NYJAH HUSTON WINS SKATEBOARD STREET GOLD AT X GAMES AUSTIN 2014

For the highly anticipated finals, six of the world’s best street skateboarders took their individual approaches to the concrete course that incorporated typical Texan industrial features such as road barriers, ditch-like banks, drainage pipes, and a propane tank.

After qualifying in first place, Huston unleashed his biggest tricks during the finals. In his flawless second run, Huston secured his win early on with a switch frontside 50-50 down the big rail, frontside noseblunt slide on the Jersey barrier, 360 kickflip and backside 180 kickflip over the flower box gap, and a nollie cab to frontside boardslide on the big rail for a 95.00 score.

With a more than seven point lead over his next competitor, Huston took his 3rd and final run as a victory lap, throwing in an extremely difficult nollie backside overcrook on the bank rail for the fans.

Upon winning Gold, Nyjah said, “The crowd was my favorite part. They really pumped me up. It feels awesome to take home gold from the very first X Games in Austin.”

Prior to today’s final, Huston qualified in first place with a perfect 94.00 run, stringing together state-of-the art moves such as frontside nosegrind down the big rail, nollie crooked on the bank rail, kickflip backside lipslide across the flower box gap rail and an extremely difficult fakie 5-0 grind down the big rail.

An incredibly technical and consistent rider, Huston has grown into a dominant force in street skateboarding since first competing at the X Games in 2006. Huston, 19, ended his last X Games season on a high note with a Gold medal in Skateboard Street at X Games Los Angeles 2013, and recently bagged 1st place at the SLS Monster Energy Pro Open in May 2014.  Having won more prize money in skateboarding competitions than any other rider in history, he now adds this 9th X Games medal to five gold medals (one of them being for the X Games Real Street Video), two silver medals, and one bronze.

Barely missing the finals by one place despite a strong showing in the prelims, Monster Energy’s Curren Caples covered the entire street course with a contorted tuck-knee frontside air over the hip, backside Smith grind on the big rail, frontside nosebluntslide on the A-frame rail, and a huge frontside flip transfer out of the quarter pipe all the way up to the top deck bank.

Teammate Shane O’Neill looked like a strong contender for a spot in the finals, but took a heavy slam in his first prelims run.  O’Neill still landed precise technical moves including backside tailslide across the flower box gap rail, bigspin frontside boardslide on the A-frame rail and a nollie backside 180 heelflip down the big stair set.

Four-day attendance at X Games Austin 2014, the first-ever X Games in the Texan state capitol after being in LA since 2003, was at 160,000 spectators. For the opening night on Thursday, June 5, a crowd of 12,000 fans watched the BMX and Skateboard Vert event at the outdoor venue in downtown Austin. Overall, the weekend in Austin sets an important X Games milestone: all-time X Games attendance has now surpassed five million, with the all-time total for the 41st X Games at 5,069,115 spectators.

Visit monsterenergy.com for more on Huston, O’Neill, Caples, Wair and the rest of the Monster Energy athletes at X Games Austin 2014. The site is filled with behind-the-scenes photos and updates from Austin as they happen.

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Tony Owen is a web developer, skateboarder, designer, musician, traveler and blogger. Founder of Arkitecht and Skateboarding Magazine.

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