SLS London 2019 – Street League Skateboarding Returns

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Street League Skateboarding (SLS) returned to London a few weekends ago, with the Copperbox Arena at the Olympic Park hosting both women’s and men’s events spread over the two days. Kev Hurdle and Linden Nieto got up close to share the action.

Manny Santiago

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Now in it’s eighth year, the event – created by pro-skateboarder Rob Dyrdek in 2010 – introduced the new World Tour event format.

Leticia Bufoni

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In partnership with World Skate, SLS has removed the Pro Open event with each stop of the tour now having a multi-round format, including a Global Open Round. This gives more skaters the opportunity to work their way up the rankings and secure their place on the SLS World Tour.

Kendra Long

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Pamela Rosa

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At this year’s London event, the women’s semi- and men’s quarter-finals were held on the Saturday and the men’s semi-finals took place on Sunday morning. Followed, of course, by the serious action of the finals.

Matt Berger

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There is almost non-stop action; from practice runs to fun events and feebies being thrown into the crowd. Fans and favourite riders chat, take selfies and get autographs.

Nyjah Huston

Kev and Linden had pit access on Sunday and, whilst the commentators hyped the audience; calling out the tricks and relaying the live commentary around the world, they captured the awesome performances from the men and women taking part.

SLS London 2019 by Linden Nieto

Each SLS course is designed by Rob Dyrdek and Joe Ciaglia of California Skateparks. The event’s skate plaza course had a unique design but stayed within SLS’s two sections basis. Each section tests a different skill set within street skateboarding.

The Run Section highlights style, consistency and how the skater makes use of the full course as they link together a 45-second run. The Best Trick Section highlights their ability to consistently land tricks of ever increasing difficulty.

Mariah Duran

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Candy Jacobs

Scoring is undertaken by five SLS judges, assigning a score of 0-10 using Raw Motion Instant Scoring. During the Run section each rider has 45 seconds in which to combine several tricks. In the Best Trick section each rider has 5 trick attempts which are also scored 0-10. They judge each trick in each section with the highest and lowest scores for each trick being dropped. It is the middle three scores which are instantly averaged to make the trick score, and that is added to the running point total.

Shane O’Neill

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Louie Lopez

The top four scores across both the Run & Best Trick sections count towards a skaters overall contest score with a maximum possible score of 40. Although the scores do not carry over from the Prelim Heats to the Finals – the highest score from the Finals wins the competition – the overall scores from each contest contribute to a skater’s ongoing ranking leading into the SLS World Championship.

Sora Shirai

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The atmosphere builds up, with more and more noise as the contestants land more and more diffcult tricks, working up to the finals.

Aori Nishimura

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Aura Bredart

If you haven’t been to the Copperbox, a train or tube to Stratford and a pleasant 6 minute skate through the Olympic Park with the West Ham United football ground to your left gets you there. On arrival, dump your skateboard into the free ‘parking’ area so that, once inside, you have your hands free to pick up freebies, t-shirts, hot dogs and beer.

Funa Nakayama

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Leticia Bufoni

It is a super family-orientated event, all ages enjoying the show and is worth going to see irrespective of what type of board you ride.

Alexi Sablone
Louie Lopez

A tribute to Ben Raemers, team rider for enjoi, who also worked with Converse and Volcom, sadly took his own life on 15th May. The 28 year old was originally from Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, England before moving to America. Whether it was his name inscribed on a board, his image on a T-shirt or other emblem – he was remembered.

Ben Raemers – Photo : enjoi

All the action can be caught up on by visiting the SLS YouTube channel where coverage of the semi- and finals for both men and women’s categories have been posted.

Pamela Rosa 1st – Hayley Wilson 2nd – Rayssa Leal 3rd

Nyjah Huston took the win in the men’s category with Gustavo Ribeiro taking 2nd place and Shane O’Neill landing third place.

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With thanks to Kev Hurdle for photography and Linden Nieto for videography.

Words by Kev Hurdle and Sabina Edwards.

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