Travel Blog

State of the SL,UT 2.0

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The whole fam getting lit at the home hill. DT Photo.

Words by Doug Tolman and Micah Green. Images by various talented sl,uts and may be used for personal social media, contact us for any commercial/marketing use or prints.

2 months ago we posted an article about the state of skate in Salt Lake, Utah. TL;DR the local community was still going strong despite claims the downhill skate industry had tanked. Read the whole thing and see more dank shots here

Now that summer has come and gone, our traveling racers are back home and our groms are sitting in class dreaming of thane lines. The industry wave seems to be back on the up, and the stoke is still high.

Euro SL,UTS

This year Micah, Knox, Trevor, and Riley flew out of SLC to spend a month in Europe racing and freeriding. Riley set the track record for Almabtrieb, Knox topped the Kozakov Juniors podium, and two weeks were spent skating and discovering some of the best roads this universe has to offer. Here is Micah’s take on the goods:

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Knox Heslop photo.

There’s something about tunnels that just encourages you to go full send. They get you saying in your head “Oooh bitch I’m gonna tuck through you so fast.” But they’re also scary. There is much less wind resistance, and the light contrast is blinding. If you’re in a tunnel long enough you become disoriented and desensitized to speed. It’s actually one of the best feelings on a skateboard ever.

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‘T-Revvvvv’ and Riley Irvine captured on-board by Knox Heslop.

Basically everywhere in Europe that was dank seemed to be under heavy rain. For days too. We’d backtrack for hours across multiple borders just for a dry hill. After skating all day and checking our road/weather options, we’d often arrive at at the next spot late into the night.

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Knox Heslop photo.

This road is a novelty. It’s super cool to say you’ve done it, but the effort to get down in one piece almost outweighs the fun. You gotta be kinda sick to enjoy this. It’s too fast on narrow straights into blind shutdown hairpins with varying pavement and lots of traffic. I challenge you to got find out for yourself.

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Micah, Knox, and Trevor seeking words of encouragement. Riley Irvine photo.

Dropping above tree line and having more hairpins than most race tracks spotted below you. You couldn’t ask for more.

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Micah and Trevor weaving traffic at dusk. Knox Heslop photo.

 

Be prepared for traffic. You can’t flinch when you have a tour bus hanging over your apex. It’s common for sports cars and bikes to be ripping these roads harder than you, so you gotta be on point with your drifts and just go with the flow.

The Resort

As with every summer, the thought of real BIG mountain skating draws veterans and groms alike to the Rasta Resort. A whole mountain to yourself, complete with camping, a river to cool the beer, and a steep slab of tarmac to shred. This ghost-town of a pass is not for the faint of heart. Once you’ve been taken there by the locals(the only way), it’s difficult to ignore the urge to go. Even with the racers in Europe for a month, we snagged a couple solid camp sessions finished off by hot-spring soaks on the drive home.

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Julia Barklow and Dylan Lee making ‘Waterfall’ their bitch. DT Photo.

As you can see, this hill is too steep to shuttle all day with a car you care about. Thank god for rental cars.

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Martin Mackey with another angle on ‘Waterfall’. DT Photo.

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As we all know, Micah G is in the place to be. DT Photo.

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Dylan Whittier hit the throttle too hard dropping in.

Dyl-Lit is one of few to feel the wrath of deathwobbing at 60mph. Note Dylan Lee utilizing his Race 401 first aid-kit. Race 401 also makes the thickest pucks in the game, designed specifically for this hill. Peep his website race401.com for the goods.

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Noah Allred making the most of a sloshy day.

When he’s not having fun on a skateboard, Noah is a stoked face at Performance Longboarding, support your local shop! DT Photo.

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Riley Irvine blasting through the aspens. DT photo for Loaded Boards

 

Training Grounds

There really isn’t a better way to wake up than skating a flowy mountain road with your friends. Whether you think of it as speed yoga, or “fucking gnarly brahhh”, it will put you in a great mood. That’s why we have a solid crew shredding Cowboy Trail almost every morning of the week.

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On-board shot of Doug doing some ‘speed yoga’. Knox Heslop photo.

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Matt Gibson Photography (MGP) is a lifestyle, really.

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If someone says ‘It’s lit fam’, this is what they are referring to. MGP photo.

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K-Ham has been bringing homies from the Loaded house out pretty frequently. MGP photo.

The boys Noah Allred and Dylan Hepworth seem to come as a package deal to dawn patrol, here is a mini-series dedicated to their steeze-filled bromance.

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Example 1, skating together like two nuts in a sack. DT photo.

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Example 2. DT photo.

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Example 3, not many people drop thane like D-Hep. DT photo.

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Example 4 (last one). DT photo.

Though he missed a month of sessions while traveling Europe, reigning Cowboy Trail Outlaw Champ Riley Irvine still has the most dialed line on the hill.

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Riley and James D’Antuono dropping in. DT photo.

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Riley and Martin Mackey double-teaming ‘Reggies’. There are a few stylized posters of this left, hit us up if you want one.

In the last update we showed you guys how hard the grommets have been shredding lately, this didn’t stop until class started.

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Rogo (Roger Hernandez) keeping it 100. Knox Heslop photo.

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Gage Erckenbrack and Anthony Garcia taking a spotted dip. DT Photo

 

Iconic Terrain

There is no doubt that Utah has some unbelievably beautiful scenery. Every now and then a road traverses through these iconic venues, begging for the traveling skater to take a  quick rip. If you are passing through with a board, you have no excuse to deny your roots.

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Cedar Coleman giving Capitol Reef a shred. Katie Stephens photo.

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Micah with the funky line in some un-charted territory above the valley. DT photo.

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Riley Irvine barrelling through the fall colors on a realll sender bender. Dylan Lee photo.

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Alex McKenzie getting really high. DT photo.

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The crew pushing in for a dusky chunder-blast at the local ‘make-out point’. DT photo.

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Micah Green dropping into the ‘s-curve’, an asphalt sculpture most of us frequent during ski season. DT photo.

Amigos del Norte

Northern Utah Downhill “Bombing Highways, Sliding Driveways” since 2015

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Dylan Whittier and Chris Bland ripping a northern chunder bomb. Korby Beckstead photo.

Our brethren to the north, the ‘NÜDISTS’ are releasing a feature length film this winter, look forward to some first descents and some iconic terrain.

The driveway runs are RILL in the mountain valleys of Northern Utah. Here are a few examples.

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Dyl Wit slides into the fisheye. Beau Durrant photo.

 

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Chris Bland racing the sunset into the horizon. Beau Durrant photo.

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Chris Bland and Noah Allred basking in the Tetons’ glory during a day trip. Matt Gibson photo.

Events

To keep a scene healthy, it is important to have events where all skill levels can participate. It breeds progression for all, and is a lot of fun. Lately the Utah DH scene has been getting big on the pathway races. They are easy to ‘sanction’, fun for all levels of riders, and let you practice race lines on a closed course.

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A tight pack navigating the Bloodspill swoopty. Beau Durrant photo.

During July, Noah Allred held another installment of the Bloodspill Deathmatch series. This is a semi-outlaw pathway race held a few times every year in Highland. The course is really technical and only a short walk, making it ideal for tight racing.

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Kalil leading his semi-finals pack into the first drifter (or gripper if you are a ham). Ben Udy photo.

Finals boiled down to Micheal Apgood, Kalil Hammouri, Logan Friday, and Doug Tolman. It was a tight finish with K-Ham taking the win.

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As always, the most important part is the buttboard race after the stand-up race. Beau Durrant photo.

Similarly in August, student of the world Dagan Kay held the first Millennium Downhill Race in Park City. He went the whole mile to okay everything with the city and obtain insurance. This course was a bit longer and more drafty than the Bloodspill, but tight lines were still required to edge out the competition.

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Nothing beats a board-barrel in the finals. Ben Udy photo.

After battling his way through the loser bracket, Bryce snagged first with Micah, Riley, and Noah finishing out the finals. This event was a blast, and in a beautiful spot. Hopefully there are many more to come when Dagan returns from Austria!

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As an extension of this unofficial path race series, we will be teaming up with Zealous and other local sponsors to host the 6th Daybreak Downhill in South Jordan. The event will be October 8, 2016 featuring Downhill, Boardercross, and Slalom racing. More info on the Facebook.

Lately it’s become prominent we have a log of artistic talent in the Utah scene. Check back for details on the ‘SKRRRT Show’ at Performance this winter. We’ll be showcasing films, photographs(#mgp), board-art, and more creative work by local shredders.

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Dylan Hepworth showing off his craftsmanship

Aaaand that’s a wrap for this edition of State of the SL,UT, stay stoked and tuned for more exclusive updates on the downhill skate scene in Salt Lake City. Go skate!

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