Arena skateboarding is not really our thing here at NY Skateboarding but joining forces with SHUT, El Senor & Gnarmads we decided to pack out a bus and head to Newark, NJ in support of skateboarding. With the help of complimentary iced coffee, meatballs and PBR (thanks to @pabstblueribbon, @meatballers & @chameleoncoldbrew) we quickly assembled a crew at SHUT and headed west in a bus to check out Street League at the Prudential Center. In less than an hour we pulled up in front of the arena, finished some “road sodas” and watched some of the local heads skate the large hockey player sculpture aka “The Iron Man”. After a few dice games, some visitors and 8 attempts to head inside, we finally got the entire crew together and made it inside the arena.
First stop was the hospitality lounge which was generously stocked with food, drinks and several TV’s showing a live feed of the prelims. After a beer or two we departed the lounge and made our way into the main skating area. It’s a unique feeling walking through a dimly lit hallway then entering a brightly lit arena that sits 17,000 people cheering on skateboard tricks.
Then it sinks in – WOW, skateboarding is huge! This is a major event with insanely talented/consistent skateboarders and the crowd is filled with legends young and old (photos below). Warm-ups blow your mind… lines fit for a video part are just practice runs. After years of blood, sweat and tears these guys are actually making a career from skateboarding, and after tonight someone is one step closer to winning the Super Crown. Super Crown, if you don’t know, is achieved after winning 6 levels of contests starting with DAMN AM at the Skate Park of Tampa. Nyjah Houston won the Super Crown last year taking home $200k.
After the preliminary heats between 25 skaters, the contest slimmed down to 8 of the best including: Luan Oliveira, Nyjah Huston, Kelvin Hoefler, Ryan Decenzo, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger, Shane O’Neill and Paul Rodriguez. In the end Luan Oliveira took first place after making the crowd roar time and time again shutting it down with an effortless switch 360 flip down the gap. The crowd went nuts; this was a solid win.
Diamond sponsored the #diamondbesttrick contest to finish up the night giving Matt Berger, Matt Miller and Evan Smith a few thousand extra cash. The event ended as Street League trophies were given out for 1st place – Luan Oliveira, 2nd place – Nyjah Huston and 3rd place – Kelvin Hoefler. Luan straight up earned it!
The event was ending and our bus was scheduled to leave sharply at 6:30pm which was cool until I realized my watch said 6:40. I jetted out of the arena with Peter Pabón just making the ride back to NYC, destination: Max Fish. The trip back took a little longer with traffic but it worked out perfectly giving everyone a chance to finish off the PBR’s.
Another great memory provided by skateboarding… great crew, good times, tasty food and great skateboarding. Thanks to Michael Cohen, Sarah from VOCAL, Molly from Street League, PBR (@pabstblueribbon), The Meatball Shop (@meatballers) and Chameleon Cold Brew (@chameleoncoldbrew) for sponsoring the trip!
Photos via Peter Pabón:
P.S. Thanks Lil Wayne for letting us use your seats 😉