Garrison Conklin and Matt Winskowski
I’ve always wondered why skateboarding is so different from everything else. I don’t want to say it’s a sport or even a culture—those are just other ways people who want to “get it” try to classify it. A lot of the things that are involved with skateboarding would be really uncouth if they were done in any other faction of society. I’m nearing my mid-30s now and have been skateboarding for a while. I can honestly say I have wheels older than some of the kids at the skatepark. However, I have no problem going out on a Saturday for a day of skateboarding with kids that are currently in their teenage years. It doesn’t seem creepy at all, even though if I were to talk to anyone else from their school or even close to the same age, I would have nothing to talk about. Skateboarding is a common ground that defies age, gender, social class and all those other demographics I learned about in my sociological statistics course in college. Skateboarding serves as my fountain of youth. I only hope that I can cement myself as more of a Ponce De Leon than a Larry Clark (although I’m probably closer to Larry Clark in the fact that I’m willing to take my camera to intimate and sketchy places). I feel younger at 33 than I ever did as a teenager. Every time you step on the board, you’re instantly fourteen again: it’s the greatest feeling.
This is where we get to what this article is really about—the youth. Matt Winskowski and Garrison Conklin are two teenage skateboarders. Matt was one of the first people I met when I moved to the Salt Lake valley. He got my number from a mutual friend and called me a lot to go skateboard. I also ended up working with Garrison for a short time at a local skate shop. I’ve skated with both of these guys on and off for the last two years. I’ve always felt a certain kinship with both of these guys, even though I’m almost twice their age. The best part about them is that they both have grown-ass man style on their skateboards. Watching them skate reminds me of watching the Eastern Exposure videos in the nineties. It’s sad but true when I say this, but I totally look up to these guys. I wish I had half the panache they have when I was their age. I decided to ask them a few questions about what it’s like to be in their position these days.
SLUG: Let’s start with the basics….What’s your name? How old are you? Where do you go to school? Also, what is your school mascot?
Garrison Conklin: Garrison Conklin. I’m 18, and I go to Jordan High, home of the Beetdiggers.
Matt Winskowski: Matt Winskowski, 18 years of age, Cottonwood High School, Charlie the Colt.
SLUG: What was your first skateboard?
Conklin: Flip, Arto Saari. I remember it had a reindeer and a mushroom on it. I think it was my first...
Winskowski: I think the board that was actually mine and not my brother’s [Sean’s] was some Wally-Mart board I got from this kid. It said “Heat Zone” on the bottom, had black plastic trucks and sucked so bad I came to a stop riding downhill.
SLUG: What was the first skate video you ever saw?
Conklin: Probably Dying to Live.
Winskowski: I don’t even know, it might have been a 411VM, or This Is Skateboarding.
SLUG: Why no tall tee and jeans? Why aren’t you obsessed with P-Rod’s new shoe and board graphic?
Conklin: My little brother steals all my tall tees, and P-rod’s stuff sells before I can get my hands on it.
Winskowski: I used to wear tall tees in the 9th and 10th grade. Looking back, shit was hella buster. P-Rod is way too chill for me to be repping his kit.
SLUG: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most, how grumpy is Andy Hill on any given day of work?
Conklin: Depends on how long it’s been since he had In-N-Out, but probably a three on average.
SLUG: For those people in their thirties reading this (i.e. me and one other dude somewhere), what is the worst trend at your school right now?
Conklin: I will tell you the best trends! Skinny jeans, jerking, fist pumps, bedazzled shirts and don’t forget the head wraps.
SLUG: X-games or Olympics? Birdman or Flying Tomato? Which is more evil?
Conklin: Flying Tomato at the Olympics.
Winskowski: X-Olympics. Shit is real! Birdman… Flying Tomato is more evil though! Look at that fiery hair!
SLUG: Best case scenario where would you go to college based on skateable terrain alone?
Winskowski: Skateable terrain? This mother buster doesn’t know! Somewhere with a big ass stair set so I could early grab that shit.
SLUG: Who would win in a knife fight, Matt Cozart or Neckface?
Winskowski: Matt wouldn’t get in a knife fight. He would be at Nobrow, duh!
SLUG: Tell your best Matt Winskowski story in 100 words or less.
Conklin: So one day this girl Matt had been “seeing” called him yelling and all this stuff, screaming, “What the hell is wrong with you?” and threatening his life basically. Matt immediately started getting all offensive, yelling back at her asking her what he did, and she started going off about her dog, which I guess someone beat the crap out of right after she had told Matt that her parents were out of town, because she wanted him to come over and “hang” you know. But anyways, she was convinced Matt had done it, cuz he was the only one that knew about her parents being gone. So then, after being accused of this for a few minutes, Matt went off on her and made her feel so terrible about herself, it scared her off the phone. Their relationship got cut short, and nobody really knows if Matt really did do it or not for sure.
SLUG: Tell your best Garrison Conklin story in 100 words or less.
Winskowski: Mother buster was at 7-11 eating a hot dog and getting gas. Some fucker rolls up selling “Armani” jackets. Dude’s claiming he is a designer for Giorgio Armani and he needs money for a plane ticket home. Car number two rolls up all quick and shit. Some homie gets out yelling “HEY! HEY!!!!” Fucker selling the coats gets in his car and dips out super quick. The guy in car number two tells Garrison that that dude ripped him off. Garrison is just sitting there so dumbfounded he doesn’t even know what to do! Guy gets back in his car and chases after the fraudulent “Giorgio.”
SLUG: Since this is coming out close to graduation time, please give a shout out to your favorite teacher.
Conklin: Shout out to my Math teacher Mr. Tanner and Bowers too and also Mrs. Smith.
Winskowski: Mr. Fowler. my Drafting and Woodshop teacher. Homie is so DGAF!!
Bonus shout outs to Leslie Tim Connor and Cooper, Sam Milianta, Nick Su, Bovi Jathemess, Dragon Slayer and Fanny Boykin! Oh, and my boy Daggle!