The Super Crown World Championship advertised itself as the event of the year, and did not disappoint. The world’s eight best put on a demonstration of skill and consistency rarely glimpsed in any competition, anywhere. With $200,000 dollars, the Nixon Championship watch and ring, and the World Champion title on the line, the Street League pros stepped up to the challenge.
With the prerequisite English accent in the booth (skate legend Geoff Rowley), the Super Crown tee’d off with the Flow Section.
The first round of Flow Section runs were a test of nerves, with most of the skaters taking a bail or two and posting unremarkable scores. The exception? The guy who’d tweaked his back the day before, and had been a game-time decision: Paul Rodriguez. Smooth as ever, P-Rod popped a huge switch flip over the central bump-to-bump and posted an 8.4 to take the early lead.
Skating a bit conservatively at first, Chris Cole’s second run ramped up the difficult tricks as it went along, and he impressed the crowd and judges alike when he spontaneously whipped out a backside tailslide to backside 180 flip out on the quarterpipe, netting him a score of 8.7.
Malto was also upping the ante his second run, with a backside nosegrind to backside 180 revert on the central bump-to-rail. Nyjah didn’t come out perfectly, as he did at the last stop in LA, but even after falling he improvised some impressive tricks including a nollie 180 heelflip over the central gap.
Paul wasn’t done after one run, though; his second run built on his first with a switchstance kickflip backside tailslide on a small Hubba before sitting on a switchstance frontside bluntslide down the bigger Hubba rail. Paul took the early lead into the Control Section.
In the Control Section, only the single highest trick score counts, and Malto jetted right into the lead by speeding into a backside overcooks to nollie flip out on the bump-to-rail for a well-deserved 9.2.
Torey Pudwill did a fast nollie flip to backside lipslide on the same rail, but wasn’t getting the scores he needed from the judges, who gave him just 8.1. Luan Oliveira also seemed to be underscored on an incredibly-hard switch frontside 180 to crooked grind to revert on the small Hubba.
Nyjah began making noise with an 8.7 for a nollie heelflip to frontside noseblunt on the bump-to-rail, but was still trailing going into his bread and butter, the Impact Section.
Cole and P-Rod, meanwhile, were knocking out tricks and putting up scores. Paul’s switch backside tailslide to bigspin out on the smaller Hubba netted him a strong 8.7.
Cole was in a class of his own, however. He followed a 360 flip to noseblunt slide with a ridiculously awkward alleyoop frontside 270 to backside lipslide. He kept one-upping himself until he made a frontside bluntslide to backside flip out on the rail (9.1). Cole went into the all-important Impact Section in pole position.
When he’d made it to the Impact Section previously this year, Nyjah had won every contest. Everyone was waiting for his fireworks show to begin. With the title on the line, though, his competitors came harder than ever before. Luan showed his pristine pop and style on a switch frontside 270 to frontside boardslide on the rail, and a perfect nollie hardflip noseslide on the Hubba (9.3).
Maybe it was nerves, but Malto suffered from inconsistency this Impact Section. Even though some internet snipers take shots at him for not flipping his board enough, his switch backside overcrooks grind down the rail was one of the hardest tricks done in the event (no other pro would even think of trying it). Though it scored just below 9 Club territory, at 8.9, at least Malto went out with a bang.
Paul put up the highest scored trick of the day with a super-solid nollie Cab 270 to backside lipslide (9.4). He padded his scoreline with a switch flip to switch frontside boardslide and a switch flip to switch backside lipslide, but couldn’t nail down a crucial fourth scoring trick, which pushed him down to fourth in the end.
The champ came out swinging. On the rails, Nyjah dropped a nollie heelflip to backside lipslide, a backside 270 to frontside noseblunt slide, and a 270 bigflip to frontside boardslide to fakie. But he was still trailing an on-fire Cole. In the end, Nyjah was left needing a 9.8 to win, a seemingly impossible score. Give last year’s champ his due: he went for it with a super-difficult kickflip to frontside hurricane grind. While it wasn’t a 9.8, the score seemed low at just 9.3, probably because he only dinked the rail on the hurricane grind.
Ultimately, though, Chris Cole won the Impact Section (and the contest) with his consistency, creativity, and trick difficulty. He made a gnarly a fakie ollie to frontside bluntslide to fakie on the Hubba (9.3), a sketched kickflip backside noseblunt on the rail (8.6), a backside 270 ollie to frontside noseblunt slide on the rail (9.1), and his now-patented 360 flip to 50-50/5-0/four-wheeler on the Hubba. Like he did at his first SLS win in Munich this year, he was going to roll away no matter what.
Congratulations to the 2013 Street League Nike SB World Tour’s Super Crown World Champion, Chris Cole.
As the season ends and the new World Champion is crowned, it’s still hard to believe the level of skateboarding Street League has witnessed this year. The 9 Club tricks have been coming at an increasing pace (and it’s not because the judges score too high). Nyjah continued to dominate, winning four of seven events and topping the 2013 season-end rankings. But when he was beaten by Cole and Paul this year, it wasn’t that Nyjah didn’t skate up to his abilities; it was that other skaters rose up to that level.
Even a vet of the skate game, Geoff Rowley, couldn’t believe his eyes or calm his nerves. As he witnessed the SLS pros nail impossible tricks in the Impact Section, trading leads, he wondered aloud, “Are they shaking like me?”
|Super Crown World Championship Results|