I know you wish you could Kickflip Backip, Greg Lutzka gettin it done
Gret Lutzka has made a name for himself as one of the world's best young, technical skaters. Salt Lake City is definitely in for a treat when this strapping young lad hits town with the rest of the Dew Tour this weekend for the Toyota Challenge. SLUG got the chance to talk to Greg Lutzka and gathered his thoughts on the SLC stop of the Dew Tour.
SLUG: How many years have you been a part of the Dew Tour?
Greg Lutzka: Since it began five years ago.
SLUG: How have you done in the past?
GL: In 2008 I finished 4th overall, 2007 2nd overall, 2006 6th overall, 2005 3rd overall
SLUG: Many skaters seem to hate contests and never skate in them. Do you feel that contests are a necessary part of a professional career?
GL: I don’t think they are a necessary part because a lot of skaters make a career without doing contests. I personally like contests because I like to travel and skate different types of courses. It’s just another way of skateboarding and it gives me a reason to check out new cities, meet cool people, skate with my friends and give my fans a chance to see me skate.
SLUG: What do you think it is that pushes so many skates away from contests?
GL: It’s a hard question. I think maybe the pressure. Maybe they don’t think it’s cool or don’t like being watched by thousands of people. I don’t really know. For me I don’t think about it. I skate because I love to do it. It’s not a matter of winning or losing.
SLUG: How does the Dew Tour compare and differ from other major skate contest like the Maloof Cup or Tampa Pro? How do you feel about the Dew Tour overall?
GL: Maloof is more of a core street contest. It’s all cement and has the most money in one event. Dew Tour is a five-stop tour and we get to travel to all these different cities. Dew Tour has great courses in huge stadiums with big crowds. Tampa Pro is more o.g. core. Nowadays it’s one of the smaller ones but it’s one of my favorites. It’s my third year winning and I give it my all there because it’s an o.g. contest.
SLUG: What is your favorite stop on the tour and why?
GL: I like Portland a lot. Salt Lake City is rad. I love the mountains and the vibe up there.
SLUG:Do you get a chance to skate any street when you travel from city to city?
GL: I don’t really. I literally fly in Wednesday, skate Thursday, do a morning show and interviews Friday, skate finals and then fly home. I don’t want to chance it unless I stay for a few days after because I don’t want to get hurt while I do my stuff. Especially with my sponsors. Like Toyota is one of my sponsors and Salt Lake City is the Toyota Challenge, so I have a lot of signings and media and I want to give it my all in Salt Lake City.
SLUG: What’s your favorite thing about SLC?
GL: I like going in winter and riding Park City. Just being in the mountains and not having a care in the world.
SLUG: Which do you find more exhilarating and productive, traveling on a skate/demo tour or traveling on a contest tour?
GL: I’d say on a contest just because a lot more kids go on a contest. But demo tours are cool because that’s where you get your photos for the magazines and video parts. It’s more street. They are just two totally different styles.
SLUG: On average how many contests do you enter each year? Do your sponsors and team managers put pressure on you to enter certain contests?
GL: No my team managers don’t put any pressure on me. In the beginning some companies wanted me to not do so many contests but now it’s more accepted. I have more mainstream sponsors like Monster, Toyota, Oakley and K-Swiss, so they’re stoked to see me on TV. Sometimes it’s better than being in a magazine because I have more interaction with fans and there’s more coverage and exposure. At the end of the day I love to skate and if a contest or something comes up that I really want to do I’m going to do it.
SLUG: What has been your favorite contest of all time?
GL I like Tampa Pro just because it’s core and one of the original contests. It doesn’t have the biggest hype or the most amount of money but it has the best vibe. And Brian Schaefer has been around for years and I love what those guys do.
SLUG: How does your mindset change when skating a contest versus skating for yourself or with your friends? Do you find the crowd and all the chaos of a contest distracting or motivating?
GL: My mindset never changes. When I skate with friends it’s just as hard as with contests. It’s more about if I’m feeling it. Like at X Games this year I got like last because I just wasn’t feeling it. There are days I go skate with no photographer and do some of the gnarliest tricks. It’s just my mindset I’m at and I know the second I step on my board. Whether with friends or contest it doesn’t matter.
SLUG: Where is your all time favorite place to skate?
GL: I actually like Barcelona. You don’t have to drive too much and you can take the train around. There’s a lot of marble and the vibe is cool. Plus you don’t really get kicked out of spots there.
SLUG: Are there any other words you would like to shout out to the skate world?
GL: Skate to have fun. A lot of kids ask me how to get sponsored or go pro. Don’t skate just for that reason. Even though it was a dream of mine always, it shouldn’t be the main reason why you skate. At the end of the day just skate to have fun and because you love it.