2013 Street League in Review
Street League 2013
2013 saw some of the best skateboarding ever during the Street League Skateboarding competitions. 2012's reigning SL champ Nyjah Huston came into the year on a mission to dominate every event, but Chris Cole didn't make it easy for him and won the Super Crown Championship this past weekend. From Foz do Iguaçu to Newark, N.J., here's a look back at some of the greatest Street League Skateboarding moments of 2013.
In Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, Street League at X Games debuted the Select Series, where 10 pros and five locals competed for a chance to enter the Street League prelims. Manny Santiago, the 2012 Real Street Fan Favorite runner-up, took top honors in Foz and again in Barcelona, eventually winning a bronze medal behind Paul Rodriguez and Nyjah Huston.
In his first Street League event, Brazilian Luan Oliveira had the hometown advantage in Foz, with the crowd screaming every time he stepped on his board. Though he missed the podium with a fourth-place finish, it was apparent he would be a force to reckon with for the rest of the season.
Nyjah Huston Takes Brazil
Nyjah Huston qualified first during the Foz Street League prelims, then went on to take gold at the first stop in the 2013 global X Games. "Going into the first [Street League stop] I always want to win it so bad, and I feel like I've got so much pressure on myself," Huston said. "So winning the first one is always the best thing for me."
After not placing in the top three spots during X Games Foz, Paul Rodriguez set his sights on Barcelona and came out swinging. P-Rod bested Nyjah Huston throughout the contest and ended with an overall score of 50.3, just shy of a gold medal.
Nyjah Huston trailed Paul Rodriguez by one-tenth of a point in the final Impact Section of the Barcelona Street League at X Games. "Each and every contest, it gets gnarlier and gnarlier," Huston said. "You really have to give it your all." With his last run and final trick, Huston stomped the "Hardflip Heard 'Round The World," bumping Rodriguez from the top spot and securing his second gold medal of the year.
Huston Takes Kansas City
Kansas City, Mo., played host to the first non-X Games Street League event of 2013, but the results were the same as Foz and Barcelona -- Nyjah Huston took the win. With the three-peat completed, the question was: Could Huston be defeated?
Chris Cole wins Munich
When it was announced that Nyjah Huston would not be attending the Street League at X Games Munich event, there was a collective sigh of relief from the rest of the competitors. Munich would belong to Chris Cole, who won his first Street League event and fourth X Games gold medal by besting Paul Rodriguez on his final run with a 360 flip 50-50 grind down the Hubba ledge.
P-Rod Prevails in Portland
In Portland, Ore., the second non-X Games Street League event of 2013, Paul Rodriguez was once again sitting in second place behind Chris Cole. But with one last try in the final Impact section, he landed a frontside big-spin heelflip, scoring an 8.8 to take the lead and the win at Street League Portland.
X Games Los Angeles was the final stop for the 2013 Street League contests before the championship in Newark, N.J. With all eyes on L.A., it was Canadian Ryan Decenzo who won the Select Series event and stepped it up to the finals, battling it out with Nyjah Huston, Paul Rodriguez, Chris Cole and rest of the creme de la creme.
Huston Triumphant in L.A.
After missing Munich with an injury to his ribs, followed by a poor performance in Portland, Nyjah Huston came to his hometown of L.A. to prove a point -- when he's healthy, he's the most dominant skater in the world. With multiple scores higher than 9.0, Huston cemented his lead early on and cruised to his fourth Street League victory of the year.
The crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. packed the house, cheering on all the skaters during the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Championship.
All season Shane O'Neill had been on the cusp of placing in the top three spots during every SL event, but he failed to do so when it counted. A perennial fan favorite, O'Neill wowed the crowd during the Championship in Newark and landed some of the best tricks of the contest.
2011's SL champ Sean Malto put in a solid year of stellar performances, 9.0 and higher scores, and vied for the podium at every event.
Chris Cole wins the Super Crown Championship
When it was all said and done, Chris Cole took home the $200,000 and the Super Crown Championship. "Finally, this year, I went from having a really rough start to believing in myself and come up with a win [Munich] and coming up with another win [in New Jersey]. [The Super Crown in New Jersey] just so happens to be the win that really, really matters," Cole told Street League in an interview.