Street League Skaters Ollie Into Arizona
Rob Dyrdek’s Street League Skateboarding Brings Some Of The World’s Best To Glendale’s Jobing.com Arena
Nyjah Huston at work in the air over the course at the Kansas City stop of Street League Skateboarding.
By Brad Hamilton
Special for Modern Times Magazine
July 9, 2011 — With no snow and plenty of concrete, the Phoenix metro area has long been a hotbed of the skate scene.
But come July, it is often too hot for even the most dedicated skaters to hit the pavement. But those looking to pick up some new tricks or to just see some great street skaters ollie, nollie and grind don’t have to brave the heat July 17 and 18. All they have to do is head over to Jobing.com arena in Glendale, Ariz. for Street League Skateboarding action.
The finale on Sunday will also be televised live by ESPN2, but why watch it on TV when it can be seen live?
For those not in the know, Street League Skateboarding is the brainchild of professional skateboarder, entrepreneur, and star of MTV’s Rob and Big, Rob Dyrdek. Street League features 24 of the world’s top street skateboarders competing at three seperate events, culminating in the championship Aug. 28 in New Jersey. The Glendale, Ariz., stop is the third and final event before the championship showcase.
Nyjah Huston, last season’s grand winner, has won the first two stops in Seattle and Kansas City, in 2011. Also scheduled to compete in Glendale are Billy Marks, Braydon Szafranski, Chaz Ortiz, Chris Cole, David Gonzalez, Dylan Rieder, Eric Koston, Luan Oliveira, Mark Appleyard, Mike Mo Capaldi, Mikey Taylor, Nick Dompierre, Paul Rodriguez, Peter Ramondetta, PJ Ladd, Ryan Sheckler, Sean Malto, Shane O’Neill, Tommy Sandoval, and Torey Pudwill. Brandon Biebel, Terry Kennedy and Marc Johnson are injured and not competing.
The pressure will definitely be on these pros, since after the Glendale stop, only the top ten contenders will qualify to compete for $200,000 and the Street League Championship watch and ring next month in New Jersey. Winners of the first three stops have a “golden ticket” directly to the championship event with the seven other championship contenders being determined by overall ranking.
Since Huston has won the first two stops, he is the only one guaranteed a spot in the championship event so far. The top ten as of now are, in order: Johnson, Ortiz, Cole, Scheckler, Pudwill, O’Neill, Marks, Taylor, Rodriguez and Capaldi.
Street League has each skater going one at a time in a line-up. Each skater does their trick one after another in the same section for seven attempts. Key in the Street League format is the fact that every trick counts. Tricks that are not landed are given a zero. Landed tricks are judged on a 0.0 to 10.0 scale for a cumulative point total that determines ranking. Each trick can also fall into a separate range of points according to difficulty. Combinations of these tricks, innovations, special circumstance — special style, doing tricks the "hard way," switch, nollie — add additional points to each score. Maximum possible trick score is 10.0.
Another innovation on display at Street League Skateboarding is the Instant Scoring Experince, or ISX. This method of calculating the scores provides judges with an ISX dial and then the ISX system instantly averages the points awarded which provides instant, real-time results for every trick.
“2011 takes Street League to the next level with a nationwide tour and live programming,” said Dyrdek. “Not only are we creating the most thrilling championship finale in skateboarding history, but with the addition of elimination we are bringing that ISX buzzer beating moment to every section of the finals. The results will be historical.”
Each Street League course is designed by Rob Dyrdek and California Skateparks. It is the first time concrete plazas have been built inside an arena for a competition. Each skate plaza course will be entirely different at each event but will be divided into four distinct sections. Each section tests a different area of street skating — creative section, line section, technical section, and big section.
Nyjah Huston tweeted Saturday that he had seen the design for the Arizona event and was awed at its awesomeness.
“Yeeeeaa got the course design for the AZ @STREETLEAGUE today and shits sickkkk,” Houston said.
For more information or tickets, visit www.streetleague.com.
Brad Hamilton is a freelance writer currently living in Tempe, Ariz.