Category Archives: Interviews

SLC crew “This Must Be The Place” advance to next round in Nike Chosen contest….

reprinted from a post I made on Brightons Terrain Park Blog

Unless you have totally been under a rock this season you have seen the Nike Chosen competition. The contest, presented by Nike, challenges filmers and crews from around the world to document their scene, get “noticed”, and eventually win a trip to Austria to shred like a Nike pro. Brighton Resort is lucky enough to be the home mountain for one of the crews chosen as finalists. Connor Brown and Jesse Gouveia are the guys behind the “This Must Be The Place” crew. Through out the season we have featured edits, pictures, and trick tips from the crew here on the terrain park blog but now it’s at a whole new level. The crew needs your help to get them into the final three to win a trip to Austria to compete for the grand prize. I caught up with Jesse to get the low down on whats taken place so far, what still needs to be done, and to talk about the crew and riding at Brighton Resort.

Brighton Ok Jesse give us the quick version of how you guys got to this round and how the contest proceeds from here…

Jesse So the contest was all about Facebook likes and comments and such before to get Nike to “notice” you and look at your page. Now that we got the US spot and made top 9 its straight up votes. From today until March 5th everyone who knows how to use the internet can vote for us once a day on each computer or phone or whatever. Maybe a PC if youre feeling risky.

Brighton So in talking with you guys I know you are working on a variety of projects at once. How was it trying to fit the Nike edit into the mix and how has it been just filming in general in a brand new place?

Jesse At first it was all kinda weird because we knew we wanted to make a movie, and knew we wanted to save our best stuff for that. So we got kinda stressed about how we were going to make the Nike stuff good while saving the best shots for Connor’s movie. Being able to put park footage and Bonezone stuff in there obviously made things easier earlier in the round but we wanted our main video on our page to be mostly street. Its ended up working out pretty well so far because we were able to come up with some b footage and some stuff we filmed just for the Nike as well. Its a lot to put together, especially for Connor editing it all but there is definitely nothing we would rather be doing. Its been super fun because we are all so new to filming in the streets so we’ve learned a lot and have all gotten to get better at it together. As far as the snow goes we’ve just had to film in surrounding towns where they have some snow like Park City and stuff or had a couple chances to film in the valley when we got those 3 inch storms. Its been kinda rough I guess but way better that we’re used to. Last year I lived in a city that pretty much never got snow and I went on one three day film trip so getting this many chances to film feels crazy to me. I think we’ve gotten better at making things run smoothly at spots since the beginning of the year. Not quite as many rookie mistakes as before. Still sketched out sometimes…

Brighton So tell me about Connor’s roll and your roll in the crew. Who’s doin what…

Jesse So connor used to snowboard, but that doesnt happen any more haha. I can confidently say he is a filmer now. Before I was like no way, he’ll bounce back and wanna go snowboarding every day but no. He loves filming, seems like he has the same amount of fun and gets the same appreciation for filming as we do boarding. He films. We board. I give him some creative gestures here and there for titles or ideas for edits here and there but “The Con,” “Conman69,” or “Contraceptive,” you take your pick, is definitely a filmer now.

Brighton Ok that covers you two but whose the entire crew…

Jesse Our crew is Connor Brown, Jesse Gouveia, Andrew Aldridge and Blaze Kotsenburg.

Brighton So how has your first season at Brighton been so far?

Jesse Brighton is just the jam becuase it has the best park and the terrain is sick. First time I’ve ridden a mountain with so much stuff to charge of off and so many sick snake runs. Cant really enjoy it all right now cuz of the lack of snow. I still barely know the mountain but the taste I’ve gotten so far has been amazing. Everyone who I love to ride with rides there (except Jordan Morse.. PC?? whatttt, whyyyyy) and the way they run things there is on point. In other words you dont feel like youre going to get your pass taken away for ollieing a slow sign, and the people who run things there do a good job. Nothing against skiers but Brighton is mostly people who snowboard so its so awesome to rip with all your boarder buds. There’s so many good people there that sometimes it makes you feel like you suck, so definitely helps you wanna get better. Its just a good place to snowboard I’d say.

So heres What Connor, Jesse and the crew need you to do. Hit up the Nike banner below and vote for “This Must Be The Place” every day from now until March 5th. HINT you can vote once a day from your phone as well as a laptop and PC/Mac for a total of up to three votes per day. The top three crews will be flown to Austria where the winner of the Grand Prize will be chosen. So show some Brighton love and hit that link then spread the word to all your homies. Brighton represent and dont forget to VOTE EVERYDAY!!!

P.S. Did you catch that Jesse said they were saving their best stuff for their full length film.. stunning

After voting take a second to enjoy some of Connor’s other Brighton edits this season…

Brighton Trick Tips: Back 180 On from Connor Brown on Vimeo.

Brighton Trick Tips: Back 3 On from Connor Brown on Vimeo.

Buds at Brighton from Connor Brown on Vimeo.

Brighton Must Be The Place. from Connor Brown on Vimeo.

Brighton Must Be The Place: Part #2 from Connor Brown on Vimeo.

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“We dont rebuild.. we reload” Meet the Milo young guns

As Ive noted many times Im originally from the South and in the South its all about college football.  In college football you have your ups and downs as players grow up,graduate, and ultimately leave your program. So from time to time your particular team may go through a few years where they have to mature new players and thus do not really intend to compete on a championship level. These years are referred to as “rebuilding years”.  Every once in a while however a team will go through a long period of dominance and the fans down south like to use the expression “We dont rebuild we reload” to describe such times. Switch gears now and head west to a little city  named after a salty lake nestled between a desert and a mountain range.  Theres a small shop named Milosport in that city and their list of team riders is a whos who of snowboarding history. If any shop can say they dont rebuild they reload Milosport is the shop.  Check out a few questions with some of their newest team members, names and faces may not all be familiar to you yet but just give them a few more years and then see what happens….

Basic information;   name, age, hometown, current city, and home mountain…

Sam; Sam Taxwood, 17 years old, from Salt Lake City and still live here, home mountain is Snowbird.

Griffin; Griffin Siebert, 18, I’m from Park City, UT and have lived there my whole life. My home resort is Park City Mountain Resort.

Chris; Chris Cloud, I’ll be 20 by the time this gets posted, I was brought up in Seattle and relocated last winter to Salt Lake. I ride at the best resort in the Wasatch, Brighton.

Ben; Ben Bilodeau, 18 years deep, born, raised and living in SLC! Home mountain is Brighton.

Brandon;  Brandon Hobush (Bush) , 21 years old, born in American Fork Utah but now live in SLC! Home resort Brighton, Ut.

Brighton Park Crew Member, 32 Day Winner, and new MiloSport Team Rider Chris Cloud p.Christopher Riley Goodwin

Whats your rider status am or flow and what companies are hooking you up at the moment?

Sam; am/flow? Haha I dont know. I ride for Nitro, L1, Celtek, Electric, Nixon, Milosport, and Discrete

Griffin;  Am and flow I guess ha….. I ride for Nitro, Volcom, Dragon, Celtek, Discrete, Milo, Skullcandy, Cobra Dogs and Bern

Chris;   Capita, POW Gloves and Bond Outerwear, all flow me stuff and Thirtytwo keeps myself as well as the rest of the High Cascade and Brighton diggers laced with boots…Thanks everybody!

Ben;  Am/Flow or something for Technine, Electric, Milosport, Landing and Osiris.

Hobush;   Am. Trife Snowboards, Thirtytwo, Etnies, Milosport, Ashbury, Celtek, Hobo Hats, and Cobra Dogs.

Milo Am and T9 rager Ben Bilodeau hittin up SLC go to spot The Rail Gardens p. Sean Kerrick Sullivan

How did you get hooked up with Milo … sponsor me vid? rep? hassling Cal? 

Sam; I started riding for Milo because I met Ryan Terwilliger ( Burritos note .. Ryan Terwilliger used to work at Milo and is now the SLC Bataleon/Sessions Rep) at Snowbird when he used to work in the shop and I started going in all the time and eventually just started riding for Milo.

Griffin; Well the shop I rode for when I was younger in Park City called the Click went out of business and I had known Jeff for awhile and one day I was in the shop buying a skate or socks or something and he asked if I wanted to be on the team since The Click was done. I answered hell yeah! I was hyped!

Chris;  After the 32 day rail jam last year my buddy Randy (some know him as Killer) recommended I show my footy to Perry, I guess he liked it.

Ben; Cole Taylor (FODT) told me I needed a shop sponsor. I’d been thinking about Milo for a while because it’s definitely the dopest shop, but their riders are so sick that I was too nervous to ask anyone. One day I asked Jeff (Perry) if there was any way I could get on the team. He gave me his e-mail and I sent him some stupid stuff that I’m embarassed about now. Yup.

Hobush;  When I was 16 or 17 I was doing a skate contest down in Orem and Benny Pellegrino came up to me when it was over and asked me if id ride for Milo. I was so shocked and stoked!

Did you film with a crew this year? If so who with and for what films?

Sam;  This past season I didnt have anyone to film with besides all my good friends so we just made a bunch of edits throughout the season which was fun!

Griffin; No, I wish! just filmed with the homies and made some web edits and got the opportunity to film with Pat Fenelon for the PC edits a couple of days.

Chris; I just filmed with friends here and there around Salt Lake, you may have seen us on YoBeat, KICKTHEBUCKET.

Ben;  I made a few attempts to film with FODT this past season but it didn’t work out so hot. Next year I’ll be working a lot harder and filming a lot more with them.

Hobush;  Yes I filmed with Jeff Heit  for the Thirtytwo Am video “AMMO”. I rode with Dylan Alito, Chris Brewster, Spencer Schubert, Brandon Larson, Jared Jordan, and Mike Rav.

How has riding for Milo helped your riding career and opened doors for you?

Sam; It has helped a ton just because riding for such a rad shop like Milo you can get introduced to other important people in the industry which can help you branch out to other companies etc. etc. So in that aspect Milo has helped me a ton!

Griffin;  Milo has been a ton of help. The have supported me very well and introduce me to some important people in the snowboarding realm. Everyone who is a part of Milo is truly awesome! Feels like one big family!

Chris;  I’m a very new team rider so its hard to say how it has helped, but i know it will. Milo is probably the most recognized “core” shop in the country.

Ben;  It’s so nice being able to go in there whenever I need something like a basegrind or wax, even to get a question answered. Plus it’s all homies that work there so it’s a good spot to kick it.

Hobush; They’ve supported me since day one. I go into the shop and get help with whatever I need. They’ve introduced me to so many amazing people in the snowboard industry.

 Knowing the history of big name riders that Milo has sponsored what does it mean for you personally to ride for Milo?

Sam; Riding for milo is really sick because knowing how heavy the team is it for sure means something knowing that im apart of something that big!

Griffin; It’s crazy to the see the team list, it is insanely stacked and I feel so fortunate to even be on there, trips me out to even be on that list.

Chris;  It’s is amazing looking at the team list and see my own name on there. I have looked up to pretty much everyone on the team at some point or another in my life. It’s crazy for me too, because I knew about this bad ass shop called Milo years before I even went to Salt Lake mostly because of the team. Then I visited Milo my first time to Salt Lake and was hooked on it from there on out. Milo is rad because they carry a lot of awesome more obscure brands not just the big ones like K2 and Burton.

Ben; I have looked up to so many of the riders for so long, so I’m definately lucky to be a part of what I look up to.

Hobush;  Ive looked up to so many pros that ride for Milo since I was young and now, to be on the same team as them is crazy. Im really stoked I get to be part of it all!

OK most important question for last.. who does the least amount of work at the shop Hammid, Sean, Steve , or Zima?

Sam; Zima for sure does the least when he’s working!

Griffin; Definetly Cale (Zima), I watched him knock over a whole boot rack once hahahaha…… Love ya Cale!

Chris; To be honest I don’t even know all those guys. . .

Ben; I’ve never seen Cale do anything. Ever. Maybe I’m just in there at the wrong time… Every day.

Hobush;   All of those guys work their asses off! They kill it!!

Special guest Cale Zima responds…

Cale do you have any statement in your defense?

Cale; No I dont… Im just a lazy ass…haha

 

 

There you go, a glimpse into the future of Milosport. In four or five years you can say you knew about them way back in 2011. Milosport in SLC reloading since 1984.

Special thanks to Pat Fenelon/Yobeat, Sean Kerrick Sullivan, and Christopher Riley Goodwin for the photo/video support

A chat with Suzanne Akin of Akinz Boardwear

The thing that attracts many to activities like snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, and bmx is the same thing that makes so many others not understand them and thats the individuality and creativity that these sports foster in its participants. Many times youll find that riders of all genres express themselves creatively in writing, music, painting, or other artistic endeavors. Such is the case with Akinz Boardwear founder Suzanne Akin originally from Texas and now living in Colorado.  Akinz Boardwear is a small but growing clothing and accessory company that has everything from Handmade Beanies and Jewelry to original Graphic Tees. I was able to catch up with very busy owner Suzanne for a brief chat about everything from relocating a business across the country to creativity and the business behind the business at Akinz…


So I see that you were first inspired to start Akinz after you started wake boarding. What do you think it is about sports like wakeboarding, snowboarding, skateboarding, skiing etc that tends to inspire its participants to be creative in other outlets?
 
Well, they’re all sports that essentially the athlete is competing against themselves.  There aren’t any set rules of which trick to do or learn next or anyone telling you to stay between the lines.  It encourages people to get creative with their tricks and develop their own riding style.  I think once the creative juices start flowing in one thing that you’re passionate about, they spread to your daily life outside your sport as well.
How was the transition from Texas to Colorado as far as business went, was it a hard decision to knowing you would in effect be starting over or was there a network already in place for you in Co?
 Honestly, when I first moved to Colorado, Akinz didn’t see a second of attention for me for at least a year to a year and a half.  I didn’t really think of it as starting over, I kinda thought that I would be moving on, but then I fell in love with snowboarding so much that I etched out a place for myself in the Colorado scene and definitely had to start over, but it was worth it.
So now that youve settled in how receptive have you found it to be for you in Co?
People definitely get a lot more clique-y in the snowboarding industry, so you have to know somebody who knows somebody to get your product seen (especially if you’re a small company with a non-existent marketing budget).  But, I’ve found that once people meet you once, they are normally pretty awesome about helping you out however they can.  
Is Akinz totally you or do you have others that do some graphic work from time to time?
I would say Akinz is about 99.8% me.  I have only had 1 guest artist do anything in the past.  This upcoming winter line has 2 t-shirt designs that weren’t done by me,  one by my boyfriend who’s a web designer and one done by a Zosia Olenska, an artist out of Poland.  She had this sweet drawing I saw online that no one had used for anything yet, and I asked if I could buy it for a shirt.  Here’s her site and her post about the shirt… her art is pretty dang sweet!
Theres quite a bit of Akinz product thats hand made, including  the custom beanie. That a pretty cool idea, how did that come about? Did you see a desire in consumers  or did you just decide to put the option out there, and how has that fared?
Well I love the handmade vibe as much as everybody else, but honestly I just wanted to be able to offer my original pieces and I wasn’t big enough to get them manufactured (flash back to that teeny tiny budget) so I found a way to make them happen by starting to make them myself.  What started as a way to add an accessories line has almost morphed into my most popular items in the winter… mainly the custom beanie.  I got a little overwhelmed though last winter, so I’m either going to have start my own tiny sweat shop made up of my friends or limit the number of handmade items in the future.
 

Pick your color and style and get them hand made ... Akinz Beanies

 

Besides the beanies you have a pretty diverse line including jewelry, and other softgoods. Do you make just go with what inspirations you have or do you sit down with a solid business plan and really try to plan things out?
 Haha, I totally have that free spirited artist “go with what I want to make right now” business plan kicking.  I definitely sit down and make sure I have a decent variety of different kinds of pieces before I plan out my line sheets for the season though.  I have to kind of keep myself in check… if not, I would have about 500 hoodie and beanie options and nothing else. 
What lessons have you learned since you began in 05? Anything youd do differently if you could or has it been a pretty smooth ride?
 Oh man, nothing about owning your own business is ever completely smooth.  I had a background in fashion and some marketing, so I just kinda thought I could figure it all out as I went along, which I’ve done a pretty good job of, but there have definitely been snags.  Like, realizing shipping my first order of sunglasses from China was going to cost almost as much as the sunglasses themselves… something I wasn’t prepared for… especially when I had already sent out wholesale pricing to some shops.  If I were to start over again, I would definitely try to get a biz loan so I could enlist the help of people who know what they are doing in those types of situations and hire an accountant. 
And to balance out that previous question whats been the best thing about Akinz? 
 
Well, for the sake of balance, probably all the things I’ve learned.  I think back to the look of my first online store or my first event setup and it makes me laugh and then it kinda makes me proud to see how far I’ve come.  My goal was always to make it far enough for Akinz to be my job and now it is, so that kinda rocks.
With the weather starting to change whats on the drawing board for the future as far as product goes? 
 
Well, we’ll be getting all our winter stuff in over the course of the next month and I’m pretty stoked mainly about our acid wash hoodie dresses.  Plus I’m making my first wholesale order of yarn — 1000 skeins (for all those handmade beanies), so I’ll be banishing myself to the couch with Hulu Plus to attempt to get a headstart on the crochet season soon.

Team Rider Erika Vikander in the Acid Wash Hoodie Dress new for fall 2011 p. Alice Owen

 

If you were to look ahead lets say 10 years what would your vision of Akinz be?
 
I found some private property in Steamboat with rolling hills and a private lake… I just wish Akinz could have its own little DC mountain lab there in the winter, wakeboard camp in the summer.  I would have employees to do all the boring business stuff for me so I could just design clothes and ride and travel all the time.  Maybe I’m dreaming a little bit… maybe not.  Mainly, I’d just like Akinz to be stable enough to do the tradeshow route, be in enough shops so that we had some good revenue and have a team of awesome people working with me that all love to ride too.
 
Finally all your thank yous and shout outs… 
All my team riders  for helping me spread the Akinz love, my friends for being my “backup employees” whenever I’m desperate, and my boyfriend Andrew for being my unpaid web and photography guy.

Suzanne Akin founder and designer of Akinz Boardwear in the Invaderz Tee from the summer 2011 collection