Merritt in his natural habitat, gold chains on, ready to skate some hills.
About 8 months ago we added a young whipper-snapper to the team who was consistently sending in awesome media from all over the place and we couldn't figure out where he was actually from. So we contacted Merritt Speirs to find out more about him, and after about 5 minutes of talking we could tell this dude was the real deal. Stoked on skating, willing to travel to the best roads possible, and down for anything. So we quickly gave him a shot with OMEN, and he hasn't let us down since! So now it is 8 months later, and we finally have a chance to catch up with Mr. Speirs after a nasty fall has left him on the injured reserve list, and unable to skate and travel.
(nate) Merritt, great to catch up with you after the adversity to your face, we will get to that in a bit! Tell the folks at home a little about yourself. Name, age, hometown, years skating?
(merritt) Hey whats up, My name is Merritt Speirs, I’m 19 years young, I was born in Detroit, Michigan but currently live across the border in Windsor, Onterrible/Ontario. I’ve been skating downhill for almost 4 years now.
Surfing through a masterpiece in North Carolina, on one of his many skate trips.
(merritt) I’ve been riding Omen longboards and Free wheels for almost a year now, I started skating for the team back in November!
Drifting before the corner is even visible, Mr. Speirs in a downhill paradise.
(nate) So you are from Canada, but most your media is from TEAMBROKEOFF in North Carolina. How does that happen?
(merritt) I took my first trip down there back in October of this year and met my boy Stephen Smith. He offered me a place to stay if I ever decided to come back, and I took him up on that offer and made my way down whenever possible. The second trip down was the week after and it was a total spur of the moment thing, but I’m glad I yolo’d because I ended up meeting Matt Mckeon and damn near all the other BIGDAWGS. From there it was going down any sort of long weekend or time off I had from school and pretty much every time i’d go i’d get to meet up and film with Matt.
Rallying with friends through a scenic and ideal left hand corner.
(nate) Matt Mckeon is a rad dude who is out following his dream, how was it working with him to stack so much footage?
(merritt) Working with Matt is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had while skating and filming! Matt knows how to get the best shots and make everything look amazing while keeping the skater safe. He really takes every precaution when it comes to safety, he rents cars and closes roads. I think the best thing about working with Matt is that there isn’t really much stress or pressure he’s just out there trying to help you get the best footage possible, that being said the dude knows how to give a pre run pep talk!
Raging downhills in front of a car is dangerous, stay safe and read this article.
(nate) Has traveling played a huge part in your skating? Is it essential to your skating? Do you travel to go and skate the gnarliest stuff possible?
(merritt) Traveling has played a large role in my skating, I can safely say that traveling has shaped my style of skating. I love traveling all over North America and seeing the different roads in every region. For example the roads in the PNW are a totally different style than the ones in North Carolina. I think traveling is essential for me to progress, I try to find crazy roads that I haven't seen or skated before and traveling is really the only way to do that, that being said I’ll always be skating regardless of if I can travel or not. I also love traveling because it lets you meet new and awesome people, I have made many friends now who I would have never known without traveling.
THROW SOME D, the newest video from Merritt filmed by TEAMBROKEOFF.
(nate) You are a pretty ridiculous dude, from traveling everywhere, to crazy lines skating burly roads, and the gold chains... What is up with those? I am not hating, on them and I think they are the type of thug-diculousness that makes you super recognizable.
(merritt) Haha yes! The skate bling is sort of a running joke thats just sort of kept going. My friends and I listen to a lot of “trap music” from the south like young thug, future, and gucci mane. Those dudes all have crazy iced out chains and one night I thought while listening to some gucci that it would be really funny to wear some chains when I went skating, long story short I got myself some bling and everyone who saw them out on the hills thought it was pretty funny, so I just sort of kept wearing them and getting new chains.
No messing around, different day, different outfit, still sporting the chains.
(nate) Besides the ridiculously awesome chains, and the lack of self regard we come to expect in your media, what is a typical day for you back home?
(merritt) A day back at home isn’t as exciting as you’d expect, it’s mostly just grinding away at my office job. Gotta pay for all the trips somehow, right? Other than work I’ll usually be walking my dog, skating my tiny local hill or hanging out with friends or girls. Oh and of course I’ll be cruising tinder, swiping right throughout the day.
If you don't know this legendary quote, here is the reference.
(nate) What is your go to pick up line for hitting tinder? Send an EMOJI, or ask a question?
(merritt) Oh wow tough question, I guess it really depends on the girl but i’m definitely a fan of the funny pick up lines, girls like a guy who makes them laugh.
The good ole' toeside glove down. A regular shredders favorite right hand brake!
(nate) Even though the media keeps pouring out featuring you, we know that you are laid up right now with a mega-bricked face. What happened and how long are you out?
(merritt) I was skating in North Carolina after the NCDH race at mount Jefferson (super rad race and party, can’t recommend it enough!), and me and a friend decided to take a “one and done” run on a gnarly road that had recently gotten blown. Because I only had one run to skate it, I decided to try and fully charge the road. I was really pushing myself on the fastest section of the road, a super funky left sweeper, when I thought that I could grip the turn with out air-braking too much. As it turns out I couldn’t hold my line and ended up sliding off a cliff going close to 50 mph. I ended up breaking my right orbital, maxillary sinus, right cheek bone and my nose, all on top of a concussion. The doctors say my fractures will be healed in about a month but the bones will still be fragile for a while after so it was recommended that I take it easy for a few months after that.
(nate) After the docs clear you for skating what is your next plan? Where are you headed, what events are you trying to make happen?
(merritt) I am actually planning a trip back down south this summer to redeem myself on the road I bricked myself on, I’d also like to try to make it to central mass, possibly the acme freeride and soldiers of downhill.
Gripping through a well paved sweeper in the heart of the backwoods.
(nate) What deck are you currently vibing on? What is your setup on that deck?
(merritt) Currently i’ve been trying out the new Omen Grim, I have mine setup with some 45/30 Ronin billets, right now for wheels I’ve been riding Free spirits but if I’m trying to go really fast and take tight lines ill throw on some Free Loaders.
Omen Grim, Ronin Trucks, and Free Spirits wheels are the current choice on the shred sled.
(nate) Give those shout outs here. Who helps make this all possible for you?
(merritt) So many people to thank! First I’d like to thank my parents for supporting me and my skating, I’d like to thank Stephen Smith and the whole Sk828crew(check them out on instagram) without stephen the crew I wouldnt have met alot of awesome people and I’d have no where to stay on the trips down south and Id like to thank Matt Mckeon and Teambrokeoff for documenting the craziness that goes on! I can’t forget the biggest dawg Tyler Hunt for taking me to the hospital, and lastly I’d like to thank Omen longboards, Free wheel co and Nate Blackburn for helping make all the skating I do possible!
We want to shed some light on the incident that happened with Merritt, involving his broken orbital bone. Merritt was wearing a full face helmet at the time of the incident and still managed to receive quite the head shot, which is a great time to bring up the importance of wearing your helmet when you step on your skateboard!
Also, we mentioned it last week in our SPONSORSHIP Blog, #8 Prepare For A Brick, mentioning the 10 things they don't tell you about being sponsored, but all of this media was submitted while Merritt Speirs was unable to skate, and was accomplishable by having a backup of photos, videos, and media, This is what makes Merritt a superstar rider, and a gem in our hearts here at OMEN.