Following an astounding seven second places finishes in Street League—he had four bridesmaids in the 2013 season alone—Cole won his first event in Munich.*
*That’s right, Cole’s first Street League win came with an asterisk: Nyjah wasn’t at Munich. Before Cole won, Nyjah had gone on a streak, winning the season’s first three events. At stop four in Munich, though, Mr. Huston was sidelined with bruised ribs. Cole won the Munich event, but he had still never been able to beat Nyjah.
In the Super Crown, Cole once again faced Nyjah. As Cole posted an 8.7 in the Flow Section and 9.1 in the Control (totaling 17.8), Nyjah put up 8.2 and 8.7 (totaling 16.9). But the Impact Section adds four more scores to the final tally; that’s what makes the Impact Section so crucial to any Street League victory.
As the all-important Impact Section began—the section where Nyjah typically runs away with the contest—things started as they always do when Nyjah takes over: with Huston stomping his first incredible Impact Section trick, this time a nollie heelflip to backside lipslide to fakie on the rail (8.5). Nyjah jumped right up into first place.
Cole responded with an even harder trick and an even higher score on his first attempt, a gnarly fake ollie to frontside bluntslide to fakie on the Hubba for 9.3.
Nyjah usually responds to any challenge by taking his trick difficulty up another notch. And he did: he whipped out a backside 270 to noseblunt on the rail for 9.0.
Cole then made a sketchy 360 flip to, um, something on the Hubba (8.0) and a sketched-landing kickflip backside noseblunt on the rail (8.6). Nyjah responded with a textbook bigflip frontside railslide to fakie (8.7). Cole came back with the same backside 270 to noseblunt Nyjah had done earlier, topping Nyjah’s score by getting 9.1.
On his last attempt, Nyjah was left needing a massive 9.8 score to win. To his credit, Nyjah stepped up and went for it with a kickflip frontside hurricane down the rail—a trick never before seen in the Impact Section. He only dinked the end of the rail and never locked into the hurricane grind. It clearly wasn’t a 9.8; it earned 9.3.
Something unusual happened in this Impact Section: Nyjah averaged an 8.9 score for his four Impact Section tricks, while Cole averaged 8.8. Yet with Cole’s score of 17.8 to Nyjah’s 16.9 going into the Impact (a lead of .9), Cole lost by .4 points in the Impact and still came out ahead overal, with an overall average trick score for the event of 8.8 to Nyjah’s 8.7. Cole was better on average, despite Nyjah’s Impact Section clinic.
At the Super Crown, Cole was able to go head-to-head with Nyjah at his best, and still bested him—but just not in the Impact Section.
Paul Rodriguez averaged even better than Cole and Nyjah in the Impact: 9.0 for his three makes (perfect nollie Cab to switch backside lipslide; switch flip to switch backside lipslide; switch flip to switch frontside boardslide). But Paul fell to fourth place, losing by 8.0, because he couldn’t make a fourth scoring trick. Paul needed only an 8.0—a very average score for him—to bring the title home for Nike SB and cop the $200,000.