The “Super 8” qualifiers are locked, the stage is set, and the 2013 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship showdown is ready to roll. Here’s our first glimpse at the battlefield that will decide it all. (These are the same sketches the pros get.)
The biggest story: After a host of different options all year—from KC’s double-kinker to Munich’s giant Hubbas to LA’s long and flat rails—NJ’s final battle will be fought on a smaller rail and Hubba Impact Section. (In Nyjah’s Super Crown Interview, coming Friday, he notes that, as opposed to big rails, the smaller Impact Section will force the pros to try harder, more technical tricks to get scores.)
The entire Newark course is actually much more basic than many of the elaborate designs California Skateparks has come up with throughout the season. This will ultimately let the skating do the talking and provide a neutral battleground for the final eight to duke it out on for the $200,000 grand prize and the custom Nixon diamond watch.
From a wildcard obstacle standpoint, I think the most noteworthy features may be the two quarterpipes with hips at the course bottom, along with the wide channel to the freestanding big quarterpipe in the middle. While the rest of the course looks about as P-Rod-friendly as we’ve seen all year, those quarterpipes might just prove to be an X-factor. Of the Super 8, only Malto, Cole, and Luan throw down on transition consistently.
I think it goes without saying that Nyjah has to be the heavy favorite coming in off his authoritative win in LA but, again, this course’s more tech-friendly Impact Section and middle box setup could not be better suited for Paul’s meticulous switchstance attack, or even Cole’s bottomless bag of obscure and technical rail tricks. As we saw in Portland, these guys can get nuts on smaller rails.
The Nyjah vs. P-Rod/DC vs. Nike SB rivalries aside, there are other storylines that could prove even more intriguing: we’re still waiting for that Luan start-to-finish close-out, and he’s been just a couple of Impact Section tricks from a win all season; Chris Cole has been Cobra-bite dangerous in 2013, racking up a slew of seconds and a victory in Munich; Shane O’Neill is inching closer to a perfect 10 with every stop; and Malto, Torey, and Mikey Taylor definitely have the necessary skill to get red hot and take it all for themselves. Don’t discount anyone—remember, Malto is the only skater not named Nyjah to have won the championship before.
Sure, there are favorites, but any one of the Super 8 skaters can catch fire, and this course levels the field. The best skater will win, plain and simple.
STOP SEVEN: 2013 SLS SUPER CROWN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, Aug 24
-5:00PM ET: Preview Show. Live Webcast on StreetLeague.com.
Sunday, August 25
-7:00PM ET: Super Crown World Championship. Live on ESPN2.
*Live webcast for international viewers only on StreetLeague.com.
-8:30PM ET: #DiamondLife Afterparty. Live Webcast on StreetLeague.com.