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Gavin's Underground

The Slug Games

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2009-01-09 - January has hit, which means one thing for those up at Brighton. The Slug Games are back!

Continuing the magazine's awesome snowboard competitions, The Candy Land Jam will take place this Saturday at the resort, featuring a nicely built course from local rail-building company Kick A$$ Builders for several divisions. Including to my understanding, a women's division needs more competitors this year! I got a chance to chat with SLUG's Mike Brown again, who you should remember from The Ghettolympics this past summer, about the Jam and other events happening this winter, as well as few other topics that came up.

Mike Brown

http://www.thesluggames.com/

Gavin: Hey Mike, how have you been since we last chatted?

Mike: I’ve been good.  No major defeats, no major victories, right on Par.

Gavin: For those who don't know, what are The Slug Games?

Mike: The SLUG Games are a winter contest series for Amateur Snowboarders and Skiers.  We do at least 2 contests a year.

Gavin: What drew you guys to hold these events at Brighton?

Mike: There are lots of reasons that we’ve done the comps at Brighton.  Mostly being that the mountain is amazing and it has a reputation for being the local resort.  So that makes it ideal for local competition. And their park crew is amazing.  We work hand in hand with Jared Winkler (Brighton Park Crew Director) to get the obstacles and course features we want.  They work their little tails off and always help us out with keeping the comps creative and fun.

Gavin: Did you take over these games over the same time as Summer Of Death? And why did you choose to handle both sets of events?

Mike: SLUG offered me the opportunity to plan The Summer of Death (our annual skateboard contest series) and I guess they liked the job I did.  And that kind of led into me doing The SLUG Games.  I work with a lot of the same people for both events so it kind of made sense.

Gavin: Is it more or less difficult to plan the winter version, and what challenges do you have to work with compared to the summer?

Mike: The winter contests are definably bring a bigger crowd than the Skate series.  The planning is a little more extensive and some of the sponsors are bigger, company wise.  The biggest difference though is dealing with winter elements in regards to the course.  Like last year we built one gigantic jump for the whole contest, so we had to set a date later in the season when we knew there would be enough snow.  As far as dealing with winter weather, you never know what your gonna get, so piecing the actual course around that is a lot harder than when you do a skate contest in a skate park.  The skate park is already built.

Gavin: Tell us about the Candy Land Jam and how people can get to it.

Mike: We like to keep our comps fun and original.  The Candy Land Jam is themed after that awesome board game we all played growing up!  So we built an awesome gingerbread house for kids to hit, some candy cane jibs, gigantic gum drops, and some other surprises!  This year we started an on line registration, so you can register at www.thesluggames.com and get more info there!  We will also have registration the day of the contest at Brighton, but it would be nice to sell the thing out early!

Gavin: What can you tell us about the course being built for this?

Mike: The course will be awesome!  There’s actually a run at Brighton called Candy Land where we will be holding the comp!  We do most of our comps in a jam format instead of timed runs, so the obstacles will be kind of close together, but everyone who enters will be able to hike and loop the course very easily.

Gavin: What are the events you have set up for people to compete in, and what kind of prizes are they looking to win?

Mike: For snowboarding we usually do a Men's open division and a Women's open division that everyone can enter, a 17 and under division for both men and women.  We do the same for the skiers, but sometimes no girl skiers show up!  So Girl Skiers, please show up!  We will have prizes for you!

Gavin: A little local-wise, how do you feel about certain resorts – Alta comes to mind – putting bans on snowboarding and other extreme sports?

Mike: The ban is silly.  But really, Deer Valley and Alta are the only two resorts left in the country that have the ban.  So if they want to lose money by not having snowboarding at their mountain, so be it.  There’s enough awesome terrain in Utah anyway.  

Gavin: Is there anything you wish you could change about resorts and their policies?

Mike: Most resorts seem to have pretty fair policies, but I would lower ticket prices and food prices, at least for the locals!  The Canyons Resort actually does that with their tickets, and I think that’s smart.  Our snow is so amazing out here and there are so many people who live in Utah who never go skiing or snowboarding at all.

Gavin: How do you feel our slopes and resorts compare to ones across Denver and California?

Mike: Our resorts are very unique as far as the snow conditions are concerned.  Salt Lake is ultimately a desert climate, and not humid at all.  So combine that with the lake effect and that’s why our snow is usually so light and fluffy!  Back east is super cold, Colorado has and California have some awesome resorts, but Utah really is different for sure.

Gavin: Do you see anything on the horizon changing for snowboarding, or do you think things will remain the same for a few more years?

Mike: I predict that snowboarding will become more rebellious and unpopular in the next couple years.  It just has to.

Gavin: Tell us about the other upcoming events you have the rest of the winter.

Mike: February 21st we are doing our second contest of the season at the Canyons.  We are working with Celtek (a local snowboarding company) to do a Beat The Pro event!  It should be way fun!

Gavin: Is there any other stuff you'd like to plug and promote?

Mike: Make sure you go to www.thesluggames.com and www.slugmag.com for info on all of our upcoming events!  Feel free to email me at mikebrown@slugmag.com if you have any questions or if you just want to tell me how awesome I am.
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