Laguna Beach’s Nyjah Huston, headed to Paris Olympics, ties X Games record

Pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston, shown last month at his private skate park in San Clemente, is headed to the Paris Olympics.
Pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston of Laguna Beach, shown last month at his private skate park in San Clemente, is headed to the Paris Olympics.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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It was a whirlwind 72 hours for Laguna Beach professional skateboarder Nyjah Huston.

He won his 14th and 15th X Games gold medals at X Games Ventura, tying the X Games career golds record of skateboarder/snowboarder Shaun White and BMX street rider Garrett Reynolds.

Then, on Monday, he was introduced along with the rest of this summer’s Paris Olympic skateboarding team at an event held at the CA Training Facility in Vista. Huston will be one of three members of the men’s skateboard street team, along with Jagger Eaton and Chris Joslin.


Though, at 29, he is the oldest member of the 12-skater roster, this is not a career culmination by any means.

Take, for example, his attitude after winning two more gold medals in the X Games. After earning the skateboard street best trick gold on Saturday, he was back at it Sunday, earning a score of 95 on his third run to essentially put the competition out of reach.

“I messed up on my first run, so I was super-hyped up to land my second run,” said Huston, who earned a score of 92.33 on his second run at Monday’s Olympic team event. “Even if you look at the difference of my skating my second run compared to my third run, you could tell the pressure was off me. It makes it a little easier to have that normal flow you would when you’re skating with your friends.”

Nyjah Huston, 29, tied the X Games gold medal record over the weekend in Ventura.
Nyjah Huston, 29, tied the X Games gold medal record over the weekend in Ventura.
(Matt Szabo)

Huston, who has been competing at X Games since he was 11 years old, doesn’t plan on slowing down.

“It’s crazy to think that I’ve been going for that long,” he said. “It’s definitely something that I’m proud of myself for, especially knowing that it’s not done. I’ve still got some good years left ... That X Games weekend was definitely ideal to have coming up for Paris. We’re feeling good.”

Mentally, if not physically.

“I’m very sore right now,” Huston said Monday with a smile. “I definitely need a couple of days off, some hours in the [physical therapy] office. But yeah, we’re feeling good.”

Team USA coach Andrew Nicolaus feels the same way and expects fireworks with Huston and Japanese skateboarder Yuto Horigome, the defending Olympic gold medalist, in the field at this summer’s Olympics.

Huston, originally from Davis, will be looking to improve on a seventh-place finish in Tokyo.

“He’s still at the top of his game,” Nicolaus said of the weekend’s X Games victories. “He did it really convincingly. That’s a real good preview of what’s to come in Paris, I think. He’s still the top talent. You’ve got to stay on your board, but if him and Yuto both stay on their boards, it’s going to be a real entertaining battle, for sure.”

Eaton, from Mesa, Ariz., is another returner for Team USA who earned the bronze medal in skateboard street in Tokyo.

As for Joslin, he’s a first-time Olympian from Hawaiian Gardens. He appreciates the craft shown by Huston, the most decorated contest street skateboarder of all time.

“He makes it look easy, to be honest with you,” Joplin said. “I’m stoked to be on a team representing America with him, knowing that if I can’t do it, at least he can. One way or another, we’re bound to get the gold.”

Tate Carew, Gavin Bottger and Tom Schaar are the men’s park competitors for Team USA in Paris. Women’s skateboarders include Paige Heyn, Poe Pinson and Mariah Duran in the street competition, and Bryce Wettstein, Ruby Lilley and Minna Stess in the park competition.