Thursday, September 16, 2010

Skateboard Street League

As I was flipping through the channels on my 56" Samsung flat screen last night, I came upon something that I had heard about a few weeks prior, the Skateboard Street League. I remember hearing it once on Rob Dyrdek's MTV show 'Fantasy Factory' and again through email from a friend. I actually attempted to score some press passes to one of the events, but unfortunately, I never heard back. Although I was still a bit perturbed from being snubbed for press passes, I decided to watch; I mean, it was either that, or my sixth repeat of SportsCenter.

So, I was expecting to hear some random, confused announcer, attempting to use skateboarding terminology, but sounding extremely ignorant. To my surprise, Dyrdek himself, along with friend and fellow pro-skater Steve Berra, were each giving play-by-play and color commentary. It seemed as if they were right at home. Both Dyrdek and Berra were giving great explanations of what was taking place, how the scoring worked, why certain tricks were harder than the others and even giving background on each skater. Having the right people conveying information to the audience shows me that Dyrdek put a lot of deep thought and hard work into the Skateboard Street League.

Again, I was expecting the scoring and overall idea to be a little complicated to follow, but once I caught on (took about 2 minutes) it was very easy to follow, and it made a lot of sense. Let me break everything down for you:

Seven of the best skateboarders on Earth:
Nyjah Huston
Torey Pudwill
Paul Rodriguez
Shane O'neill
Sean Malto
Chaz Ortiz
Chris Cole

Four Sections:
1. Creative
2. Line
3. Technical
4. Big

In each section, every skater gets seven runs. Each run is given a score on a 1-10 scale, 10's are very hard to come by, as the highest score I saw from the competition in Phoenix was a seven. Each score is added together and that is the skaters score for that section. The score's from each section are then added together, and a winner is crowned.

Another thing I liked was the scoring bar located on the bottom of the screen, it allows the viewer to see which skater is up, how many points they are behind first place, and the score that they get for each trick. I've been out if the skateboard game since about 8th grade, when I realized that I wasn't any good, so I actually didn't know a few of these skaters (Sean Malto, Chris Cole, Chaz Ortiz). Leave it to Dyrdek to have the perfect solution to my problem. Throughout the competition, there are athlete profiles, where the skater himself gives you some background on where they came from and how they got to where they are today. It's the perfect way to help get a person on the fence to buy into the Skateboard Street League.

This competition is not just for fun either, there is a lot at stake, $150,000 to be exact. The fact that there are pretty hefty cash prizes for first and second place make this competition REAL. You can watch as the competitors strategize before taking their next run. They know their score, they know what they have to get to take the lead, or they know what kind of trick is needed to keep the lead, it's great to watch.

As Dyrdek stresses throughout the competition, the key is consistency. If you land every trick, you win, plain and simple. But it's not so simple, because skateboarding is difficult. I have the highest respect for anyone who can pull of the kind of insane tricks that these seven skaters were doing throughout the competition, it was absolutely amazing. The Skateboard Street League allows these guys a platform to perform their skill for people who may have never seen it live.

The part about this thing that struck me the most is Rob Dyrdek's sheer brilliance. First of all, the idea of having a Skateboard Street League is pure genius, never done before. Second, to have his other brands being advertised during the commercial breaks, DC and his kids toys the Wild Grinders, he's knocking out three birds with one stone. Lastly, Dyrdek is giving back to his true passion in life, skateboarding.

Dyrdek's success is unmatched in the skateboard world, and maybe even the world of entertainment. From DC to Rob and Big, Fantasy Factory, Wild Grinders, and now the Skateboard Street League, it's like everything Dyrdek touches turns to gold. I was intrigued by the idea, and now I am hooked, I think everyone should take time to sit down and watch this event, it's the future of skateboarding.

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