Summer in the Winter: Words with Logan Summers
When SLUG decided to interview Logan Summers, I knew that I had my work cut out for me. For one, the kid is prolific, skating in national amateur competitions like the Damn Ams and Tampa Am, and wrangling big sponsorships, many of which were acquired around the time he was sprouting his first pubes (an assumption I regretfully didn’t verify). Secondly, I have to admit, I knew absolutely nothing about him. I wasn’t alone in my ignorance, though, gathering only such vague descriptions as “super nice guy” and “way good at skateboarding” from local skateboarders. To put an end to this confusion, SLUG arranged for a meet and greet at the office where I got to grill the youngster.
The origin of Logan Summers’ skate career isn’t typical. He got his first skateboard for his birthday when he was about 7, only to let it collect dust for another year or so. Then, for no reason that he could recall, he picked it back up, telling me, “I kinda did it on my own, for the most part. I didn’t really have any friends that [skated].” Now, Summers primarily skates with his three roomies, Brett Peterson, Sam Terry and Michael Quigly. When he’s not skateboarding, he’s editing his own footage or watching skate videos.
Summers grew up in the easterly suburb of Sugarhouse, but he calls home the shaded Jordan Park in the west. When I ask him what it was like growing up and skateboarding in Salt Lake, he says, “It was great—Salt Lake City’s the best place—lots of spots … good people.”
Summers recently released some footage where you can get a glimpse of his finesse on a shred sled. In the video “December Skatepark Montage 2012” on Vimeo, he exhibits a keen sense of board control with kickflips out of both Smiths and tailslides on a lurpy bank-to-bar at Rosewood. He’s not all “flip-in, flip-out shit,” though. He’s got a command in transition, which is what he grew up skating. He demonstrates this versatility in the video with a colossal backside melon, soaring head-high out of a Rosewood quarter pipe. When I ask him what his go-to tricks are, he says, “Well, full cabs, back lips—those are two tricks I will probably never lose. Front blunts: I definitely do too many of those. ”
Mirrored in Summers’ style is an eclectic bunch of influences, which he made apparent when I asked him to assemble a hypothetical skate dream team. The first name he shot off was local ripper Sam Hubble, “Because he’s personally my favorite—best style, super mellow, always lands things really good,” says Summers. Others on his list include Luan de Oliveira because “he pops everything super high,” and Evan Smith because “he can skate everything,” says Summers. When I asked how he describes his own style, he says, “It’s hard to describe your own style. When I think about skating a ledge spot, I think of Luan [de] Oliveira.”
As far as shop sponsors go, Summers has bounced around. His first was Blindside, which he picked up when he was about 10. He left Blindside a couple of years later for the shop Decade, then shortly after joined up with Happy Rabbit. After Happy Rabbit and the related Republik went under, Blindside, like an unconditional friend, took him back. He says, “Mo [Collett, owner] was really cool about it at the time. I’d go in to Blindside, always, if I ever needed anything and he would always hook me up even though I didn’t ride for him at the time. When [Republik] closed, I ended up talking to Mo. I was like, ‘I’d really like to skate for Blindside again,’ so I got back on.”
Last year, Summers lost two of his biggest sponsors, Gravis and Analog, after parent company Burton decided to drop the two companies and focus on their core market in snowboarding. Burton announced this right after Summers got back from a skate-trip in Colorado with Gravis. “Stuff was going really well with them—they were hooking me up really well. That was looking pretty promising. Then they announced that in October … Jake Burton just decided to close it off,” says Summers. Since then, he has been without a corporate sponsor, but says he’s deciding on future shoe and clothing hook-ups.
Aside from being fluent in the streets of Salt Lake, skateboarding has taken Summers to a medley of different places around North America, from the mecca in SoCal to the sultry state of Florida. But of the many places this worldly man has been, he declared Vancouver to be his favorite. “Skating there’s amazing. I really like the northwestern parts. It’s a big city—all the people there are really chill. The parks are amazing, too: lots of good plazas [and] amazing bowls,” he says.
In his most recent and perhaps most notable of voyages, Logan got the chance to skate in one of the most competitive events in amateur skateboarding, the illustrious Tampa Am. With an empty wallet and no plane ticket, he had to scramble his entire way there, reaping his last bit of frequent-flyer miles to catch the final plane to Tampa. Arriving just in time to shred alongside American Fork local Brodie Penrod (who won Best Trick), he felt on point in his warm-ups. However, Summers says of his own performance, “I ended up not skating even close to how I wanted to. I skated decently, but I kind of blew it. And then I only had one shot this year because it was just one three-minute jam.”
Despite his performance, he was in good spirits about the experience as a whole. He got to meet a grip of pros at Tampa. It was the competition’s 20th anniversary, and it was apparently quite jubilant. He says, “Leo Romero’s band played one of the nights, [and] Tony Trujillo’s band played. You get to go up and talk to all these pros, when normally … other contests, you don’t get to. Here, you were able to go out and, like, have a beer with them.”
In addition to his interesting adventures via skateboard, Summers has had his fair share of misadventures. He told me that he was standing in the Fairmont parking lot last summer when an ice cream truck pulled up, drawing in pan-handling toddlers from around the park asking for money. Summers told a little kid he’d give him a dime, unknowingly agreeing to sell 10 dollars worth of weed to a carload of goons, and when Summers told them he didn’t have any drugs, one of the guys in the car got pissed. “He ended up picking up some kid’s skateboard … He hit my window once and it didn’t break, so he hit it again and it shattered my window. Then, he took off with the skateboard,” says Summers.
Talking to Summers was an enlightening experience. He’s shown time and time again that he’s dedicated to skateboarding and is willing to bust his ass to keep moving forward with it. This is not to say that he’s cutting throats to get there—he’s still very grounded. When I ask him if he expects to make a career out of skateboarding, he humbly says, “I’m pretty old as far as the age goes for making a pro career out of skateboarding … but I definitely want to stay in the industry and try to make a comfortable living out of it.”
Watch out for this work horse plowing down parks in the Salt Lake Valley and check out his new montage on Vimeo—it’ll blow your tits off!