Monster Energy congratulates team riders Kelvin Hoefler and Rayssa Leal on taking first place in the SLS Chicago 2023 street skateboarding competition this weekend.
CHICAGO, April 30, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Two wins in the Windy City! Monster Energy congratulates team riders Kelvin Hoefler and Rayssa Leal on taking first place in the SLS Chicago 2023 street skateboarding competition this weekend. In the first event of the 2023 SLS Championship Tour presented by Street League Skateboarding (SLS), 30-year-old Hoefler took the win in a dramatic Men’s Skateboard Street final. He was joined on the podium by 28-year-old Nyjah Huston from Laguna Beach, California in third place.
In the Women’s Skateboard Street discipline, 15-year-old Leal from Imperatriz, Brazil, claimed her fifth consecutive win with a dominant performance.
On April 29, the 2023 SLS World Championship Tour descended on Chicago for the season’s only tour stop in the United States. The series was established in 2010 by pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek as the world’s most authentic forum for the progression of street skateboarding. After SLS Chicago, the tour will commence with stops in Tokyo, Japan (August 12, 2023) and Sydney, Australia (October 7). Official world champions will then be determined at the soon-to-be-announced SLS Super Crown World Championship.
Energy levels were high for SLS Chicago 2023. Six years had passed since the competition was showcased in the Windy City for SLS Chicago 2017. This year’s event featured a California Skateparks-designed street course loaded with authentic street obstacles such as ledges, handrails, stair sets, and quarterpipes. As a special feature, the course included a replica of Chicago’s landmark Sea Wall spot.
The Men’s Skateboard Street competition introduced a new SLS rule: Riders were divided into four heats at five skaters each, with the winner advancing directly to the final. The remaining four spots in the final were given to the highest-scoring riders from all heats combined.
In the grueling knockout round, 30-year-old Kelvin Hoefler from São Paulo, Brazil, broke into the final with tricks including kickflip frontside nosegrind the tall Hubba (8.6 points), half Cab noseslide to tailslide fakie (8.9) and half Cab backside Smith grind 180 (9.0 points).
Team USA rider Nyjah Huston from Laguna Beach, California, earned his spot in the final eight on the strength of a perfect run featuring switch frontside tailslide the tall Hubba, switch heelflip and nollie backside heelflip the bump, and backside Smith grind the closeout rail for 8.4 points, supplemented by signature perfection in Best Tricks.
When the action moved into the final, Hoefler finessed a perfect run with a nollie nosegrind the tall Hubba, backside tailslide the closeout rail, kickflip backside lipslide the flat rail, kickflip frontside boardslide fakie down the rail, switch frontside tailslide the small Hubba, and half Cab crooked the tall Hubba for 8.2 points.
In Best Tricks, Hoefler brought his A-game to the tall Hubba ledge with half Cab noseslide to backside tailslide fakie (8.8 points), half Cab backside Smith grind (9.0 points), and half Cab crooked revert (8.9 points) to claim the top spot.
But on last attempts, Hoefler found himself leapfrogged by Canada’s Ryan Decenzo clinching the top spot. With everything riding on the final attempt of the contest, Hoefler showed grace under pressure by landing a technical Caballerial tailslide fakie for a Nine Club score of 9.0 points and 35.7 points for the win.
Hoefler’s winning trick was celebrated by the roaring crowd at Wintrust Arena. The win has personal meaning for the Brazilian: In 2015, Hoefler won the SLS contest in Chicago.
“I’m really happy! This crowd here, I love Chicago so much. I’m gonna cry, you know. It’s been a battle but I love skateboarding,” said Hoefler upon winning at SLS Chicago 2023.
Hoefler is a two-time X Games gold medalist and took home the silver medal in Men’s Skateboard Street at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Also claiming a podium spot at SLS Chicago 2023, Huston put down a near-perfect Line featuring switch frontside tailslide the tall Hubba, 360 kickflip the bump, kickflip off the quarterpipe deck, backside lipslide the flat rail, switch heelflip up the ledge, half Cab nosegrind revert the small Hubba, backside nollie heelflip the bump and a near-make switch frontside heelflip the tall gap for 7.1 points.
Making up for the low Line score, Huston came back by posting tech tricks down the tall Hubba, including a half Cab overcrook revert (8.8 points), switch heelflip frontside tailslide (9.3 points), and half Cab backside Smith revert (9.0 points) for 34.2 points and third place.
A six-time street skateboarding world champion, Nyjah Huston represented the United States at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Known as the winningest street skateboarder of all time, he is currently the only athlete ever to win X Games gold medals on five continents. After winning the first-ever X Games Real Street Best Trick competition in late 2020, Huston now owns 19 X Games medals in total (13 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze).
In Saturday’s Women’s Skateboard Street Final, the roaring crowd inside Wintrust Arena was in for an elite battle: The seven finalists included X Games medalists and SLS winners, hailing from Australia, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands.
Monster Energy’s Rayssa Leal came to Chicago as the reigning 2022 SLS World Champion. The Olympic silver medalist was also riding a victory streak of four wins after remaining unbeaten throughout the entire 2022 SLS World Championship Tour season. Would Leal be able to keep the wins coming?
In her first of two 45-second Line attempts, Leal put together a perfect routine featuring backside 5-0 grind the large Hubba, backside Smith grind the flat rail, frontside bluntslide down the rail, backside tailslide the small Hubba, and crooked grind the tall Hubba for 7.6 points.
Moving into Best Trick, Leal maintained her momentum by posting a backside Smith grind the tall Hubba for 7.4 points, followed by a perfect backside tailslide in the same spot for 8.0 points. But when Leal lost the handle on her next trick, the door opened for competitors to swoop the lead.
Battling in third place, Leal came through in the clutch on the final attempt of the contest: A perfect frontside bluntslide down the tall Hubba earned the Brazilian 8.4 points and the win.
“I’m so happy to be here in Chicago. It’s my very first time here!” said Monster Energy’s Leal upon winning the Women’s Street event at SLS Chicago 2023.
Saturday’s win marks the fifth consecutive SLS competition victory for Leal.
Hailing from Brazil, Leal ranges among the sport’s top competitors: In 2019, she made history as the youngest rider to ever win an SLS tour stop at age 11 and took second place at the SLS World Championship in Brazil that year. Leal represented Brazil in the Tokyo Olympics and claimed the silver medal in the Women’s Skateboard Street event. At X Games Chiba 2022, she became the youngest gold medalist in Women’s Skateboard Street and won later won the 2022 SLS Super Crown World Championship in Brazil.
Earlier in the Men’s Skateboard Street knockout round, Monster Energy rider Braden Hoban from Encinitas, California, stoked the crowd by posting kickflip crooked down the big Hubba. Sixteen-year-old Brazilian team rider Filipe Mota pulled a perfect heelflip backside tailslide the Hubba for a whopping 8.8 points. Brazil’s Giovanni Vianna put his technical bag of tricks on full display with a perfect fakie backside tailslide the big Hubba.
For more on Rayssa Leal, Kelvin Hoefler, and the Monster Energy skateboarding team, visit http://www.monsterenergy.com. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for exclusive updates as the action sports season continues.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes, and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at http://www.monsterenergy.com.
Kimberly Paige Dresser, Indie Agency, Inc., (949) 300-5546, [email protected]
SOURCE Monster Energy