On May 20, a sunny spring Saturday afternoon, urban cyclists and onlookers gathered at the fountain of The Gateway to sign up and line up for the 5th Annual SLUG Cat alleycat race. The courtyard was full of bikes and people ready to race. The format of the alleycat is for each individual rider to decode a manifest that had clues, several of which referenced SLUG‘s current May Bike Issue. The race started off at The Gateway, and the very first stop was down Rio Grande Street, where the dozens of riders received their manifest and a copy of SLUG to begin solving the clues.
For those Downtown that day, they may have noticed all the people speeding through the streets on bikes. This was part of the awesome fun of the SLUG Cat: Each contestant had to go stop to stop throughout Salt Lake, collecting points by completing challenges at each location. After making it through all of the stops, the riders made it back to The Gateway for pizza from The Pie Pizzeria and tunes from DJ Nix Beat as the judges tallied up the points and announced the winners.
Before they could declare the winners, the judges had to break the tie for 2nd Place in the men’s division by having one last race. The two riders, Dan Allister and Jesse Igomodu, lined up with GREENbikes to race to the end of Rio Grande Street before grabbing their own bikes to race back. Allister was the winner of the tie breaker and went on to receive 2nd Place.
At the end, the winners were announced. In the Women’s Division, the winners were Nkenna Onwuzuruoha (1st Place), Jori Schmalz (2nd Place) and Megan Dun (3rd Place). In the Men’s Division, the winners were Davey Davis (1st Place, and first contestant to complete the course), Dan Allister (2nd Place) and Jesse Igomodu (3rd Place). There was also an award for Dead Fucking Last that was split for three winners: Brett Barrett, Derek Ballard and Ligia Greminger.
We live in a world plagued by threats of global warming. The uncertainties of a make-or-break snow season in Utah are a real concept to wrap one’s head around for those trying to rip the hills we’ve come to love. Instead of praying, however, it turns out that booking SLUG Games: Brighton Banks for their yearly amateur ski and snowboard contest is a surefire way to get the perfect storm, followed by the best bluebird day of the season.
A wise Jim Morrison once said, “If you book them, they will come.” Well, that happened, and all of their friends came, too, for the 18th Annual SLUG Games: Brighton Banks, at Brighton Resort, of course. Early on Saturday morning, March 10, the SLUG team finished packing prize bags full of good things from this year’s sponsors. While the SLUG team waited for the first contestants of the day, Brighton’s Park crew was putting the finishing touches on the course, which nodded to the famed Southport Banks Skatepark. Main features to the park this year included a banked launch rail to down box, a skate-style bench followed by shotgun rail, dancefloor to skate bench and a doghouse to down rail. Siiiick …
The heats to come followed a straightforward jam format, including 17 & Under Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snow, and Open Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snow, with the Open divisions featuring the day’s best riders. After warmups and rider meeting, DJ Serge started spinning beats, while a drone strike from the SLUG video crew got ready to capture the madness about to unleash. This is around when the 17 & Under kids started throwing down. There’s nothing like a 17 & Under division in 2018 to make a person feel old, because these homies showed up with game faces on. For the first heat, however, Henry Hawkins won judges’ hearts with his ability to front flip off of pretty much anything with a lip on it.
The skill of the Men’s and Women’s Open Ski was nothing but expected as well, knowing the levels of talent coming out of Brighton throughout the years. Big hitters for this heat included Sam Horton, throwing monster Misty Flips off the launch rail, clearing the down box entirely. Throwing some oozy style into the mix was Bayard Baker, using the launch bank as a manny pad and transitioning into the shotgun. Also, who could forget John K.’s blind swap, pretzel 270 off of the launch rail to down. What a world we live in, folks. The best was not necessarily saved for last, as freestyle skiing is one of the best sports to watch on Planet Earth.
It was finally time to let the snowboarders take the fire. It’s unbelievable how much finesse and style these guys can squeeze out of their sweaty boots, because damn … Take Jeff Hopkins, for instance, who spent his entire afternoon like it was a tribute to the Chris Bradshaw Technine heydays. This kid spins to win, reverting and tapping everything in sight, while simultaneously putting himself as high in the air as possible. While the launch bank to down box was by far the favored feature of the day by everyone, the rules state that you gotta hit everything at least once. That gave Sam Wittke no other option but to do just that, all in one run. Doing some trippy bench swivel at the top, transitioning into the bank side of the launch rail, Wittke couldn’t stop and reverted onto the dancefloor, up and over the side bench, saving just enough time to hit the down rail of the doghouse. What a gentleman.
Looking back over it all, there was never really a contest. Sure, there’s prizes and a heightened sense of people performing at the top of their game. The takeaway for this one is the instance you take your eyes off the course and start watching the people. Once this happens, you see the same people competing against each other, only they’re all hanging out, laughing and cheering their friends on. That’s what it’s all about!
Women’s 17 & Under Snow: 1st Place Gwynnie Park, 2nd Place Lou Park
Men’s 17 & Under Snow: 1st Place Henry Hawkins, 2nd Place Ashton Davis, 3rd Place Greyson Hawkins
Men’s 17 & Under Ski: 1st Place Carter Wessman, 2nd Place Luke Mallen, 3rd Place Alex Mallen
Women’s Open Snow: 1st Place Sam Hobush, 2nd Place Jess Kelly, 3rd Place Chloe Desdames
Men’s Open Snow: 1st Place Pat Fava, 2nd Place Treyson Allen, 3rd Place Jeff Hopkins
Men’s Open Ski: 1st Place Tucker FitzSimons, 2nd Place Kevin Bane, 3rd Place Bayard Baker
Best Trick Ski: Samuel Horton – Switch lip slide 450 out
Best Trick Snow: Paxton Alexander – 180 switch backside 540
Best Crash: Isaac Harkness 500,000,000,000 feet in the air to flat
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s event and to all SLUG Games sponsors: Blue Copper Coffee, Brighton Resort, Graywhale, Izm Apparel, Line Skis, Milosport, Pig & A Jelly Jar, Porcupine Pub & Grille, Saga Outerwear, Ski Utah, SLUG Magazine, Stage Ideas and Yelp!
SLUG Magazine celebrated its 29th anniversary with a party that offered a wealth of fun activities across two venues. Amid plentiful eating and drinking, RYE offered patrons an opportunity to explore local art, tarot card readings and virtual reality while Urban Lounge showcased live art and three SLC electronic artists (Thoroughbred, Nate Holland and UTA Trax) dishing out their finest dance tracks. Here’s to plenty more years of SLUG!
I have been driving by this spot for years now, looking at it from the 215 and thinking about someone skating it every time I see it. And one day, after a long session Downtown, Kaio said he had one more spot he wanted to skate. He showed me a photo of the spot, and I instantly was excited. It was crazy to watch the process of figuring out the best way to get into front board and then pull out just in time to pop over the rail at the bottom!
Kendall Woodhouse started trying this nose slide at the end of the session while everyone was getting in their cars and packing up to head to the next spot. I watched and captured this photo as I was packing up my gear as well.
Night-skating Downtown is one of my favorite things to take photos of! There are so many fun ways to create amazing images using flashes and long exposures. One of the best parts about skating at night is that you have the opportunity to skate places that you aren’t usually able to skate. During the day, this spot in front of City Creek Center would most likely have people sitting on the ledge and filling the sidewalk, with little to no options to skate here. At night, though, it’s free game.
I don’t know how he does it, but Coda Bonell is always proving that he can heel flip everything and anything. This spot was a battle for a lot of shredders this day, and he was able to pull this heel flip indy grab off relatively quickly—and made it look like it takes him no effort whatsoever.
The Skate Warehouse Rebuild The Ramps and Roof Party was on a chilly January night in SLC. As with any normal skate jam/concert, you pull up to a warehouse, walk through the door and walk into a building filled with smoke, loud music and good times happening in every direction. The coolest part about the whole thing is the skatepark inside being shredded by some local rippers—flying out of the quarter pipe at the end of the warehouse, occasionally hitting the lights hanging from the ceiling. All around, it was a kick-ass party with kick-ass people, and I really hope they end up putting another one together soon. The gallery below is a showcase of all the festivities that happened at the