HartBreaker: A Jon Hart Story
I’ve known Jon Hart for a little over ten years, since he was about fifteen. I recently met his mom for the first time and she wondered why we’d never met. He told her it was because he didn’t want her to know he was out skating with grown ass men when he was a teenager. Back in the day, Jon was this kid we all used to see at the St. George Skatepark. He had a mean kickflip even back then. Him and his buddies would go and skate all the old spots, like the Pine View High rail (long gone) and the Dixie High big four/ledges (remodeled and now even more awesome).
Hart was one of the new (now old) school of Southern Utah skaters. His generation was weaned on videos like Toy Machine’s Welcome to Hell and Zero’s The Thrill of It All. While my generation struggled to take it from the red curb to the rail, his generation grew up with handrails being commonplace.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he boardslid a four stair before he boardslid a red curb. Skateparks and widely-available videos changed the game. Hart always had the fire and motivation. While other friends of his fell off for a bit here and there, Hart was always skating. I don’t see him as often as I should, but every time I see him, I know he’s been skating and ripping.
I know I’ll see his awesome brother Matt with him too, and they’ll have plenty of good times to tell me about. Jon Hart is a skateboarder’s skateboarder. This guy always worked hard at it. He’s the only dude I know who’ll call me up and ask me if I have any good rails. He’s never out of the loop, trends don’t concern him, he is just down to skate.
SLUG: Tell us about this video you just made with your brother and your friends.
Hart: It’s called “Bolts of Thunder” (check it out on Youtube). It pretty much picks up where “Video Days” left off. So there’s 5 of us in it: Me, my brother Matt, Dave McDonald, Dan Shaw and Nick Edwards. Nobody has ever heard of us, and even fewer people have actually seen us skateboard.
We’re all university students, completely broke, mid/late 20’s, and our bodies are perpetually recovering from the skate session the day before. Therefore, you should expect nothing but the highest quality of skate films from us (time lapses of cars driving on the freeway, four trick combos on ledges with kickflips out of everything, high-def panning shots on cranes, roll-away shots, and face shots filmed in 24P) … No, it’s the exact opposite, it has none of that. I think it’s actually the anti-skate video. It’s fun to watch if anything.
SLUG: How many videos have you guys made now and what are the titles of them all?
Hart: We’ve made 5 videos. They are: Level 8, Shred Zepplin, Gnarred for Life, Too Hot for TV, and Bolts of Thunder. Too Hot for TV was never released (it really was too hot for TV), but Weston Colton had a full part in it. His part is in the bonus section of Bolts of Thunder.
SLUG: Do you ever feel like having a reunion video part with Matt Pace? Pacemaker and Hartbreaker would make an awesome video name.
Hart: Yeah, that would be pretty epic. I think I’d call it “Hart vs Pace” (HVP), and it would be the prequel to Alien vs Predator (AVP).
SLUG: Who’s your favorite St. George Skateboarder? And you can’t say James Atkin because that’s too easy.
Hart: Nick Graff. He taught me how to skate, how to hide from cops and to appreciate a good taildrop.
SLUG: Who’s your favorite Utah County Skateboarder?
Hart: Dave McDonald. I don’t even know if he counts because he just lived here for a couple months while he went to school, and he’s gone now. But he filmed his part in our video in just a couple months after not having skated for a couple years. He doesn’t care if there are people kicking us out, if his body’s too sore to move or if it’s too dark to see what he’s doing, he’ll go for any trick. He’s 27 and married, but he has the motivation to skate like a 15-year-old. He’s really fun to skate with, and he’s a super cool guy to hang out with.
SLUG: I know you have a brother who skates. Is it awesome to always have someone to skate with? I’ve never had such a thing. Tell us three advantages of having a brother who skates.
Hart: Yeah, I actually have two brothers that skate, Matt and Brian. It’s the raddest thing ever because they’re both my best friends. Advantages to having brothers who skate with you is they can get mad at you for not landing a trick, which pushes you to try harder—it’s harder for them to ignore you when you call them to skate—and they’re protective of their younger brother—they’ll fight off any unwanted lurkers.
SLUG: James told me something about you not skating on Sundays because you broke your foot on a Sunday. Can you share that story?
Hart: It wasn’t quite like that. I went swimming on Sunday, then my parents decided to get divorced, and I broke my foot the next day. Swimming was obviously the cause of all this.
SLUG: Lastly, do you have any sponsors or people you’d like to thank? Every interview needs a mandatory shout-out section. This is yours.
Hart: I am sponsorless … But I think my Mom counts as a sponsor, she’s really supportive of us skating. I don’t want to offend anyone by not mentioning them by name, so I’ll go the easy way out and say “I’d like to thank all my family and friends. You know who you are…” Thanks Weston and Sam for putting this together, I had a lot of fun. Matt Hart, here’s your shout out. Thanks to Mark Anderson from Blindside, the Ripplingers from Lip Trix, and Garret Taylor from Bakersfield for hooking me up and helping me out. So don’t be mad at me.
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