Equinox (and Rob Mentov) 5 W’s

Photos: Peter Stankiewicz

Interview: Benjamin Deberdt

Even if it might be that evident by looking out the window, for many of us, winter is coming to its end… And to celebrate this great news, what better idea than reminisce on the –not so distant– nights of going out despite the cold, to then embrace spring in all its glory?
This is what Street Feet and its mentor Rob Mentov had in mind with their newest film: Equinox! Before the Toronto based project premieres tomorrow on Live, let’s see what this is all about…
Hint: this about an experience shared by many a skateboarder around the globe…

 Peter Stankiewicz

Rob Mentov, powerslide "on ice".

What is Street Feet, actually?
Essentially, Street Feet is a Toronto based audio-visual production house. I use these films as a way to collaborate with talented people and skate, travel and create as much as possible. I love to meet and work with new people and establish strong relationships. There’s a huge amount of people both directly and indirectly involved with Street Feet. The two main guys that helped me out with Equinox, since its inception, were Scott Varney and Will Baigent. I’m really hyped that they back the concept of Street Feet.

When did you come up with the idea of Equinox?
Originally, we came up with the basic idea back in November. The concept was skating at night in the winter. I have to say that it was nowhere near what I turned out to be in terms of length, people involved and the amount of thought put in. We were originally planning to make a four-minute video but it became quite a bit longer as more people heard about it and started coming out. I guess everyone was either keen on the idea, or just liked to be able to go out and street skate regularly.
As March approached, I thought it would be really great to aim to get this project done by equinox, and kind of celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring. I guess Equinox is sort of that light at the end of the tunnel to work towards. We can devote our energy towards this project and once we’re done, the days will hopefully start to get warmer and winter will, for the most, part be over.

 Peter Stankiewicz

Lee Yankou, lipslide.

Why in hell would you want to be skating though Toronto's winter?
I think that all skaters that live in harsh climates have to deal with this kind of experience in the winter. You go out and skate everyday through the year and, then, winter strikes and depresses the hell out of everyone. Then daylight savings time hits and you’re suddenly getting out of school and work everyday to the dark cold nights. I wanted to make a project that relates to a lot of skaters and would also keep us sane through the winter.
A major contributing factor to this project was the need to be productive. Equinox gave me a bit of hope and something to really look forward to. I’d be excited for the cold late nights to meet with my friends go skate around the city. It was fun to skate the usual spots through a different perspective. Snow banks and ice beds changed the way we engaged with the spots. One night, Scott was trying this wallride from a bank over some pipes. The landing was just a sheet of ice and snow, and we ended up spending over an hour trying to get a trick that would otherwise be relatively easier to do. We always looked around for places where we could utilize the ice and snow since this was different from the spot’s usual aesthetic.

Who should we expect to see in Equinox?
So many people got involved in this and I’m really grateful for that. It was good to see everyone out skating on the coldest nights. Scott Varney, Will Baigent, Malcolm Yarde and Jay Brown are just some of the main guys in Equinox. I also reached out to Dom Henry in Reading, England and asked him if he would film for this. I love doing projects with him and didn’t want to limit Equinox to Toronto alone. I also spent some time in Detroit over the winter where I was privileged to film with Ryan Kehrer. I consider both of these guys part of our extended Street Feet family.
Hands down, Scott Varney put in the most time for this one. I think that we motivated each other throughout the project and Scott was hyped to go out any given night no matter the weather conditions. We had a lot of fun with this, despite the frigid climate.

 Peter Stankiewicz

Will Baigent, wallie.

Where would you like to film, ideally, for you next project?
In terms of future projects, the list of locations is pretty extensive! [Laughter] I’m really itching to visit parts of Europe and Asia when the time is right. In the short run, I want to get back to Detroit as soon as possible. The city has so much to offer both on and off the skateboard and is a huge inspiration for me. I’d love to work on another project in Detroit with the amazing people out there.
I just want to end this by saying thanks so much to Live Skateboard Media and you, Benjamin! This whole process was a great experience for us. Also thanks to everyone who helped out with the project in any way shape or form. There are too many people to mention, but I’m truly appreciative that people are supportive and go along with these irrational but pleasurable concepts!

While waiting for the premiere, tomorrow Wednesday, get a glimpse of the Toronto winter nights’ mood.

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