Passion often lies on a spectrum. Whether it comes to working out, painting, cooking, photography, or just about anything else, how much you enjoy the passion and how much time you put into it varies widely. Some of us love jogging in the mornings, some of us love running ultra-marathons; some of us golf on summer weekends, others go to the range every single night. It is not to say one is better than the other, it is simply a choice. When it comes to living on the Wasatch front, many people are passionate about skiing and snowboarding–myself included. Then, somewhere further down the spectrum is the snowboarding club, Good Samaritan: these dudes eat, sleep, and breathe snowboarding.
Good Samaritan is a group living in the Salt Lake area and beyond who release a video each year of their best moments not just on the slopes, but in the streets. When conditions are great, they head up the mountain and do a little bit of everything: whether in the park or in the powder, they are always looking for content to add to their videos. Whether they’re flipping, spinning, or just sending it off 20 foot + cliffs, the things members of Good Samaritan can pull off will drop your jaw, make you nauseous, or scare the daylights out of you. Usually, it’s a little bit of all three.
They bring their shenanigans beyond what traditional snowboarding requires: mountains. Good Samaritan is recognized for their knack at nailing tricks in unconventional settings, using urban settings to highlight their technical skills. Since the late 80s/early 90s, street riding has become a popular subculture within the snowboarding community. Taking inspiration from skateboarding, snowboarders began venturing into cities looking for handrails, stairs, bridges, and other features of metropolitan areas.
Urban snowboarding requires not only unique skill, but bona fide spunk. It takes a certain type of human to look at a steep staircase and instead of thinking “not again,” think of how cool it would be to board-slide down 20 feet of steel. And, if they fall, it’s not snow, but concrete. In order to create the most entertaining, and quite frankly beautiful content they can, they take risks that most people would never even think of. When they fall, they get up and try again.
In addition to finding the nerve to do dangerous tricks, there is also a cohesive creativity necessary to creating the fantastic content that Good Samaritan routinely produces. Luke Paster, a junior attending the University of Utah, says “there are a number of factors that go into where and how to film, such as the background, the spot, the trick. We have a group discussion about it until we find the best possible way for it to look on camera.”
This creativity would be meaningless without the determination to do whatever it takes. The content they make isn’t just a hobby for fun, but it is a craft that requires countless hours of work. Another member of Good Samaritan, Joey Greenblatt, highlights the difficulty of staying motivated: “One clip can take 5 hours because of the spot preparation and attempts, and then it’ll only be 5-10 seconds towards the video. A lot of street snowboarding is not documented, and it just involves walking far, moving a lot of snow, and trial and error.” Their past video is 10 minutes long. I’m an English major; you can do the math.
The videos these kids put together are a product of their intense passion for the sport, and work-ethic. Salt Lake City is a hub for snowboarding, and there are a lot of people who make street boarding content each year. Luke says that “living in SLC and seeing all these awesome videos come out really helped push and inspire us to make our own.” It is so easy to watch other people do/make/pursue their passions, but much harder to put in the time and effort to do so yourself.
What makes it easier, and what is so critical to the success of Good Samaritan, is the fact that they are all homies. They are putting in work to make these videos, but they are also doing what they love with the people they love.
Check out their new video “Helping Hand” linked in their Instagram bio (@go0dsamaritan).
Shoutout to: Hunter Goulet, Luke Paster, Nick Miller, Joey Greenblatt, Jake Johnson, Lauren Derminio, Elan Powless, Jack Elliston, Brandon Gill, Dominick Fuchs, Mitchy Davern, Liam Johnson and Gabe Harris