Capping off an already insane day of skateboarding, the Men’s Street Semi Final was loaded with the world’s best skateboarders crushing a perfect course at Dew Tour Long Beach 2019. Closing in on large amounts of revered Olympic qualification points, every athlete threw down everything they had in order to advance while making the judges’ job as difficult as possible.
The format for the semi final is the same that will be used in the final as well as for the Olympics. Each skater gets the entire course for two, 45-second runs before getting five single-trick attempts. Each run and single-trick can earn a maximum score of ten, and the top four scores are added together to determine the overall score.
It is safe to say that the semi final not only packed in the largest crowd, but they were well-rewarded for wading their way into the action with the best performances of the weekend. The only unfortunate part of watching the semi final was knowing that when it was over only eight of the 24 amazing skaters were going to skate again in the final.
The first heat of the event saw the first score reach into the 9-point range. That score belonged to Japan’s Sora Shirai for his massive front 180 the hard way into a switch nose grind off the bump to the Mountain Dew can hubba. Shirai ended the day in the sixth spot after two impressive tricks and two insane runs in the first heat. He was the only one from his heat that advanced.
Crowd favorites Ishod Wair and Ryan Sheckler showcased opposite styles, during heat one. Sheckler crushed the course at high speeds in order to cover tons of ground while Wair went slower, and more casually through each section. Both skaters had huge tricks like Wair’s single tricks on the Boost Mobile 8-stair rail including a kickflip lipslide, fakie kickflip boardslide and his switch frontside flip over the rail. Sheckler had more luck with the ledges, especially his huge half cab to 5-0 backside 180 out on the bump to Mountain Dew Can.
“I thought I was going to land a few more tricks today, but i’m not upset at all. I’m having a great time,” said Sheckler after his heat was said and done. “I’m 29 now and I skated in the first Dew Tour. So, to be an O.G. (he laughs) and to be out here with the next level of skateboarding makes me feel great. I’m blessed to be out here.”
The second nine score came in the second heat from Matt Berger landing a kickflip backside tailslide bigspin out on the Boost Mobile 8-stair rail. At the time it was enough to land him in the third spot, but there were still two more heats to go and he would eventually finish seventh. Gustavo Ribeiro was also in the second heat and was able to find a fourth place finish on the day after two flawless runs start to finish and heavy single-tricks such as a bigflip frontside boardslide on the Boost Mobile 8-stair rail.
Unfortunately for everyone else in heat two, they did not move on. Then, heat three came and went, but by the event’s end nobody from that heat would advance to skate in the final, either. Among the many names not transferring on was Jagger Eaton to much surprise. Despite coming into the event with the best qualifying score from the quarter final and absolutely crushing his first run, he was not able to make it happen in the single-trick portion.
The final heat had, admittedly, had some serious heavy hitters such as Nyjah Huston and Chris Joslin. And somehow all but Chris Joslin were able to find scores to land them in the top eight. Still, Joslin skated out of the event in great spirits.
“Dew Tour is always sick!” said Joslin after things came to an end on the evening. “Even though it is an Olympic qualifier this year and they switched the format a bit. It’s always a good time coming out to this one, especially since they have it in Long Beach, my home town. It’s fucking dope!”
Not surprisingly, everyone who earned a score in that range did advance to the final. Huston exited the event with the night’s only run score to break into the 9-range, and ultimately the highest overall score, too. With lines like backside 180 nose grind down a round rail to set up for a half cab to crooked grind down a 6-stair hub and then ending his run full cab boardslide to fake down the Boost Mobile 8-stair handrail–in addition to his fake flip nosegrind on the Mountain Dew can bump to hubba–Huston’s finish came with little surprise.
The last act of the night came from Warren G on the stage adjacent to the street course, leaving the evening in the LBC on a high note.
Watch the climax to the action in the Men’s Street Final on Sunday at 2:30pm PT on DewTour.com/LIVE.
Men’s Street Semi Final Results
1.) Nyjah Huston, USA 35.2
2.) Aurelien Giraud, FRA 34.2
3.) Felipe Gustavo, BRA 34.2
4.) Gustavo Ribeiro, POR 34.1
5.) Kelvin Hoefler, BRA 33.2
6.) Sora Shirai, JPN 32.9
7.) Matt Berger, USA 32.6
8.) Ivan Monteiro, BRA 32.2