Cody Weber Photo
When I agreed to interview Hippo, I assumed it would go just like any other interview: meet up, shoot the shit, take some photos, write the article. Man, was I wrong. Turns out he’s another struggling dude just like me. After three weeks of missed calls, no replies and failed meetings, we eventually chatted through his filmer’s email account (you have a filmer but not email?). Here’s how the conversation unfolded.
SLUG: What’s your real name? What’s the story behind the nickname? Are you a fat kid?
Hippo: Zack. Well, my main nigga Rob just started calling me Hippo ‘cause my last name is Hipolito and, yeah, I’m kinda chubby.
SLUG: Why don’t you have a working phone or believe in the Internet?
Hippo: Oh, my phone busted like three weeks ago and I haven’t had money for a new one. I created an email a while ago but forgot the password. Ha.
SLUG: Where are you from?
Hippo: I’m from SLC. Born and raised in T-ville!
SLUG: How old are you? How long have you been skating?
Hippo: I’m 19 and I’ve been skating for about six years.
SLUG: How did you get started in skateboarding? What keeps you going?
Hippo: My homies Tommy and Walker got me into it. The T-ville homies.
SLUG: Do you compete? If so, how have you done and what are your thoughts on competitive skating?
Hippo: Yeah, I skate the comps sometimes, I think they’re sick. I don’t do very well though. Ha. Brodie Penrod kills the comps!
SLUG: What influences you in life and skating?
Hippo: All the kids that skate and continue to kill it . . . and my mom, of course.
SLUG: Who do you skate with? Whose name should we know?
Hippo: Brodie Penrod, Danny Seouk, Sergio Rivera, Matt Fisher, Colton Brown, Spencer Weber, Christian Ridgeway, Nathan Martinez—they all murder it.
SLUG: First time skating? First trick?
Hippo: Don’t know . . . nollie flip.
SLUG: First time arrested?
Hippo: I’ve been arrested a few times. Mainly just warrants for unpaid tickets and a couple alcohol tickets.
SLUG: First failure?
Hippo: High school.
SLUG: First time you realized the Utah scene was cool?
Hippo: When I met Cody Weber.
SLUG: First time you realized the Utah scene sucked?
Hippo: Never. Utah rips.
SLUG: What does your future hold for you, on a board and off?
Hippo: On board: no one really knows . . . I’m just looking to have fun while I still skate. Off board: probably making millions in the adult film industry.
SLUG: Any sponsors or shoutouts?
Hippo: Technique fa sho!! All old B.C. homies.
SLUG: Final thoughts?
Hippo: Look out for the new Technique video. It’s gonna rip!!!
Turns out the dude named Hippo is just another chilled-out Salt Lake skater with an ability to slay it with the best of them. Look for Hippo tearing up the streets and parks near you this fall, and just remember that although they are cute and cuddly, hippos can be extremely aggressive and dangerous. Observe from a distance and approach with caution.