By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
“We can’t be close to each other and we can’t even skate together, so I wanted to open my doors to other skateboarders,” Ryan Sheckler said.
Red Bull, together with Ryan Sheckler decided to create a new competition format that they call SOLUS, at Sheckler's skatepark. Without an audience or crowds and just one skater per session plus a few cameras to record it.
Sheckler invited some of the best pro skateboarders to perform for an hour. Each skater, alone in the skatepark, had to execute a 45 seconds line and they could try as many times as they wanted until the time either ran out or they got the line.
“The thing that’s insane about this contest is that you don’t know what other skaters are competing, you don’t know what lines they did, you can’t bank off anyone, you can’t see the high score and try to beat it,” Ryan Sheckler explained at Red Bull.
About the competitors, there are 13 pro skateboarders in this event, the host Ryan Sheckler, Jagger Eaton, Greyson Fletcher, Leandre Sanders, Roman Pabich, Alex Midler, Zion Wright, Ishod Wair, Jack Fardell, CJ Collins, Dominick Walker, Ronnie Kessner and finally Taylor Kirby.
“We got a really unique diverse group of skateboarders, they can skate everything, they can skate technically, they can rip transition, they stay on their board, they’re fluent and they skate fast,” Ryan Scheckler said.
There is something special about the course of the contest, organizers selected the dates in the middle of a heatwave in LA, it's a closed skatepark and they were alone, so you might imagine the situation. “It's going to get really intense and really hot here and I think it’s really going to push these skaters to the brink of their physical conditioning,” Sheckler continued.
Ryan is one of the biggest skateboarders of all times, at just 12 years old he won his first X Games gold medal, since then he has consistantly been in the first 5 places in competitions.
He became a known skateboarder due to his appearances in huge skate productions, his recognition competing and from a TV-show he made with MTV. Sheckler has his own Foundation where he is giving back to skateboarding.
SOLUS started with Ryan, even though this was his skatepark he had to go through the same conditions, he used the whole skatepark. During the line, he started to try trick by trick and with each fall he got more tired, finally he got a line consisting of fourteen tricks.
"That's all I got, that's a run, right? At the last minute? Oh my god! Down to the last minute man, why do I do that, it's been my mode my whole life" he concluded in his part.
Wair started to skate when he was a child, in 2011 at 20 years old he turned pro for REAL Skateboarding. He is from New Jersey. Ishood skates for Thunder, Spitfire, Stance, Monster, Diamond, Shake Junt, Bronson Speed Co and Exit Skateshop.
The last time he played a game of SKATE against Shane O'Neill, it was a clean vs where Ishood gave a whole fight. Between his famous video parts, we can watch "Be Free" at Thrasher and Since Day One.
Ishood made a 10 tricks line where he mixed ledges, ramps, flips, blunts and more, he looked a little bit tired and retired at the end. I guess his line was really good but too slow, maybe because he was exhausted.
"If I cooked a little bit more and if I didn't chill right there I would have had time for the front line, but I was lucky," Wair said after he concluded the session.
Eaton is a 19 year old pro skateboarder from Mesa, Arizona. Currently, he is located in the 8th global skateboarding rank position at The Boardr, he competes in both street and park and has won medals at X Games and Tampa Pro.
Eaton is considered the youngest competitor in the X Games competing in the 33 meter Mega Ramp. Since then he never stopped to compete and lately has been taking up the first spots, we expect to see him on the Olympics podium.
Jagger began his SOLUS session and it was definitely a clean skate time, even though he also felt the heatwave after an hour alone inside the skatepark.
Jagger started with warming up with some tricks and he almost got the line, but couldn’t make it on time and also felt he could do it better, so he went again, I felt that he was a little bit anxious because of differents things in the environment.
However, during the second minute on the Red Bull video, he got a line of 11 tricks, that was without a doubt a way to destroy the skatepark in less than an hour if we compare it with Shecks’ line, of course. He finally concluded the line and made everything he could, it was one of the best performances across the entire contest.
Wright is one of the big ones too, he is 21 years old, skates for Nike SB, REAL skateboards, Thunder, Spitfire, Nixon, Glassy Sunhaters and more. Zion is part of the USA National Skateboarding Team and made amazing appearances at Thrasher, Transworld and the brands that support him.
He is located in the 29th position on the global skateboarding rank and took up 3rd place at SLS in 2019. He is a great skater and a long career awaits him, besides everything he has already done in the last few years.
During his session at Sheckler's, Wright really seemed to enjoy the skatepark. He flew around it, using all of the skatepark but took advantage of the ramps as well as rails and ledges, he fell down lots of times so he couldn't accomplish his goals.
The contest will amaze you for sure. As Sheckler said when you are skating alone, for an hour, in a heatwave and your chance to do your best performance relies entirely on "mental game".
If you don't think strategically you probably won't get what you really want even if you know that you can. To me, it was an excellent initiative. This is going to be a new way to compete and prove who is the best at it. Don't miss out on all the performances on the official Red Bull YouTube Channel, and let us know who was your favorite skater!
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