Street League Skateboarding was created to develop a global appreciation of street skateboarding. Its development had shed light on a culture of athletes who dedicated themselves to willingly push their risks for the sake of sport and entertainment. In 2013, Nike SB joined forces with SLS to create SLS Nike SB World Tour – a competition bringing worldwide entertainment to both the pros, and skateboarding enthusiasts of all ages.
Arenas are transfigured into custom skate plazas throughout the world, challenging each pro to be inventive and carry skateboarding to new highs as they compete for the global recognition of becoming the year's Street League Champion. As dedicated skateboard enthusiasts we set out to document this experience, and teamed up with Ripped Laces to further explore the minds of the Professionals willing to risk it all.
To better understand the dedication and effort put into each competition, we spoke with the pros and took the opportunity to photograph their practice runs prior to the event. Despite their abilities, many practiced the same maneuvers to better perfect a precise, unique, and high scoring trick for the competition. Many seemed to be free of stress, and focused soley on enjoying the course. Davis Torgerson, pro for the DC Skate Team stated "Sometimes you have to go all out on being creative – Some people may skate down [an obstacle], why not try going up it? At the end of the day, it's all fun."
In addition to observation, we took some time to better understand what allows each skateboarder to push themselves to their fullest potential. Luan Ortiz, winner of Street League Skateboarding 2015 said "Usually, I like to play a lot of music before I skate. It gets me focused, so I don't have to think too much. My main focus is going out there to have some fun with the competition. Everyone's extremely talented, but they're also great people as well." Jeremy Lugo of Ripped Laces stated that "...many pros tend to have a specific favorite shoe when it comes to performance and durability." Overall, many pros tend to treat skateboarding more as a method of entertainment, as opposed to sport. They each have personal preferences, but tend to appreciate the work and dedication put in by their competition.
Additional photo and video provided by Keenan Alves and Jeremy Lugo.