Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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When Jason Newman was 12, he accidentally tried to load his snowboard into the wrong gondola car. The lifty stopped him, saying, “Woah there, Hondo.” The name stuck and now at almost 27, most people don’t even know his real name.  Hondo’s day job is powering twsnow.com, but he’s also hard at work getting overalls to catch on in snowboarding and commenting on Yobeat as “The Red Haired Intern Jeff.”  Despite his busy schedule, he managed to take some time to answer our questions.

Do you feel like you’re living in Laura Austin’s shadow?

Yeah, it sucks, she does everything cool. I always get made fun of by Peter for having a job that a chick can do way better than me. She’s not better than me by the way, just making sure that’s clear. She’s just as bad, if not worse.

Speaking of, how did someone who can barely text get a job as a writer?

I got lucky. My skateshop closed and Preston asked me if i wanted to come back to HCSC and do their online content. Because I can write. I have a degree in English. So I went out there and happened to be riding the chairlift with Annie Fast one day, who was at that time the Editor in Chief at TransWorld and we got to talking, and she said she was looking for a new online editor, and I told her I’d applied. So we talked at the cafe, the one the Gremlinz hang out at in Gov’y, then she flew me out to So Cal and I interviewed there.  I think she thought I was Pat Moore’s manager, but I was just his roommate. I think she was bummed when she hired me.

How responsible for your success would you say Pat Moore is?

Well considering I’m not successful and I can barely make rent I’d say not very, ha. But for getting this job, 100%.

Why can’t you pay rent? Isn’t the life of a snowboard journalist glamorous and exciting?

No. Well maybe for some people, but not for me.  Maybe I’m just broke now cause of the switch in ownership, so our last check wasn’t direct deposit, and my mailman is a dickhead, and doesn’t give me my mail, and sent my check back to California. But I think I’ll be ok again soon. I think I get paid on Friday. I’ve also been drinking a lot so my money is gone from that.

Are you allowed to talk about the change in ownership? Or is that against corporate policy?

I don’t think I’m supposed to, but it honestly doesn’t seem any different right now.

What’s more exciting to you: being in a video on Transworld, or being in one of Pat Fenelon’s snap chats?

I deleted snap chat, so I don’t get to see how retarded I look, but I do know he sent one to Annie, so now she thinks I’m an even bigger moron.

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We tried to find photos of Hondo snowboarding, but apparently they don’t exist. This is close enough.

Do you think you’re relevant to snowboarding?

Not really. It’s funny. Like who cares what I think about snowboarding? I’m just some guy who’s not even good at snowboarding, that for some reason, gets paid to kind of give his opinion on snowboarding. But not really. Like I don’t even give my opinion. I have to say everything’s sick. When in actuality, most of it is whack as fuck.

Wait, so you’re saying the snowboard media is biased?

Of course it is.

Do you think the “merger” will alleviate some of that? Isn’t the idea for the mags to no longer compete against each other for advertisers?

Well it might, but not really. Competition is good. It keeps us from becoming lazy, and forces both mags to make stronger products.

Ok, so what do you think makes a magazine, or website for that matter, good?

It’s tough.  It has to be good, relevant content, presented in a nice way.  Look at something like Colour mag, or Desillusion magazine. Like the way those things look and feel — awesome paper, awesome interviews, cool photos. And all the shit that should be online, like news, or timely pieces are on their website. News in print media, unless it’s a daily news paper, is dated, and even newspapers are going digital.

As the online editor, do you have any say as to what goes into the mag?

Not really. I do a little bit for print, like check outs, and I wrote one story that’s coming out in our September issue on the Keep the Change crew going to Finland.

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Some might call his choices questionable, but whatever.

Do you regret getting a Pineapple Boys tattoo now that that’s not really a thing anymore? Or is it?

Ha, no way man, we all have the tattoos, it’s not going anywhere. I don’t really regret any of my tattoos.

Not even the Law and Order one?

Well maybe the fork knife spoon sailor jerry flash one, but even that one I’m more or less down for. I want more.

As a man of short stature, who are your favorite fellow short people?

I like Peter Line cause he’s short and cause he was the best snowboarder ever,  I like the dwarf from Nip/Tuck cause he got to fuck the hot mom. I pretty much like any short dude that gets chicks.

How about you? Do you get any chicks or are all those girls on your Instagram just trying to use you to get to pros?

Oh for sure just trying to use me for my friends. I don’t get down with any chicks, I wish I did though.

Do you think this interview will help?

I hope so. Do you? Most chicks that read this go to Hood. Chicks — I’ll be at Hood 6/28-8/3, holla at me.

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The master of the on-camera interview. Kinda.

Are you on tinder?

You know it. Tinder rules. I just got Bode into it. He’s down. I’ve never met anyone off Tinder though.

The Internet has obviously changed the snowboard industry and the media especially. Do you think it’s for the better?

No. I think snowboarding is one thing where technology has hurt it. It’s over saturated right now. Now every kid with a GoPro thinks he’s worthy to be put up on the main sites, on the main page. Snowboard videos used to be what got me stoked. Because they were all, for the most part, good. Now like one out of ten is good. And shit like instagram. Fuck instagram. Instagram’s fun, but when people take it too seriously, like what the fuck? You can’t even put in hyperlinks. Like how much is it really going to help you?  No kid has ever copied and pasted a link from an instagram  caption and bought a product. Instagram’s only fun to use when you’re drunk and clogging the feed, at least that’s what I like to do.

How often do you actually ride a snowboard?

I probably got 65 days on hill this season, but a lot of those days are watching a contest or sitting at a spot on a rail trip. But I rode my snowboard a good amount.

As someone who watched a lot of contests last year, what is that scene like? Do you think its important to snowboarding?

I like the contests cause there’s always parties, and chicks, and free booze. The X Games is the most fun week of the season.

So that’s a yes to the second part? Is going to a contest more fun than a rail trip?

Yeah, way more fun. First of all at a contest you’re guaranteed to see crazy snowboarding. And there’s after parties with sluts and free booze.

And what are rail trips like?

Ha, well the one I went on this year was retarded. Like 8 dudes in a one room apartment, eating shit food for 2 weeks and I’d just like chill. I’d shoot a few pictures, but that’s not really my shit,  so I’d chill and finally someone would get their trick after hours of trying. Blatt and I would sneak off so we could go get drunk every night in this expensive bar.

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Hard at work.

Did you ever have aspirations of going pro?

When I was in high school, sure, but I figured really quickly that I wasn’t very good. My first year out in Utah was real humbling.

Moving west will do that to an East Coaster.

Kids on the east are sick, but damn man, there’s a lot of good kids in SLC. But if you’re good, you can still make it. Look at Scott Stevens, he was the best on the east coast. Now he’s just the best.

Who are Hondo’s favorite snowboarders?

I like Bode, Nicolas (Muller), Scott, Tim Ronan and Grenier. Just my friends i guess, those are the people I get the most stoked on watching. Except Nicolas, I don’t know him.  I also really like Kazu and all the stonp crew.

Do you have any closing advice for someone who’s trying to make it in snowboarding – as a rider or in the industry or otherwise?

As a rider I’d just say get good, don’t be a kook, and if it happens it happens. You can’t force it.  And for industry I’d say, go to school, make friends with pros and other industry people, cause you’re not getting in unless you know people.

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Photo: Cyril Mueller

Bred in the wilds of BC, a dominant force in the slopestyle scene, and pretty handy in the kitchen, Spencer O’Brien is pretty much any snowboarder’s dream girl. Most recently, she won the US Open Slopestyle without even having to compete in finals, and took home a cool 45k in real American dollars. But just because you “don’t care about contests” don’t stop reading! Spencer is not just another contest jock. She, like you and I, is a snowboarder. She’s just making a lot more money and getting a lot more TV time out of it than the rest of us. And if you’re mad at her for that well, sucks to be you.

Are Canadians taking over snowboarding? You and Mark McMorris just won the Open, and it seems like Canadians are kinda ruling right now.

(laughs) Yeah, the Canadians are kinda killing it in Slopestyle this year. Mark and I have been having a good year. Mark especially has been pushing men’s slope to another level. I’m so proud of that kid and so stoked on his riding. Also Brooke Voigt and Darcy Sharpe, who are young Canadians, took the rookie award [at the Open] and Brooke got third. It’s really cool to see the resurgence of the Canadians. We’re not so sick in half pipe but at least we have slopestlye!

And backcountry…

Yeah in backcountry we have Leanne and Marie and Annie and the list goes on.

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All modesty aside, Spencer rips in the backcountry too. Photo: Cyril Mueller

Why do you think Canadians are so good at snowboarding?

I think winter sports are just kinda Canada’s culture. It’s cold up there, it’s winter and it’s kinda one of the only things to do that time of the year. It’s just second nature to us, that’s what you do during the winter with your family — you go ski or you go snowboard. Throughout snowboard history it’s kinda bred really good snowboarders.

As a Canadian, how to you feel about Avril Lavigne marrying the Nickleback guy?

That was honestly the weirdest thing ever. I thought it was a joke. Actually, I was shocked, she definitely didn’t get her skater boy, which is a shame.

You just won the US Open, which is amazing, but are you bummed it was by default?

Yeah, I’m kinda bummed it was by default, it’s never how you want to win a contest. All the girls have been riding so well this year and I knew it was gonna be a really hard final. I had a run planned that I would have been really stoked to have gotten to try, but we do a winter sport and sometimes that’s just the way it goes. It was really cool that the event took our safety into consideration and made that call, because I think it was the right call, given the circumstances.

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This is basically what the course at the US Open looked like for finals. Photo: Cyril Mueller

With the Olympics coming up, you’re trying to go right? Anyone you’ve got your eye on to beat?

I’m excited for Sochi. I think it’s gonna be cool. It’s kinda weird to work towards something for such a long time and plan that far ahead. I’m definitely looking at what all the girls are doing right now. Jamie [Anderson] and Enni [Rukajärvi] are definitely the two best female slope style riders we’ve ever seen. Definitely looking at those girls, and there’s some up and coming girls too. Silje Norendal is riding really well this year, Aimee Fuller with a double back flip, Miyabi Onitsuka is 14 and just destroying it and almost making finals. There’s a lot of young girls coming up right now and I’m kinda getting scared. I’m getting old (laughs) Me and Jamie were talking about it that we’re like veterans now and it’s so weird because we’ve been doing it for so long together and it’s funny to see all the young girls now.

What’s the dynamic between you and Jamie like? Are you guys friends or is it super competitive?

Me and Jamie are super good friends, she’s one of my favorite girls on tour. We’ve known each other since we were 16 and 15. It’s been a long journey with her and I love competeting against her. She’s such a good rider and so talented and consistent. I think without her I wouldn’t be the rider that I am right now. I love that we can be at the top of the course and be friends. It’s not super gnarly and there’s no rivalry, I don’t think.

Until she falls…

(laughs) Until I win by default!

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Winner!

So you’re a big proponent of women not hitting smaller jumps in competition. I read your blog, but since we can assume most Yobeaters didn’t, why don’t you think women should have smaller jumps to hit?

When I first started competition professionally, every event did have a ladies side. Smaller jumps, basically for the chicks, it was called the ladies tee. Girls didn’t have to hit it, but a few women did. A few girls would always hit the big jumps and I made that choice early on that I wanted to hit those bigger jumps and that’s where I wanted to take my snowboarding. When the events kinda of eliminated that, I saw such a huge change in the way girls rode and to see where it’s come since that elimination to where it is now, I’m so proud to be riding slopsestyle with those girls. I just think putting small sides back in would be a step backwards and that’s not what I want to see happen to slopestyle.

Do you care about the people who say things like “competition isn’t snowboarding?”

Yeah, it bums me out when people day that contest snowboarders aren’t real snowboarders or that’s not what snowboarding’s about. I mean, we’re here at the US Open, it’s the 31st year. This event is a part of the soul of snowboarding, just like Baker Banked Slalom is. I started snowboarding because I love it, and it’s the same reason I do it today. It’s not for money and it’s not to win a contest, it’s because I like to do it. I think as long as that’s why people are doing it, you’re still a snowboarder. Screw anyone who says that I’m not a real snowboarder because I ride contests!

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Real snowboarding? Photo: Cyril Mueller

I think we’re really lucky. I think contest snowboarding has it’s place. It gets our sport out there so more people can make money filming or doing their own thing. I think that part of snowboarding is so strong. It keeps our sport so unique. You need both ends of the spectrum to keep it how it is.

Let’s talk about something I and the masses really care about. I heard you were on the Food Network?

Yeah, it was 2008, I was on Dinner: Impossible, which is a show on the Food Network. I’m a huge Food Network fan so when I got that opportunity I was more excited about that than anything else in my entire life.

Were you a judge or what?

I actually got to cook with Chef Robert Irvine. They put me and Jamie to work. It was pretty funny. Gretchen hosted it because she’s from Aspen and his challenge was to make an extreme meal for the athletes in the riders tent at X Games. We had a shitty kitchen in the snow, everything was melting, the ovens wouldn’t get hot. It was all about challenges, but it was really funny. I had to BBQ chicken for two hours. But it was super fun and a really cool experience.

I’m so jealous, every time I see someone from action sports on Iron Chef I just wanna know how they go on there!

I want to be a judge on Iron Chef more than anything in the world. That’s a life goal, for sure.

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Would you… hit this jump? Photo: Jeff Potto/Burton US Open

A lot of people peg you as a contest rider because that’s where they see you, but you ride backcountry and stuff too, right?

I love riding backcountry. I haven’t gotten to do it as much as I’d like in the last few years. I kinda took a step back to concentrate on contests, but it’s something I wanna do more of. I want to film a video part and I want to get back there. I see Leanne and Annie and Robin and all those girls out there and it makes me so stoked what they’re doing out there and I want to be part of it. I just kinda wanna finish my goals in competition first and then move into that chapter.

What’s your ultimate goal in competition?

I guess it would be pretty cool to win the Olympics. I wanna go to the Olympics at least. I think that’s gonna be a really cool experience. I still haven’t won the X Games either, so that’s a big one on the list. There’s some tricks I really wanna learn and some runs I want to do. If I can have a part in progressing women’s slope style, that’s really cool.

People love to talk about women’s snowboarding vs men’s snowboarding and that women are so far behind. What’s your take, will women ever “catch up,” or does it even matter?

I don’t think at current time women’s snowboarding will ever be on the same level as the men’s. If you look at men’s snowboarding from 6 or 7 years ago though, we’re really close. We’re behind, but we’re always progressing and always catching up. It’s such a hard thing. I feel like we’re always being compared, but in other sports that comparison isn’t really made. I just see where women’s snowboarding is going right now and it makes me really stoked. To see what Kelly is doing in the pipe and to see her going 15 feet out and doing front tens. I didn’t really think I’d ever see a girl do that. There’s a lot of exciting things and it kinda sucks to compare the two. Men’s snowboarding is insanely exciting right now. I just try to see the positives in where women’s snowboarding is going and keep the progression going.

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Sorry new board sponsor. photo: Cyril Mueller

You have an energy drink sponsor, right? What do you think is gonna happen when energy drinks can’t market to youth anymore and aren’t dumping money into snowboarding?

I think we’re gonna see a lot of people making a lot less money (laughs). A lot of paychecks are gonna get a lot smaller. I’m interested to see where that goes. I’m stoked to have the support, it’s great. Maybe it’s just a matter of some ingredients getting changed, we’ll see. But it’s still snowboarding, party like a rockstar! Oh my god, I can’t believe I just said that. (Laughs)

Ha! Seems like a good time to ask who pays your bills?

Nike, Rockstar Energy, APO snowboards, Whistler/Blackcomb, Clast Neckwear and Nixon.

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Ian Gil, liver of life.

Bed bugs, computer bugs, stink bugs. Bugs often get a bad rap. But the travel bug is one of the good ones. That urge to get out and see something different can change your life for the better and Ian Gil wants to help you make that happen. Ian was born in Chile, but moved stateside at a young age, forging his way into the East Coast snowboard scene in the late 90s — the hey day of the Killington halfpipe, the US Open and an industry that gave a fuck about Vermont. These days, he’s operating Steep and Deep tours — open to anyone with a couple grand and an urge to check out Chile in all its splendor. From the mountains to the beach, to the seedy underbelly of the city (if that’s what you’re into) Ian will take you there and show you the real Chilean experience, so read on to see if it’s really worth the money.

How is Steep and Deep tours different from the average Chile tour guide you might find on Google?

First off, I am a native Chilean. All the other guides are American. Nothing wrong with that, but if you go to a country it’s nice to hang out with a native and all my friends and family still live there. The other thing too, is that I am a snowboarder. All the other company owners are skiers, not that there is anything wrong with that either, it’s just another thing that makes it different.  I like to teach people about Chile. About my culture, about what goes on there other than what’s going on in the mountains. Along with that, I’ve been riding Chile for 20 years so I know the mountains like the back of my hand.

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Even the laziest desk jockey could only be so mad about this hike. Photo: Ian Gil

What is your favorite mountain in Chile?

It used to be called Termas de Chillán, it’s now called Nevados de Chillán, but I’m old school so I still call it Termas.

What’s riding there like?

The majority of it is above tree line. Termas, for example is 3/4 above tree line and then you get down to the trees and it’s really nice and spread out. It has 20-30 minute runs. Powder top to bottom sometimes. It’s a semi active volcano, and has geysers sticking out everywhere.  If you go to Southern Chile you are riding on really active volcanoes. Last season I worked on an article with Snowboard Canada — nine of us in a van touring around for three weeks. We hiked a few volcanoes with like 6 hour hikes to the top — one of them was active with smoke coming out of and everything. That one was epic. Then we did another one where the volcano was not active and the huge crater, you could actually ride into it. The article came out last month.

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Outtakes from an official resort photo shoot at Termas. That’s Ian on the right right.

So that’s what you do in the summer, what do you do in the Winter?

Right now I’m trying to get this [touring business] going as much has possible. It started off as my — I don’t know about hobby — but my side thing other than owning a shop. The shop closed down so, I kind of put all my eggs in one basket and decided to leave the East Coast and tour around America stopping at all the core shops.

Wait, actually back up. How did you end up in the States?

My parent’s came here in ’84. My family left Chile with 1,000 dollars and we lived in the ghettos of Jamaica, Queens. When I went to first grade there was one white kid in the whole class. I remember my dad walking into school and seeing kids with huge beatboxes breakdancing, and my first friend in the states was a kid named Kevin, who’s brother was addicted to crack. My parents are artists who make leather art and my mom didn’t like the city. They knew an Argentinian couple that lived near Cooperstown, New York. We went up there to visit them and across from their house there was a house for rent with a barn and a garage, and it was cheaper than what we were paying for the apartment. We were the only Latin family in the whole town and I went from first grade all the way to senior year with the same 30 or 40 kids. As soon as I was done, I got the fuck out.

And you went to Killington?

I wanted to go to Colorado. Breck or something but my mom convinced me to stay so I circled all the ski resorts on the east coast and went road tripping to the nearest colleges. I didn’t even look at the majors, I just chose a school based on the proximity to Killington.

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This photo was NOT taken at Killington. p. Ian Gil

This is a personal question because I am always trying to tell people and I need someone else to back me up. Can you explain why Killington was such a rad scene in the early nineties to the early 2000’s?

I was a snowboarder in central New York and I learned how to ride on this tiny little mountain, 700 feet vertical. We got tons of snow and I thought I was a good snowboarder. So I moved to Killington because that was sort of the mecca at that time. Their team was ridiculous. They were on the covers of magazines, and that was a time where they actually put articles in magazines about the east coast. Also the scene was really friendly. Being an 18 year old and not knowing anybody I remember Mark Reilly and Dick Nessover, being on the cover of Transworld and then being so nice to you and being like, “hey come ride with us.” The camaraderie  was just ridiculous. You’d have a crew  of twenty people riding together on Great Eastern.  It doesn’t get better than that, you know? Going through the park five feet apart from each other, or right next to each other. Pissing people off, being bad and having a good time. The friendships that I made in those years I still have. Those are some of my best friends.

The level of riding too.  Nobody hikes pipe anymore. We used to sit there with a 12-pack of beer and hike pipe all day and it was awesome. Everybody pushing each other and nobody gave a shit if one person was better than the other person, you know? You were proud about your friend being in a magazine, not pissed that it wasn’t you.

Don’t forget about the week before the Open when everyone would come to town!

Yeah, the level of riding was ridiculous. I remember sitting there and Brian Iguchi  sits down next to me. To have one of your legends sit and talk with you and give you pointers is crazy. I actually ran into Brian this summer in Chile and we shot the shit for a while and I asked him about that and he said he remembered me. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was messing with me, and he was just like “no man that was awesome, it was great day of shredding.”

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Curtis Woodman, tourist. Ian Gil photo.

Kids don’t care about 90’s lets talk about the modern times again. Who are some of the people who have come to Chile that you have toured around?

Biggest name might be Curtis Woodman. I have been friends with him for about six years. When I first moved out to Tahoe he hit me up and said let’s go down and shoot some photos and have a good time and so we did. We linked up with Jason Robinson, Alex Yoder, Blake Paul, Tim Eddy. The best day that we had in the three weeks there was about three feet of powder and their camera broke. I got to show them around what I know of the mountain and it was amazing. Getting to go to spots and saying  “there, there there” and then watching all these amazing riders just destroy it. And then at the end of the day that all say, man, that was a great day of riding.

I’ve also been friends with Jp Solberg for a while so through him I have become friends with DCP, Romain, the Yes. crew. They are always down there so I meet up with them. Oh and way back, like 8 years ago, I met Travis Rice, Scotty Wittlake, and Travis Parker in the parking lot. Oh! and Nate Bozung too.

Pre face tats and off the deep end huh?

Ya, I really just walked towards them because I heard them speaking English and at first I didn’t realize it was them.  I was like let’s go ride, and then we get into the park and I am kind of like, shit, these guys are really good. So i’m trying to push myself and end up eating shit and hurting  my ankle. They told me to come eat lunch with and Scotty takes his beanie off and I’m just like, “that’s Scotty Wittlake.”  I told them I’d show them the mountain so for they next couple days we just rode around and I pointed out different things and watched them. I remember taking a pipe run where it was Travis first, Parker next, me, wittlake and bozung and I almost end up falling mid air because I am staring at Rice doing some crazy 720 Rodeo. It was an epic day.

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Don’t worry kids, they have man made stuff in Chile too. Matt Wainhouse. p. Ian Gil.

And now it sounds like you’re are on the ultimate snowboard road trip. What have been the coolest things you’ve gotten to do?

The coolest thing about the trip has been seeing old friends and getting to ride with them. To me, that’s probably the most important part about snowboarding: the relationships you make with people and the days you have and there is nothing better than meeting up with one of your old college roommates and getting to go ride for a couple days like you used to. Going to Park City, Sundance was really cool. How many people get to use MFM’s pass for a week, you know? And stay at his house. (laughs) Another highlight would be doing the Baker Banked slalom, and getting my name announced next to Terje’s. First day I dropped before him and the next day I dropped after him. I would never in my wildest dreams think that I’d get to do a contest and get to go right after Terje Haakonsen.

Damn, how did you get in to the LBS?

The lottery.

You mean people really win the lottery?

Yeah. One of girls from the crew I worked with this summer  hit me up the day before the deadline and was like “did you sign up for the Banked Slalom?” So I put in the five bucks and got the email a couple days later saying I had won the lottery. I was jumping for joy.  I had to decide between the class that I would do, you know masters, pro masters, pro men, or  amateur, and I said go big or go home and did the pro men.

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An annual race at Termas… That’s Ian up front, in the red. He almost won until he pulled a Lindsay Jacobellis and fell. Oh well.

Awesome. So were you ever a pro snowboarder, or sponsored?

I used to get stuff when I was younger and I used to compete. I mean I still compete. I do boarder crosses and races now. I did an Olympic trials this year, just on a whim — all my friends dared me to and I get there and I was like “holy shit man,” this is serious. I was the third oldest one, there were only four of us with normal snowboards, not those racing boards or whatever. I was the only one without full padding and a face mask thing, and everybody had coaches. When you show up there hung over it’s just like, “what the hell? what happened to boardercross?” [laughs] It was 150 people. i placed in the middle which was a really cool experience.

And you didn’t die!

No. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. People were complaining to Killington that they made the course way too gnarly. They carted six people off the course and I saw one dudes arm break right through the jacket.

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Chilean loke dawg Tamo Campos, and yes, that’s the parking lot in the background. Photo: Ian Gil

Hmm maybe stick to tour guiding then. Do you ever get people in to sketchy scenarios down there or do you keep it clean down there?

I always try and keep people as safe as possible.

What if they want to get into sketchy situations?

The first day, if I don’t know them, is all about seeing how good of a rider they are. Because usually people talk themselves up, you know? I was a snowboard coach for a little while, so I always try and push people, but I also like to pick good spots. If people aren’t used to dropping cliffs and cornices then I point them towards little 5-foot cornice with a good powder landing and give ’em the, “hey, go off that.” They’ll go off it maybe crash ,maybe land, and turn around and just be stoked like, “aw that was just a 20 foot cornice, soo crazy!” I just try and keep them stoked.

What about in the City? If someone wants a Chilean hooker can you make that happen?

If you really wanted to, I could get them two. [laughing] for a deal!

How much does it cost to hire you for your services and go on the whole trip?

It all depends on the group size. The more people, the cheaper it’s going to be. Then it’s about their budget, their dates, and how many days they want to go. There are certain dates where it will be cheaper. Through that I talk to them about what they want because days on the mountain are much more expensive than days off the mountain.  It really just depends on how people want to split up their trip. The cheapest you could do would be for a group of five for around 1,500 bucks. Nobody has ever taken that option though. The high end can goes as far as you want when you start taking into account heli’s, sledding, snow cats and nice hotels. On average most people choose the middle one, which is $2,000 – $2500 bucks, and it includes everything except lunch and booze and airfare. I pick them up at the airport, all the transportation, lodging, lift tickets, breakfast and dinner in included. Some hotels throw in lunch in as well. I also shoot photos, give them the history lesson of where they are and really try and make them feel like they have experienced Chile.

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Santiago, at your service. p. Ian Gil

Do you stay In Chile all summer?

Yeah, I have lived in constant winter for about 10 years now and I never get sick of it. I think around my third or fourth year I got a little tired of it But then I hung out in 95 degrees and 100% humidity for three days and was like, “get me back to winter.” I hate lying in bed not being able to sleep because it’s so hot.

 So why would you recommend going through you instead of one of the camps down there? Gimme your sales pitch.

Well, the camps are gonna go a little more on a freestyle line, and coach you through that. I like to do more touring and exploring. My favorite thing is the Backcountry. there is nothing better than dropping cliff or doing a chute. You know, throwing a 50 foot turn and unleashing a wave of snow. That’s the best thing on the planet. So I show people the whole mountain and educate people about where they’ve been, what they’ve seen, what they are doing. Along the way I do try and coach people and if you want to ride the park we go in the park. [laughs] I’ll still launch jumps though, 50 or 60 feet  is my limit.

Count it.

For more info on Ian’s tours, check out www.sndtours.com

More photos and stuff are here www.iangil.net

And you know he’s on facebook, instagram and twitter.

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Professional sugar fiend. Photo Andy Wright/Nike Snowboarding

You may think of Johnnie Paxson as that really, really ridiculously good looking Yobeat T-shirt model, or the kid who will backflip anything, or MFM’s protege, or the even “the Golden Pony.” (We’re not sure what that last one means.) No matter what you think though, he’s not only a damn good boarder, but a nice guy as well. After suffering a gnarly knee injury last year, the Oregon native is on the mend and finally back on snow. We caught up with him to eat some candy and take some runs at Timberline, and then asked him a bunch ridiculous questions about coming back from his injury, male modeling, meth and more. This is Johnnie Paxson’s second hump day, and while some things never change, a lot has, so read on to hear all about it.

Brooke: Does candy help you snowboard? What’s the most sugar you’ve consumed in a single sitting?

Johnnie: Yes it does. I try to eat it while snowboarding most of the time. It’s combining the two things I love most in life. It would be like if you went snowboarding with a cat, which you should probably try. It’s hard to say on the amount, but an unhealthy dose for sure.

Now that that’s out of the way, what did you do to your knee?

Last year, February 7th, I was in Mazama, WA on an Anon trip with North Cascades Heli. It was my first time heli boarding and it was super fun. Towards the end of the second day it got kinda icy and it was crust on top of pow and ended up hitting a tree. Dislocated my knee. Had surgery February 24th. It was supposed to be a year recovery, but I got back on the snow a couple months early — with my doctor’s blessing. He said it was ok if I take it mellow and slow to get it to where I need to be. I’m psyched to be back on snow, it’s hard to explain how much. I’m just so grateful to be able to snowboard again, and the fact that it feels so good is pretty awesome. I just don’t ever want to take a day of snowboarding for granted. You should never have a bad day snowboarding. It sucks that it takes an injury to realize that. There’s actually a lot of good things you can pull out of injuries, but the main thing is just how grateful you are to be back snowboarding again. I have the best job ever.

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The calm before the storm in Mazama. Photo: Scott Serfas

Is it better than modeling?

Yes, definitely better than modeling.

Do you do much modeling anymore?

I just kinda got lucky with those few that I did and then I actually got an agent and ever since then I haven’t gotten any jobs. They always want the new fresh thing — so now that they can have me, they don’t want me. I have an agent in NYC and I go there every once in awhile, but it’s hard because it’s the top agency in the world and I’m the bottom of the barrel. I think you kinda have to like, live in NY to be there and go to things. At some point I might try to do more of it, but right now I’m trying to focus on snowboarding.

You could be an attractive older male model.

Maybe, I might just get uglier.

Ha! Yeah right, only women get uglier. It’s bullshit, really. Back to injury talk. How do you go about recovering from basically tearing your knee in half?

Well, Nike’s been a huge help. I go to Nike like three times a week and I have a physical therapist and a trainer, so that’s been huge. I’ve been doing that for pretty close to a year now, driving out there every other day and that and trying to stay sane not doing much of anything.

What have you been doing to stay sane — did having a house to work on help?

Well, I bought a house and started remodeling it, and then hurt my knee and basically had to live in the house with two rooms finished and the rest of the house basically in pieces, which kinda drove me crazy. But then slowly I was able to do more and started to be able to work on it more. That and just doing rehab. I don’t know, it’s hard, especially the extent of the injury didn’t allow me to do much at all. I’m a really active person, as are a lot of snowboarders, and it’s tough. You gotta have an outlet. It was rough there for a minute.

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Going hard in the streetz. Photo: Andy Wright/Nike Snowboarding

Living in Gresham, unofficial meth capitol of Oregon, you could at least do that, right?

(laughs) Yeah…been cooking a lot of that stuff lately.

You’re joking right?

(laughs) Nah, business is great.

Good thing you’re snowboarding again.

Yeah, it was supposed to be a year recovery but I got started on New Years Eve/day was my first day on hill. I go three days a week to Nike and ride three days a week right now and in like a month or so I’ll get back to filming and trying to get shots, bro.

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Grown up snowboard stuff. photo: Scott Serfas

Are you going to backflip off giant stuff to flat again, or are you kinda over that in your snowboard career?

Probably gonna have to adjust things a little bit, but it feels pretty dang good actually, so we’ll have to see. I’m gonna go on a backcountry trip first, ride some pow, see how it feels. Then try to hit the streets and just see. Maybe I’ll just have to build a little bit bigger landings, take a little more time setting things up. I don’t wanna leave street stuff behind quite yet, I still have things I wanna do. But I’ll probably do more backcountry stuff.

And you have a brand with Gigi Ruf, that probably helps getting into the backcountry. How did you get involved with Slash?

We were in Europe on the Absinthe movie tour and Gigi came out for a few days. He had been talking to me a little bit about it and I had just ended things with Rome, so it was perfect timing. He told me what his plan was and it sounded awesome to me, and you can’t really say no to Gigi, so… It just went from there and now I’m riding my first pro model and just finished my second one. You might have seen some leaks on Instagram and you’ll see it at SIA. The boards are super good and Gigi’s good to work with. I just tell him what I want with the boards and he takes it and does it.

Is business as good at the meth business? Which is more lucrative?

I don’t know, Meth is pretty hot right now.

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Truth is, he gets high off snowboarding. Photo: Scott Serfas

So, you’re a family man now, is the rumor about a little Johnnie Paxson on the way true?

(laughs) A Janelle Paxson, yeah. I’m married now, I’ve been married for almost a year and a half and we have a little baby girl on the way. April 26th is the due date. Pretty psyched on that.

Is she and Gigi’s kid gonna get married some day?

Yeah, we might line that up. We’ve talked about it with a few different people. Scott Keating (Nike Snowboarding Sales badass) just had a boy too, so might do that. We have some options.

Arranged marriage seems like the move. And you want her to be good at snowboarding, right?

She can do whatever she wants, but yeah I’m gonna put her on a snowboard and see if she likes it.

What if she wants to ski?

That’s fine.

Are you sure? What if she comes home in a triple XL tall T and says, “Dad, this is how I wanna dress from now on.” How are you going to handle that?

I mean, I’m gonna try and influence her away from that as much as possible, but if she’s just enjoying the mountain the way she wants to, that’s basically all I care about.

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The irony is, he used to wear tall t’s. But when you do stuff like this, whatever. Photo: Andy Wright/Nike Snowboarding.

Scotty the Body claims that you are his Vincent Chase and he is your Ari Gold. How do you feel about that?

He always says that, I’ve never even seen Entourage! But on some scale I guess, in his glorified version of our relationship, yes. Scotty’s always helped me out from the beginning, got me on Grenade back in the day, ironically, and now I’m on Dakine, he’s the team manager. Back when he was shooting photos I shot with him and we just kind stuck with each other through the last few years and it’s been good. Scotty’s a good guy.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever backflipped off of?

I backflipped off a three-story deck — backflip bomb drop, for some reason.

What goes through your head before you jump off three stories and do a backflip?

This will be cool, maybe?

Will it, though?

No, I don’t think it was that cool, but I just like to jump off of things. I used to like to do stupid things, but I’m over it. Only smart things from now on. (laughs) I gotta make this snowboarding thing last.

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The camera loves him. And that background. Photo: Jared Souney

About that, when you suffer an injury like you did, do you worry about keeping sponsors? Were yours cool about it?

Luckily I have the best sponsors in the world, so they were super cool about it. It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of snowboarding and part of sports in general. I’ve had a ton of support from them, especially Nike, letting me use their facilities and trainer. It’s tough when you have an injury, especially one to this extent, to mentally come back from it. Just having that support and being able to just go to Nike and do the therapy. It’s hard to be at home and do your therapy, you’re just fighting depression and all that stuff, so it’s tough. Luckily I had a lot of support from all of my sponsors.

That seems like a good place to end it. Sponsors and thanks?

Slash Snowboards, Nike Snowboarding, Dakine, Anon, Mt Hood 26, Jammypack and 7-9-13. I’d like to say thanks to my sponsors and the people who like my Instagrams.

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In memory of Aaron Robinson. Photo: Jeff Hawe

Shane Stalling isn’t a pro snowboarder, but if you’re looking for someone to define what snowboarding is, look no further. He rides as much as he can, he plays music, he helps anyone who needs it, and he does it all because he wants to — not because he’s supposed to. With no shortage of energy or motivation, over the past ten years Shane’s unfiltered charm has earned him well-deserved “local legend” status in Big Sky, Montana. If you ever have the chance to meet or ride with Shane, do it. It will be the best time you’ve had in your life. Just watch out — what he thinks is possible, might not actually be — but that’s no reason not to try.

How would you describe living in Montana to someone who’s never been here?

I don’t want to answer that. I don’t want to say it’s good here.

Why not?

Cause then people from Portland will move here. (laughs) It’s still pretty raw. There’s a good shred scene, there’s not like a big pro scene. There’s a lot of mom and pop ski areas, you see a lot of people who wear jeans. It’s a good place. It’s mellow and not mellow at the same time.

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Wearing a shirt is stupid. Photo: Reid Morth

You just put on the Smash Life banked slalom for ARob for the second time this year, how did you think it went?

It sure went a lot better than last year. I learned a lot last year organizational wise, kinda how to run the event. This year I was able to start it earlier and bring in different categories. The nice thing is, last year the timer broke kinda right at the end and some people still hadn’t taken their runs. Everyone knows why we’re there, so we just party boarded it. No one really cared, no one really cares what happens at it. We’re there for a good cause. This year was good, the timing worked, we had a big crew of people there, a big crew of rippers.

Like Lucas Debari.

Yeah, Lucas Debari was there, the whole Go Boarding crew was there. It’s a big deal for someone to drive all the way up to Big Sky just to do a Banked Slalom, it’s pretty sweet.

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Montana. Code word: Horrible. Photo: Jeff Hawe

How does it compare to the other banked slaloms out there?

Other banked slaloms don’t have a super G at the end of the them. You don’t get core shots in other banked slaloms, and have everyone be like, well, there’s nothing we can do about it. There’s fucking rocks there. There was one really sharp corner and the rocks were seriously starting to stop people, but no one gave a shit. Everyone still dropped in and charged over the rocks. (Alex) Yoder was standing there and he was just like, whatever, what are you gonna do, which is kinda the whole Smash Life scene. There’s always gonna be obstacles that you gotta overcome but people don’t care. No one bitches about it. At least I don’t hear em bitch about it. You guys were probably bitching about it.

Ha no way. Today we hiked out into the backcountry and it was awesome — endless pow and pillow lines. How do you find crazy spots like that?

You just explore. Go wander around in the woods basically, that’s how you find stuff. If you just drive on the road and never walk off the road you’ll never find anything. That was a special spot today, I’m glad you guys got to experience that. It was awesome.

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This one’s for ARob too.

It was amazing. We were up there to hang a board for A-rob, what’s the story behind that?

Aaron used to spend a bunch of time here. To pay to get to his next place, he would sell old boards off, so a bunch of our friends have old boards that we were given or bought off him sitting around. The spot we went to today, Aaron used to go there with us all the time, and show us how to snowboard, basically. We thought it was a really cool, special place. Super quiet back there. So we thought it would be nice to have Aaron’s board there, be able to high five it, or salute it every time you drop in from a run because you’re about to go bash 20 pillows in a run or get face shots. When you’re dropping in, you’re not going to have a bad run, guaranteed. If you can go in with A-rob’s stoke into your run that’s already going to be sweet, it’s perfect.

Last year we wanted to hang the board but we had a bad snow year, so we didn’t go back there even once, which worked out well because we got to hang out with Jason today, which was awesome. Having him there to hang his brother’s board up, that meant a lot. And a bunch of his other friends. It was perfect. A lot better than just a couple of us going up there.

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It’s a big scary world out there, so whatever. Photo: Reid Morth

What was the highlight of today for you?

Losing my hangover. For sure. (laughs) No my highlight of today was party boarding with 24 people on light, deep snow. I was surprised at how good that snow was. But other than that, just having people from all over. You have Mitch Kirby, it’s his first time in the backcountry probably, and then riding right next to him is Lucas Debari. You have the high fives between the two of them and everything, you just have such a wide range of people of all abilities, all shredding and being stoked.

We can thank Aaron for today. Without Aaron, stuff like today wouldn’t have happened. We kept that place a secret for five years — Todd Kirby and those guys found it too — but I never ever would have thought of bringing 20 people back there. Ever. But because of Aaron, 24 people today had an epic today, and that’s awesome. That’s the whole idea of the smash life thing, get everyone together boarding and not care if it’s your first time in the backcountry or if you were just in Antartica with Xavier de le Rue.

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Montana urban action. Photo: Jeff Hawe

That’s awesome, as is your band.  Tell us about it.

We have a band called the Riot Act. We have a song called “Show Me Where you Pee From.”

Can you give us a sample lyric?

There’s only really one line it’s, “Girl, drop your shorts to your boots and show me where you pee from.”

Who wrote that?

Actually it’s a line our friend Yomar used to say a lot when he would be kinda buzz drunk to girls. And so we wrote the song and Brian couldn’t think of any lyrics for it. Earlier in the day I had heard Yomar say that to someone and I was like, show my where you pee from! Just start yelling that. Then Brian added the line about drop you skirt to your boots and then it became a pretty badass song. It was the first song we played last night.

Actually, on Halloween I had a girl do that before we even played that song, so that was awesome. Seriously. It was weird. I was playing the drums and this girl was really high and all of a sudden I look up and her dress is just pulled up. We played Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese all the way through, and she got a little loose.

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In Montana, this is a perfectly sculpted quarterpipe. Photo: Jeff Hawe

So what you’re saying is, girls do like guys in bands?

Yeah, but the problem with being in a band playing at the bar is you get done playing at 1:30 and then you have to pack up all your stuff. So you’re done at like 2:30 and then some dude’s already taken the girl that you want to hook up with home. It’s the artistic plight.

How many Eskimo brothers do you have in Big Sky/Bozeman?

I’m not answering that question. But you’re sitting next to one of them. (laughs)

Fine… So, you came into two kids, how did that change your life?

That sounded horrible. Listen to the question you just asked. That’s fucked up. I’ve never come into two kids.

(Laughs) Let me rephrase. Your girlfriend Amy has two kids, how’s being a dad?

Well, I’m not a dad, more of a “role model.” It’s super fun though. Christmas is super fun because you’re not just like, thanks, I got socks, you actually have kids excited about opening presents and stuff. Kids are awesome. I babysat them the other day, they’re 6 and 8, we rode the Big Sky tram, so that’s awesome.

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Role model. Photo: Jeff Hawe

Do you have them snowboarding yet?

Not yet, they have snowboards though, so they’ll pick it up.

Are you afraid that they’ll ski?

Nah, they can do whatever they want. Amy will read this. She does not like when I make fun of skiers. You’re getting me in so much trouble.

No I won’t. I’ll get you in trouble with all your friends but not your girlfriend. Let’s talk about Todd Kirby. Why is he so good at snowboarding?

I don’t know. We had like the same snowboard coach growing up and I’m not nearly as good as him, so Matt Gustafson must have gotten a lot better at coaching. That’s my only reason. The only thing I can think of. He’s way better than me, which is not fair.

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Just think of him as a snowboarding Johnny Cash. photo: Jeff Hawe

You didn’t grow up in Montana? Where are you from?

I grew up in Minnesota. Grew up riding Buck Hill and once I had a drivers license I started riding Hyland. Then I moved down to Mammoth for a year in 2003, but I got sick of Los Angelesers, so I moved to the exact opposite of Mammoth, which is Bozeman. Been here for 10 years now. Don’t even want to leave. It’s awesome.

You must have lived in Mammoth during the glory years of Grenade.

It was 2003, definitely when Grenade was going on. It was before the village was there, La Sierras was like the drinking spot, it was still like kind of a raw ski town. It’s kind of a little more uppity ski town now.

Do you have any good stories from those days?

I lived right near Danny (Kass), there would always be crazy shit going on in the parking lot, but none that I can remember.

That’s the problem with old stories.

Nah, I forgot those by the next day. (Laughs.)

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Wish you were here. Sorry, had to do it. Photo: Jeff Hawe

What’s your personal favorite part about Montana?

The fishin’. If there’s a body of water that’s moving, there’s probably fish in it. Even like irrigation ditches that run through town have like 24-inch fish in them. The fish are bigger than the irrigation ditch is wide. The snowboarding is good too, but I’m getting old, so, fishing.

How old are you?

29

While we’re talking age, why was the cut off 38 for Masters in the Banked Slalom?

Well it was 40, and then our friend Travis Boss, who used to be a Ride pro, has bad knees or something, and called me and was like, I don’t want to compete against all you guys. So I asked him how old he was and he said 38, so I moved it to 38. And then Erik Morrison, who ended up getting like 13th overall, he thought he was in the old man division at 36, but he’s got two years to wait. He ended up beating me. I might just keep it with whatever T  Boss’s age is from now on.

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This definitely didn’t suck. Photo: Jeff Hawe

Can you explain to be how RC beat all of us in the Yobeat cup?

RC stood around in the cold, filming all day long while you guys were snowboarding. He didn’t even have a warm up run and he still beat all of you. It’s cause he lived in Montana and he knows how to ride fast.

Fair enough. Is there anything else that you would like to say to the Yobeat public?

Yeah, keep hating on videos, it’s awesome to read. We had a video up and someone said they’d rather “hammer a glass pipe into their dick hole than watch that video ever again.” It’s one of the best comments I’ve ever read. But don’t submit stuff to Yobeat if you’re gonna be offended if it gets made fun of. Every time I submit edits, I submit them to see what people say about them. What is the meanest thing that’s going to be said, cause I want to laugh, because I don’t care. If it wasn’t for that, Yobeat wouldn’t be what that is. Also, Joe Pope can get fucked, so go to the Smash Life Banked Slalom at Alpental on the 19th of January.


Did someone call the snowboard police? Photo: Jared Souney

Burton. Sims. Morrow. Barfoot. You know all those names because they have been printed in huge letters across the bases of countless snowboards. You may not be as familiar with the name Brad Steward — founder of Bonfire Snowboarding and Salomon Snowboarding — but don’t assume he’s had any less impact in this crazy world we live in. The first kid of the second generation of snowboarding, Brad was there for the days when snowboarding wasn’t allowed at resorts, and has bought, sold and run more of snowboarding than you’ll ever even know existed. Be warned, this interview is long, but it’s worth it, so read up and learn.

Tell me about the history of Bonfire and what was the original idea behind starting the brand back in 1989.

Actually the original idea of the company that existed are in some ways really similar to what I had in mind, and in a lot of ways different to what I had in mind. The original company name was Bonfire Think Tank Designs Inc. At that time I’m coming out of film school, coming out of being a pro rider, had a little bit of corporate experience with starting a couple of brands but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do yet. So the original idea was, why couldn’t you start a clothing line, be a film company, maybe be an ad agency, and do something that was way more creative than just making stuff and selling it? I was really trying to stay out of that business model, without even really being smart enough to know that was a business model. I was just thinking how do you stay creative and active and keep on the road. Which was a big goal of mine actually, just to keep on the road, shooting, living, riding, and having fun.


Matt Goodwill, Bonfire model/boarder circa the 90s or something.

So how would you say that Bonfire today compares to that?

Well, we existed kind of in that way I just described. We existed in that way probably for the first 7 years of the business. I had started it under kind of weird circumstances. I was sitting at Morrow one day and I discovered, via a call from one of the people that worked at our bank, that there was something going on that probably wasn’t very ethical, and that I wasn’t aware of what’s happening. And I always had this thing where I didn’t want my time in snowboarding to be tainted by anything at all, you know? So I confronted the owners of Morrow and said, hey, this is unethical. They said, that’s just the way we work and I basically handed them 6 million bucks worth of stock back and said I don’t work this way and literally walked out. Grabbed a couple family photos, split. I went to the Mac store down the street, bought a computer, went to my house, and started a new company. It was a really different company from the beginning because my attitude was kind of, I have to make this work. And even our first labels have a little thing at the bottom that just says “Make it work” and it was just a little message to myself to that it’s up to you, you can make this work or not make it work.

So, how does that pertain to what we are today? About 7 years into it I realized a really, really simple thing. If Burton was going to be the Coca Cola of snowboarding that represented everything to everyone in snowboarding, then I need to do something different to be successful. Chasing them and doing it the same way that they had done it would never work.

One of the basic business questions I always try to ask myself is what would the competition never do? And at that time something that no other snowboard company would do would be to partner with the worlds biggest ski company. And I thought, this is the reason that it will work, is because there is no precedent for it, nobody knows the ground rules or how it can all happen. And I always say that I kinda came to that realization, but during that same time the Salomon guys had come to me and said that we want to buy your company. I had sort of re buffed them 3 or 4 times and said no way, this is business suicide, career suicide, brand suicide, this will never work. And literally just one day I thought, actually wait a minute. This totally will work. So that’s kind of the beginning of the relationship. Going from a no way in hell, to a hi, nice to meet you.


Yeah, he ‘boards.

So how did the ski company effect everything? Do you feel like they changed your original idea?

In some ways yes, and in some ways no. The original proposition was, we’re going to buy Bonfire and we’re going to start Bonfire Snowboards. And Bonfire Snowboards will be cool because Brad’s legit, the company is credible, and everything will be good. I talked to them for a little bit about that, and as I learned more about it I just kind of came to the table and said hey man, I don’t think you should start Bonfire Snowboards. I think you have to re-invent Salomon. My image of Salomon in the 90’s was a ski instructor in red pants and I just said you gotta rebuild that, and if you rebuild that successfully, Bonfire will follow. It seemed like they were kind of asking the tail to wag the dog a bit, and I thought we’re going to be in this small company and we’re going to create this completely core company and nobody is going to understand what it is, why it exists, how it’s important, or what it even means to the people who snowboard. So I really started out on this mission to try to change Salomon. Years down the road where we are now, my day to day work at Bonfire is really bringing back to Bonfire that original flavor that we had. You know, we were making award winning commercials, little movies, and doing all sorts of crazy stuff and people knew Bonfire to be a smart brand. It wasn’t a company for people who wanted to wear a snowboard uniform or just being the goofy kid in big pants, we were always a little smarter then that.

Not so trend focused, would you say?

I think that we were trend aware, but my orientation was more, if that’s the trend what can we do to buck it? And that’s actually caused us some really good benefits to happen at Bonfire and also some really bad benefits. A great example is when tighter pants and that whole look came around. We introduced it at least 3 years before the competition. We took it to snowboard trade shows and people said, you are crazy, those don’t even fit. And we’re kinda sitting there thinking, well, yeah they do, you just have to start seeing things a little bit different. We had them for two years, then we killed them. The staff that created those left Bonfire, started Holden, and came back with a brand that had that whole perspective and turned out to be a major competitor to us. It was just kind of a lesson of that we can be kind of far ahead, but we kind of damage the brand sometimes by being too far ahead — where people were looking at it saying no, no, no, that’s not what snowboarders use. And my perspective is the Northwest is the only place in the world where snowboarders outnumber skiers, and we have a different viewpoint. We see it differently. Myself and the other people in the company, we’re not really interested in hitting what’s out there. We’re interested in trying to find something that people don’t know they need, and build it for them.


Just one stoked dude. Photo: Jared Souney

That’s interesting you mentioned Holden, with them recently moving to L.A. What is your take on that?

Super smart guys, super smart move. And because I know them personally, I’ve never really seen them as a snowboard company. To me the d.n.a. of that company has always wanted to be a street wear company. I think they are good guys and good friends and I wish them success.

It just comes down to what you want, you know? And with Bonfire, what I have always wanted for the brand was just dumbed down and simple. Because I’m kind of a dumbed down and simple guy, and that is — I want a group of people working together to make something that’s cool, artistic, interesting, and ahead of the curve. And that’s it. And inside of all of that, you can do a ton. There’s all the movie projects, the writing, the visuals, you know the whole way you build a brand and you build a life. All of that is inside of that. That’s very different from saying, we want to sell our company to a big surfing company. We’re going to move to L.A. and we’re going to plop right in the middle of their neighborhood so they can all smell our brand and ask themselves, do we need a little serving of that? That’s a very different goal. And neither one is right or wrong, it’s just a different thing. For me, I’m just looking to stay creative and keep people engaged and to be valuable to the riders that ride our stuff and for the people that buy it. READ MORE

CONTINUE READING BRAD’S THOUGHTS ON THE GOOD OLD DAYS, SELLING OUT, THE KIDS TODAY AND MORE

If you took a lap through the Timberline Public park this summer, there’s a pretty good chance you saw Erik Leon. He was the one hitting just about everything at mach speed with a loose style that just screams fun. This 17-year-old from the 909 has spent the past few years of his short life chasing the slush wave from Bear to Hood and back, stopping only to fly fish and hang with his girl. If there’s a life you wish you had, it’s probably Erik’s, or at least you’ll want to be his best friend. Just don’t play rock, paper scissors against him.

You were a staple at Timberline this summer. Were you working at a camp or just lurking?

I was definitely just lurking. Spent my summer snowboarding and fishing. No job for me, I’m 17 so I can’t really apply to any of the camps and it’s too much work. I don’t really want a job.


Is that snowman drinking a beer? Photo: Kyle Beckman

What are the best and worst parts of Gov’y life?

Best part was during the summer I got to snowboard a bunch and there’s a bunch of fishing spots and I got to fish a lot. The worst part was that there’s no population there, so once everybody leaves after camp there’s just the drunks that are in town — it’s kinda like you’re there by yourself.

But the mountain gets better. Tell everyone what it’s like up there after the camps leave.

It’s perfect. There’s no lines, no problems, liftees don’t even check your passes, you just go and shred. The park was awesome. They should have made it like that all year, that’s what everyone was saying. It had a 60-foot kicker at the end of the year. Hitting a 60-foot jump in September is amazing.

Funny you mention pass-checking. I heard you got in some trouble last summer for that very thing.

Not last summer, I think it was my first or second summer up there, three or four years ago. I got caught poaching. I clipped tickets with this girl, I didn’t even think twice, just put it on and went to the lift. Loren (the liftee) grabbed my ticket and was just like, you’re poaching. I tried to talk my way out of it and everybody’s thinking run! But I was like nah, I’m not gonna do that, so I just went through with it. They took my snowboard away cause I couldn’t pay $80 for the fine. Then I paid for it and got my snowboard back.

How’d you get the money?

Sold whatever I had. My snowboard gear. I had extra goggles and extra beanies.

Why didn’t you just get a new one? Aren’t you sponsored?

Yeah, but I liked this snowboard a lot. I was just stoked on the snowboard I had and I didn’t want to give it up and go down like a failure. I needed my board back, I’m wasn’t gonna let them do that to me.


Riding LEGALLY at Bear. photo: Ben Birk

You managed to obey the law this year?

Yeah, now Loren’s like a good friend of mine, we like talk about a lot of things and he still remembers the day that I did that. Kinda funny talking to him about, he knew he scared the shit out of me cause I was such a little kid and I never got into trouble. Now I know, you don’t mess with that.

What do your parents think of you taking off and living on your own in Gov’y?

I’ve been doing it like four years in a row. First time was like a week, second time was two weeks and the third time was like two months. This time it was four months. They’re supportive of it and they’re stoked. They know where I’m from I can’t hang around there too much because it’s just really warm and really not the place where I would like to surround myself. So when I’m in the mountains they’re like, we understand, you’re doing your thing. Especially with the snowboard side. They think I’m like Huck Finn. That’s what my mom tells me — fishing every day and snowboarding when you want.

What was it like growing up in the 909. Did you listen to a lot of Blink 182 or were you more into boy bands?

I totally grew up in Southern California listening to Blink 182 and Green Day, all those bands. I was at the skateparks all the time so that kind of music was popular, but I just kinda grew out of it. Got away from the scene completely.

Are your dreads real?

They’re real. 100% real.

How long have you been growing them?

Last summer I had dreads but they weren’t that big. I probably haven’t cut them for a year, year and a half.

Are you gonna pull a Nyjah Houston and shave em off soon?

Yeah. Luckily you got some pictures of me because once I’m back in Southern California I’m gonna go get my hair cut. Get all clean so it’s not all heavy.


Just one reason dreads are cool. Photo: Jared Souney

How do you feel about white-guy dreads?

I don’t know, man. It’s so weird having dreadlocks because you actually get this certain kind of respect. A real Rastafarian will like come up and ask you about your Rastafarian beliefs and stuff, but if you’re not really dedicated to that you don’t really have much to say. When it comes down to white dreads people who have them are always like “yeah my hair’s kinda perfect for it so I just did it.” Seems like every person I meet with blond dreads is always asking me how to do it.

How do you do it then?

I went to the ocean a lot and never washed my hair. Well not never, but after I’d go surfing I wouldn’t wash it for like three days. Wearing goggles kinda natted it up and then I just had to pull it apart.

What do you do other than snowboarding?

I fly fish a whole shit ton. Every day almost, even after snowboarding. At sunset I just go fish. Skateboard a little bit at Windells, and I hang out with my girlfriend a lot.

Do you still ride BMX?

Nah, I started skateboarding. I rode BMX for four or five years, I was pretty into it. I was pretty sure I was gonna go pro, I started filming a bit and then I started getting hurt a little bit more. Overshot a couple jumps and decide, nah, this isn’t the right thing for me.

Does BMX make snowboarding seem easy?

Yeah, I think I thought that right away. This snowboard shit is pretty easy compared to BMX. I’m taking all these hard falls trying to do this simple trick that doesn’t even look that cool.


Erik is probably thinking about fishing in this picture. Photo: Ben Birk

How come you are so good at Rock, Paper, Scissors? Have you ever lost a game?

Yeah I’ve lost, but you always gotta lose to win so much. I think it’s a mind thing. If you know that you’re gonna win and put it in your head that you’re gonna win, you’re gonna win. That’s the best part about it is if you go into knowing you’re gonna win, then you’re gonna win and you get what you want.

What’s the best cereal to enjoy with Chocolate milk?

I’d say Cocoa Pebbles cause then you get double chocolate milk which is gonna be bomb. I like chocolate.

Do you ever eat cereal with regular milk?

Yeah Cocoa Pebbles, so get chocolate milk at the end. But I do OD on chocolate milk, I’ll get a gallon of it instead of regular milk. I’ve read stuff that says if you eat chocolate it makes you in the mood for things so I try to eat a piece of chocolate before everything. Especially when I go to bed. I’ll brush my teeth and then just munch on chocolate. It’s bad, I wake up and I’m like, ahh I shouldn’t have done that. Shit’s bomb. I have a Hershey’s bar at home right next to my bed.

Rumor is you used to cougar hunt for foreigners at Bear. What’s the oldest babe you ever nabbed?

Oh man. For the sake of the people that are gonna be reading this, like my family members and friends, I don’t think I can answer that.

Are you a changed man now?

I am a changed man. If anybody wants to know about foreign girls, the thing is if they’re meeting an American person they just want to marry them so they can get American rights and can come and visit whenever they want. So don’t mess with them.


Jumpin. Photo: Ben Birk

What do you love more, your girlfriend, snowboarding or spliffs?

So hard. I definitely love my snowboard more. I’m so stoked on snowboarding it just makes me so happy. not saying my girlfriend’s bad of spliffs are bad, but…

What if you were snowboarding with your girlfriend and smoking a spliff?

Then I’m like, in! I’m there, where I wanna be. And normally on the top of a mountain looking down like yeah, this is sick.

Does your girlfriend ride too?

Yeah, I met her up two years ago, snowboarding.

What’s the best part of riding at Bear?

Probably the fact that every body there is cool. So many cool locals that are really into snowboarding. It’s just fun. I like that I can walk to Bear by myself, don’t have to worry about where you’re staying, get up to the hill and the second I’m in the chairlift line I meet with a friend that I really enjoy riding with. I’m only with him for three laps and then I’m with another person that’s even more fun to ride with. So many friends and so many cool memories. And it’s really quick. Really fast laps. There’s a lot of fun to be had there.

Think you’ll ever move anywhere else?

I think I’m looking for houses in Truckee and Kings Beach right now. I just want to spend a little bit of winter somewhere deeper, with more terrain. Looking forward to do a lot of hiking and powder riding. We don’t have that down south so it’s time to explore.


This one’s for Snoop. Photo: Jared Souney

Last, and possibly most important question: Snoop Dogg is now Snoop lion. How has this effected your life?

(laughs) So much man. I’ve had so many phone calls and questions asked to me about that. It was so weird because Instagram started popping and I got one and I see someone liking Snoop’s photos so I clicked it and he has like 49k followers. Shit’s popping. I looked down and started notice he was wearing a rasta beanie and wearing rasta colors and smoking spliffs and shit and in Jamaica. Then the thing drops about him going to Jamaica and making his whole album and I was like, damn, that’s pretty tight, I back that. When he says in his trailer, “fuck the old me I’m not a gang banger anymore,” I thought that was pretty cool. People were like, you can’t cut your dreads now and I was like yeah, you’re right. I gotta rep em for Snoop Lion. I think it’s sick.

Are you changing your name to Erik Lion?

(laughs) No. But people to ask me to put it in their edits, if you watchOh Herro Buffalo my name is Jah Rasta Lion so I guess it’s gonna be there for sure. Unless I cut the dreads.

Sponsors, shout outs?

Thank you for the support Airblaster, Arbor Snowboards, Flux Bindings, 32 boots, Ema neckwear and I hope I didn’t forget anybody. Brendan Phillips, thank you, Brad Farmer, thank you, Kara and Ray from Flux, thank you. And thank you Yobeat for having me at your place!


It’s not just the pants the ladies love! Photo: Eric Hoffman

They say the clothes make the man, and in Jesse Paul’s case, a bold choice in snowboard pants has certainly made him a household name (among web video viewers.) Little do most people know, Jesse has been holding it down for years back in Minnesota — winning rail jams, stacking tricks with You Know My Function and The Rental shop, and otherwise doing some seriously fucked up snowboard maneuvers. So while the pants may have become a running joke, Jesse Paul is certainly to be taken seriously.

What’s up with those pants?

Well I just kinda felt like being crazy this year with my pants. I never really had crazy pants like that before, so I just kinda figured I’d do it. That’s pretty much it.

That’s boring. What kind of pants are they, so people can go out and buy them, since all the kids are obviously gonna want to be as cool as you?

They are Analog Thievery Pants for 2013. I was flipping through the catalog, just kinda bored of the same old black pants that everybody wears. So I just got em. I had to.


See, he has other pants! Photo: Jared Levine

Are you related to Ryan Paul?

No.

How are you not related? You’re from Minnesota, your last name’s Paul, you both do fucked up tricks…

It’s totally weird that we’re not related. Everyone just assumes that we are brothers, I actually get it all the time. People even come up to me all, “saw your brother last week,” and I’m like, “no ya didn’t.” My brother’s two years younger than me and has never snowboarded in his life. Anyways, people say we do some of the same tricks and we actually both ride for the same board shop in Minnesota. He’s like two years older than me. I mean, we’re homies but we’re not related at all. We even have checked our ancestry. It’s weird.

How did you get into snowboarding?

I used to snowskate and one of my friends snowboarded. His name was Tyler Crandall and he was just like snowskating is lame, you should try snowboarding. And I always thought snowboarding was lame. I had skated a lot before that, I’ve been skating a lot longer than snowboarding. Basically he just told me to try it out, and I did in his backyard. He had like a little jump and I was just doing some methods and pretty much fell in love with it right there. I got a 128 Lamar snowboard as my first board. Rode that for a whole season. One of my other friends convinced me to get a seasons pass at this little mountain called Elm Creek, which doesn’t have any lifts, doesn’t have any big hills at all. There’s no mountains in Minnesota. It’s just two high speed ropes with like 30 rails and that’s why I pretty much only do rails. I went every single day after school and just have gotten a season pass ever since. When I started I didn’t think of it as something I would do as a motive for my life. Most of my life revolves around snowboarding now, but before I just kinda did it, and it slowly just took over my life. I just fell in love with it.

If snowboarding is your life, why not move away from Minnesota?

Because I love everything about riding in Minnesota. The tow ropes, how close every hill is, the street spots, the fact that I can go to any hill in Minnesota on any day and run into a bunch of friends. Everybody is friends with everybody in the Minnesota snowboard scene, it’s awesome. There is nothing I would rather do than lap a rope with a bunch of friends all day.


Try and concentrate on the press, ok? Photo: Erik Hoffman

You had a part in You Know My Function, so can we expect a part in Working for the City 2, if it ever comes out?

I had a small half part in You Know My Function and I actually didn’t meet Jon Stark until last summer, but yes. Working for the City 2 I’m really hyped about because I filmed the best stuff I’ve ever filmed in my life. Really stoked for it to come out. It was such a good crew, great times. Even though it was a bad snow year we made it happen. As for a teaser, I don’t think there’s going to be one, I don’t know why, they have some weird thing about not building hype because they want the video to kind of speak for itself, which is pretty cool, I guess. I wish there was a teaser because I feel like there’s so many people that don’t know about it or what to expect. But it’ll for sure come out and I think it’ll be all online eventually, but not at first. We’ll see I guess.

Who would win in a fight, Jon Stark or Brett Spurr?

Brett Spurr. Just cause he’s bigger.

Jon Stark or Marc Frank Montoya?

Probably MFM. I don’t know if Stark would be very good in a fight, to be honest.

Ok, one more, Jon Stark or Nick Lipton?

I don’t really know him.

He’s scrappy, like Jon.

Alright, I’ll give that one to Jon Stark, gotta give him some credit.


At least he’s easy to identify in pictures. Photo: Erik Hoffman

Minnesota obviously breeds snowboarders. Who do you think is the best snowboarder to come from there, of all time? No pressure.

Oh man that is a hard one. There’s just so many awesome riders. the thing about Minnesota is that everyone has a different set of tricks, different style. My favorite always changes. I guess I’d say Zac Marben or Fronius, maybe. But I’m really influenced by every rider in Minnesota.

What’s the best resort in Minnesota?

Top 3, Mont du Lac, Elm Creek and Trollhaugen.

Isn’t Trollhaugen in Wisconsin?

Yeah, Trollhaugen is technically Wisconsin, Mont du Lac I think is in Wisconsin also. So Elm Creek, my favorite place in MN. It’s where I grew up. It’s where all my homies grew up. Had some of the best times of my life in High School there. I’d always sit in class thinking about when I could get out and snowboard. I’d just think about all day and what tricks I wanted to try. I just couldn’t wait, it’s such a blast. One of the reasons that Elm is so great is just not that many people know about it yet. It’s definitely getting more popular but it’s not as blown out as Hyland is. I like Hyland a lot, don’t get me wrong, but you have to go at certain times. A lot of times it gets super rutted out. It’s always super fun, but you gotta pretty much work your way around the rails and find different ways to hit stuff. Elm Creek is never really too busy. I actually worked Park crew last year and designed a couple new rails there that I was really hyped on. We got this new elbow rail and a down flat. This next year we’re gonna have some type of double side feature thing. I’m gonna keep helping them out and that’s another reason, I kinda work for them and I have for the past four years. I was an instructor, I worked at the rental shop and now I’m on the park crew, which is definitely my favorite job I’ve had there. Elm is just like home, so that’s probably why it’s my favorite. No jumps, which kinda sscks cause I’m starting to like jumps a little bit better, but the rails, so good.

Speaking of the Rental Shop, that’s your crew, right?

Therentalshop.blogspot.com. That started actually because of Make Friends. Me and my friends at Elm Creek always looked up to those guys a lot and they made a blog and we would always check it everyday and we were like, we should make our own blog. So we did that and it’s pretty much the whole time that it’s been going it almost just a way to keep in touch between us friends. We all kinda split to different parts of the country and we all just post stuff from where we are. I feel like people don’t even really look at it, but that doesn’t bother me at all because it’s a good way to keep up with all the stuff that my friends are doing. I know there’s a little bit of a following with kids at Elm Creek but besides that it’s a good way to keep updated. I actually have a tattoo on my foot that’s TRS that I did myself one night with tattoo ink and a safety pin. It hurt really, bad but I’m still down for it.


Another quick reminder the pants are removable. Photo: Jared Levine

Who’s the most badass crew in Minnesota?

House of 1817. They’re the rawest of crews.

I saw on the internet that you won the analog unlikely features contest. What did you design?

Yeah, two years ago. It’s that feature that actually is in a lot of Sunday in the Park episodes, which I’ve been really stoked on. It’s almost like four boxes on top of each other, it’s like stairs on the sides and the back of a rail, so it’s like a rail but you can also slide the boxes on the side or jump up and down and stuff. I guess that’s the best I can explain it. Actually my original design was a little different, it had a pole jam in front of it and they put the pole jam in there for the contest when they flew me out, but they took it out for the regular park set up because they figured it was a little too dangerous. It’s a pretty sketchy feature because the corners of it are razor sharp. One kid got wrecked at the contest the first day they opened it and I actually fucked up my board on it, but it’s a super fun feature. I wish we could do something like that at Elm Creek but can’t really afford that type of thing.

What’s the craziest trick you’ve ever done?

Probably the front board front flip (in the Windells Session 6 edit). I didn’t even know if it was possible, I just kinda sent it. Fell on my head a couple times. That’s probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done just because I wasn’t even sure if it was gonna be possible to do.

Are you afraid of anything? Does snowboarding scare you at all?

It definitely scares me sometimes. Like filming in the streets. Half the spots I went to this year I was terrified, but I’m trying to put together a good part so I just kinda sucked it up. I got broke off a few times but not too bad at all, I was thankful for that. Stark and Brett brought me to some gnarly spots this year that I was definitely really scared of, but I’m actually happy they did cause now it makes all the rails seem not as scary.


Did anyone ever consider he just wanted to match the rails at Windells? Photo: Eric Hoffman

Someone on Yobeat called you a homosexual, I think. How does that make you feel?

Well, Yobeat comments don’t really phase me anymore. There’s so much hate and ridiculous reasoning that I just kinda laugh at everything.

So seriously, what’s up with the pants? Are you gonna keep wearing them?

I was thinking about retiring them after the summer, but I don’t know. I kinda like em. I just wish they were a little bit baggier. They’re a little skinny for me. I’ll probably wear em for a little but longer.

Sponsors, thanks?

Salomon, Analog, Common Apparel, which is actually me and a buddy’s clothing company. Working for the City 2, thanks to Jon and Brett for helping me have an awesome season. Chris Duncan and Sam Duncan too. They were really motivated, our whole crew was. I’m thankful for all my friends who snowboard with me and support me, my family, Summit Boardshop in Minnesota and also Pinewskis boardshop in Minnesota. I’m homies with all the dudes there and they’ve been helping me out a little bit.


Photo: Zimmerman

He may not be the most famous snowboarder ever to hail from the home of baguettes and Bordeau, but Mathieu Crepel is definitely one of the better known French names on the scene. From World Champion status in the pipe, to big mountain lines in AK, to closing out the last Standard movie, he has even made a mark in ‘merica over his lengthy career. During his stay in Oregon we caught up to hopefully broaden our horizons and find out once and for all while French people get such a bad rap.

Why do you hate America?

(laughs) Why? Because everything’s too big, too hard to travel to places and… I actually don’t hate America. I learned to love it. The first trips I did here I used to kind of find it weird, all the rules that you have to stick to. But if you learn to actually get around it a little bit and stick to the rules then it’s fine. What I actually like about it more than Europe, or France, I guess, is you can do pretty much anything you want, any time you want. If you need anything you can find it any time of day or night. I kind of miss it when I’m in Europe, you have to wait til the next day for things to open and Sunday you can’t find anything. Everything’s closed. There’s some good stuff about everything everywhere.


The rough life of a pro snowboarder. Photo: Ducass/Quiksilver

Would you say you’re the most famous snowboarder from France?

No. I don’t think so.

Who is?

I think Xavier de le Rue is. It’s funny cause we come from the same place in the Pyrenees. I think Nico (Droz) was doing pretty good in his time too.

So there are three professional snowboarders from France? Why do we in the US hate French snowboarders so much?

So you do hate French snowboarders? Oh shit. Good to know. Now I know what it’s hard for us (laughs). I’ve seen a lot of French guys who don’t really like to travel. We actually have really good mountains so it’s hard to leave France, but if you wanna get a bit of recognition you have to move and it’s not easy. It’s so fucking expensive if you want to film with big companies and stuff in the US. Travel, rent cars, buy sleds. In Europe it’s kinda easy to go film. You buy a lift ticket and you hike around and so that’s a reason for sure.

What’s riding in the Pyrenees like?

It’s the best. Nothing compares.

Is there anywhere that you like as much?

I really like Baker. I did my first trip to Baker when I was 15 or 16 I think. I loved it cause there’s so much snow. It’s small but it’s super steep and that’s how I like it. That’s how it is in the Pyrenees as well. It’s not like super long runs, but it’s steep and intense and you can’t find so much. Not as much snow as Baker, but when it’s good it’s good.


Oh, he hits jumps too! Photo: Jason Horton/Burn

You used to compete a lot. Did being a World Champion get you more chicks?

No. It could have, but I’ve been with my girlfriend for a long time. Actually… I don’t think so. I liked competing back in the day. I don’t like it as much anymore, but it used to be fun.

What have you been doing for the last ten years or so?

Snowboarding in the winter. Surfing in the summer.

What about filming?

I actually started filming in 2008, I think that was the first part I had with Standard. I filmed the year before but I wasn’t in the right crew. I got a few tricks, but it was hard. It’s the price you pay I guess, first year being a rookie. The second year was a lot better. I was on the good trips with the good guys and learned a lot about filming, about the mountains and the way it works with the companies. Then I went back in the contest scene a little bit so I could go back to the Olympics. I tried to film at the same time, but I got hurt for two years. And then last year, for TB20, I filmed again and got last part in the movie, which was pretty surprising for me. That was cool, really had a good season last year and this year had a good season as well.


We can think of worse places to be. Photo: Tim Zimmerman

How many people do you think saw the Standard movie TB20, counting premieres?

Oh, counting premieres? There was a bunch of people at the premiere in Denver, so that’s already like almost 5000-7000 they were saying, so maybe… 6000? (laughs) That’s one thing I’ve been talking to Mike quite a lot about it. I think they learned about it last year and they need to promote the movie a lot more. I really like Standard because it is snowboard history. If you look at it, we all started snowboarding with the Standard movies and if you look at all the riders that have been in their hands or in front of their lenses, it’s amazing to be part of it. But yeah, they need to promote and be better online and do a lot more stuff. It’s tough to evolve I guess. When you’ve been there for 20 years, it’s changing so much. Filming all year, releasing the movie in September or October, I think it’s not working anymore. There’s so much out there. If you go online there’s 10 videos a day that come out. It’s so hard to stick out and do something good and make people interested. But what I feel like with Standard is, maybe not as many people see the movies, but the people that do are really loyal to Standard. They’re really fans and they really follow it.

Why didn’t you decide to be a pro surfer?

That’s a question I ask myself every day. (laughs) I love snowboarding, we have a sick life. But surfers have a pretty sick life. I like surfing just as a hobby, it’s fun.

Did you ever pursue it at all?

Not really. When I was a kid it was easy for me because I was surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter. When it was winter the other kids didn’t do anything because wetsuits weren’t good enough. As soon as they started surfing in the winter as well, I got lost. The kids were getting too good for me, so I just decided to stick to snowboarding, which I like just as much. I just want to surf for myself, progress and get better, but I don’t think about anything else. Maybe one day.

Retirement plan?

(laughs) No, it’s tough.

What is your retirement plan?

I don’t know, we’ll see. There are a few options I guess, but for now I’m just focusing on riding.


How do you say, gnarly. Photo: Tim Zimmerman

Why would you come to Mt. Hood when you could be riding big mountain stuff in AK or something?

Because for me snowboarding is about everything. I like doing everything. Now a days you see people getting more and more specialized. There’s a few riders that still kill it everywhere, but if you do pipe you can’t really do slopestyle anymore because it’s so tech and then slopestyle is like that as well. Big mountain is pretty heavy too, you really need to learn a lot about it. But I like to do everything. I grew up just waking up and if there was good snow I would go ride pow and if not a would go… well I didn’t have a snow park at my home resort so I was just carrying a shovel all the time and trying to find spots. And I like Hood. I came to Hood the first time when I was 14 and it’s just good memories coming back every time.

Are you gonna try and go to the Olympics for slopestyle? Since there are only three pro snowboarders in France you’re already on the team, right?

(laughs) Maybe. You never know. I’m not gonna try in the pipe, that’s for sure, cause you have to concentrate on just that, but slopestyle, you can still go film. What I really want to do is keep filming. I feel there’s a lot more to do and it’s a lot more creative. I want to work a lot more on that creative part of snowboarding and try to get the most versatile part ever – try to have everything in my part.

About the Olympics. Why not? It would be fun to go try something new, but I’m not going to try super hard. If you train for slopestyle it gives you good tricks for filming and in the pow we can try new tricks for slopestyle, so it works together. I guess I’m gonna go if people don’t throw triple corks, because that’s not something I want to do. But we’ll see. What you see happening the pipe is you have two years where the level kind of stays the same and then the Olympics come and the level goes crazy because everybody trains so hard. I think we’re gonna see triples in the pipe for sure. Shaun is probably already working on it. I guess for slopestyle it’s gonna be kinda the same. The level is already insane.


Training hard for the Olympics. Photo: Tim Zimmerman

Have you ever ridden with Xavier de le Rue? Is it scary?

Yeah, it’s actually not. I was in AK last year with him and it was probably the best trip of my life because we had it perfect for five days. Got there, perfect snow, perfect crew. It’s not that scary because he’s really experienced and as crazy as it can sound, he’s really controlled. He knows exactly what he wants to do and when we’re looking at a face or a line, he knew where to go, what to do. We took time to set up and look at everything. It’s pretty motivating, you look at him and can see, oh, you can go that fast in there? I didn’t go as fast as him though. It’s really fun to ride with him, I like it.

Do you hit handrails?

I used to. I haven’t done a street rail for awhile. Park rails a little, but I haven’t done a street rail in awhile.

Why not?

I don’t know, I didn’t get a chance to. I wasn’t with the guys that do handrails. And I’m scared maybe.

There ya go.

I’m definitely more scared to hit a crazy street rail than drop into an AK line. The thing about AK — it’s so scary to drop in but once you make a few turns it’s the best thing ever.


Mellow booter sesh. photo: Tim Zimmerman

Does anyone still call you “Little Monkey”?

I’m still not that tall, so some people could.

What’s the story behind that nickname?

I’ve had a few in the US. There’s that one and then the “Little Croissant” as well. That came from Chris Owen. Little Monkey I think came from Australia actually. It came from Scott Needham, used to be an Aussie photographer. The other one, Chris Owen was calling Nic Droz “Croissant” and then we went on a trip together so Nic was the croissant and I was the petite croissant. My nickname in France is Le Crepe.

What’s your favorite crepe?

I like it simple. Just a little sugar and lemon. I love pancakes too.

What’s your favorite American food?

Mexican. (laughs)

How do you feel about French fries? Do you wish they’d change the name to Freedom Fries?

Yeah, I do. Cause you know french fries have nothing to do with France. They’re actually Belgian. French toast as well, we don’t have that either.


Hope he called dropping. Photo: Zimmerman

What’s one French phrase that all Americans should know?

Putain. It’s a bad word, it’s like fuck, but we use it a lot. You can use it when you’re happy, angry, when you yell at someone, when you’re alone.

Sponsors?

Quiksilver, Gnu, Sosh, it’s a phone network – no phone bills it’s pretty sick. Tourmalet, my home resort, Blue Tomato and Burn.


Hire Diggles for your next wedding or bar mitzvah!

Ryan Scardigli, aka “Diggles”, says he doesn’t ski anymore, but that’s bullshit and he’s still an idiot skier to us. And, while that’s horrible and would normally ban him from ever having an interview on Yobeat, Diggles happens to have a hand in the snowboard world. From being a part-time filmer for COMUNE, spending the Winter in Europe working at MethodMag, and running with Tahoe’s bad boy club, Diggles has become a niche pleasure in snowboard culture. His edits are rad, his impact has been felt and if he would just admit he’s a stupid pole grabbing ski-freak his next interview could maybe not be all about the bullshit, horror and humor that is his life. — Nick Lipton

Why the fuck should Yobeat interview a skier?

I find it ironic actually. An ex wakeboard journalist interviewing an ex skier. But yeah. You got me. I skied for most of my youth, and was even pretty good at it. I realized how lame it was when kids started layering tall t’s and wearing helmets over their beanies.

Was it hard telling your parents that you’re gay?

The gay rights movement is the civil rights of our generation. That being said, if I were gay, I would try and be proud of it to show kids that it’s ok to be different. Too much hate these days. We should focus all that hate towards stuff that matters. Like maybe we should go out and lynch oil executives. Those dudes are fucking up our lives way more than a little butt love between two consenting adults.


On the job, shooting Curtis Woodman.

What’s the worst injury you ever got skiing? Do you think that was God punishing you for skiing?

I broke my collar bone once when I was around 12 trying to learn 360’s and yes it was probably a spiteful god damning me for being a two planker. Ahaha

Do you even like snowboarding?

Very much so. Outside of it being super fun, snowboarding has given me the opportunity to see the world, and get paid to do it. My problems today are what I like to call “white girl problems” Seriously couldn’t be happier with my life situation.


Ryan sent this edit as PROOF he snowboards. Whatever, we’re still not buying it.

How much do you weigh? How tall are you?

I am 6’3″ That’s 190cm for my imperially challenged friends, and I weigh a staggering 155lbs or 70.3kg

Would you rather bone Brendan Gerard’s girlfriend or Ben Rice’s girlfriend?

Is a three way with Brendan and Ben an option? How about Danyale, but she has to wear a ball gag and Brendan has to watch.


Three-way?

What was the weirdest thing you tried in Europe?

I didn’t get into too much weird shit, but when Ben came to visit in November he got all drunk, we were sharing a bed in Amsterdam, and he swiped my butt crack with his fingers. He swears he thought he was back home with his lady, but I’m not buying it.

Would you rather live in the USA or Europe?

I like both for different reasons. The good ol USA will always be home, but I enjoy traveling a lot, and in Europe it is really easy to be somewhere completely different in just a few hours. I know everyone that hasn’t been there thinks it’s just one big continent full of techno and shitty style, but every country is so different and offers so much. It would be like a German kid coming to the middle of nowhere in Texas and going “the US sucks. Bunch of redneck farmers” when we all know there is a lot of really cool stuff here as well. Euro snowboard kids are cool, because they all really love snowboarding. I can’t think of any of them that do it to be cool, or whatever it is. They just love doing it, and they’re really good at it. I think if some of the hater population was to ever hang out with these dudes, they would see that we’re all pretty similar, and are just looking to have a good time on the snow.

What are you doing now that you’re back from Europe?

Well I’m back for the summer, dj-ing some weddings, helping out my friend Matt at his bike shop in Tahoe, and just enjoying myself. I plan on going back to Method Mag in September, as long as everything works out. It was a great season, went to 15 countries, met a lot of cool people, but it is definitely nice to be home for a bit with old friends.


When in Europe…

Do you have any tattoos?

Funny story, I found out that Mikkel Bang and I both have similar ass tats this year in Spain, everyone was showing their tattoos and we both pulled our pants down at the same time and we both have kiss marks on our cheeks. His doesn’t say “dad” though.

Why aren’t you allowed into Canada?

Well technically I’m a felon. I got into a bunch of trouble growing up and from what I hear, the mounties are not big on criminals in their country. I think it’s almost been long enough now that it might now show up. Maybe I’ll give ‘er a try this season.

Do you really prefer to be called “Diggles” to “Ryan”?

Diggles is a name I was given at my first job, boot fitting at the Squaw Valley Sports Shop when I was 15. Pretty much no one can pronounce my last name correctly except for Italians, and this dude Uncle Boozy had a particularly hard time with it, so he just called me Diggles. It stuck, and that’s been my name for almost ten years. I do introduce myself to most people as Ryan and let them decide. And always prefer to have girls call me Ryan, because someone yelling out “Diggles!” in bed isn’t that hot.


You’ve done a few projects with COMUNE. Which was your favorite?

I am most proud of the PSOTRATSOC1983 video that we put out at the beginning of this season. The guys rode really hard last year, and I think the video came out great. It was a lot of fun spending a season with all those dudes. I also have to give it up to Kevin for putting together Spring Break. We both shot the action stuff together, but he is on another level with his editing.

Do you ever wish they’d just use a shorter name so it fits on your resume better, or whatever?

Hahaha, I guess I never thought about that. I like the names Corey comes up with. Kind of a humorous take on all the ridiculous names people title their movies that have nothing to do with snowboarding.

What’s it like hanging out with Corey Smith? Tell us something people don’t know about him.

Corey is awesome. Such a massive presence and always thinking of really cool stuff. I am really glad I was able to work with him on those projects, and hope to do more with him in the future. Something people don’t know about Corey? That’s hard. He has astma, and doesn’t like hiking. But then again who does?

Tell me about the Warp Wave project you’re working on now. Why VHS/Super 8? Don’t you know they have digital now or are you really that hip?

Warp Wave is a project that Eric Messier and Gray Thompson are doing next season that is still in the planning stages, but yeah it will be shot on VHS camera, and I will be one of the filmers. I think it’s going to be really cool to see it all come together. Some really cool riders have confirmed their interest as well as some of my favorite filmers and photographers.


He may not really snowboard, but he knows LOTS of people who do!


Do you think your average snowboarder gives a shit about art?

I think they should at least try and take some interest in the arts. It doesn’t have to be stuff I’m into or anyone else is into, but there is so much awesome art being produced, and it’s good to focus on thing soutside of your comfort zone sometimes to help you put things in perspective. That being said, check out the Drop City contributors at COMUNE to get started on finding the art that speaks to you.

What do you think about the overall state of snowboard cinema? Who’s doing it well and who should just hang it up already?

I think there is a lot of really cool stuff going on in snowboard cinema land, a lot of copying of cool stuff, and a lot of shit. That being said, some of my favorites right now are: Joe Carlino, he just does everything so clean and precise, something I can’t even attempt to do, Johannes Brenning (Helgasons.com) I call him Rainman because he is like an idiot savant. His concepts are out of this world, and he isn’t afraid to do something totally out there. Jake Price is one of my all time favorites. If you haven’t seen 9191 you are blowing it. Kevin Castanheira is incredible, and will probably move on from snowboarding to make award winning movies some day. I also want to say how cool it is to see all the new kids. The high def camera market has gotten to a place where anyone can buy a camera and start making stuff. Shit, Woodward has camps geared towards video production. I’m not going to tell you who I think should hang it up, because that isn’t very nice, and I’m sure there are plenty of people that don’t like the wild shit I put out there.


Some of the weird shit put into the world by Ryan.