SLUG’s sixth incarnation of Summer of Death: Roughside Presented by Monster took place over the past weekend. Roughside is a travelling contest that has mainly centered in the downtown Salt Lake area in the past. This time around, the West Valley/Taylorsville area got some love from some 30-plus skaters eager to win some prizes and huck some tricks.
The spots of the day were: “DIY Spot” at the cultural center, 10-stair at The Maverick Center, West Valley TRAX Station, eight-stair rail at Taylorsville High School, T-ville Skate Park and finally, the awards and product toss hosted by Graywhale. West Valley is much different than Downtown—there aren’t any businessmen in suits or bums tying off in broad daylight. The sidewalks are free of crowds, and the bust factor is minimal.
The DIY Spot was intended for warm-up/registration, but that didn’t stop the growing group of skaters from ripping as hard as they could. Mike Zanelli rattled off plenty of backside maneuvers (50-50, crook, lip and tail) on the concrete kicker to the tall skinny ledge. Jordan Brown had a battle with a noseblunt on the skinny ledge that he finally won as the contest switched to the next spot.
Jordan Brown must have been pretty psyched on that nose blunt because he landed a kickflip at the Maverick Center ten stair within minutes of him and his twin brother Nate showing up to the spot. Deng Tear got himself dizzy after a number of attempts at a backside 360, but in the end, he rolled away with no hand drag. Jose Suitt landed a backside 180 and a shuvit tailgrab. Suitt also had his own battle with a frontside flip that he gave up on due to the crowd congregating to the TRAX station.
Controlled chaos is what was happening at the third stop of the contest. Wherever you looked, tricks were being stomped. The crowd grew from a couple of skaters to a group of hoodlums that could be mistaken for an Occupy movement if they had picket signs instead of boards. One TRAX employee decided to take video of the contest instead of trying to kick out the massive amount of skateboarders taking up the plaza. Plenty of grinds and slides on the handrail and even more tricks down the stair set were landed at the congested spot. Some notable tricks were: tre flip down the set by Jerry Alvarado, blunt to fakie on the handrail by Jose Suitt, and a nose manual firecracker by Eric Ferguson on the steps.
The last spots of the day were Taylorsville High School and T-ville Skatepark where some of the most heavy-hitting bangers went down. Deng Tear landed a back lip on the eight stair rail and ended the day with a heelflip down the four block. Mr. Suitt was able to get some redemption by taking that frontside flip to the side of the blocks and rolled away clean. As Jason “Chedder” Gianchetta directed the crowd to head to Graywhale, he proclaimed, “Be careful when you’re crossing the street—this is West Valley and they don’t give a fuck!”
Third Place went to youngling Deng Tear, who kept it consistent throughout the contest. Brandon Aguayo won Second Place and best trick for a bigspin front boardslide to fakie at T-ville. Aguayo also landed a frontside bigspin down the four block at T-ville, which garnered plenty of applause from the crowd. Last—but actually First—Jose Suitt took top honors for killing it at every spot. SLUG would like to give thanks to all of the sponsors who helped out with Summer of Death: Roughside Presented by Monster: After Dark Skateboards, Blue Plate Diner, Graywhale Entertainment, iNi Cooperative, Jaybird Sport, Milo Sport, Natural Cause Productions, Publik Coffee, Roughneck Hardware, Saga Outerwear and Salty Peaks. See you scum next year.