Tony Hawk’s first Green Alert, Street League tour, and an army of Olympians make it to the Utah State Fairpark
When skateboarder Nyjah Huston arrives in Tokyo this weekend, he will focus on winning the first Olympic medal presented in skateboarding. When it comes out, it will focus on Salt Lake City.
The first Street League Skateboarding Championship Tour event of the 2021 season is scheduled to take place August 27-28 at a new permanent street skating park that is being built at the Utah State Fairpark next to the Vans Skatepark. Huston – the six-time defending SLS champion – and many other Olympians are expected to compete after completing their events next Saturday and Sunday.
âWe expect them all to be here,â Joe Carr, CEO of SLS parent company Thrill One Sports, told the Salt Lake Tribune. âWe have a good buffer between this competition and our event. The expectation and timing is for people to come back from the Olympics and kind of go straight into the Street League season, which will be great for us. “
The Olympians may not even be the biggest draw of the free event.
Vans announced Monday that it will host the first Tony Hawk’s Green Alert competition inside the fairground rodeo site in conjunction with the SLS competition as part of a collaboration with the Utah Athletic Commission. Tony Hawk’s Green Alert is a brand new event that focuses on green skateboarding, the big air style Hawk is famous for. Hawk is scheduled to participate in a “Demonstration of Legends” on the evening of August 26th.
âI am delighted to follow skateboarding’s debut at the Tokyo Games with a world-class green event in Salt Lake City, one of America’s Olympic cities,â Hawk said in a statement. âWe’re going to bring some of the world’s most talented and daredevil skaters to this free two-day green showcase. The crowd will be blown away by our top flight action.
The Olympic Games will award medals in two disciplines of skateboarding in Tokyo. One is the street, in which competitors are rewarded for their creativity and the difficulty of their figures while walking a course reminiscent of a city center, with stairs, balustrades, ramps and benches. The other is the park, in which the course is a series of interconnected bowls with a few boxes placed around the perimeter and a concrete island in the middle.
Hawk, who will be a skate correspondent for NBC during the Games, said green deserves to be included in Paris 2024, when the sport will also be on the Olympic program. One of the reasons he was not included in Tokyo, he believes, is that previously the only big green competition was the X Games.
âWe just need more quality green skating competitions,â he recently told Inside Hook. âWe need to invite the best skaters and have a structured format with elements of the kind of fun chaos that goes with a best trick event and different categories for skaters – masters, legends, pros. “
In this vein, the popularity of the SLS tour has been seen as a major driver for the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics. Founded by pro skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek in 2010, he paved the way for becoming a professional competitive skateboarder. With $ 200,000 paid to his early champions, he helped make Huston the highest paid skateboarder in history.
In 2018, SLS partnered with World Skate, the official international governing body of skateboarding, to have the World Street Tour and the 2018 and 2019 Championships sanctioned as events that count towards Olympic qualification. These events, among others, were used to rank athletes for selection to the Olympic Games.
The SLS World Tour was canceled in 2020 due to the threat of the coronavirus. The Salt Lake City event will be the first on the tour since Huston was crowned champion in 2019. The event will be held in a new permanent park being built by California Skateparks, which also designs the temporary parks used in the SLS tour.
Some fans and riders will be happy to see the SLS Tour break with the restrictions and pressure it places on athletes while fulfilling the role of Olympic qualifier.
âI think a big part of our relaunch is, for example, that we’re going back to the old-fashioned SLS, which the fans loved and were passionate about,â Carr said. “And we’re kind of bringing back that old allure and those old formats and that kind of hottest skaters and big names and the entertainment value that has maybe been a bit lost in the last few years when it became more about the qualifying process and less about entertainment and fun.
Pro skateboarder Dashawn Jordan, who won X Games gold on the streets on Saturday, is among those ready to return the tour to his old self. The athlete from Chandler, Ariz. Is on the United States National Skateboard Team and almost made it to Tokyo. He said that while the Street League tour has traditionally used its previous events to screen athletes in its championship – just as Salt Lake City and Miami (October 29-30) will advance to the final in Jacksonville, Fla. (November 13). – 14) – the SLS tour felt more stifled when the Olympics were in play.
âThe format was the same. Nothing was too foreign. But it was just the fact that, like, you know, ‘OK, these points are carried over and it’s a point system now,’ âhe said. “All the other special things in the Street League were kind of taken out because they have to follow the rules of the Olympics.”
Once in Salt Lake City, Jordan believes he will be able to let go and show his creative and competitive side. He said he thrived on the collaboration between the competitors and would be ready to skate with and against Huston.
âIt was like, ‘Yo, let’s go! Let’s go! ‘ He said of his reaction to the news of the tour’s return. “Like finally a contest where it’s just pure fun with the mates and, you know, we skate hard and the environment is great.”
While admission to SLS and Vert Alert events is free, VIP tickets will go on sale July 26 at streetleague.com/tickets.