Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Jumped In: Sam Hanson and Colin Foster of BALHOGS
Photo by Keith Teket
We are incredibly excited to introduce our first two additions to the East Coast Division: Sam Hanson and Colin Foster.
This past Saturday we all sat down for a CSK interview first, a live one! Well, live in the fact that we were in a chat room together.
As far as meeting these dudes in person, I think one morning while we were in new york for the BFF Chris and I ran in to Sam and Christina at the little skatepark in Brooklyn. I think there was some sort of exchange like, "oh, Zlog Crew," and, "oh, Bmore fixed crew." The rest is history. I met Colin for the first time in Milwaukee and spent time with both on that trip adventuring in the Hold Fast Van.
The most recent brainchild of these two is BALHOGS (site here) which is a fixed gear company dedicated to “…advancing the sport via good riding and good products.” The first original item to drop was the grip strip, a grip tape decal made for down tube shredding and skating. This is definitely the biggest and roughest sticker in my collection at this time. Definitely one for the history books for fixed gear.
I am thrilled to have been able to jump them in and have their support all the way across the country. CSK shreds in 2 different time zones now!
Without further ado, try to follow along on this lengthy and in depth interview with Colin and Sam. It was really enjoyable and they kept me guessing the whole time. Great to get to know them just a little bit more. Really thrilled to work with them in the future and officially be family now.
***Make sure to follow their antics on twitter @BALHOGS and show your support for their projects: here
In the chat room: Colin Foster
Colin: You've been invited to this chat room!
Sam Hanson has joined
me: whoa, group chat. this is even cooler than how I thought it would be
Sam: yes welcome to 1998 AOL
Colin: pop it out and have ur mind blown
me: I did, that way I can look at my interview cheat sheets.
my AIM tag name was worldsk8er
Anyways, before I take too much of your riding time, how about you guys introduce yourselves
i spelled leech wrong. obvi
me: Colin, you have one too?
Sam: colin wasnt born in 1998
Colin: I was more of an msn person i guess.
me: oh, well then.
Colin: Anyways. I'm Colin Foster, cofo.
Sam: SAM Hanson: AKA sammi2shoes aka leach23 aka JASON HAHR aka Felph
You are definitely two busy dudes, how do you prioritize between all the projects and endeavors? Balhogs? Hold Fast? Bmore Fixed? Colin, I know that you are looking after Spike as well.
Colin: Its pretty insane, we just ride and film and then prioritize when we edit video or photos or whatever. Balhogs on top of that... you can see why we're more in the small stuff. I'm also in school full time.
Sam: welp , HF is my 9 to 5 bill payer, balhogs is my fixed freestyle baby and bmorefixed is more local baltimore based stuff
me: What are you studying Coiln?
Sam, how long have you been with Hold Fast, since they relocated to Bmore?
Colin: I'm in interdisciplinary sculpture and interaction design and art.
Sam: I think it's like 2 years, since jeremiah moved down to baltimore we set up shop here. rob is still on top of things in new york though
me: So. Just trying to clear the air before we get too far in to this, but am I inferior on account of the fact that I’m not riding Hold Fasts right now?
me: With hold fasts being the first, what is your view on other strap alternatives?
Sam: oh, ride what you want or who hooks you up or whatever.
Colin: I'm not a supremacist. Hold Fast are sick, but just because its first doesn't mean it should be the only.
me: Well put.
so now the fun stuff.
What or who is a BALHOG? Where did that name originate?
Sam: its the first letter from the whole team's names
Colin: " "
Colin: you got us. It developed over a long time and a lot of jokes
Sam: well we're based in BALtimore and HOGS
Colin: And also that
me: there ya go.
So on your site it reads “…advancing the sport via good riding and good products.” You’ve got some sticky and slidey pieces right now, any other goodies in the works that you can share?
Sam: we've been working hard on an app.
me: iPhone or Android?
Sam: land line
Analog > Digital anyways, right?
Colin: we're also working on fixed gear video game with Bethesda
Sam: lvl 14 in pedal setting
me: All of Bethesda? dang.
How are you going to top the “Don’t Speak” track selection on the next edit?
Colin: It's hard to top no doubt. but we have some good ideas that fit the content of the next web edit really well
me: which we can expect when???
Sam: next two weeksish
me: And is it weird that i've been watching the first edit on repeat since we first started chatting?
Sam: colin watches it all the time he keeps saying stuff about "upping the views"
Colin: HAaaha. Nah its easy to watch and there is so much interesting stuff in it.
Sam: secret trix
me: yes, you guys are definitely easy on the eyes
How many labor hours went in to making the first bar of Ingot wax? How did you come up to find the final slippery formula?
Did you make it in your kitchens?
Colin: (one second sams typing a big thing
me: no worries.
Colin: and im gonna piggy back off )
me: Are you both typing right next to each other right now?
Colin: Yeahhh haha
Colin: hahahaaa we should all video chat also and see what kinda wild feedback loops happen
Sam: many hours... especially because we sculpted and cast everything ourselves then we had to trim it and refine our pouring process. We learned a lot about wax properties and candle making techniques. The ingot was also supposed to be our second wax. We did a big brain initially that we never ended up releasing.
me: can you record video chats? that would be a CSK first for sure.
Chris showed me the brain! Now that was a big hunk'o wax!
me: Have you guys now outsourced the production to India? Who's doing it now?
Colin: Everything is done by us. All of the wax is mixed in batches, were going to do a new color really soon. We also had to build the first positive Ingot and then poured a rubber mold. Its all real production stuff. Just done in our houses.
Sam: we take turns pouring in our respective kitchens. it's been colin's turn for a while now though
me: For serious. How big is your batch size?
Colin: Really it depends, we could do larger batches but right now the demand doesn't require it.
me: In the production world, we are always focused on the following. Safety first, then quality, then efficiency and looking after our assets. You guys wear all the proper personal protective equipment?
Colin: uhhh. whats that
Sam: I wear glasses
yeah, raincoats work well too I've heard.
Sam: quality over finger tips always
me: there ya go.
alright, i've got to trivia questions.
Colin: Yeah, I usually turn the exauhst fan on above the stove
me: Proper ventilation is key
The average American consumes how many pounds of pork annually?
No cheating with your internet.
Colin: 90 pounds
me: My source says to split the difference. 51#
that's a ton.
Sam: that's why we make a good team
me: Well not really a ton since that's 2000#
Do you have a favorite pig/hog from fiction or reality? your model pig?
Colin: I don't like farm animals very much. I'm more of a wild hog kinda guy.
Sam: I've always found myself drawn to the figure of a nursing sow
me: Pumba from the lion king?
Sam: is that yours?
me: my favorite is the little piggy that went to the market.
Do you have caricatures of all the teammates as pigs yet? How soon can we expect those shirts to drop?
Colin: Right now we haven't talked about Ts too much. We do have some clothing planned soon though
I’m always jealous when I see your guys’ riding shots. The spots look sick. Not to be too forward to when can I come and visit Baltimore?
Sam: whenever, we're usually here and the spots are amazing and abundant.
me: Old, industrial, and vacant. those are good mixes I've found
Sam: there is still so much to be found too
Colin: Seriously come. We have a lot of good spots, but we also look pretty hard and don't ever ride the same thing really. Things aren't set up that well for sessioning in general here.
me: So always hunting for new stuff huh? Do you have a systematic approach or just pick an area and explore?
Sam: we just free flow, aim and go.
Colin: free flow is the only rule
me: I can hang with that
Well, here’s a new addition to the wrap up questions that I collected from my recent trip down to Long Beach and the Fixie Factory. What is the most personal thing that you are willing to admit?
Colin: haha give me a second to think
me: no rush
Sam: fuck that question I have so many but I feel like my mom checks blogs or something
me: haha, that's ok, you can just text it to me later.
Colin: haha Sam told me I should admit that I'm a big baby right before I ride
me: That won't get you in to the right mindset. Play to win.
Sam: I was the singer in a synth pop band and played shows in my underwear sometimes. Also I used to battle fighting robots and one time i lost to a kid in a wheel chair
me: pictures or it didn't happen
Colin: But its just because I hate lining up everyone we ride with and stuff.
I have video
Sam: of the wheelchair kid?
me: any part of that last statement.
me: Actually I'm inclined to believe you based on the notion that making something like that up would be even more of a far stretch
Colin: Last weekend I slep walked into the corner of me and my girlfriends room and peed on the floor and went back to sleep while she was yelling at me the whole time.\
me: Couldn't ask for a better response to that question.
Presta or Schrader?
me: Band name?
Down with Gender
me: Any text print on the butt?
of the underwear that it?
Sam: no, they were my dad's
Colin: anyone still using presta for freestyle is mental
me: Why is that?
too many moving parts?
Colin: cuz they look like a dick
me: fair enough.
If you were in some position where you were only able to eat one more meal (ie...death row) what would it be?
Sam: rapunzel's hair
I'd never be done eating
Colin: A shimmering star
like in mario
me: Alright, two more questions, thanks for hanging tight
To you, what does CSK represent?
Sam: Children Should Know
*how to cross stitch
me: It's a steep learning curve.
Colin: a bunch of fixed riders that don't suck
me: Once you get the " X " down, you're good to go
Well I appreciate that.
(SAM GOES BOTH WAYS)
Lastly, do you have any questions for me?
me: shoot, really?
Sam: how many people u banged?
me: no comment
Colin: whos the prettiest girl u ever seen?
Sam: ha whens the wedding? whip noise
me: my girlfriend
Colin: ! nice a buncha girlfriended dudes in a chatroom
Sam: who is the hottest team in fixed gear( looks wise)
Colin: THINK ABOUT IT
me: anyone that Tyler Johnson is on. ie SKYLMT, CSK, HOLD FAST, HPLUS, RESIST, ZLOG
that was an easy one
Sam: nah they all got mad uglies that bring their score down
me: ok. let me think here.
Sam: hurry up we hafta ride
Colin: thats it tho cuz we gotta rideee
me: i'll go with the Fixie Factory on the fact that I saw most of them in their undies
Colin: fair enough ahahaa
me: What answer were you looking for?
what would have got me the full points?
Sam: BALHOGS fool
Colin: BALHOGS DUH
me: meh, alright. that's a gimme
me: Ok guys, thanks for taking the time out of riding to meet with me. You've been officially jumped in to CSK and are our sole Eastern Division reps.
Sam: hooray, thanks you sooooo much.
Colin: sickkk! east BB!
me: Pleasure to have you on and am looking forward to working with you in the future.
Sam: c u soon ;)
Colin: thanks a lot
me: have a great ride.
Sam has left
Colin has left
In case you've been hiding somewhere, below is the introductory BALHOGS team edit
Lastly, all action and riding photos taken by Keith Teket (flickr linked after the first photo). Product photos and logo borrowed from the BMORE FIXED site. Thanks.