Joey Sandmire may not be a name you’re familiar with now, but it’s definitely one you should get used to hearing. The 17-year-old out of Bingham was recently added to the Blindside team, and travels with SK801 as well. I recently met up with Sandmire and his crew to sit down and pull wrists. Upon arriving at his desired meeting spot, his friends volunteered him to go skate a nearby rail. He agreed and I followed them to the mysterious spot. There, shaded between two buildings, was a mammoth 11-stair with royal blue handrails and a nasty kink. At first, I wasn’t even sure that was the spot he wanted to skate as he had not even pushed around to warm up. Sandmire and his gang all took a minute to kick away the debris that littered both the runway and the landing, then he took his place atop the gnarly, one-push runway and began attempting to 50-50 the rail.
Sandmire has already made a name for himself for his gnarliness and seemingly fearless style of skateboarding, which is exactly how T-Coy of Blindside described him. “When someone rolls up to something, there’s the tries where you know they’re just gonna bail and check out the spot, and then there’s the tries where you know that they’re gonna nail it. I’ve never seen Joey roll up to something and not have the look of ‘I’m gonna fuckin’ stick this,’ and most of the time, he does,” he says. T-Coy got Sandmire on the skate shop’s A-team after just a few memorable skate sessions. “I remember we went to Westminster once to this stretched-out 13. It has a shitty run-up and you have to swerve into the rail. Joey just went for it, and taco’d straight up and hit his chest on the rail. Then he went for it again and stuck it. After that, we went to the Bonneville ‘Big-Four’ and he just varial-heeled it like it was no big deal. That’s when I was like, ‘We gotta get this dude on.’”
It was clear to me as I watched Sandmire continuously do work on this rail that the kid grew up skating. One of the contributing qualities to his shredder style is just how comfortable he looks on a board. “Growing up, my neighbor had a Walmart board that I started riding, then my brother was like ‘Fuck that, we need to get you a real board.’” Sandmire received his first “real” board on his ninth birthday.
After continuous roll-ups, clutching his stomach as he stalked back to his starting spot, it became clear how out of his element he was skating for an audience. In a skateboarding world where dollar signs and brand names are becoming valued more than the unaffected roots from which the action sport sprang, uninhibited skaters like Sandmire are refreshing. Even when asked if there was anyone he would call influential to his skateboarding, Sandmire immediately fired off a list of local homies: “Fuck yeah! Holland, Brophy, Worm, Nick Hubbel, Sam.”
It wasn’t long before Sandmire stomped on a perfect frontside 50-50, which he later told me was his most memorable trick to date, “’cause it just happened,” and handed out high-fives to everyone present.
Even after watching him skate, I was still having a hard time grasping his skill and potential. I asked T-Coy where he thought Sandmire ranked among all the up-and-comers in the Salt Lake area. “I’d say he’s towards the very top. He has so much motivation in getting gnarly and just going for it, that it’s not really a problem for him. It looks like the tricks just come to him easy. He’s super humble,” he says.
Watch for Sandmire tearing up your favorite spot, and in SK801’s newest video to be released this fall.