Photo: Raleigh St. Clair
Hondo is a young entrepreneur who set up shop in the heart of Salt Lake with a dream and a promise to the skaters here to stay true to a skateboard-only skateshop. Hailing from Massachusetts, Hondo came out to Utah to finish a degree in English at the University of Utah and soon found himself immersed in the local skate and snow culture. The only thing that was lacking in the scene was a downtown skateshop, and he took it upon himself to make that become a reality. After finding the right building and going through the necessary steps for any new business owner, Brick and Mortar (561 W. 200 S.) opened its doors to the public on July 31, 2010, and all the city folk could not be happier with the situation. Great prices on hard and soft goods, not to mention all the different brands in stock, weekly games of SKATE with prizes and a bounty of awesome art shows kept local downtown skateboarders coming back.
SLUG: What was your first SLUG experience?
Hondo: Probably just reading it. Finding it when I first moved here in 2005 and seeing that there was skateboarding in the little magazine around town. I didn’t really know anybody here or anything really, I was just always up on campus and would see it up there. So I picked it up and saw the skateboard and snowboard articles and thought it was pretty cool.
SLUG: How have you seen SLUG change since your first experience?
Hondo: I think it has changed to be more inclusive of the skateboard scene. I really like how broad it is, as well as showcasing old and new.
SLUG: What has been your most memorable cover?
Hondo: I can’t remember any covers. Nah, I remember the Snuggles [Jared Smith] cover. I remember it because it was death defying.
SLUG: How has SLUG influenced you?
Hondo: It made me stop reading record reviews. Ha. I don’t know, it gives me something to read while waiting to be seated at the Park Café. It keeps me in touch with the local skateboarders who never invite me to go skate with them. What they’re doing, I don’t know.
SLUG: Do you have a favorite article or feature in the magazine?
Hondo: I like reading Mike Brown’s stuff, I always think that’s pretty funny. My favorite thing ever, so far, has been Colt Bowden’s wife’s response to Colt’s article. I have actually even gone back online to re-read that one because it’s so funny. I like the pictures of all the hot chicks in all the ads, too. Oh yeah, I really liked the Brick and Mortar article—that one was great. 35 dollar decks? I mean, c’mon, that’s amazing.
SLUG: Why do you think SLUG has continued to be relevant for the last 22 years?
Hondo: I believe SLUG is still relevant because they are doing things that all of the other print magazines are not doing. They are still writing about new things that are not “mainstream,” but on the cusp of the underground. They are able to walk that fine line of talking about things only a tiny percentage of people care about, as well as talking about what normal “civilians” care about.