2016 State of the SL,UT Address

Words and photos by Doug Tolman (@avant_gnar) unless otherwise stated. Images may be used for personal social media, contact us for any commercial/marketing use or prints.
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Recently returned Jon Whitehead leading Noah Allred through a cliff-hanger

If you’re involved in the downhill skateboarding community, you know how strange the last 6 months have been. Set-ups that costed $300 of mommy and daddy’s skrilla are going for $75 on buy-sell-trade pages, shredders who used to get boxes of wheels every month are scrounging through old scrubs, and races that used to sell out 300 spots in 3 minutes have only 80 people registering. Times have changed, huh?

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Trevor Ovenden making his mark on a SL,UT classic

Though times seem dark, what’s left is a group of core skaters who are truly skating down hills for the love of it. Never before has there been so much fun and progression at sessions.

Rastas

Rather than paying $275 for a packed Uhaul and mediocre race track, there are fat multi-day sessions happening on premium hills like our own Rasta Resort. People are coming from all over Utah and even out of state to get a taste of this tantalizing pavement, and they definitely aren’t alone.

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Kalil Hammouri, Camilo Cespedes, Dylan Whittier, Julia Barklow, and a lot of other homies bombing into the drop at Rasta

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Riley Irvine skating out the heinous bottom section

Racing

Quantity of Utahns racing may be down, but quality of their racing definitely isn’t! Out west at the Catalina Island Classic, Micah Green took the win and Riley Irvine snagged a solid fourth.

Check out Skate[Slate]‘s Raw Run of the finals

 

More recently, youngin Knox Heslop topped the Junior podium on the East Coast at Killington.

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Knox smashing Killington’s 60+mph lefty. Restless Longboards Photo

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Ryan Vitale, Trevor Ovenden, and Connor Wagner doing the pre-Maryhill drag race. Micah Green photo

Winter Runs

As we all know, Utah is not the best place to skate down hills for 3 months a year. With most of us working ski-resort jobs, why freeze your ass off on a neighborhood run when you can freeze your ass off in a forest of fresh pow? Even with that in mind, sometimes the urge to mob a neighborhood run with a pack prevails.

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Myself leading Bryce Brady, Drew Edwards, and Canan Page-Roca down a frigid run. Riley Irvine Photo

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Sean Woolery, Knox Heslop, and Tommy Watson on the primest of winter runs

Northern Utah Downhill

Up north we have the NÜD Crew going ham on some classics, as well as some new-new. They can definitely attest, sometimes that squiggle on Google Maps actually IS paved, and a killer run at that.

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Chris Bland and Dylan Whittier getting it in freezing temps. Beau Durrant photo

 

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Trevor Ovenden, myself, and Beau Durrant on a slippery dippery driveway. Micah Green photo

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Beau Durrant with a standard toeside on a standard hairpin. Brady Evans photo

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Micah Green and Trevor Ovendon leading the NUDists through a familiar northern run

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Myself, Trevor Ovenden, and Beau Durrant on a very swift ski resort road. Micah Green photo

The Speedy South

This skate and explore mentality has also worked on the southern side of the state. Using Rasta Resort as a base-camp, we were able to branch out to some very fast, fresh and scenic runs.

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Riley Irvine and James D’Antuono rallying in the red rocks

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James apexing a super-switchback

 

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Micheal Apgood about to drop into a 70mph straight on another ski resort road. Tommy Watson photo

Groms Making Moves

More local to SL,UT is the Nugget Patrol Crew who are all stepping it up to the big boy hills. These guys (mostly grommets) all learned how to do triple digit skids on the steep neighborhood slopes. They are finally making it to the twisty mountain runs, and fucking killing it without a doubt.

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Scott Merkley with the eyes on the apex

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Roger Hernandez with a steezy drift in a fast kink

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Knox Heslop toeside on a freshy access road. Charlie Davidson photo

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Micheal Apgood celebrating the full moon

 

Not to mention these kids don’t like putting their hands down, with guys like Dylan Hepworth hitting switch stand-up runs as quick as most with their hand down in normal stance.

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Dyl Hep getting a switch follow run with Alex Fishburn

Dawn Patrol

Attendance at AM sessions the last couple years has been pretty weak, but the recent addition of these young-guns has greatly improved moral and quality of skating. Pack runs on Cowboy Trail are deeper, tighter, and faster than ever.

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Noah Allred, Dylan Hepworth, Roger Hernandez, Anthony Garcia, Eli Quackenbush, and Matt Gibson making the skate-gods proud. Micah Green photo.

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Bryce Brady and Riley Irvine taking the corner dubbed ‘Highsider’

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Ever-stoked Noah Allred giving ‘Lookout’ the line

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Myself leading Bryce Brady and Riley Irvine down Cowboy Trail. Alex Fishburn photo

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Riley Irvine and Micah Green squatting into Reggie’s Right

This apparent skate recession seems bad when blabbing about it at the top of the hill, but is it really? From what I can tell the group of skaters left mobbing hills in Utah is pushing more limits and having more fun than ever. Happy go skate day, if you haven’t already, go get some with the homies!

-Doug Tolman and the rest of the crew at SL,UT City Skating

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