Street League history unfolded at the first-ever SLS Monster Energy Pro Open this weekend, as eight newcomer pros battled neck-to-neck with 20 resident Street League Skateboarding pros for a $75k purse. After a high-octane finals, for the first time ending on a Control Section heat, unstoppable Huston walked away with another win at Nike SB's private, state-of-the-art Sixth & Mill Skatepark in Downtown Los Angeles.
One of the most exciting finals in skateboarding history saw Huston and Ishod Wair go blow-for-blow after the top spot. Ultimately, Huston took first place with an outstanding performance, including a cab flip frontside boardslide fakie down the rail for 9.4 points in the Impact Section, and a backside 270 kickflip lipslide down the rail for 9.6 points, the highest-score of the weekend in the Control Section.
Looking like a strong contender for the top spot, Wair joined the prestigious Street League 9 Club with the highest-scoring Flow Section run of the weekend at 9.2 points. Ishod dwarfed the course with a backside smith grind on the out ledge, a backside noseblunt revert high up on the bank and frontside 270 to backside lipslide on the rail. His highest-scoring Impact Section move, a big flip front board fakie on the big rail, earned 8.3 points.
Wair's strong performance continued as the finals came down to six crucial attempts in the Control Section: Opening with another 9 Club, a frontside kickflip tailslide fakie down the big rail for 9.0 points, Wair nailed a frontside 180 to switch crooked revert on the out ledge and a switch flip front board down the rail. After Wair missed a nollie frontside bluntslide down the rail, Huston came in and sealed his victory with a nollie cab to frontside boardslide down the rail for 8.7 points.
For his victory lap, Huston threw a textbook 360 flip frontside Smith grind down the rail, winning first place with a 54.6 score at the SLS Monster Energy Pro Open and a 'golden ticket' entry into the SLS Nike SB Super Crown Championship.
Shane O'Neill also had a shot at first place with unmatched technical precision on moves such as his signature switch double 360 flip down the stairs for a 9.1 point 9 Club entry, bigspin backside lipslide across the bump to rail, and an extremely difficult nollie kickflip to crooked grind nollie flip out on the bench. Ultimately he finished in a respectable fourth place.
Matt Berger, coming in hot as yesterday's top qualifier, caused one of the biggest shake-ups in SLS history in the Semi finals: The Canadian rookie unseated a dominant Huston's 33.2 point score with a flawless performance in the Flow and Control Sections, including high-scoring tricks such as ollie over to backside smith down the handrail, nollie frontside bluntslide down the rail and backside 180 to fakie 5-0 on the Hubba for a 33.8 point score. Unfortunately, Berger ended up missing crucial tricks in his finals run in the Flow Section for an early exit with a respectable 8th place finish, but still came up by earning a spot on the Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour as one of the three new qualifiers.
Following the high-stakes finals, all SLS Pro Open competitors had a chance to bring their best moves to a 20-minute, best-score heat, the Diamond Life After Party Best Trick Encore, with a $5,000 purse. Walking away with the $3,500 for 1st place was O'Neill with bigspin bluntslide down the rail, while Berger came in second with a backside 180 to fakie 5-0 down the rail.