Takin’ It Back to the Ground Under

It's official: Winter is here and it’s not going anywhere for months, so what are we to do when all of our spots to skate are covered with snow or ice? At first, hibernation sounds like a fantastic idea, but who can sleep for months straight without being in a damn coma? Maybe winter is nature’s way of telling skateboarders to procreate with the opposite sex while we put our skateboards away for the winter. Sex sounds pretty good, but even that can get pretty hackneyed after a while (unless, of course, you’re a player and you crush a lot). Many resort to partying the days away, but after a while your liver might ask why you aren’t out skateboarding instead of drinking. Migration is also a keen idea and most people head south or anywhere that isn’t covered with snow, but that costs money. Luckily, there are underground spots littered throughout the valley; one just needs to explore a little to come across these rare gems. I got together with a few friends and we did just that.

Photo: Adam Dorobiala

“Jason Gianchetta knows how to couch surf. Back five-oh on the extension.”

First, I skated with longtime ripper Jason Gianchetta (a.k.a. Cheese), who has the set-up dialed inside the basement of his home. He can wake up, walk out his door, throw his skateboard down and roll to one of the most intense mini-ramps in the Salt Lake valley. Next to his bedroom, he has a three foot mini with super sketchy transition and a couch extension in the back corner of the ramp. Anybody who has skated this knows how odd it is to skate, and Cheese commandeers the shit out of it with effortless style and flow. And on top of all that, it’s in the basement, so if you get too vertical you might hit your head on the ceiling, but that makes it that much more fun and challenging to skate.

But don’t think because Jason said hi to you once at the skatepark he’s gonna let you storm his crib and let you skate his ramp, it is for VIPs only.

“Just wait till you see the footage of this trick; Panda back lip whirly -bird manual.”

Photo: Adam Dorobiala

Next, I met up with Kendall Johnson and Will Pauley (a.k.a. Panda) at an underground garage near Sugarhouse where there is a curved ledge that goes up and around and has a manual pad off the other side. Panda got pretty technical on it and Kendall was killing the bank and the flat gap, so it was only obvious that we get some photos. It’s a fun spot, but once again, when going underground, you don’t have all that space above your head so it can get kinda hectic if you jump too high.

“Kendall Johnson with a shadow flip … I mean, switch, flip into the bank.”

Photo: Adam Dorobiala

We proceeded to skate until someone told us that the cops were on their way. Thanks, buddy, for the heads up (although I am pretty sure it was just a psych-out to make us leave). With an endless amount of paved spaces available for us to skate, you should go out and find something to skate, whether it’s under a building, in a garage, or at your next-door neighbor’s house; just go skate so when summertime rolls around your skateboard won’t wonder where the fuck you were the whole winter.