Nyjah Huston: "People realize you can make money skateboarding".

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Nyjah Huston is one of the most successful skaters in the world, a superstar of the scene with 2.2 million Facebook fans. Now he is coming to Germany for the first time: to Munich Mash 2016. ISPO.COM spoke with Huston beforehand.

Nyjah Huston wins the final round of the SLS Super Crown
Nyjah Huston wins the final round of the SLS Super Crown

At 16, most teenagers think of partying, girls and chilling - Nyjah Huston was already a Champions League winner by then. Not as a soccer player, of course. The Californian boy, who grew up in Puerto Rico, won a stop on the Street League Skateboarding World Tour (SLS), considered the "Champions League of street skating," for the first time in 2010 at the age of 16.

It was by no means to remain Huston's only triumph. Just four years later, he achieved a feat that remains unique to this day: Nyjah Huston became the first professional skater to win all SLS events in the 2014 season.

Various other podium finishes at renowned street skate events such as the X-Games or the SLS Super Crown World Championships underscore the dominance of the US American.

In an interview with ISPO.com, Nyjah Huston talks about his start at the SLS event as part of the Munich Mash 2016, his charity organization "Let It Flow," with which the 21-year-old wants to improve living conditions in developing countries, and skateboarding at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.


Nyjah Huston, Backside Kickflip im Finale der SLS Super Crown.
Nyjah Huston, Backside Kickflip im Finale der SLS Super Crown.
Image credit:
Street League Skateboarding

ISPO.COM: Mister Huston, in 2013 you missed the premiere of the SLS tour stop in Munich due to an injury, this year you will finally be able to be there. With what expectations are you coming to Germany in 2016?
Nyjah Huston: I was really disappointed that I couldn't be there in 2013. I still remember sitting in front of the TV and wishing for nothing more than to be there. So now I'm even more looking forward to Germany - the location looks really good and I can't wait to skate there.

Have you ever been skating in Munich?
No. I've been skating in many European cities so far, but never in Munich. So I'm also very happy to be able to make up for it now. Germany has been on my to-do list for a long time.


Your website says that you haven't broken a single bone during your entire career as a professional skater and attribute that to your healthy diet. Will you tell us your secret?
I just watch my diet and work out regularly. Extra kilos not only slow you down, but are also bad for your sense of balance. Fortunately, I have a very fast metabolism and can eat as much as I want without gaining weight. However, I also try to eat as vegan as possible, my dad taught me that when I was a kid.

You've won all the major competitions and countless awards in the past. How do you still manage to motivate yourself?
I just want to skate for as long as I possibly can. The sport is pretty hard on the body, and I've been jumping down huge stairs for over ten years now. In order to continue skating at this high level, I have to stay fit - just like Chris Cole and P-Rod (Paul Rodriguez), who have both been at it forever. I'm a competitive guy, but I don't expect to win every contest. If I win two contests a year, I'm already satisfied, because the level is damn high every time. I have a simple goal: to get better every day. That's the great thing about skating, there's always something I can still learn.



Nyjah Huston: I was a "skate nerd".


Have you set any specific goals for the 2016 SLS season?
I want to try and win a few contests. Last year was okay, I took a couple of second places and even won once. My goal is to always do my best and win. That's not a given, because the others skate insanely well too.

How has Street League Skateboarding influenced your career?
When I won the first Street League contest in Arizona, it really gave my career a boost. It was also my first official win as a pro, which means a lot to me to this day. Since then, things have been going pretty well for me. The SLS has not only helped me personally mature as a skateboarder, but it has also allowed me and the other guys out there to push the sport to a new level.


Nyjah Huston
Nyjah Huston
Image credit:
Street League Skateboarding

Was there anyone you looked up to in your early days as a skater?
I was a little "skate nerd," watching every skate video and reading every skate magazine. Paul Rodriguez and Chris Cole were my heroes back then. Sometimes I can't believe that today I skate together with them and count them among my friends.

You are one of the few skateboarders who can make a living from their sport. How long did it take you to get to where you are now?
Any kid who loves skateboarding like I did back then and has a perfect place to skate is going to be a good skateboarder. I really wanted to skate every single day and set a goal to learn a new trick every day. Thanks to that attitude, I made it to the X-Games when I was eleven, and I still have that attitude today.

Skateboarding at the Olympics: More Popularity

What do you think about the discussion to introduce skateboarding as a new discipline at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
I really hope it becomes a reality because I would love to see more kids out there skateboarding. The sport is growing pretty damn fast right now, and so slowly people are realizing that you can actually make money doing it. When skateboarding becomes Olympic, we'll see a new generation of skaters grow up.


Nyjah Huston, Fakie Flip
Nyjah Huston, Fakie Flip
Image credit:
Street League Skateboarding


If you had the chance, would you participate in the Olympic Games?
But of course! If I manage to stay fit, I would give everything to be there in Tokyo in 2020.


What effect would "Olympic skateboarding" have on your sport?
I think anything that helps the sport grow is good. There will always be people who don't want skating to become "mainstream" or even Olympic. But it's a sport that people all over the world play, and I don't see what downside there would be to it growing. The bigger skateboarding gets - and it will once it's Olympic - the more chances kids have to fulfill their dreams and travel the world as pros. I would love to be a part of that movement.

Nyjah Huston had to fetch water from the river

Not only do you advocate for the Olympics, but you also started your own charity. Where did the idea for "Let It Flow" come from?
When I was little, my family and I lived on a farm in Puerto Rico where there wasn't always clean, running water. So my brothers and I always had to go down to the river to get water - for laundry, washing dishes... But water isn't that easy to carry when you're a little kid. Apart from this personal experience, there are still many people and children today who grow up without access to water. I want to change that - that's how the idea for "Let It Flow" came about.


What is your function at "Let It Flow"?
I founded the organization together with my mother, Kelle Huston, because we both always had the dream of providing access to clean water for as many people as possible. Working with her is incredibly fun. I don't think I could have picked a better person to do it with.

How can other people support "Let It Flow"
We are always happy to receive volunteers and donations. The Let It Flow website has all the info on how to get active. I would love it if more people got involved - skaters, other athletes, or just my family and friends. For me it is a wonderful experience and I know that this project will have a positive impact on all who are part of it.

Andi Spies Author: Andi Spies