risk on. I learned in K.C., though, that even if you do two safe ones and two that are riskier, it still may not be enough. Nyjah does four really hard tricks every time. You just have to kind of play with the course and see what's available and what's not.
What about in your in-between time? Do you spend a lot of time at the park trying to learn new tricks?
The main thing is trying to feel comfortable on your board. There are tricks that I really want to do and you'll practice it and practice it but then you get to the course and the course isn't good for it. I've run into that before. But the main thing is just to keep skating and keep having fun. Obviously keep pushing yourself to learn new things and then when you get to the course, just feel it out.
This may be a stupid question, but in all honesty do you think that anyone can beat Nyjah at this point?
Have you seen P-Rod these last few contests [laughs]? I think Paul is really nipping at his heels. Another one is Chris Cole -- when he puts it together, it's amazing. But it's going to come down to the day, and someone is going to need a really good day to get ahead of Nyjah. If Paul was on his A game, he could get him.