Sammy E. Spiteri is a straight-edge 21 year old with 12 years of boardin’ experience under his belt. His favorite food of all time is The “All Day Addiction” dish at JAX in Truckee, and despite what he might say, he likes Miley Cyrus. Strange Brew filmer and Yobeat contributor, Danny Kern, caught up with Sammy the other day and this is what down.
Danny Kern: If I remember correctly your 21st birthday was the first time you got drunk. Explain.
Yes. This is true. I was (and still am) against drinking/drugs. On my 21st, I decided to try drinking because I knew I wanted to get drunk at least once just to see. Brady Lem cracked me my first beer, then another. It only took two, and I was wasted! I’ve never had much game, but with a little liquid courage I was making out with girls left and right. haha. I remember seeing Paul Heran’s face watching me interact, he was just astounded.
Were there any Sochi Olympians involved? And other girls too?!? How many?
HAHA yes there was a Sochi Olympian involved! I actually got rejected from a very classy Olympian. I don’t blame her though, she deserves a guy that is at least in the X-Games… haha. Any way, the night of my birthday I made out with 5 girls, thank goodness for Vitamin C, that’s a lot of spit swapping.
What is it like living in Nick Visconti’s footsteps?
Well I’m not living in his footsteps. I’m guiding my own life path with the knowledge he shared with me. I was lucky enough to spend a few seasons with Visconti. It started out as me being an annoying little fan who would stalk him on the internet, trying to buy his old snowboards. Over time, Visconti realized that I had potential. He started hitting me up to go film with him in the streets. In the beginning I was totally star struck. I was this freakin’ acne’d out snowboard nerd that was going out boarding with his favorite snowboarder, it was a dream! At the time he was filming for Think Thank’s “Ransack Rebellion,” were he had ender part. It was overwhelming for me to see the amount of work it took to film a video part. It was nothing like the glamorous professional life I had it out to be. Nick worked his ass off every day. He would push himself to his breaking point every day to get a shot. Thinking back, Nick went above and beyond the expectation of a typical 30-trick video part. That season, he walked away with over 60 hammer shots. Visconti really showed me what it took to be a professional at a young age.
It seemed like it was around this time that bHappy started disappearing. What happened with that?
Well, in the beginning, we started bHappy simply to make snowboard videos. The bHappy days were amazing. All of our best friends (Durell Willilams, Ben Strause, Paul Heran, Bryce Hymans, Colt Morgan, Max Tokunaga, Cole Atencio, Joel Vandruff myself, and many more in the later bHappy years) would just board and make dorky web videos. We got made fun of a lot in the beginning by local Tahoe pros, but kept making videos because we were having a ball! Years down the road, sadly, we all just kind of grew out of it. As fun as it was, most of us were moving on to bigger snowboard endeavors. Paul (main bHappy filmer) got hired by TWsnow to film for Visconti’s “reCreation” video part, Bryce focused on school, Joel became a graphic designer for Young and Reckless, I filmed for KTC, etc. Although bHappy died, Under-Dawgs was born.
So who started Underdawgs?
Colt Morgan started Underdawgs. At first he was sneaky about it. He would be on his computer making “Underdawgs” logos but not showing anyone. Eventually he told me his plans that he wanted to make a video with all of our friends that didn’t have a project to film for. This enticed me because it was right after KTC cut me from the “Roll Call” roster. His first video was D.A.E. and it turned out amazing in my opinion.
What’s your favorite way of getting your thrill on? Besides snowboarding?
Oh man, tons of stuff! The obvious answer is Skateboarding. Mountain biking is also huge for me. I used to race bikes and a lot of my family still race. It’s awesome to have something in common with my family. Family time is something that I will give up anything to have. I also freakin’ love roller coasters.
How much do you like roller coasters?
Haha… When I was really little, before I became obsessed with snowboarding, I was obsessed with roller coasters. I had tons of books about them, was always researching them, etc. I don’t now what it was. When I got into snowboarding, I was like, “I’m too cool for roller coasters now…” haha. Now, my fascination for coasters is coming back. I think it’s because they are something that my friends / family could enjoy together, regardless of snowboarding and skateboarding.
You said you were “too cool” for roller coasters. What is with people in snowboarding with “too cool” egos?
Yeah it sucks when people think they are above their peers. At one point, I definitely caught myself acting this way, and I regret every minute of it. For a while there, I was having a lot of success with my snowboarding very quickly. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I wasn’t being a good friend, role model, or family member. In reality, no one is cool. We are all dorks in one way or another, and putting on a cool guy front is just a way of pushing back insecurities. Being a selfish person will only bring you down in the end.
I hear you’ve been logging some hours behind the lens when you’re not strapped in. Do you like it? What made you start filming?
Heck yeah I like it! I bought a camera at the end of last season simply because I wanted to learn something new. Living with Paul Heran for 3 years, we were always editing together and every once in a while he’d teach me a thing or two about cameras. Honestly, I just want to have as many skills as I possibly can for my future. It’s been awesome having a creative hobby that doesn’t require a physical beating.
How much do you love Paul?
Haha. Paul is family to me, a brother. I love him like I love my family.
Favorite song of 2013?
I’m sorry, guilty pleasure. Miley’s 23. Have some good memories to that one.
Arbor Snowboards, iNi Outerwear, Boreal, JAX