The finals at SLS Portland were perhaps the most exciting yet—there were more 9-plus scores than ever before and the whole event came down to the last try on the last section. The top 8 skateboarders who progressed through the prelims hit real street obstacles, built from scratch for today’s event. A combination of scores from three sections—Flow, Control, and Impact are summed to determine the final results.
A true competitor and methodical skateboarder, as usual Cole was the most consistent from start to finish in today’s finals. In the Flow Section his best score included a pop-over backside lipslide, 180 fakie 5-0 180 out, grapefruit grind, a nollie crooked grind, a backside smith, and a frontside flip to fakie, (8.6). He was in 2nd place heading into the Control section, where a frontside tailslide to switch back 5-0 back 180 out meant a big score of 8.8. However, he managed to improve on that score with a really heavy frontside 270 switch backlip on the rail (9.4).
With a high score already on the board, Cole really needed to show up for the Impact section. He first nailed a backside 360 ollie for a 6.5, then a nollie backside heelflip (7.5), and a frontside half Cab flip (8.5) to take the lead. Competition was stiff though, and Cole needed a solid score on his 6th and final try if he wanted a podium spot. He pulled an absolutely perfect switch frontside flip for a 7.0 and the 2nd place finish.
One to always love the pressure and intensity of competition, Cole said, "It was awesome to have it all come down to the last try for everyone. That’s how I want it. To get second place, especially with all those dudes, I’m stoked."
Wair, the young buck of the finals who’s known for his street rawness, lead through the entire finals until the last Impact section. He came out of the gates hot in the Flow section thanks to a 180 switch crooked grind, nollie heel the bumps back nosebluntslide, and fakie crooked grind. The score, a 9.0, meant the early lead and his first career 9-plus score of SLS. In the Control section, a 180 switch crooked grind on the hubba was good for a huge 9.1, meaning he was moving into Impact section in 1st place. He looked solid throughout the impact, including a switch frontside flip, a Nollie Cab, and a 360 flip off the top rope.
Afterwards, Wair said, "I feel like one bad mother. I feel like I won. I’m just stoked I made it this far—I did really good!"
O’Neill also looked strong throughout the finals, but the highlight of his day came on the last obstacle when he stomped a switch double 360 flip, earning a 9.9 (out of 10). Not only was it the highest scoring trick of the contest, but it also ties for the highest score in SLS history.
After the finals, The Diamondlife Afterparty Best Trick contest got going. Huston, who made the SLS finals, but was eliminated early after sketching out on his trick, got redemption at the Diamondlife Afterparty, winning it despite the fact that he’s still recovering from the rib injury that sidelined him last month in Munich.
From here, the SLS Tour heads to Southern California for X Games Los Angeles 2013, August 1-4. The Tour then wraps up at the Super Crown in New Jersey on August 25.
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