Marty Vachon slaps our first cover of the year for issue 13.1 with a heavy boardslide at the Calgary Saddledome. A heaty pandemic spot, Marty and crew dodge security to ride the lightning.
I hit this spot just a few days after I smoked my teeth out. Nerves were high and the spot was really heat. We drove by this thing and when the Flames were playing; there was mad security and you had to hop some fences, so we said we’d come back to it. When we came back the gate was open to drive in, so we slowly and quietly built it. Some people came out to smoke and talk so we had to lay low for about a half hour. Sitting and waiting to hit this thing wasn’t helping the nerves. The boys had to give me a light bungee pull, because building a drop-in would have taken too long. I don’t like using those things but had to do it. I jumped on it a few times and got it. That helped get some confidence back after losing teeth. We cleaned up and got out of there. —MARTYN VACHON
I found this spot while driving around last summer. It’s at the iconic Saddledome arena in Calgary, which was built back in 1982, so it’s surprising that no one had hit it. It’s a good-looking spot, and I had heard talk of the arena being torn down, so I really wanted to get a shot on it before it disappeared. I showed Marty a photo; he was the first one who seemed keen to check it out.
The Stampede grounds at the Saddledome can be pretty hit or miss for getting kicked out. You can assume it’s only a matter of time before security drives past and gives you the boot. Marty started testing out the speed when two Calgary farm hockey team players from the Stockton Heat pulled up to watch. These kinds of spots always stress me out because you don’t get many tries to pick an angle and play around with the lighting. On Marty’s first attempt, he was ripping into it and watching him go through the kink made it look way harsher than I had initially thought. By his third attempt, he had everything dialled and made it, clipped up before noon like the beast he is.
Mt. Mtn is definitely one of my favourite crews to shoot with. It’s always a lot of fun and really productive and getting to watch Marty board is a treat. His composure on a board is unparalleled.—LIAM GLASS