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Dyrdek uses credibility to change street skateboarding

Rob Dyrdek wants kids to do kick flips in their backyards and dream of taking those tricks to Street League Skateboarding.

“A parent sees their kid skating; they have no idea what that means,” Dyrdek said. “There’s nothing to equate very well.”

Dyrdek plans to add perspective to parents and their kids through Street League Skateboarding, which begins in September. He considers Street League Skateboarding to be the beginning of an exclusive league for the elite street skaters in the world.
 
This year, he has 24 riders who will perform exclusively in the league and compete for a pot of $1.2 million in prize money. The winners of the most recent X Games, Dew Tour and Maloof Money Cup street contests are represented in the three-stop tour, with stays in Arizona, Southern California and Nevada.

A pro street skater for 20 years, Dyrdek said his credibility with other skaters allows for him to innovate and improve on a brand that is more than the umbrella of action sports it has been thrown under.   

Dyrdek wants to take skateboarding from the fringe to the mainstream using prime-time television spots and stadiums in the country’s biggest cities.

“They’re just trying so hard to do what skateboarding wants instead of innovating for skateboarding because they’re from the outside looking in,” Dyrdek said of other contest creators. “It takes someone that comes from the world to say, 'This is the way we need to blend these worlds.' ” 

Among the changes in the Street Skateboarding League are an instant scoring system, runs in order instead of jam sessions and scores of zero for falls.

Dyrdek said the additions will make skaters use more strategy, and having one league will establish more perspective on skateboarding’s history.

Skateboarder Ryan Sheckler said many of the riders gave up other contests because of their belief in Dyrdek.

“I think skateboarders like the fact that Rob’s doing it because he’s been in the game for so long,” Sheckler said. “I think if someone else was trying to come in, like a big business mogul or something like that, skateboarders would be a little hesitant.”

-- DeAntae Prince
 
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