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Hump Day Plays Croquet with Joe Mertes


Nose press. Photo Ryan Taylor.

Joe Mertes is a quiet killer from Minnesota. Hardened from freezing cold winters and skilled from 1,000,000,000 laps through the park at Hyland Hills, Joe is at all times in full control of his snowboard. I spent some time riding with Joe in MN this winter and was impressed to see his hard working yet relaxed style. I am also pretty sure that he is goofy and regular.  But Joe’s hump day explores the other things in life he is in control of.

Yobeat: What do you like to do that has nothing to do with snowboarding?

JM: I play a lot of croquet, play Metallica on my guitar, skateboard a ton, go on waterpark tours, make stickers, clean my room.

Yobeat: What kind of stickers do you make?

JM: Di-cuts. current project:


My roomate Ryan bought one a while back after we did Ashbury’s first run of di-cuts.

Do you sell these stickers?

JM: Yeah, we got paid for the Ashbury job, and we’ve made stuff for various companies around here, like a car audio place, a window tinting place, couple skate shops like Cal Surf and Familia. Just some odd jobs.

Yobeat:  Water park tours, eh. what’s your favorite park in Minnesota?

JM: The Pirate Ship Park in Edina, because its got a zip line, high and a low diving board, and two slides, one that you ride a tube and one that you don’t. It’s called Edina Aquatic Center

Yobeat: You still got that GF?

JM: No, we broke up a month and a half ago.


Girlfriends are for sissies. Ain’t nothing sissy about this. Photo: Ryan Taylor

Yobeat: A free man. How’s that?

JM: It’s been pretty all right, biking around a lot on the weekends. Oh yea that’s something I do a lot that has nothin’ to do with snowboarding, I bike. It’s not super wild or anything though being single, just normal life fun with friends.

Yobeat: What kind of bike do you have?

JM: Bianchi via Nirone


No way jose. It’s FAST. 30 speeds. This last weekend I biked 70 miles on Sat and Sun.


Bike guy.

Yobeat: Just exactly how clean is your room?

JM: haha. It’s never been “cleaned” I guess, more like organized, I don’t dust or scrub.

Yobeat: But it’s organized? Like shirts by color?

JM: haha. Not really that OCD, but ya know, movies on racks, clothes in dresser. I go about a week just throwing clothes on a chair or on the floor then a get some itch to clean it all up. It doesn’t really take up too much of my time. Maybe more when I have someone comin’ over if you know what I mean, haha.

Yobeat: So like for the ladies?

JM: Indeed


Lurk Alert. Switch nosepress. Photo Ryan Taylor

Yobeat: Tell me about the guitar playing.

JM: I bought an Epiphone last winter and pretty much listen to songs I like and try to play them. I’ll look up the tabs if I have no idea how to play the song, but mostly I play in drop D. Ya know, heavy metal power chords. I’m trying to learn the whole “Kill em All” Metallica album. I’ve got Whiplash, Seek and Destroy, and Jump in the Fire on lock.

Yobeat: Sick. Then record a covers album.

JM: haha, yeah maybe. I could do one with Johnny (MIller) maybe. Oh and I got Dust in the Wind in the bank too haha. That scene from Old School made me wanna learn it. Ya know, the one where Will Farrell sings?

Not a 50-50. Photo Ryan Taylor.

Yobeat: ha ha yep. What about the skating?

JM: Yeah. I go out with my brother and my friend Aaron Fryman all the time and lately I’ve been meeting up with Jordan Michilot and Joe Sexton and some other local dudes. There’s some super fun parks around with good minis and ledges and what not.

Yobeat: What’s your best trick?

JM: hahaha. I can 50-50 for daaayys!


All business.

Yobeat: Ok and what about the croquet?

JM: oh yes yes yes! It started out by me movin’ into the house I live in currently from my dad’s place here. He had a croquet set in the garage that had never even been used. It was like 10 years old or something. so he offered it up and I took it with me. It took about a year to break it out for the first time and once I played once I was hooked. My roomate Ryan and I go to this place called Centennial Lakes Plaza and play on the real stuff, the golf course green type field. with real wickets and old wooden heavy ass mallets. It’s so fun. Sometimes we’ll take my set to a soccer field near by and set up a bigger course

Yobeat: And no one makes fun of you?

JM: Nah dude, why would anyone do that shit. haha. It’s so fun. You just have to play for yourself on a good course.

Yobeat: Just grown American men…playing croquet?

JM: You just gotta try it out. It’s a game you can play one handed with a beer in the other, look at it that way.


Grown American men, playing Croquet

Yobeat: All right, now your talkin’. If you could teach all the internet kiddies of the world one thing what would it be?

JM: Don’t trip, don’t hate, go out and have fun.

Yobeat: Thanks and shout outs?

JM: Thanks to my sponsors: Nitro, L1, Raiden, Dragon, Elm, Magical Gogo, Active. Shout out to my brother Nick, Aaron, Eric up in Tununak AK, Willi, Brad, my Family, all the rest of my friends, and thank you to the city of Minneapolis for re-paving the route I take into the city on my bike.


Switch Back Lip. Photo Ryan Taylor.

is pretty.... awesome.
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