The SLS Nike SB World Tour’s fifth 2013 stop is back on US soil, and the kitsch of Munich’s Bavarian beer garden theme has been traded in for a strictly business, function-over-fashion minimalism. With a few never-before-seen obstacles like the central volcano, California Skateparks creation for Portland should change up most skaters’ strategies. Let’s take the tour.
The main point of interest is the lack of rails or Hubbas where the final Impact Section battle will take place. This means the Portland course will favor the jumpers. No meticulous collection of Hubba tricks for P-Rod, Cole, or Torey, nor massive gaps out to kinked rail for Nyjah (yep, he’s back) or Dylan. This stop will be decided by some good old-fashioned flip tricks down stairs (and even off the bumps for the more courageous). Who does this favor? I don’t think I’m going very far out on limb predicting a strong finish for Luan Oliveira. An in-his-prime Bastien might have won this one in his sleep, and would be a clever dark horse. Clearly in his prime, Nyjah has been unstoppable no matter what the terrain.
Outside the Impact highlands, the lower terraces on either side will serve up a black double-kinked Hubba and China gap on one side, and a steep Hubba and bump-to-flatbar on the other.
Moving to the centerpiece, the volcano has the potential to open up all kinds of creative approaches. With a bench in the crater and two channels on either side this obstacle could be a big hit, generating tricks in every possible direction. Or it may be too tricky for most, and be avoided like the plague. But it definitely seems the most interesting.
The volcano has the potential to open up all kinds of creative approaches… this obstacle could be a big hit… Or it may be too tricky for most, and be avoided like the plague.
Either side of the volcano are curved flatbars, perfect terrain for Shane O’Neill to re-enact his crooks nollie flip to boardslide that got him a 9.5 last year, along with a bench and up-down flatbar combo.
Finally, Portland will close out with more quarterpipes, including a central extension. With perhaps more transition options than any stop to date, Portland might also be a boon for some of SLS tranny rippers like Ishod and David Gonzalez. Although they’ll still have to dust off their street boots if they have hopes of getting anywhere come Impact Section time.
THE COURSE IS SET. TUNE IN BEGINNING SAT-SUN JULY 13-14 FOR ALL THE ACTION.
Saturday, July 13
- Preview Show: Live Webcast on StreetLeague.com, 8:00PM ET
Sunday, July 14
- Prelims: Live Webcast on StreetLeague.com, 4:00PM ET
- Final: Live on ESPN2, 7:00PM ET.
*Final Live Webcast on StreetLeague.com available to international viewers only.
- #DiamondLife Afterparty: Live Webcast on StreetLeague.com, 8:30PM ET