Street League IN REAL LIFE!!!By admin • Jul 15th, 2013 • Category: Event Coverage, Features, Latest
Skateboarding is kind of insane these days, and when Street League hit Portland, OR on July 14th, 2013 I went to witness it first hand. I wasn’t the only one. With Windells and High Cascade on in-between a mere hour and 15 minutes away, it was a who’s who of snowboarders in the stands. The Rose Quarter was also the place to be if you were a local pre-teen, wanted to see amazing skateboarding, wanted to witness a TV show in real life, or just were handed a voucher at Zumiez. Me, I like skateboarding, Jared had gotten us VIP access, and it was 15 minutes from my house. It seemed silly not to go.
First note. Nearly everyone we saw outside and walking up to the venue seemed to have vouchers, so I doubt many people paid for the honor of being there. I laughed as we passed a couple scalpers trying to sell tickets. Wrong event, buddy. Remember, this is a made for TV event and those seats better be full for the cameras.
Ironically, the original reason I knew Street League was in Portland this year is because a few weeks ago I was skating Burnside, and some broads tried to hang a Street League banner in the park. The local drunks rushed over and told them, I’m sure very politely, to fuck off and they folded it up and left. But I had to laugh at the culture clash. I mean, it’s all skateboarding, right?
But back to today. Street League Portland was honestly some of the most amazing street skating I’ve ever seen in person. For the skaters involved, it’s also a great chance to cash in ($100,000 for the winner of each stop not to mention the shoe and sugar water endorsements.) But the whole thing was just… strange.
As a spectator (I went in to the event not attempting to write a story or take photos like usual), my anxiety about the event came on pretty quickly. The seats were pre-filled with Nike branded P-rod posters and foam Monster hands (thank God cause I didn’t bring my own.) It screamed basketball, or peewee football, but not skateboarding to me. Throughout prelims and finals, enthusiasm was encouraged from the announcers and polished advertisements showed between runs. A few times they told us to make noise cause we were going to BE ON TV. It kind of felt like being trapped in a Generation Y marketing vortex, while attempting to follow the contest with the constant stimulation.
At some point, it dawned on me. As I sat under fake lightning, surrounded by blacked out seating sections, watching a Nike ad for the 10th time, midday on an incredible sunny Sunday in Oregon, where concrete skateparks are a dime a dozen. Me and several thousand of my closest friends just sitting inside hereâ€¦ watching. I could have gone skateboarding instead. Now that would have been fun.
Anyway, if you missed it IRL or live on TV, here’s the finals: