Photo: Dudley Heinsbergen
Mo Collet, owner of the Blindside in Sugarhouse, has built a reputable shop by giving back to the community of skateboarders and snowboarders that frequent the area. Blindside is a staple of the skateboard and snowboard scene and has been for quite some time, without any plans to stop anytime soon. I sat down with Mo and banged out some hard-hitting questions about SLUG and the 22nd birthday of the magazine.
SLUG: Describe your first experience with SLUG Magazine.
Mo Collet: First experience was probably seeing them at some music shops. It was when I was younger, didn’t really know what was up with it. I always looked through it though. Working with them, that was a first time too on that level, doing the ad thing and sponsorships with them. I remember when I was younger, actually doing a lot of competitions, trying to be big time y’know, go pro, get sponsed. I remember seeing SLUG at a lot of those events. To me, the first experience wasn’t so much music and the magazine as it was seeing them at events. For me, that was a positive thing to see them there and know that they were down.
SLUG: How have you seen the magazine change since then?
Collet: Overall, obviously, change for the good. I always tend to look at it and see the snowboard and skateboard articles and stuff like that. It has always embraced Salt Lake, but it seems like it’s gotten to the roots of Salt Lake. I always see people I know and see people and events that directly affect me. To me, it seems just connected more on that level.
SLUG: What is the most memorable SLUG article you have read?
Collet: Again, I am more drawn to the skateboard and snowboard articles that come. Obviously some of our team riders have had write ups. Brooks’ was pretty good and Snugs. Those ones are definitely ones that I still have up in my office.
SLUG: What is your favorite SLUG cover?
Collet: Geez, let’s be honest, the one of Jared [Smith] doing the k grind was pretty gnarly. When I saw that I was like, holy cow, that’s pretty high consequence, but I guess another big one was when Natty Light sponsored the back cover. That’s pretty big right there—even though I don’t drink.
SLUG: Describe the most memorable SLUG event you have ever attended.
Collet: The competitions are always good. All the themed competitions for snowboarding are good too—I think the resorts work well with all the SLUG comps. As far as most memorable, I don’t know about one specific year, but the secret spot contest always sticks out in my mind. Kids come in and ask when that is and how they can get involved with it. Even though it is relatively new on the whole lifespan of SLUG, you get core kids and a lot kids that are really big into skateboarding asking about it. A lot of the events, it’s all the kids who are trying to be more established, but everyone shows up to the secret spot event. Every single kid from those who are already established in Utah to the little kids kickflipping at Fairmont Skatepark are all asking about it. Overall, that’s the one that sticks out every single year to me, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger so it’s probably the most successful.
SLUG: How has SLUG affected your life?
Collet: Well personally, I am the shop and the shop is my baby, so it affects it in a positive light. We advertise with you and that does well for us. All the competitions that you do, skateboarding and snowboarding, definitely help too, but then just stuff like this, knowing you guys and doing write ups like this, having our skate team in there. I guess it’s more on a professional level, but whether you like it or not this shop is me and it helps me out whenever I get involved with that stuff.
SLUG: Why do you think SLUG has continued to be relevant in Utah for the last 22 years?
Collet: Not to toot anyone’s horn, but you guys have done a pretty good job with your staffing. People get older and the fact of the matter is people get out of touch with whatever’s ‘cool’ or whatever is going on and I think that your guys’ staffing has continued to put influential people in Salt Lake and have those people connected to the process of making a magazine, which in turn always keeps it going in the right direction and kind of what needs to be in the magazine to make it interesting. That’s one thing I see. I always hear new people getting involved whether its photography, writing or production, and it just seems like you always have a good mixture of people doing that stuff. Younger kids, a little bit older, it’s just a good, accurate feel of what Salt Lake is by the staffing and who is helping you out. That’s a big part of it, I would have to say.