With tickets for the 2017 SLS Nike SB World Tour going on sale on April 4th, we decided to take a look back at the incredible 2016 season. It was definitely one for the history books!
Chris Joslin – 360 Flip
The 2016 SLS Nike SB Pro Open at Skate Agora BDN in Barcelona kicked off the 2016 season with a heated Qualifier round on Day One. 30 non-SLS pros from 14 different countries battled it out in five action-packed heats. The Top 8 finishers would advance to the next day to skate in the Semi Final against the SLS Pros. The top two non-SLS finishers on Day Two would become SLS Pros. Tommy Fynn came out strong—consistently landing tricks including fakie 5-0 down the rail, backside noseblunt down the hubba, and his patented fakie ollie switch blunt down the rail. His performance earned Tommy a first-place finish at the end of the Qualifier round. Ryo Sejri, Boo Johnson, Tiago Lemos, Karsten Kleppan, Curren Caples, Moses Adams, and Madars Apse rounded out the Top 8 and would all skate alongside Tommy and the SLS Pros in the Semi-Final the following day.
Kevin Bradley – Frontside 360
The Semi Final was a classic example of what it takes to advance to an SLS Final. The level of skating was absolutely incredible. Tommy Fynn and Tiago Lemos did not make the Final, but were welcomed into SLS as the top placing non-SLS pros.
New SLS Pros Tiago Lemos & Tommy Fynn
The Final of the 2016 Pro Open in Barcelona seemed to be anybody’s for the taking during the Run portion. Just about everyone took the top spot after they completed their run. But it was Shane O’Neill’s flawless second line that included a switch flip front board down the rail and bigspin fakie 5-0 on the ledge that catapulted him to the head of the pack with an 8.7 score.
Shane O’Neill – Switch Flip Front Board
Nyjah Huston tried his best to bump him down with a flawless run of his own including a backside 360 kickflip on the wedge-to-wedge ramp, but fell short with an 8.4 score landing him in 2nd. During the Best Trick portion of the contest hammers were dropped. Some notables were Joslin’s ollie up onto the bench on top of the volcano bigspin off to flat, Luan Oliveira’s nollie bigflip noseslide on the bump to ledge, and Nyjah Huston’s cab front blunt down the rail. But when it was all said and done, it was Shane O’Neill’s switch flip back lip and switch big flip front board down the rail that earned an 8.5 and 9.2, respectively, that sealed the deal on the win. Barcelona definitely set the stage for the 2016 season.
The Munich Course
Stop Two of the 2016 SLS Nike SB World Tour returned to Munich. The course was smaller—which translated into some seriously technical skating. Everyone went all out during the Prelims trying to secure a spot in the Final. New SLS Pro Tiago Lemos came out swinging with a gigantic switch pop shove it over the rail with so much style during his run. He followed that up with a fakie ollie switch frontside crook down the rail and a nollie backside flip tailslide down the hubba that cinched his spot in the Final in his first official SLS event.
Tiago Lemos – Kickflip Crooks
Shane O’Neill’s momentum from winning the Pro Open showed during his perfect runs in the Prelims. In the Best Trick section he dropped a switch double 360 flip down the stairs for a 9.0 and followed that up with a bigspin back tail bigspin out down the hubba for a 9.3—the highest score of the day. Shane would go on to finish the heat in front of the pack. As always, Nyjah came out with his big guns blazing. During the Best Trick section he landed a backside flip fakie nosegrind back to regular earning him a 9.2! The roster for the Final shaped up to be Shane O’Neill, Nyjah Huston, Tom Asta, Tiago Lemos, Ryan Decenzo, Carlos Ribeiro, Luan Oliveira, and Paul Rodriguez.
The Munich Final really all boiled down to the Best Trick section. During the Run portion, Shane O’Neill shined with a flowing line that earned him an 8.9. Paul Rodriguez perfectly executed a line that was almost entirely switch and Nyjah Huston did not fall on a line that included a 270 lip down the rail. Shane’s performance landed him on top at the end of the Run section.
Paul Rodriguez Wins Munich
During Best Trick, it came down to consistency and heavy tricks. Paul Rodriguez showed what champions are made of with a crooked grind nollie heelflip out on the rail for a 9.3 and kept it going with an 8.7 on a switch flip backside nosegrind down the hubba that landed him in 1st place. Despite the best efforts of guys like Luan Oliveira who frontside flipped and hardflipped off the bank ramp over the barrier of the course and Tiago Lemos who did a nollie nosegrind off the wedge onto a waist-high rail—nobody could best Paul’s lead and he ended up taking home the win. The final results were Paul Rodriguez in first, Luan Oliveira in second and Nyjah Huston in third.Paul’s win proved that consistency is key when it comes to an SLS victory.
The New Jersey Course
The New Jersey stop was a departure from Munich. Both the size of the course and obstacles were quite a bit larger—which took some getting used to for many of the pros. Given the distance to cover, you had to be quick to get in the amount of tricks to rack up points. The stakes were high too –7 of the Top 8 spots for the Super Crown World Championship had been clinched leaving everyone battling for that last spot. This course was the perfect recipe for seasoned SLS veteran Nyjah Huston who was hungry for a win after not winning since the 2015 Pro Open over a year before. He dropped tricks including fakie ollie switch nosegrind and switch front feeble down the 12-stair rail with ease. Paul Rodriguez handled business on the stairs with a switch flip, switch heel, and switch frontside flip. And Evan Smith blew minds with his incredible frontside flip over the channel that earned him a whopping 9.3 score. When it was all said and done, the line-up going into the Final was Evan Smith, Nyjah Huston, Chris Joslin, Paul Rodriguez, Tommy Fynn, Chris Cole, Carlos Ribeiro, and Luan Oliveira.
Evan Smith – Stalefish
In the Final, the pressure was on and the cream rose to the top. SLS rookie Carlos Ribeiro and SLS Pick Chris Joslin came out hard with solid flawless runs—Joslin’s included a perfect backside 360 down the stairs. And Nyjah Huston had the eye of the tiger while flowing through runs that included bangers like nollie back 5-0 and nollie backside overcook down the rail that earned him an 8.1 and 8.5, respectively. After grabbing an early lead the Best Trick section was all about the Chris Joslin and Nyjah Huston show. Joslin rifled off gap to back smith on the wedge to rail, backside 360 off the wedge over the quarterpipe, hardflip revert down the 12 stair, and bigger flip off the wedge to flat. Not to be outdone, Huston fired back with a kickflip front board on the gap to rail, cab back lip down the 12-stair rail, kickflip back lip on the gap to rail, and a mind-blowing 270 noseblunt down the 12-stair rail to take his first win in over a year! Chris Joslin placed right behind him in second clinching the last remaining spot for the Super Crown World Championship and SLS Rookie Tommy Fynn took third for his first podium finish at his second event as an SLS Pro.
New Jersey Top 3: Chris Joslin, Nyjah Huston, Tommy Fynn
The winners and the highest scoring SLS Pros of the season are the Top 8 Pros that skate in the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship. The 2016 Super Crown World Championship contained some of the best skating in SLS history and was a true cliffhanger right up until the end. The top spots for the 2016 Super Crown went to Shane O’Neill (2016 Tampa Pro & Pro Open winner), Paul Rodriguez (Munich winner), Nyjah Huston (New Jersey winner) with the remaining spots going to the highest scoring SLS Pros of the 2016 season – Tom Asta, Luan Oliveira, Cody McEntire, Ryan Decenzo & SLS Pick Chris Joslin.
Chris Joslin – 16 Foot Channel Ollie
Chris Joslin started the Run Section off with a bang starting his run with a 16-foot ollie over the quarter pipe channel gap and ending it with a huge backside 360 from the wedge gap to flat. Joslin became the first pro in SLS history to earn back-to-back 9-Club scores in the Run section. He scored a 9.0 on his first and a 9.2 on his second. Nyjah Huston put in a solid performance punctuated by gap to lipslide on the wedge gap to rail for an 8.5. And Shane O’Neill’s flawless footwork that included crooked grind nollie flip out on the ledge into bank followed by a bigspin front board on the rail and a bigspin back tail down the rail earned himself a 9.0 rolling into the finals.
Nyjah Huston – Gap to Noseblunt
The Best Trick portion of the contest was something that had to be witnessed to be believed. There was only one score below an 8.0 and a total of nine 9-Club Scores! Literally, everyone was on fire. Some of the insane highlights were Nyjah Huston’s gap to noseblunt and kickflip gap to front board on the wedge gap to rail, Luan Oliveira kickflipping and backside flipping the box on flat, Paul Rodriguez’s nollie crooked grind nollie heelflip out on the rail, Chris Joslin’s 16-foot blindside ollie to fakie on the quarterpipe channel gap, and Shane O’Neill’s jaw dropping bangers – switch 360 flip lipslide, switch bigflip front board, and nollie 360 flip front board on the rail. Shane’s massacre on the rail sealed the deal and he was crowned the 2016 SLS World Champion.
If the 2016 season is any indication, then 2017 is going to be absolutely insane. You are definitely not going to want to miss a moment. Tickets go on sale this Tuesday, April 4.
2016 SLS World Champion Shane O’Neill