Pro street skateboarding league goes global

Youths skateboard in the evening at a park in the central business district in Singapore March 13, 2015. — Reuters pic
Youths skateboard in the evening at a park in the central business district in Singapore March 13, 2015. — Reuters pic

BARCELONA, March 29 — The world’s first professional league for street skateboarding announced that it will be extending its season to include the first-ever international Pro Open event in Barcelona, Spain, opening up two extra spots for its tour, which starts soon after.

It’s the first independent event on the Street League Skating (SLS) calendar to be held outside the US, although SLS has hosted events in collaboration with the X-Games that have brought it to Brazil, Spain and Germany.

Called the SLS Nike SB Pro Open, the qualifying event in Barcelona will afford two professionals a shot at competing on the 2015 Nike SB World Tour.

The move by SLS is an attempt to reach more talent, according to a press release, and to establish a global qualification structure to advance the best professionals to the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship, to be held in October in Chicago.

The league includes the top 24 skateboarding pros, who compete for what is thought to be the largest purse in the sport.

At all events leading up to the World Championship, SLS athletes accumulate points, with the top eight athletes determining the result in a final, 90-minute heat.

Each trick is scored independently in SLS events, whereas most other professional skateboarding competitions are scored based on the judges’ overall impression of the athlete’s full run.

SLS was founded in 2010 by pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and has quickly evolved, obtaining sponsorship from the likes of Nike SB, and Nixon Watches and Chevy Sonic have contributed prizes.

SLS is distributed in the US by the network FOX Sports 1 and events are streamed live on its website.

It’s also possible to download the entire 2014 season on iTunes and the SLS website offers on-demand viewing of recent events.

SLS will drop into Barcelona May 16 through 17, revert to its homebase of Los Angeles, California for the July 11 Stop One of the tour, go to Newark, New Jersey on August 23 for Stop Two and finish on October 4 in Chicago for the World Championship. — AFP-Relaxnews

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