Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Contest Round-Up

This summer has been an extremely busy contest season. Just in the last month, there have been two Street League stops, an X Games stop, the US Open, and CPH Pro. That's a lot of contests to happen in a month, and unfortunately I wasn't able to keep up with them well enough to be able to write about them. I think this is mostly due to the fact that X Games and Street League decided to team up this year and do a bunch of extra stops all over the world, which effectively tripled the amount of contest activity for the summer.

So the best I can do at this point is offer a quick recap of the last month of contests. Here we go!

First there was the Kansas City stop for Street league. We were introduced to a nice twist when Nyjah Huston got eliminated right after the flow section. The cool thing about that is he didn't totally blow his run- it's just that 7 other people did even better runs, which was awesome to see. I think the course was a little smaller than normal, which did a couple of things. First, it made Chris Cole look really out of place, since he's sort of a bigger guy who was forced to prance around on a bunch of small ledges and transition. Second, dudes got tech with it. Shane O'Neill pulled a ridiculous switch 360 double flip down the gap. P-Rod did an awesome switch flip back smith on the hubba. Chris Cole did a tre flip nosebluntslide. When all was said and done, Paul Rodriguez won this stop.Here's the full video if you're interested.

The most recent Street League stop in LA was not quite as exciting, but still pretty solid. On that one, Nyjah earned his first place spot and Chris Cole got second again. I can't help but notice that Chris Cole is doing pretty consistently well this year (having won a stop earlier) so I have high hopes for him in the finals. Nyjah also did great- he pulled some full cab back lips on the A-frame rail in the middle of his run and was all around pretty solid, so it's safe to say that he's back after a short stint of injuries. Ryan Sheckler was injured and joined the commentators. It's a little sad that he did a better job than the normal announcers by a long shot. I really enjoyed Chris Cole's run section, and if anything he got underscored. Besides that, there isn't a whole lot else to say about this one.

The X Games of course also happened. However, I missed them, because it takes more effort than it should to avoid watching motocross and rally car racing and just watch the skateboarding events. What I'm saying is I pretty much missed all of the X Games events. What I gathered from the video coverage on it, though, was that Bucky Lasek managed to win the vert final again, which pretty much makes him the old, vert version of Nyjah Huston at this point. Elliot Sloan had a surprise victory in the big air competition, doing a 720 tailgrab over the gap and then a 540 tailgrab over the quarter. As for the Women's Street Final, Leticia Bufoni did extremely well and won, but I was also pretty impressed with Pamela Rose's fast and solid style. Marisa Dal Santo's runs were of course super raw and awesome as well.

So there. You don't even have to watch the videos now because that recap was so wonderfully thorough and descriptive.

Then there was CPH pro, which I usually dig because they seem to be the only contest series to host a death race, which is just awesome. Seeing pros push each other out of the way and cut each other off is so far removed from what you normally see that you've just gotta love it. Taylor Bingaman won the death race, Shane O'Neill won the finals with Luan Oliveira pulling out some awesome tricks as well. Sweet Skateboard's own Josef Scott Jatta got hecka gnarly all over that course as well.

Finally, there was the Van's US Open. I was really happy to see Ben Hatchell win, and he pulled out some sick stuff for sure. But Greyson Fletcher skated like an absolute maniac- it was seriously unlike anything I've ever seen before. Super sick bowl contest. I can only hope the future holds more of these. For now though, that is all. Here's Thrasher's take on the US Open.

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