By Jean Ortiz-Luis
Pro skateboarder Sean Malto was crowned the 2011 Street League champion earning $200,000, the biggest prize purse in skateboard contest history. Showcasing his smooth style and consistency, Malto beat out favorite Nyjah Huston in the final, winner-take-all championship.
Sean Malto is a pro skateboarder currently residing in Kansas City. He was born to a Filipino father and Caucasian mother in Leavenworth, KS. His sponsors include Girl Skateboards, Etnies and Gatorade among many others. In 2009, he was named Transworld Skateboarding Magazine’s Rookie of the Year.
Despite the impending weather from Hurricane Irene, skateboard fans gathered at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on August 27thto witness the fourth and final Street League event of the season featuring the world’s top street skateboarders. Having ranked 12th after the previous events, Sean Maltooriginally was not expected to participate until a last minute injurymoved him into the top ten eligible to compete in the final. Even with the odds against him, the 21 year old managed to skate solidly and emerge on top.
Leading up to the final contest, the undeniable favorite was Nyjah Huston. The 16-year-old was the 2010 overall champion and had won all three previous stops during the 2011 season. In a surprising turn of events, Huston struggled to achieve a leading position during the championship while Malto, dubbed the “Silent Killer” by commentators, maintained 100% consistency in the contest’s last two sections, steadily bringing him atop the leaderboard.
In the end, Malto, Huston and veteran Chris Cole battled for the title,trick by trick. Cole fell during his last trick attempt, eliciting a shocked reaction by fans and Sean Malto himself. Malto finished with a casual victory run and immediately joined his fellow contestants for a celebratory group hug.Sean Malto took home $200,000, a championship ring with a matching Nixon watch, and the prestige of being named the 2011 Street League overall champion.
About the Guest Writer: Jean Ortiz-Luis is currently working in marketing for a Los Angeles-based company. The Southern California native also does freelance writing and PR. Jean graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2009 with a B.S. in Business Administration as a marketing major. On her free time, she enjoys movies, attending concerts, and delicious food with good company.