Author: Shawn Mayer

Summers in Utah are hot, and personally, I don’t like them very much. Finding the motivation to skate when it’s over 100 degrees outside is nearly impossible. You either have to wake up early, or sacrifice an evening of drinking in order to get some time on the old wood plank. Saturday, August 11th was no different from any other hot summer day except that it was time for SLUG’s second and last contest in the Summer of Death series. Now this means that all these poor kids that are looking to make a name for themselves or just needing to win a few bills for unpaid bar tabs have to skate in this God-awful heat. Luckily, for both the contestants and spectators, the first spot was at Liberty Park next to the fountain. That water is fucking gross, but the wind blowing over that small amount of water made for a nice, misty, cool breeze. An hour passed as my sweat thong grew more noticeable through my shorts and then it was time to drive to the next spot. Thank God for A/C.

LIBERTY PARK WINNERS:

Austin Namba killed it. Tre flip off the third block, f/s 360 off the second block, and a tre flip nose slide to fakie on the ledge.

Morgan Cope stomped the shit out of not one but two double flips off the third block.

Stop number two brought us all down to Meier and Frank on Sugarhouse’s lower west side. I contemplated staying in the car for this one. I was rather enjoying the A/C, and didn’t really care to watch these guys sweat their asses off; it makes me even hotter when people around me sweat. As the crowd grew, my view of the contest was lost, so out into the heat I went. I found sanctuary under a tree until it was time to leave for the final stop and back to my precious A/C.

MEIER & FRANK WINNERS:

Matty Coals was floating on air with a beauty of an overcrook.

Isaiah Beh switch 50-50’d the fuck out of it, and Dirk Hogan took it back underground with a rather entertaining caveman blunt slide.

Cool; a loading dock with a sketchy high rail, it couldn’t be anywhere but the old abandoned Newspaper Agency Corporation building. The runway was packed with kids waiting to take their chances to reserve a spot in the winners’ circle, and people were getting snaked left and right. As I always like to say, “if your gonna snake, you’d better make.” Everybody seemed to work it out and some cool stuff went down, but I was way too hot to deal with this anymore, so I left to get some damn ice cream.

NAC WINNERS:

Morgan Cope tre flipped and pop shoved it with effortless style.

Shane Felix came through with a fakie f/s heelflip at the buzzer to put a cap on the event before heading to the BBQ at Fairmont, thrown by DC Shoes.

Congratulations to KYLE CONDIE on winning the Redbull’s “Send Me To Woodward” essay contest, hope you have fun there!

SLUG THANKS Salty Peaks, Analog, Vox, DC Shoe Co., Blindside, The Truth, Milosport, Broken Board Shop, Union, ABZ Enterprises, Binary, Ogio, Skullcandy and Powell for all their help with the contest.

SLUG Mag’s first contest in the Summer of Death series was held on Saturday, June 16, at the recently opened Union Board Shop in Sandy. The theme for this contest was a contest for pussies (the kitty kind, you pervert). And to make it even better it was free.

The contest was split into divisions and two different courses were available. Inside, the little tikes tried to earn themselves a little money on the street course, consisting of two banks, a few ledges and a wall ride. Since only fifteen kids signed up total between the beginner and intermediate groups, the powers that be decide to have them both skate at the same time. If you’ve ever skated this park before then you know it’s not huge; add in a few dozen spectators, judges and competitors, and the park becomes very tight. However, the little guys came out swinging.

Although it was difficult to tell who was who, a few skaters stood out. Dagan Moulton, by far the smallest competitor, was one of only a few to attack the wall ride with a transfer. Other highlights from the opening round include Jake Peterson’s 360 flip and Nick Kolkman’s all around slaying of the whole course.Then it was on to the big boys, who battled for best trick over a kiddie pool; this gap was not for those afraid to get a little wet. If you didn’t have the speed you could wind up losing your board in the water.

After about an hour long warm-up session, the competitors were ready to go. Oliver Buchanon showed that he was no pussy as he launched a couple huge frontside flips to flat, but just couldn’t ride away. Auren Lopez snatched himself a frontside flip even bigger. The big winner of the contest was Isaiah Beh who got the crowd stoked with his switch heel flip.Last, but not least, was the Red Bull Barrel launch. What started out as a limp-wristed gap soon turned into some serious airtime that only the most talented could handle.

By this time, only four or five competitors were left standing. Barrel by barrel the gap spread and the skaters thinned out. In the end, only two men were left standing. Looking to score, Oliver ran full speed and with the help of his hand was able to make it over the 10 barrels. Kelly Ferrone had one last chance to up the ante, but fell as he tried to push it through.Thanks to everybody for coming out for this comp. By the way, did anybody actually wind up with the prized pussy cat?

Results:

Beginner

1. Nick Kolkman
2. Dagan Moulton
3. Jake Peterson

Intermediate

1. Alec Pitken
2. Bobby Lewis
3. Sam Giles

Best Trick

1. Isaiah Beh $750
2. Auren Lopez $250
3. Oliver Buchanon

Red Bull Barrel

1. Oliver Buchanon $100
2. Kelly Ferrone

What can I say about Andrew Wilson. Well first off, he looks like all the fucking hippies I went to college with in Vermont. But don’t let the dreads throw you, this dude is not a tree hugger and the fucking murders skateboards like he’s Jeffrey Dahmer. I met Wilson two years ago when I came out to visit some friends that just so happened to live with him. The first thing I saw was this long-dreaded freak killing a two foot mini ramp that he built in his living room. He’s a legend (in very loose terms) of Salt Lake’s underground skate scene. Ask any rad skater here if they’ve heard his name and they will all say the say thing, the guy rips! So why don’t you know who he is? Well now is your chance to, directly from the horse’s mouth.

wilson5-0revertSLUG: Are you really related to Tosh Townsend?

Andrew Wilson: Fuck you.

SLUG: How long have you been skating?

Andrew Wilson: 11 or 12 years.

SLUG: What attracts you so much to skating? What does skating mean to you?

Andrew Wilson: No one tells me what to do. [It’s all about] flow and fun.

SLUG: Why don’t you compete?

Andrew Wilson: I’ve just never been competitive [that] shit makes me nervous. I don’t think skating should be judged.

SLUG: Have you ever been sponsored or will be?

Andrew Wilson: I was a little, here and there. I try to stray away from that—shits a headache.

SLUG: Who do you skate with? Who are the best people to skate with?

Andrew Wilson: Homies that I live with, EMW, SFK or solo. Anyone who’s down for a good sesh.

SLUG: Will we be seeing any footage of you in any future videos?

Andrew Wilson: Always the EMW films!

SLUG: What are your thoughts on today’s skate fashion (tight pants vs. gangsta shit)?

Andrew Wilson: Both are pretty ridiculous, but that tight pants shit’s gotta go.

SLUG: Who deserves respect that gets none?

Andrew Wilson: Not that they don’t get respect, but Willie, Slyvester and Lance (Harris). They’re the best.

SLUG: What’s your favorite trick?

Andrew Wilson: Back tails and 3 flips.

SLUG: Street or Transition?

Andrew Wilson: Both, but lately tranny.

SLUG: Favorite spot?

Andrew Wilson: Sandy park.

SLUG: Favorite vice (drink, smoke, sex, porn, etc.)?

Andrew Wilson: Love beer and boobs!

SLUG: Favorite jam band: Phish or Widespread Panic?

Andrew Wilson: Slayer! Fuck that hippie shit!

SLUG: Why do you and Greg text each other photos of your shits?

Andrew Wilson: Cuz fuck that kid.

SLUG: What does a lady have to do to get your number?

Andrew Wilson: Just ask, but I probably won’t answer. I’m pretty bad with cell phones.

SLUG: You really didn’t want to do this interview did you? Why?

Andrew Wilson: Not really. I could give a fuck if people know I skate, it’s all for my own benefit anyway.

SLUG: What does your future hold in general and in skating?

Andrew Wilson: Traveling, slanging drinks, living life and just having fun with skating.

SLUG: Since your not sponsored or competing or trying to live off of skating why should we give a shit and read this interview?

Andrew Wilson: I was wondering the same thing. I guess to let people know that skating isn’t all about the bullshit (sponsors). I’ve been doing it for this long because I love it. Skating is so huge now that it seems like lots of kids get into it just for sponsors and the hope of turning pro when they should just enjoy it for what it is. Getting hooked up is cool, but it should never influence why you skate.

SLUG: Any “final thoughts”

Andrew Wilson: Do your own thing, don’t take it too serious and have fun.

My first trip to Ogden occurred last year; a group of friends and I ventured into the unknown city in search of some handrails to film. The Salt Lake valley just received six inches of snow and after getting blacklisted at the U, we decided to discover first hand what Ogden had to offer. I’d heard stories of many worthy rails (and the promise of relaxed police officers).Our crew spent over two hours sessioning a handrail in front of what looked like an insane asylum straight out of Tim Burton’s Batman. As time passed and the cops never showed, I began to become less worried about being ticketed and more paranoid of some hatchet-wielding psycho lopping our heads off. This being my only Ogden experience, I was shocked to hear that a dozen or so companies including Descente/DNA, Nidecker, Snowsports Interactive, AmerSports (Salomon, Atomic Ski, and Suunto), Scott USA, Kahuna Creations and Goode Ski Technologies had announced the move of their base operations to O-town. After all, Ogden is a city surrounded by beauty, but weighed down by its own neglect.

Ogden began like most towns and cities in early history; fur trappers set up shop and trading posts sprung up along the Weber River along with a series of forts. But what made Ogden unique was the explosion of the rail system and the meeting of the Union and Pacific Railways with two symbolic golden spikes on May 10, 1869, making O-town a main stay for intercontinental railroads: the city was now a major junction along the railway, the population rose and so did the crime. As the threat of WWII approached Ogden was considered a safe zone to move war materials. When the railroad business began to decline, Ogden’s government realized that Ogden suffered economic ups and downs because they were so closely tied to government industries. Leaders worked to bring more private industry to the area. In 2002, the city was named as a major venue city for the winter Olympics. Since then, the city has remained as I first noticed it: a place with a colorful history and potential but not much else.

Descente Inc. was the first big company to announce their move from Denver to Ogden. It was difficult to see why such a large international company that has graced the covers of Times and Sports Illustrated, and bears the Olympic jersey of Michael Jordan in its hall, would want to move into such—for lack of better terms—a shit hole. I had a chance to discuss with Curt Geiger, the VP of operations of Descente, about what Ogden had to offer.

Curt informed me of the vision of the Hub, as described to me previously by Steve McBride of Kahuna Creations, as “a virtual home for action sports companies to band together to further the industry and compete.” This core of action sports companies will be based around two major developments. The first, (of which construction has already begun,) is a huge recreational center and shopping plaza. The second is a proposed tramway. This facility will house a year-round ice-climbing wall, rock walls and a flow lab (wave pool) along with other amenities such as bowling lanes, a megaplex and retail shops. This will provide the city of Ogden, its residents and tourists alike, a place to spend their time and money.

The second piece of the puzzle is a proposed but not-yet-confirmed Ogden Tramway; a gondola starting from the aforementioned recreation center, connecting to Weber State University and providing direct access to Snowbasin ski resort. As I interviewed the current companies of the Hub, all the excitement was surrounding the tramway. Curt of Descente let me know that without this plan in place, the move to Ogden would not have happened.

It was also the deciding factor for Amersports, who moved three of its four companies to Ogden. Formerly based in Portland, the company turned down 3.3 million dollars in grants and tax breaks from P-town in order to become an early player in the creation of the Hub. (Ogden only offered an estimated tax break of around a million dollars for contributing fifty job openings to each company interested in the move). Mike Dowse of Amersports said it best when he stated that “If the tram is approved, the outdoor industry will turn its collective eye.”

Along with a new Trax line that will connect Ogden to the Salt Lake City Airport, these companies will be able to bring in potential prospects (buyers, employees, customers) effectively. Cutting down on transportation fees and lengthy commutes, they expect an increase in their business potential. This group of businesses hope to push the limits of the action sports industry by working together on exterior plans such as a proposed Ski Industry Board Word has spread that these companies are making donations in the name of Ryan Smedley, a former pro snowboarder who was killed in an avalanche last winter, towards a memorial skate park in the downtown area. With Ogden’s location minutes away from the best stuff on earth (not just snow, but kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, etc.) the city has the potential to turns its economy around.

Many companies had overlooked Ogden when searching for a new home. However, Mayor Godfrey attended trade shows and was able to generate interest in the area. The movements of these companies alone have already contributed numerous jobs to current and future residents; historic buildings are being restored with government grants and the basic ground work for a “renaissance” in Ogden has been set forth. With additional interest from other investors, Ogden has the potential to become a thriving economic industrial city once again.

With the chips on the table, but the gondola plan unconfirmed, why would such large companies make the move anyway? “Well it’s like the stock market,” as many of the company’s described to me, “Ogden is ‘within reach’ (as the city’s tagline reads), but its stock is still low.” Courtney Boyer of Nidecker describes the city as “in denial about its economic situation.”

Opposition to the tramway (among other reasons) has arisen for fear of Ogden becoming the new Park City—over populated and too expensive to live in. However, these entrepreneurs fully believe in Mayor Godfrey’s vision of turning Ogden into North America’s premiere action sports hub. And what if the tramway is not approved? Then the company’s that bought into bad stock will sell. The hub’s core business hope that perhaps in a few years from now Ogden will establish a “cool factor” that will enable it to become the center of action sports (and not just known for its lack of life, police presence and dirt cheap weed).