Nyjah Huston is one step closer to his third Nike SB Street League overall championship, as the 19-year-old skateboarding star beat out the competition to win the 2014 SLS opener in Chicago, Ill., on Sunday.
The SLS Nike SB World Tour began with a qualification event in May, where Huston also scored a first place finish. But on Sunday at the UIC Pavilion, Huston battled with the Australian-born Shane O’Neill on a course designed without handrails that was expected to favor other riders.
O’Neill landed a massive switch double flip in the impact portion, earning him the highest score of the night with a 9.8 to take over the lead and send Huston down to second place. During the control section of the competition, each rider had six attempts and free rein of the course, causing a handful of lead changes. O’Neill broke the barrier scoring a 9.1 after a nollie bigger spin that shocked the crowd. Luan Oliveira followed and posted the highest single trick score with a 9.5 after a backside kickflip from flat to flat over a big ledge box on the course. Huston, who is coming off his sixth X Games gold medal in June, responded with a 9.0 score following a nollie frontside heelflip – just enough to keep his control section average above his competitors for the win. He took to Twitter to show off his trophy and congratulate the other riders.
While Huston won the $100,000 prize for finishing first in Chicago, the athletes are looking ahead to the next event in Los Angeles on July 27 and then to the conclusion of the Tour in August at the SLS Super Crown event in Newark, New Jersey. The final purse is the largest in skate history: more than $1 million.