5 things to watch at the SLS Super Crown World Championship
AUG 18, 2014 6:30p ET
As skateboarders the world over remember the life of legendary pro skateboarder Jay Adams, who died of a heart attack last week, many Street League Skateboarding pros have taken to social media to express Adams' influence on today's skateboarding and their careers. Adams' legacy will no doubt be at the forefront when the pros gear up for the most important event of the SLS Tour — the Nike SB Super Crown World Championship.
Here are five things to watch heading into this weekend's event in Newark, N.J.
1) Stakes are high
Set for 9 p.m. ET on Aug. 24 (LIVE on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO, w/ international webcast on StreetLeague.com) at the Prudential Center, the Super Crown World Championship represents the culmination of the 2014 SLS tour where the tour's top eight pros will compete for the title of SLS Champion and the $200,000 check that comes with it — by far the richest contest purse in professional skateboarding. Each stop of the tour thus far has seen an unprecedented level of skateboarding competition. And judging by July's finals showdown in Los Angeles — where Torey Pudwill and Luan Oliveira finished behind Nyjah Huston despite Huston's injured wrist and borrowed board — these Super Crown Championships should be nothing short of an all-out competitive brawl.
2) Can Nyjah go undefeated in 2014?
Points leader Huston has proved to be an unstoppable force throughout the 2014 tour, walking away with wins at the Pro Open, Chicago and Los Angeles stops, This dominance begs two questions — 1) can Huston's immense momentum carry him through to victory in New Jersey, and 2) is there anyone on the tour that stands a chance at taking him out? With 2013 SLS Tour champion Chris Cole out of the running, it looks like Huston has a clean shot at the title. But he'll have to get through a few very tough competitors first, along with the added stress and compounded pressure of the Prudential Center.
3) Pudwill, Berger and Oliveira mean business
If Huston is to claim the crown, he's going to have to beat out guys like Pudwill (whose 2014 season is shaping up to be his strongest on record), lesser-known contenders like rookie Matt Berger (who burst onto the SLS scene with force this year with the top qualifying run at the Monster Energy Pro Open) and guys like Oliveira — who gave Huston a run for his money in Los Angeles in a show-stopping finals. All three of these pros stand more than a fighting chance at winning in New Jersey and have stood firm against Huston's relentlessness thus far.
4) P-Rod & O'Neill are hungry for a Super Crown win
Aside from having to face the tenacity of Oliveira and Berger, along with the power and consistency of Pudwill, Huston will also have to face off with more seasoned pros like Paul Rodriguez and Shane O'Neill, both of whom have plenty of experience when it comes to strategy in SCC finals. As any SLS judge will tell you, choosing the right tricks and tactfully pacing yourself in the Super Crown pressure cooker can make all the difference when it comes to walking away with a win. Both P-Rod and O'Neill have yet to capture a win at the Super Crown World Championship despite several close attempts — that should give both skaters added drive and hunger for victory in New Jersey.
5) Don't forget the late charger or the hometown hero
Also in the running at this year's Super Crown is Chaz Ortiz, who has made a noteworthy jump in his tour standings from 10th to sixth after a standout performance in L.A. Ortiz is followed closely by New Jersey native Ishod Wair who, despite being the last skater to make the cut for the SCC, has plenty of credentials backing him up. He was named Thrasher Magazine's 2013 Skater Of The Year will have an added hometown advantage with an arena packed full of local fans ready to cheer him on.
Coverage of the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship will air live on FOX Sports 1 on Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. ET with additional live coverage, including the pre-show, practice and prelims, webcast on www.streetleague.com, www.foxsports.com and on the FOX Sports GO app.