Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

Originally Published on Yobeat | October 4, 2017

If you turn your attention to the video above this paragraph you will find the full version of Postland Theory’s 2016 video release “The Fourth Wall.” Why the hell are we just posting it now, you ask? Well, in the olden days, people used to care about things for more than one season – and if you haven’t watched it, you’re in for some seriously heavy boarding interspersed with beautiful scenery and some funny outtakes. But as it is now 2017, it’s really just a ploy to get you paying attention and excited for the forthcoming video “Loose,” which hits the Interwebs for free on Nov 1. And to hopefully make you more excited, here’s a recent conversation with the brains behind the movie for people who still like to nerd out on snowboard media.

The man behind the lens and editing bay at Postland, Tim “Shithorse” Schiphorst. photo: Ponchikz

Brooke: So, I Youtube’d The Fourth Wall to my Smart TV and watched most of it – I have a few take aways:

  • Snowboard parkour is neat
  • European spots seem is way tighter than American spots.
  • I can’t beleive you guys are doing this again, because modern rail snowboarding is fucked-up gnarly.
  • I never want to go to Russia
  • My tv was turned up too loud for some of the sections.
  • And finally, that kid with the white guy dreds is so fun to watch but… he still has white guy dreads

Tim: Hahaha so sick. White guy dreads is next big thing. He’s my favourite snowboarder right now and he’s back this year.

Are white guy dreads sick though? I’ve always thought of Europe as being ahead of the times and I like to think Americans are already over that. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking haha.

Hahaha yeah, he’s had em since I met him and probably before that. I dunno! It’s just a hair style.

Right, but do they smell bad? Are there arguements over who has to share a hotel bed with him? I suppose on a rail trip across Europe odors are just part of the deal, so whatever I’ll drop it. Tell me more about him as a human, please.

He’s Simon Houlind, he lives in Copenhagen, but he’s kinda been kinda all over the place, living in a hammock at the skatepark in Christiania. I’ve been trying to film with him for years now so we just thought it’d be sick to bring him along for one trip during The Fourth Wall, and that’s when he filmed his part. I think we were all really hyped on what he got in such a short time and I really like his riding style and approach to street riding. So this year we traveled together the entire winter and it’s just been the sickest time.

Usually since he doesn’t really have any money, and we sometimes make a deal that he pays less for the hotel so he just hangs up his hammock somewhere and actually doesn’t get a bed. Sounds kinda harsh, maybe. But he doesn’t mind, he’s got a sick hammock.

Yeah, whatever works, right? So what’s up with the title? Is the Fourth Wall a reference to Travis Rice’s last project or Taco Bell?

Taco Bell? What’s that?

lol. It’s the best fast food restaurant in America and they have a marketing campaign based on “fourth meal” aka the shitty food you drive thru and get when you’re drunk. But seriously, it’s delicious. And dirt cheap.


MMM, naked chicken chips dipped in fake nacho cheese sauce…

Ah yeah I heard of those. Should probably make the trip more often, but with Poutine in Canada and Borsch in Russia, how high can it really score?

Fourth Wall refers to breaking the fourth wall. That’s when, for example, a musical actor talks directly to the audience. So the stage has 3 walls, and the audience is looking through the fourth wall so to speak. Same in movies when the actor talks directly into the camera like Kevin Spacey in House Of Cards.

Since we set out to travel a whole bunch and visit some places we’d never imagined we’d end up, we thought it would be sick to kinda show that in the movie, rather than just make video parts. We still focused on video parts but in the full movie we mixed em up with travel parts. So we made the online parts for everybody to enjoy, and the full movie is more for ourselves to watch back when we switch over to surfing.

Makes sense. Seems like heavy shit went down on some pretty crazy spots. Do you feel a need to top yourself or what? What was your the motivation to do this again, and what if anything are you going to differently this year?

Wait what are talking about now? Like the movie that’s dropping in a few weeks? Or the NEXT movie that we’re gonna start filming in December?

Cees Wille. Stairs to 50-50. Photo: James Griffith

Oh man, thinking in seasons makes my brain hurt, so let’s talk about the one you’ve already filmed first.

Yeah, so The Fourth Wall is actually last year’s (2016) movie, but since I never uploadeded the entire thing anywhere I thought it’d be cool for some people to watch. But the full parts have already been out since the beginning of last season. Our new movie “Loose” is dropping November 1st, and video parts will start coming online around January. And then we’re gonna start filming again in December.

But I think in general we’re always trying to do the opposite of what we did the winter before. For The Fourth Wall (two winters ago) we just set out to travel a bunch and find unique spots and locations and just go on an adventure pretty much. Last winter we just wanted to take it way more simple. We all met up in Holland and drove to Finland from there. Cees has his Chevy van that we loaded up with winches and generators and lights and we more or less stayed in Finland, and focused on specific tricks and spots the guys wanted to film.

It was kinda nice not having to worry about visas and just having all the gear with us to hit literally every spot that popped into our heads. I think everybody filmed their best video parts this year because of that.

That makes sense. There’s a lot to be said for simplicity

I’m not just saying that to try to get everybody to watch the movie.. Like honestly everybody was so hyped the entire winter because it felt like everything we tried to do worked out.

People will watch the movie if they want to, I think.

And if they don’t, they won’t.

Ollie Dutton, gap-to-rail. Photo: Schiphorst.

Yep. I like how you guys take a cinematic approach and make something that’s pretty.

haha do we?

Yeah, I think so. It seems like there’s more to what you do than just tricks, and because tricks are a hard sell for most people who snowboard. It takes a special sort of nerd to care and appreciate just how gnarly the stuff these guys are doing is.

So, for The Fourth Wall it was kind of a thing that I wanted to really show how beautiful Japan and Iceland were and how raw Russia is. But this winter it’s really more focusing on the tricks. No drones or stabilization gimmicks or anything.

Honestly, holding anyone’s attention for longer than 1-minute these days is a serious feat. What’s your take on that?

Yeah I totally agree that these days people’s attention spans leave much to be desired. But that’s just natural process. I mean, I sometimes still think about the old FODT video’s that just showed 5 slow motion angles of one trick because the riding was so fucking heavy. You just don’t get away with that anymore. I still like showing more angles, but I only have two cameras, so it’ll never be that crazy. But it feels that the guys put so much effort into their riding that it’s kinda unfair to just let every single shot fly by.

Will Smith. 50-50 through a TV, now watchable on TV. Photo: Ponchikz

Yeah it’s a tough one. Like, they’re doing it for themselves at the end of the day, but it would be nice to treat this kind of gnarly ass riding with a little more respect. So I suppose it’s finding that middle ground. Like, should you still “save” shots for the full edit?

That’s why I think actual snowboard movies are important opposed to the webisodes everybody wants to do these days. If you want to release a video every week, you shouldn’t expect viewers to remember and replay your video hundreds of times. Why should they if they can just watch something new all the time? That’s why I always try to make our movie available as a free download, in case there are people out there that like to watch the whole thing a few times. It’s cool that so much content is available right now, but sometimes I think the community would be happier if people would put a bit more effort into collecting footage, rather than just throwing everything online as soon as they got enough for a 2 minute video – but probably we’ll start doing it eventually as well, haha.

I get what you’re saying. I guess the dillema is that by “saving” footage you’re risking someone else doing it first. But for you guys, there probably aren’t 10 crews at every spot like there are in places like Quebec or SLC. Have you ever had that happen, where say, you guys hit a spot and then Haldor and Eiki show up and get better tricks on it? Does that matter to you/the riders you work with or does it just get you more hyped?

Oh I think you’d be surprised to see how many crews there are in Finland. People are for sure kinda over the spots in for example Kuopio, but not to the same level as Quebec. But if people go back to the same spot and do better tricks, I think that’s only a good thing. That’s what pushes the video parts, it’s not so fun to go back to the same spot and do something less than what somebody else has done. The awkward thing is when people do the same trick, and the one who came second gets the appreciation for it. That has happened before to us for sure! Even when we went to Quebec and Will did that big ass drop to bank. As far as I know he was the first to do it and I think Brendan Gerard attempted it a year later and launched himself over the road in the outrun. Then there’s Phil Jacques doing that pole jam to backlip in his Union part, that Kas did a few years earlier in his Connect The Dots part. I’m not calling these people out and saying that they’re uncool for copying us. It happens all the time, I’m sure we’ve also “copied” other people’s shots. There’s just too much content coming out right now that it’s impossible to keep track of what everybody is doing, so I feel like you can’t blame somebody for going for the same shot.

Will Smith on the fabled bank-to-ledge, sometime in 2014. Photo: Schiphorst

 

Great answer. Do you think Americans will ever care about the European snowboard scene? Can we trick them into it or are the names just too hard to pronounce?

You guys are for sure showing interest in some individual snowboarders like Toni Kerkelä and Benny Urban, who’ve been filming with Transworld and Videograss the last few years. I don’t think Americans will ever really care about the European snowboard scene though. There’s not much to care about because it’s all so damn small.

Then why does the snowboard scene seem so much cooler/more connected in Europe than America? Which countries would you say have the best snowboarding?

I’m not sure about other countries, but in Holland it’s a group of like 40 snowboarders that ride pretty often and really show up for events. There’s maybe one event a year, and everybody goes there. But because it’s so small it’s really easy to be really close to each other and support each other. A lot of locals from different indoor resorts are in touch with each other to meet up and shoot videos. That’s really cool. It kinda comes back to that quality over quantity thing.

Artem Smollin, boardslide. Photo: Will Smith

Makes sense. How do people from Holland even get into snowboarding in the first place?

I think they don’t really start anymore. I kinda only notice people growing out of snowboarding instead of seeing young kids coming up, but maybe that’s just because I don’t really visit the domes as often as I used to. I guess most people here get into it through the Christmas holidays with their family, and then maybe want to follow it up in the dome and start practicing rail tricks. I’m just basing this on what I see in the indoor scene, apparently there’s a massive group of Dutch snowboarders that are interested in backcountry riding, but the scenes are so divided that we never actually meet.

If you wonder what you’ll look like after drinking three Monster Energy Drinks a day for 40 years, wonder no longer. Photo: Ponchikz

So, tell me about your plans for the next movie… or is that embargo’d til winter?

So that’s the one we still have to film, right? haha.

Yes.

Well one thing to be excited about next winter is that Kas (Lemmens) is finally back after a 2-year injury. Really excited to go out and film with him again. Besides Kas, I’ll probably be travelling a lot with Cees, Simon and Will. Then I’m working with Jesse Augustinus, Joonas Eloranta and a bunch of other guys on some web episodes as promised and film a full movie as well. And I always try to include some local talent to give them a little push towards street riding.

To be honest I’m way less in preparation mode than I usually am this time of year.

That seems like it might be a good thing – sometimes the best stuff comes out when you least expect it! I feel like this is already gonna be more words than anyone wants to read on the Internet, so any one you’d like to thank or anything else you’d like to say to your fans?

Well if anybody made it to the end of all this “back in the days, everything was better” ramble, then I’m sure they can call themselves a fan and a big thanks goes out to them. Literally the thing that makes us keep going every year isn’t the support from sponsors etc, it’s the support of the people who like our videos!

Loose is coming out as a free download on November 1st. We’re doing a bunch of premieres, including on your side of the ocean in Montreal and Quebec City. Pretty excited about how premieres work over there! And maybe next year we should organize a premiere at Taco Bell, sounds like a party!

 

Originally Published on Yobeat | November 8, 2017

Afro tastic! Photo via INSTA

Gabby Maiden has lived many lives in her 30 years on earth. She grew up in the Los Angeles music scene, moved to Bear Mountain to pursue snowboarding, went pro, and ended up all the way in Iceland as a model in the process. She put out video parts, did contests and traveled the world over with sponsors including Nikita, Von Zipper, Celtek and more, before disappearing off the board-world radar to pursue other passions. Our paths diverged a while ago, but after seeing her face in the opening scene of the second season of Stranger Things, I knew it was time to hit her up again. Even though she’s nearly 10 years older, wiser, and way more famous now, she’s still the same Gabby. Excited, happy and appreciative of everything there is to appreciate. Hell, she even appreciated the tiny cassette logo graphic on my voice recorded app, which I used to capture the audio version of this interview. “It’s so 90’s, retro, but like, not,” she exclaimed when I held it up to show her… “The 90s are so in right now,” I joked. And that is where we begin…

Gabby: Everyone’s wanting to go back to the 90s these days. It was the best time! I’m not gonna lie, my childhood was pretty fun. And 90s movies. I was obsessed with the Mighty Ducks. OBSESSED. I told my parents, “I’m gonna be a hockey player,” because it was so awesome. They were in Minnesota skating around, rollerblading in the mall, with massive team work – it looked so fun. My parents said, “Hell no, you’re gonna knock your teeth out.” So we compromised and they let me be a figure skater instead. (laughs)

Brooke: Tell us more about your parents – what to they do?

Well, my dad is the lead guitarist and singer in this great band called Rufus and Chaka Khan. Back in the 70s they had some awesome hits! And my mom, she’s been his manager since they’ve been together. She managed a couple other artists back in the day but now she mostly focuses on family.

Gabby’s Hollywood fam. 

So I, and hopefully everyone reading this, saw you in the new season of Stranger Things… I was hyped, like, “Holy shit! I know her!”

I know, it’s so weird, but so cool. The snow world is kind of what got me inspired and made me comfortable enough to start acting again in the first place. I was very shy when I was a kid – but since I was 5 years old, I’ve wanted to be an actress. I tried to pursue it back then, but it wasn’t really working. So I was like, ok, I’m gonna give myself some more time and work on some other activities to build confidence. I did almost every sport, but in high school, snowboarding was my newfound passion. That finally started to help me break out of my shell and is what inspired me to move to Bear a little after I graduated high school. If it wasn’t for snowboarding and riding for such amazing companies, getting to travel around the world, be open and meet people, who knows. I’m thankful, it helped me come back into acting. I’m in my element now, thanks to throwing myself down stairs and rails. (laughs) It definitely put some tough skin on me.

I feel like most people watching Netfllix probably don’t realize you were once an official “girl who rides” for Nikita. You’re still a girl who rides right? Are you still snowboarding?

I am, just not as much as I used to. My time has been more concentrated on wanting to be in LA, being with my family, acting, auditions and I just haven’t had the time. Lately, it’s made me a bit bummed, but this year I’m already planning a trip to snowboard! I’m going to go to Utah at the end of December and I’m making more of an effort to head up to Bear this season. Looking forward to it!

On board and on the streets. Photo: Nathaniel Harrington

How did you decide to make the call to end your professional snowboarding career? Is there a story there?

Yeah, I went fully off the radar. It was after I made my video part for Peep Show’s Winter Wars. June had asked me if I could make a fun song for the end credits. I said of course! I made it with my Ukulele, singing, whistling and even had my dad play on it using very fun random instruments (my grandmother’s old washboard, the bass, and a toy harmonica). I titled the song “A long way to go,” and it’s one of my favorites I’ve created.

I went to the premiere at Mt. Hood and when my part came on June was like, “look up,” and she used my song, for my video part! They just surprised me with it. I almost cried, it was on another level. I was extremely proud of that part, and of the song I created talking about taking long journey’s with people you care about.

So after that I was like, where do I go from here?

I based myself in Iceland with the Nikita fam on and off for 2 years and everyone was like where the hell did Gabby go? I just had that feeling where I was content and happy with what I created and was ready to expand. Not quit snowboarding, but it was something I wanted to put a pause on and end on a nice note… Adventure out into the world in another way. I’m so glad I did that, it was the perfect timing.

And now to the other side! 

Speaking of Iceland, I have a special question from former Nikita Marketing genius Asgeir Hoskuldsson. He wanted to know if the song “Gabba Gabba Hey” speaks to you on a spiritual level?

Geiri! That’s the best question I’ve ever heard. That was my nickname when I was snowboarding. It definitely makes me feel very pumped up – I would put that song on when I was snowboarding and just start singing ::sings Gabba Gabba we accept you, we accept you! One of us!:: It definitely makes me feel like a boss of the day! Thanks for calling in Geiri.

He’s actually got another one, you ready? He was hoping you could describe your Nikita years in four words or less.

Wow. (counts on fingers) What about five, can I have five?

Alright, but only ‘cause of the Icelandic exchange rate.

Best. Time. Of. My. Life.

I can’t thank that Icelandic company and the people involved enough for being such an inspiration to me. They really took care of me and I still call them my second family. They brought me out of the country for the first time when I was 19 to Portugal; doing one of our famously-fun photoshoots. It was my dream, to explore, and they took me along for the ride. I grew up with them and they collaborated with so many important women who were being themselves. I really loved how the OG Nikita brand really capitalized on that individuality. I was living the dream, dude… Traveling around, snowboarding and being myself!

I remember, I was so stressed out for weeks before I told them I wanted to do something else. I had filmed a little bit with the Helgasons and I was telling the Nikita peeps I would use it to make something that winter or send it to Dangy for her edits. But to be honest, I was really just prolonging telling them I was done being a snowboarder. When I finally did they were like, “Of course Gabby! We get it! You’re a person of many talents… Do your thing!” They left the door open for me to come back. I was super thankful and lucky to have such great sponsors that were like a family. I think that’s gone into acting too. I’m careful about choosing the people I work with and I’m very loyal. If I’m with you, I’m with you, and I feel fortunate to have worked with companies that treated me the same way.

How does the Hollywood biz compare with the snowboard biz? Do you feel the same sort of comradery or has it been more cutthroat?

I’d say It’s actually very similar. When you first start out as a snowboarder you’re trying to get attention in some way — by doing events or contests and being visible — it’s the same with acting. The industry and the casting directors need to see you in order to know who you are, so once you get into that audition room, that’s where they can see you shine. When I started out auditioning, I was lucky that I was going out for shows/films I really wanted to do. And that was the same thing when I was young snowboarding – I did fun contests I really wanted to do, like the Forum Young Bloods and the Nikita Chickita. That’s where people started noticing me – “Who’s that girl with the afro?!” Once you’re noticed, then you can be more particular of what you want to do. Which is why I moved past contest riding and decided to do more film and video parts.

In either world, you want to start off (and continue) with people who are hard working and not dicks – I can’t really put it any simpler than that. You just have to trust your gut.

In acting it’s all about networking and meeting people. In snowboarding you have to do the same. If you’re not feeling good vibes about doing something creatively, it’s ok to say no. When I was snowboarding I would never ride for a company that I didn’t love riding for, and in my opinion, that’s how you should feel about film and television projects. If you’re not excited about it, you shouldn’t do it. You wanna be happy, you don’t want to be in something that’s not for the love.

Getting all urban with a little Think Thank influence in Park City, 2010. Photo: Alex Mertz

This next one comes from Danya Jackson via our facebook. What was your first urban feature and what did you do on it?

Oh man, I remember that day well. It was in Utah with Erik Leines, when I was first riding with Celtek. He let me go on a rail trip with this program they had, teaching groms to ride street spots. He asked me to come ride and we went to this one downrail – which I wish I remember where it was because it was so perfect – and I did a 50-50 front 180 out. I freaked out! I have it on film but I don’t know where that clip is, but I’m looking at it in my brain – that was a such an incredible moment. Celtek was another company that was always down for me. I didn’t have a board sponsor at the time and they asked me to ride one of their collab boards and let me pick the graphic. I picked this green goddess looking character – it was beautiful. I still have that board, it’s up in Big Bear in my storage unit and I rode it until it was totally destroyed. That brought me back, fantastic question, thank you Danya!

Have a pro model or be a pro model? Gabby did both. Photo: Luiz Lima

Have you been paying attention to modern snowboarding – especially on the women’s side?

Well first, shout out to Too Hard. That split screen they posted of me riding and me as my character Mick that said “get you a girl that does both” melted my heart. It was the sweetest!

Their Instagram videos are my favorite! (laughs) The riding, the editing, the craftsmanship, the kitty cats, the dance moves. It’s so Dangy. It’s genius.

I remember when Dangy was just starting to make videos. We were in Tahoe. Peep Show was taking a break and June and Estee were thinking they wanted to do different things. Joanie Robichard and I were filming with Dangy in Tahoe and she was totally in her element – directing people, plus she knew where all the spots were. It was really fun and I think shortly after that, that’s when I started seeing her post her fun edits and then it blew the frick up!

But not gonna lie, I’ve been out of the loop. I just follow my homies from forever ago – It makes me proud to know them and to also see where women’s riding is going. It’s always been progressing, but now girls even more so, are making guys pay attention. Just whipping out heavy bangers with such style! I’m excited this year to watch all the videos and read the articles like I did when I was an obsessive little snow kid. Catch up with my general snowboarding pop culture.

Women have really stepped it up – it’s awesome to see and not just because I am one. Even the guys are paying attention now. Leanne is still killing it too with Full Moon films. It’s her Hana Beaman, Robyn Van Gyn, Jamie Anderson, and lots more…

Oh that’s awesome! I remember Leanne put a clip of me in one of her films, I think it was “Ro-Sham-bo,” and I freaked out! I get excited very easily (laughs) but I had always looked up to Leanne and the women in that video so it was amazing to be part of anything she did. I remember that day too.. They were sessioning a rail at Bear and someone was like, do you wanna session with us? I was like, “No way!” It was literally a dream come true! It was a closed shoot and I did a 50-50 to 360 out on one of the down-rails with a donkey kink. It took me forever to do it. (laughs) I was just learning because I had just seen Johnny Miller do it, and I wanted to try and master it so bad. When I finally landed it, everyone gave me so much props, and then she put it in the movie! It was so cool! When you get included with people you respect and look up to it’s a really nice feeling. Especially when you’re coming up. It’s the same as if I was to meet my acting hero – I would hope that they’d be super cool.

Who is your acting hero?

Female or male?

Let’s go both, but female first because girl power and stuff.

Well, I haven’t met her yet, but Halle Berry. I look up to her as an actress and I think she’s very versatile. I would love to work with her one day. She’s also a mixed-race female, which when I was young, it was really cool to see on screen. I looked up to her and said, “I wanna be like her.” I find its similar when I get people who come up to me and say how much they like that I wear my hair natural and embrace it. They say it encourages them to do the same, which warms my heart. Its always nice to have someone or something to look up to. Also Thandie Newton is an amazing actress, and Viola Davis is a boss.

Ok, how about male?

I actually met Damon Wayans the other day! In my household, “Major Payne” is quoted and watched very frequently. My friends and I were sitting at a restaurant patio eating and he walked out. I hyped myself up and then approached him in the most dorky Gabby way possible – I probably skipped – and was like, “Hey!” And he was super cool! He asked me my name and introduced himself and we had an awesome conversation – including how much I loved Major Payne and the comedic work he’s done. We took a picture and it was casual. I don’t go crazy fan girl – but if I admire you, I will go up and talk to you and let you know (laughs). Everyone’s just normal – not a unicorn.

I don’t go crazy fan girl – but if I admire you, I will go up and talk to you and let you know

When people come up to me and say nice things, I really appreciate it, and I’ll always talk to you like we’re friends. I cant help it (laughs). Actually there was this one time where two girls who were friends that recognized me from this web series I’m on called Sexless. I was at FYF music fest in LA and they came up to me and we’re like “OH MY GOD, ARE YOU FARRAH!” I was super flattered and I just started talking to them. I was by myself, lost my friends and was just wandering around. We were talking and it got to the point where they were clearly sick of talking to me and we’re like, “Cool, well we’re gonna go…” (laughs) But that’s what I always do – They were sweet about it, but it was funny. I felt like I overstayed my conversation welcome. I wanted to talk to them and they just wanted to say hi. (laughing)

Gabby at the Stranger Things premiere with Finn Wolfhard aka Mike Wheeler

Right… so about those male actors…

Oh yeah, Damon Wayans, Denzel Washington would be a dream to work with and Morgan Freeman. I would love to talk to him. I feel like he knows the meaning of life. He could say anything and I would be like, “you’re right Morgan, you’re such a wise man.” Best voice ever.

He is the voice of God, right? That’s a pretty solid top 3!

It can always change too, with so many new great talents coming up. Not to mention the kids on Stranger Things. They inspire me, I mean, that whole cast and crew does. The Duffer’s created a fantastic world and it’s insanely fun to be part of it.

Since we’re back on Stranger Things, let’s take another question from Facebook. Cody Livingstone asked, “Did you get hit by the spray of bullets when the van was driving away after the wall and 11 disappeared?”

Another great question! All I know is that it freaked me out when the pellets first went off (laughs). I’ve never been part of a project with so much action before, so it was a new and exciting experience. Lonie, our amazing stunt coordinator did that pull out drive for me, even though they were gonna allow me to do it at first. But after one take, it felt better to have the professionals do it. Safety first! I did do a good portion of my stunt driving though, but if it was too wild, they had my amazing stunt double Jwaundace Candece take over for me.. Such as the epic opening car chase scene. She killed it!

At the wheel!

It’s pretty badass that they let you drive at all.

Yeah, my favorite scene I got to drive for was when we were jamming out and driving down the road. I’m blowing smoke in Axel’s [James Landry Hebert] face and dancing. Our director Rebecca Thomas definitely let us have some freedom in that scene, which was really fun.

Sorry for the spoilers!

Hey, it’s out and if people haven’t watched it yet, that’s their fault. But let’s wrap this up. I have one last Facebook question from Andruw Jones that I think is the perfect ender…  “What have you learned in her journey thus far and how can that be applied to help progress/enlighten others?”

What I’ve learned and am continuing to practice is the art of trusting yourself. You’re gonna have a million moments — in life, love, in snowboarding doing crazy tricks —  where you have to trust the outcome. We tend to stress ourselves out by feeling or thinking that we can’t do certain things sometimes, and it can be very unnecessary. There are also so many aspiring actors that feel pressured to make things happen quickly, but it takes time. There’s no rush. Just trust your gut, and know that everything is gonna work out. Try not to waste your time thinking about how it’s supposed to be. Everyone is different and you’re never gonna have the same thing that someone else has. You have to make sure that you do the work, and always stay focused with the direction of where you’re going. You can listen to people and take in different advice, but don’t follow through with something if it’s not truly in your heart. You know what you need to do, so get out there, do it and have fun!

You know what you need to do, so get out there, do it and have fun!

WANT MOAR – READ HER FIRST HUMP DAY FROM 2009 HERE.

Originally Published on Yobeat | December 23, 2017

The 2017 Dirksen Derby is nothing but good vibes. Whether you spent December 15-17th complaining about back pain in the lodge, ripping around Mt. Bachelor, teaching your kids to stand on a snowboard, or actually trying to get a faster time than your friends, the 10th edition of the mostly-annual competition may just have been the best yet.

Josh specifically designed the event to be fun for all. The course isn’t about survival, but rather pushing your own limits. If you make it down unscathed, you’re likely to think, “that was fun!” as opposed to other banked slaloms, where you’re just glad to be done. And due to the mellow pitch of Sunrise, the trail which played host to the 2017 event, literally anyone can make it down, but it takes real skill to win.

And at the elite level, there was potential for pain. The green course rode mellow and smooth all weekend, but the red course saw its share of spills and near misses, and had the respect of even the most skilled of boarders. Friday saw a solid dusting of snow on top of what was otherwise thin cover. Then Saturday was crisp and cold and things held up for all the riders who managed to pre-register for the lottery, and then actually show up on race day. And Sunday, a thin layer of clouds warmed things up and it was spring riding for all. The ruts were real, but the Backelor Parks crew and squad of volunteers were on it. No worries.

And most importantly – cash money was raised for long-ago-paralyzed but still smiling Tyler Ecklund via entry fees, the broken board auction and lots of other goodwill gestures from sponsors and friends.

If you really wanna know who went the fastest, well, you’ve probably already figured it out – but just in case, you can see full results on our Insta or Facebook. If you want to feel like you were there, keep scrolling for MOAR MEDIA.

Originally Published on Yobeat | January 3, 2018

Filming: Keith Rutherford
Edit: Daniel Evans
Additional Footage courtesy of Tim Humpreys
Terribly transcribed by Alexander “LEG” Johnson hemingsworth III

In a world where the lines between pro, am, and nobody are barely discernable, Tim Humphreys is still a professional snowboarder. What does that mean? Well, he’s a brand ambassador, a stunt man, a filmer and editor, and now a small business owner too. He’s gracefully spun past the “normal” age when Americans disappear from professional snowboarding and is now one of the rare breed of adult who’s managing to make a living with his snowboard skills.

We ran into Tim on the hill at Mammoth Opening weekend, where he and Sage Kotsengerg were testing out some GoPros from the future. Eight hours and 100 gb later, Tim was in our condo, still wearing all his snowboard gear, and ready to chat it up with Madison Blackley and I. If you hate reading and want the short, sponsor-friendly version – watch the video above. But if you want all the real dirt you can read it all below, and catch a few additional clips deemed TOO EDGY by our censors.

Tim and Matt go doubles.

Brooke: Tell us about your movie project.

Tim: So this summer me and a bunch of my friends didn’t have a snowboard video that we were putting anything towards, but we had all this footage between all of us, and so Matt Williams was like, “ let’s just put together a snowboard video.”He came up with the name “Uncaged.” I was super busy, didn’t really have time to think about it so I was like, “ oh yeah totally, perfect.”

Madison: Uncaged. I dig it. Who did the editing?

Tim: Just me and Matt. We split up the movie in half — Matt made the intro, his part, Adam Hohmeyer’s part, Sam Klein’s part, and the credit reel. Then I made Chris Depaula’s part, Nile Rominec’s part. Me and Dylan (Thompson) share this crazy part, it’s real sick.

Brooke: Is Dylan Thompson autistic?

Tim: Um… I don’t think so. I think he’s like kind of more an introverted type of person y’know, he definitely doesn’t say too much. He’s a man of few words, but he carries a big motherfucking sword! I don’t think he’s autistic or any shit like that though. We are always on the same wavelength always just like he will see something and we will be thinking the same exact shit and he just doesn’t feel the need to use lots of words to say shit, y’know he just kind of keeps it to what’s important. Maybe I’m Autistic, I don’t know.

I learned a lot from filming street with him this year. He operates really efficiently. It was actually insane watching him go,learning all of his street knowledge and everything about filming in the streets. He’s just got it so dialed from doing it for so many years. He knew what type of spots to look for and he is extremely focused and motivated.

It’s funny though when he gets drunk. The the floodgates just open! It’s hilarious because there’s so much shit where unless something really pisses him off, or something he needs to take care of right then he’s just like whatever. He doesn’t say anything about it, but when he gets drunk, he’ll start ranting about some shit. He just lets loose and you’re all like, “ fuck yeah, Dylan.”

Brooke: How do you feel about social media?

Tim: it’s just annoying that everyone cares so much about it right now. Y’know that it’s THAT big of a deal that it almost runs our lives. Instagram fucking views translate into how my career is perceived. How it started was just like, “oh yeah share some photos of my friends, see what my friends are up to” and now it’s just this whole other thing. It’s like something that was pleasure- just totally got business thrown into it now. It’s similar to snowboarding for a living, y’know. Snowboarding is this thing I love, but sometimes doing it for a living and having my whole livelihood is based off of it, sometimes things will get frustrating. I get burnt out. Sometime I’ll have so much shit expected of me and I don’t feel like I can deliver it.

Sometimes I’ll post the stupidest shit and it gets so many more views than anything else. I’ll work so hard to make the most baller video and it gets no love, then I’ll post something I wasn’t even going to post because I filmed it shitty or whatever and it gets 150,000 views!

Maybe now that Pornhub is getting involved with snowboarding I’ll get a new sponsor. Working the social media, Pornhub plugs like, “Hey, I’m alone and bored in this gondola @mammothmountain, I wonder what I can do with this 5 minutes @pornhub winky face emoji.”

Brooke: What’s your dream sponsor?

Madison: Airline Sponsor?

Tim: Free flights anywhere? Damn. Hmmm what’s a good airline?

Madison: Delta, duh.

Tim: Delta? Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive. I don’t really like that, but hey if I’m sponsored by them I won’t have to pay their obnoxious each way $150 surfboard fees. That’s another reason why I don’t fly Delta. It’s fucked up to spend $300 to get your boards there and back. You might as well buy boards when you’re there.

Brooke: How did you get into surfing in New Jersey? Is it really like the show Jersey Shore?

Tim: My family and I would go down to the beach for a week or two every summer. Straight up. We would go to Seaside Park and Heights where all that shit was filmed. It’s insane- like that show is an understatement of the reality there. It’s gnarly- I feel like they did a bunch of shit and they couldn’t even show it.

Brooke: Did you ever compete in Spring Loaded at Killington?

Yeah, I literally should of won that shit like 3 fucking times but see that’s the thing- the odds were always loaded against you if you were not from Killington. Literally, you couldn’t place or anything if you were not from Killington. So, I would go there and put down winning runs and not even make finals.

My very first memory of the first Killington Spring Loaded was sick though. The very first person I met when I was like 12 or 11 or something like that, was Lucas Magoon. Just imagine us as little 12 year olds! Within 15 minutes of meeting we were both getting tackled by ski patrol and getting our passes pulled. We were hucking snowballs up at the gondola and shit. Ski patrol ripped our tickets off and were being total dicks to us. Magoon’s mom worked up at the resort and she like found out about it and flipped her shit. They had to come back give us our tickets and apologize. Little Magoon. Even at 12 years old he didn’t give a fuck! He was awesome.

What the actual fuck is going on here? 

Brooke: It’s 2018 and weed is now legal! How do you feel?

Tim: It’s insane how prohibition has been over the last few years. For what it is and how harsh the penalties have been on it amazing to see in my lifetime. It’s like prohibition on alcohol being lifted. But weed is almost less bad than alcohol.

Madison: Almost? Or completely?

Tim: Completely. Stoners don’t really fight each other, and shit like that. It’s funny how harsh it’s been. I actually did some research on why it’s been illegal and it doesn’t even have to do with weed’s psychoactive effects. You used to be able to pay your taxes in hemp, and money was printed on hemp and it’s actually a way better textile for everything like rope and clothing. Actually, a lot of old school knots don’t even work on nylon rope because the hemp fibers stick together way better.

But what ended up happening was people came out with petroleum-based polymers and they had all these patents. So they launched smear campaigners like “Reefer Madness” to get rid of industrial hemp, and they did it by making weed just a drug. Now people are starting to pull their heads out of their asses and figuring out a way to kind of bring it back, starting with CBD and medicinal marijuana. It’s like, ‘hey give up the stupid reefer madness bullshit, like you guys all got brainwashed.’ The new generation didn’t have Reefer Madness so we are all like, “ what the fuck is everybody so harsh on it?” It’s comical- like what people believed this stuff? Yeah, and everyone has that old school mentality because of all these smear campaigns, but it all really boils down to industrial hemp patients and big companies and money.

Brooke: So you’re saying is a government conspiracy?

Tim: I don’t know about a government conspiracy. It’s more just like companies leveraging things to…

Madison: Corporations are government almost…

Tim: Man, that’s so deep. But yeah, I think it’s awesome that weed is being legalized everywhere now because I think is a positive thing in a lot of people’s lives. Especially that the CBD stuff is available to people because that has really good medical benefits for like a wide variety of people. And people are not getting arrested for having a gram of weed on them. which is the stupidest shit ever y’know. So I think everyone’s lives got a lot less stressful since weed has become legalized in these states

Brooke: Speaking of weed, tell us about VRZR.

Yeah, so I started this lifestyle accessory brand over the summer, it’s called VRZR, which is Italian slang for greenery. I’m just starting to make a bunch of these accessory pieces that are good for our more active stoners that want to bring their gear and accessories out to cutty places.

Tim: The first product that I made is called the Rolling Case. It’s like two rolling trays that clamshell together. It’s like everything that’s built to sit on your coffee table. Zip it up, throw it in your backpack and take it with you. the VRZR kit on sale right on on my website www.VRZR.life, yeah I’m not a “ dot com’er” I’m a “dot lifer.” Yeah and I like the .life handle. the instagram to @VRZR.lifeThe other product is “the pokey thing”

Madison: The Pokey Thing, that’s literally it’s name?

Tim: Yeah, it’s that thing you always need but nobody ever knows what it’s called but everyone knows what a “Pokey Thing” is. I got a bunch of gemstone beads and titanium bars. I actually don’t make the beads myself I order the beads and bars, then cut them down to size and glue them on. They’re all like these dyed gemstone beads. I make these all by hand and it’s cool every bead is a little different. It’s a lil arts and crafty, because everyone’s a little different, so you know different sizes and lengths different colors.

You can use the pokey thing to clean your grinder out or pick your bowl out or you could dab with it. And with the bead side you can pack it.

All the rolling trays you see in the head shops are just built to sit on the table, but like the second you drop them or anything they are going to just explode a part and your shit goes flying everywhere. This keeps everything together. Y’know, we take our weed out snowboarding, snowmobiling, camping we are always on the go outdoors. Tinder dates, you never know.

Humpy Big Boulder

Tim braves the polar vortex for a little park action at Big Boulder. Photo: @Shaun Kalatuka/marshmellowslurpee

Brooke: What’s your best Tinder story?

Tim: I only met up with one chick on Tinder. I don’t know, I hung out with her for a while, we are still cool, still friends and still hang out.

Brooke: That’s a boring story.

Tim: Yeah, Tinder in Truckee fucking sucks. Unless you set your radius to max and age range 18-55, you have 20 swipes before you run out.

Madison: And you know all the swipes.

Tim: Ughh yeah. Did you hear when Beckmann was cat fishing people on Tinder? Oh my god. This was the funniest shit ever. I wish we could of documented all of this, it was insane.
So I was living with Kyle Beckmann in Truckee and he had this chick that he was with back in Florida or whatever. He hit her up and was like, “ I want to catfish all of my friends, can you just send me some photos and shit to make a fake profile.” She was all like super down with it and thought it was hilarious. So he made a fake Facebook account and a fake tinder account and he would just go through swipe on people that we knew. He would do it everywhere. We went to Superpark and on film trips and he got so many people. He got Aspen [Weaver], and Jaegar [Bailey]. He got a shitload of people, oh yeah, Benny Milam.

It was the funniest shit and it went on for such a long time because everyone who got Catfished was so embarrassed about it that no one told anyone about it. He got so many people before anyone found out. We would use our roommate Kim’s phone to FaceTime them and everything. He would do all this stuff to lead them up and everything and then he would get them on FaceTime and be like “hey” and we would screen shot it the second it loaded up.

in the Vortex

Inside the GoPro matrix.

Brooke: Why is everyone so sensitive in America?

Tim: It’s because of the whole lawsuit lawyer sue you system. Because people can literally just do something stupid and get hurt, even though they knew fully well what they were doing was wrong. They can still find a way to legally blame the other person and get money from them.

They try things in the US are made idiot proof. It’s a pain in the ass snowboarding, trying to hit street spots and someone goes, “ get the fuck off my property, you will fucking sue me.” Everyone’s like “it’s a liability issue, we would love to watch you snowboard but we can’t because of insurance and stupid shit.” It makes it such a struggle to do street stuff.

I grew up riding with my family, and when I was 7 or 8 years old I was riding by myself. Being 8 years old on a snowboard, there’s like a lot dangerous situations, where what I did as my 8-year-old self was at my own discretion. I’m really glad I had snowboarding to present me with those challenges at such a young age.

Brooke: Your dad snowboards?

Oh yeah, my dad Bruce, he’s a total shredder. He’s like 67 now. Actually he and my brother started snowboarding about a year before I did. They just went out a couple of times and we’re like, “ yo, you gotta check this out.” They bought this snowboard video, “The Meltdown Project,” by Mack Dawg and they brought it home and I watched that shit like, a thousand times…It got me stoked and the next year we would go out every weekend. Me, my dad, my mom, my brother and sister. We would just go snowboarding every weekend, and that’s what really got me hyped up on and and they were really hyped because we got to go as a family and go snowboard every weekend.

Madison: That’s pretty awesome, not many people get to do that.

Tim: Yeah it’s so weird, my dad got me into snowboarding.

Up in AK. Photo: Dodds

Going with the Flow in AK. Photo: Aaron Dodds

Brooke: Let’s talk about traveling. What’s the weirdest shit you’ve ever eaten on the road?

The weirdest shit I’ve seen was in South Korea. It was one of the first places I went outside of the United States. I went to a junior world contest and I do not know what the fuck I ate half the time. I remember this soup that they had; they were stirring it up and there were tentacles and I swear I saw an eyeball pop out of it. They just had this weird ass seafood shit going on. I remember Hhalf the stuff I had I was like “ aww this is not to bad” then I had some other stuff and was (makes puke sound) like, “what the fuck.” Everyone else is just munching and I’m like ,“oh my god, I’m going to starve tonight.”

Madison: Isn’t that where the Olympics is this year?

Tim: Yeah I think so. Do they have big mountains? What about the downhill?

Madison: You would need one steep hill?

Tim: Yeah, but you would need like 2,000 ft of vert at least to have a downhill. This is the olympics, they are not going to have a bitch-made downhill. Like you need to be able to go 80mph for two minutes straight to have a downhill.. Have you ever watched the downhill? Yo it’s gnar. I wouldn’t do any of that shit. Even though it’s ski racing and ski racing is like “blah,”, the shit they do is so crazy. Downhill is the gnarliest thing. If you fuck up, either you will get really worked or die.They have razor sharp edges and they pour water on that shit to turn it to ice to make it faster. It’ sucks. That’s why I never turned into a ski racer- it did not look enjoyable.

Madison: Oh that’s why? 

Tim:
 Yeah, and because fuck ski boots. That’s most of the reason I don’t do it.

Madison: What is the reason you would do it?

Tim: It’s way more convenient for touring in the backcountry and stuff like that. Four edges, four times the control. You can go way bigger. I spent a lot of time shredding with Sammy Carlson seeing what the skis can do for him versus what a snowboard does for me. I really notice where the trade offs are. On skis it’s easier to hold a perfect line, especially blasting really big on hips.

Madison: Like you can point it way faster for way longer?

Tim: Yeah and just have a straighter takeoff. On a snowboard you need to be on your edge to do a setup turn, but with the skis you can square up on both skis and hold that line and not drift. Unlike on a snowboard where you kinda have a little bit of a drift because you have to use your edges a little bit.

a self portrait

The nice thing about shooting your own photos? No one else can make you look stupid.

Madison: Does that make snowboarding cooler? Because it IS harder?

Tim: um I don’t know, what is cool?

Madison: Holding a GoPro stick all the time?

Tim: I know that used to not be cool that’s for sure! When I first started doing it people would talk so much shit about it. I think it fucks up my regular snowboard style sometimes. It’s hard. You have to figure out where to put it. To put it in the right place you really have to extend that arm straight out. Iron fist. You can’t bend your elbow.

Brooke: Oh man, let’s get some official Tim Humphreys GoPro Filming tips!

Tim: I got lots of tips. So erect arm, solid grip for sure. You really gotta think about what you’re doing. Every time I go I kinda have a plan. When you hold your arm straight out, that’s not how you do tricks normally, so you have to compensate for it. A lot of times doing spins and stuff, and jump tricks, the bigger the jump, the easier. If I’m spinning cab my front arm is straight out and all the throw comes from my back arm.

You want the camera out in front of you a little bit. Either front arm or back, but keep it in front of you. You never want to go back behind you because then your body blocks most of what’s in the frame. If you’ve got it up over top of your head toot much you only see your head and shoulders. You lose the board and everything below you. What I do is try a lot of stuff and then I’ll look at it and figure out what I did wrong or what I want to do to adjust, then I’ll go out again. It takes a little bit trial and error.

Brooke: How about filming a 180 on a side hit?

So going into a side hit you just hold it out and up and in front of you a little bit. You really want to try and not pull it into you, or like, waver your arm. You want to just stay squared up on your board. Just get a nice even pop – don’t use your arms to help you pop – you want to just have everything come from your legs. Just hold it still out there and try to keep it kinda in the same spot and you know, even look at it and smile. In our GoPro training seminars they teach you facial expressions…

Madison: Wait, you have GoPro training seminars?

Tim: Yeah, the GoPro program. I’ve been one of their athletes for the past five years, and we have a lot of private events. They just teach us stuff like what they’ve found resonates well in social media. Basic stuff like, wear a single, brightly colored jacket. That pops real well in the video and helps you in photos to separate you from the background. If I really want to get a proper GoPro shot, I’ll wear something bright and poppy that will really contrast what I’m snowboarding against.

UNCAGED: THE MOVIE

Brooke: That’s crazy. Speaking of crazy shit, what’s up with Flow Snowboards?

Tim: Yeah, crazy shit going down at Flow. They just got bought by Nidecker I just signed a 2-year deal, so they are keeping me around.

Madison: You have always been with them, right?

Tim: Yeah for 10 years. Holy crap, it’s been so long. I’m really stoked on all the product and everything they are making. I think it’s cool that Nidecker took them over because I think all the gear is going to be made in Austria again. Over the last few years a lot of the gear started going to China. Flow used to make all its stuff in Austria, and that was when all that shit was really tight.Then the whole industry, basically all at the same time, started making its low end stuff in China. The high end stuff was still made in Austria. That’s what Flow was doing for a while, and I think now that Nidecker is picking them up everything will transition back to Europe, which should be pretty nice. It’s kinda weird to see it all change, but it’s kinda what skate brands have been doing for years. They all have been under certain umbrellas, being made by the same people even though they are different brands. Nidecker still make boards, and now they are going to have boots and bindings. They also own Jones, YES and Now. And Flow is going to be flowing. It’s cool how they have all of these resources now.

Brooke: Tell me a good story about former Flow Team Manager Andrew Mutty?

Tim: Oh my god, I would do anything to have Mutty be my team manager again. I learned everything from him. He is just the man, first of all. When I first started riding for Flow, I’d just gotten out of high school didn’t know shit. Mutty took me everywhere with Lago. I would just see what he did and learned everything. One time at the Rat in Govy – he knocked two dudes out at once.

Brooke: Ahh the good old days. How old are you now?

Tim: I’m not going to say. I don’t want my sponsors to find out (laughs.) I remember growing up there was a stigma about the age 26. I feel like snowboarders at age 26 fall off the face of the earth. I don’t know, maybe life kicks in, or they realize snowboarding isn’ truly paying the bills, and now I’m off my parents health insurance and have to pay for my own. Like, fuck.

It sucks that no snowboard sponsors pay for any sort of health insurance of any kind or anything. It’s insane there are so many snowboarders at Superpark that don’t have health insurance. Real talk. It’s crazy it can even exist like that. When you’re a pro snowboarder you are 110% on your own. If you get seriously injured and you don’t have health insurance, because your sponsors don’t pay you enough to even fucking afford it, then they stop paying you because you can’t snowboard for a certain span of time because you got hurt. You’re fucked. It’s crazy that the action sports industry is that way. Companies just hire snowboarders as independent contracts, so they are not employees and they don’t have to give them insurance benefits or any of this other stuff. It’s crazy, either you need to be winning contests and making money or have some other stuff on the side that you are doing.

Brooke: On that note, what’s on your agenda for this season?

We are doing these Sam Adams Big Air tours. They’re fucking sick. We did 3 of them last year and we’re doing 10 stops this year. Mostly at East Coast and some Midwest mountains. It’s an exhibition and they have these 3D projectors and they project all this trippy 3d shit on the landings. We have it all timed out, not like a set routine, but we go in these formations skiers and snowboarders and do whatever tricks or we kinda figure out what we want to do before.

Madison: Like figure skating?

Brooke: Lol or like Boom Boom Huck Jam meets Nitro Circus with some Sam Adams thrown in!

Tim: Yeah, they just promote the shit out of Sam Adams. Give out free samples, get people drunk and have a good time. And the mountains are stoked. We hit a lot of not-so-big resorts.Last year we did Camelback in Pennsylvania, Cranmore in New Hampshire and we did Big Sky in Montana. It’s pretty cool we are hitting all of these less trafficked resorts and the crowds get way more stoked. You know, you do a 720 off a jump in Breckenridge no one’s going to give a fuck. Every second a skier says the words, “do a dub 12. ” So even a triple cork won’t fucking impress anyone in Colorado. We are hitting all these other resorts, just doing backflips and 720’s or 900’s. If someone’s feeling frisky and chucks a double, the crowd goes nuts. They are so stoked. They never get to see snowboarding like that in person. Plus getting to meet all the riders, everyone’s having a great time getting drunk. We do an autograph signing, hang out with them and everything. It’s really cool that we get to go to all these places where people wouldn’t get to hang out with a bunch of pro snowboarders for the day and just talk with people and slap hi-fives. Like, “hey we are real people too, we are not just these things you swipe on instagram and double tap.”

Originally Published on Yobeat | January 17, 2018

https://vimeo.com/246876273

Back in the 80s, when snowboarding was a just for a bunch of fringe weirdos, there was no core shop. There were mom and pop ski shops and when Jake Burton, Tom Sims, Chuck Barfoot and and the like approached them to sell snowboards, they were laughed out of the places.

But as the “snowboard industry” evolved and became an actual thing, a new breed of shops emerged. Some were in the back corner of a ski shop. Some were attached to places that sold hot tubs and patio furniture. For the most part they were dark, dingy and smelled like a cross between cigs and boot sweat. But they were ours. A place where you could be a dirtbag kid with no money and they’ll still let you wax your board. A place where you could watch the videos you couldn’t afford or get told your stance was fucking stupid and get yelled at until you fixed it. It may not have been a welcoming environment for all, but for the weirdos who liked it, it was home.

We’re now talking about the mid 90s. Terje was the undisputed best snowboarder in the world.  The US Open at Stratton was the biggest party of the year, Transworld put on an event amazing event called the Team Challenge and the Vans Triple Crown was pretty much the coolest shit around. The X Games paid 10k for first place and Shaun White was not yet to the double digits, but still better than most people on the hill. It was a special time and we’re just now seeing those who grew up in it move on with their lives or step up and take control. 

In 2018, snowboarding is just another way to blow money to the masses. It’s expensive, it’s cold, and it’s only really fun for a couple runs before you break your ass and it’s time for the après festivities. The archetypes are basically the same, but the delivery message has changed. The shop has been replaced by the snowboard park, and the snowboard park is quickly being replaced by “world class facilities” only available to those kids who come from means.

It’s easy to point fingers. Blame the internet! Blame social media! Blame Amazon and other online retailersBlame the mega corps that run a lot of the big ski resorts!  Blame whoever, as long as it means you don’t have to don’t have to blame yourself.

But in Alaska, things are different. The community is smaller, the mountains are bigger, and people actually care about each other, and not just the bottom line. People such as Jason Borgstede are willing to put their time, money, energy and reputation on the line, so that a new generation can experience the same feeling they did back in the day. Blue & Gold in Anchorage is in business, and with it, a great Alaskan tradition can continue. We’re talking about the shop video, and you can watch Evoke above. If you want to know more about the video, there’s a great interview with Kris MarshallDakota McKenzieJakob Blees, that Cody Liska did over on Crude Mag. 

If you want to be part of it, go to Alaska. Or get out there and make your own video. Do something. Do anything. And maybe, just maybe, someone other than your immediate family will care. If not, well… there’s always next season.

Originally Published on Yobeat | March 5th, 2018

The Google bots want keywords in the header so here goes: This is a story about the 2018 Slash and Berm Banked Slalom at Killington, Vermont. This two-day event was sponsored by Darkside Snowboards and Whiteflag Sales and benefited the High-Fives foundation. The weekend consisited of an individual race Saturday and an Industry Team event Sunday. As is to be expected from Yobeat, I wrote a story about our team’s journey, as well as a quick review of Torah Bright’s autobiography “It Takes Courage,” which you can read below. And since we snowboarded instead of watching the individual race, please enjoy this non-exclusive gallery from Killington sharp shooter Dave Young!

Torah Bright had already won an Olympic gold medal in halfpipe and established herself as one of the the most progressive and stylish women in the snowboard world, when she decided to do the incomprehensible. She aimed to compete in all three disciplines of snowboarding in the Sochi Olympic games.

“Why?” Everyone asked. “Why on earth would you wanna risk a broken neck in snowboard cross and huck yourself of the sure-to-be-unsafe Russian slopestyle course?”

And that’s not even taking into account the grueling qualification process to earn slots in each of the three events for her motherland of Australia. But Torah’s answer was simple.

“Why not?”

I purchased Torah’s autobiography, written not just about this incredible feat, but also about her childhood, family, religion, career and even her short-lived marriage to Jake Welch “It Takes Courage” in 2015. It’s been sitting idly on my bookshelf since. But with my sights set on the team event at the 5th Slash and Berm Banked Slalom in Killington, Vermont, March 3rd, 2018, I thought, ‘what better way to waste a cross country flight than actually reading it?’

As I sat in the JFK airport watching Winter Storm Riley bare down on the Eastern Seaboard and the departure of my flight to Burlington push further and further back, I lost myself in Torah’s cute Australian phrasing and the quick and easy reading that was her life story. I read each chapter (which she cheekily referred to as Runs) with a much better understanding of what it takes to be a top-level competitive snowboarder (of any gender.) And I smiled and pondered deeply as I read each of the inspirational quotes at the beginning of each “run.”

What I didn’t realize is that when I finally made it to Rutland (8 hours later than I was supposed to) and woke up on Sunday with sore muscles from the recreational shred day with friends I’d enjoyed the previous day at Killington, I would actually need to channel my inner Torah make it down the course that day. In fact, the first thing I did after wiping the sleep from my eyes was text my teammate Jason Bayne.

Bayne had been instrumental in helping assemble team Yobeat, and had already recruited Ian Nugent from Darkside Ludlow. Our fourth recruit (teams could exist with three, but since the lowest score would be dropped, that’s just silly) was Colorado-bred eyecandy Patrick Whitehead. Patrick had landed on the East Coast right as I’d posted a plea for team members on Instagram and a few quick texts later had secured his slot. Really, they didn’t even need me, I told myself. And surely there would be someone else that would take over my pre-paid entrance fee to benefit the High-Fives foundation happily, and do a better job.

But nothing resonates with me like the word lame, so I thought about Torah’s book.

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” — Beverly Sills, Run Six

She’s right, damn it.

“The one thing you can give and keep is your word.” — Unknown, Run 15.

‘Fuck,’ I thought, as I pulled on my Airblaster ninja suit, and realized I didn’t have a choice.

When I arrived at Darkside Killington to pick up my freshly-waxed snowboard, Patrick was in the shop scraping the wax off his board. He smiled and hugged me and thanked me for letting him represent Yobeat that day. I continued to the journey to the Bear Mountain parking lot. With no parking lot attendants in sight, I chose to begin a new row directly perpendicular with the lodge and was happily relieved as our first alternate and waterboy Jim O’Leary pulled in right next to me. The rest of the row filled in quickly and I realized I’d set a trend. This was my calling, to lead the team to victory. Yeah, I probably wouldn’t go the fastest that day, but if I didn’t show up, why would anyone else even want to try?

At registration, Bayne and “Nuuge” had already signed us up and left to go get beer. I carried a 12-pack of CL Smooths in my hand and cracked the top to hand one to Patrick as he put on his bib.

He accepted it and said, “Perfect, I’ll have this right after my runs.”

I shook my head in disappointment. “Please, that’s your warm up beer and liquid courage,” I explained.

“I wish I could drink and snowboard,” he said. “But all I can really do when I drink is drink.”

“Oh Patrick, it’s a dosage thing. One is just right, two is too many.”

“You’re the best coach I’ve ever had, Brooke,” he laughed, as I cracked my own warm up beer and headed out to the lift line.

At the base of the Skye Peak quad I encountered another unforeseen challenge. How to strap in with an open beer in one hand and an open 12-pack in the other? I gently placed one on either end of my first-generation DWD Bogart and figured it out. But as I stood back up, an angry skier lady scolded me.

“You know it’s illegal to bring your own alcohol on government property,” she said.

I had a flashback to the last Slash and Berm event I attended. When I’d done the exact same thing in the exact same line and was pretty sure the exact same lady scolded me in the exact same way.

“Oh sorry, I’m not from here,” I laughed, slamming the rest of the beer and tossing the can in the garbage. She didn’t need to know that I’d grown up here, right?

At the top of the course, energy levels were high. We still had time for a course inspection and I decided in the interest of training, I’d take my first run swaddling the opened 12 pack of beers. I wiggled through the gate and made it through the first two turns, down the staircase, up and over the step up and even managed to figure out there was an easy way around the gator pit. I didn’t go fast, came to a couple complete stops, and I skipped the icy halfpipe wall gate entirely, but me and my 10 silver bullets were in tact when I crossed the finish line. The Killington Parks crew had created a totally manageable course and I didn’t think I was going to die even once. Success!

Worried about another encounter Debby Downer in the lift line, I decided to stash six of the beers at the finish line and put the other four in the Kangaroo pouch of my Saga jacket for safe keeping/additional training. I gave one to the finish line attendant to keep an eye on my stash for me and continued on my way.

When it actually came time to race, I discovered my team was a good one. After the first run, Patrick sat in 9th, Ian in 15th and Bayne was in 24th. I held it down with a solid 59th place time (not terrible, considering there were 115 competitors.) The Phat Italian had catered an incredible lunch of sub sandwiches and choosing between the “Phat Italian” and the “Phat Stallion” actually proved to be a much harder decision than forcing myself to compete that day.

Of course, we still had another run to complete and the rapidly firming man-made snow was starting to give way to the classic Eastern Blue Ice you knew was under there the whole time. We took our runs quickly and I’m sad to say, Team Yobeat suffered two rider crashes and a DSQ. Only Patrick was able to improve his time to earn 10th over all.

The winning team was basically unbeatable anyway. Nate Soucey was riding a boardercross board and like, trains for this shit. Ryan “The Crusher” Mrachek and Ryan Flynn are just that good. And their late addition Mike Garceau definitely felt he had something to prove. In second, unable to make it two in a row, was the Darkside Dream Team of Tim Major, Mike Fanning, Tucker Zink and Tucker Speer. They earned it through handwork and gumption. And in third, Team Surf the Earth — Steven Kelly, Connor Waldon, Tim Parker and John Charles — smiled graciously as Darkside Snowboards Manager Tucker Zink handed the representatives of Killington’s other long-standing snowboard shop each a free-tune card to the Darkside.

As for the Yobeat team, we took home a solid 6th, which put us on the first page of the results list and highly satisfied with our performance! Sure, my time was the one that got dropped and sure, they could have done it without me, but damn it, we did it as a team!

Below: Not photoshopped

Originally published on Yobeat.com | March 28, 2018

Free stuff. Discounts. Pro forms. Everyone wants em, but how you get it? Truth is, it’s not that difficult. If brands have stuff to sell, they have stuff to give away! So how do you get them to give it to you?

That, my friends, is the art of the bro deal.

There are a few ways to score. The first, though not necessarily the easiest is to be important. Whether due to above average athletic ability, extreme physical attractiveness, superior coolness, or general longevity, when you matter, companies are just begging to throw stuff at you in hopes you’ll find their wares suitable for your needs. If you happen to possess any of the above characteristics, you don’t even need to keep reading. Just keeping being your amazing self and the product will flow like the Colorado river

But never fear, poor plebeian person, the bro deal can still be achieved even for you normie. The most important thing you can do is know the right people. Figure out who has the authority to give out deals, and make friends with them. Depending on the size of the company, this could be a marketing director, rep, or coordinator. What you need is someone with a budget, but no actual connection to the bottom line. For this reason, you should skip the owner, since it is their money they are often tight in the pocket book.

You may also have luck with an unscrupulous warehouse employee who is smart enough to know the systems but too dumb to value their job.

Now these people fall into the aforementioned important category and accordingly, they probably have lots of friends. Relationship building is only the first step. Next, it’s all about timing. You’ll want to go in for the kill when they are flush with product and have little hopes of anyone actually buying it. In snowboard world this happens twice a year- once when samples have exhausted their usefulness, and once when production gear arrives from the manufacturers. Obviously it is easier to get beat up samples for free than new gear, but both are possible!

The next step is simple. You must ask. Again, you are not cool, but if you’re also not annoying, and you ask nicely and have sound reasoning, you’ll be surprised at people’s willingness to hook it up. Your reasoning really does have to make sense, though. How will you help them sell or market their product?

Chances are they don’t care about your 500 Instagram followers or the fact you talk to everyone you share the lift with. You’ll have to use your wit, charm and creativity here.

Once you’ve succeeded in getting a sweet deal, or promo item, remember, there’s nothing actually free in this world. You were gifted this item for a reason and now you must actually deliver on your promises. Did you say you’d ride the snowboard at 20 different resorts this season? Then you better be riding it when you run into the person who gave it to you. Did you say you’d use it as a prop in an epic Instagram series? Then it better show up over and over and over.

If you don’t come through, you’ll decrease the likelihood of getting another deal, and make yourself look like a real jerk. What if you don’t actually like it, though? Tough cookies! As the recipient of a hand out, you are now morally obligated to hype it up and let everyone know how dope it really is, no matter what.

Sure, some marketing guys will tell you to be honest, but what they really mean is, be honestly positive you’re going to like it.

Once the item has expired it’s usefulness to you (last season’s gear, ew) you now have a new responsibility. Assuming you didn’t totally ruin it, you may be tempted to try to turn that free or discounted item into pure profit. Again, this is a major no-no in the bro deal game. You never want to be the guy caught by Burton spies selling your “cool-guy only” model on eBay. Even a craigslist ad or Facebook marketplace ad is a risk.

No, bro, you should do one of two things. 1) Hoard it forever, so that some day, you can tell your grandkids about the time you got that item for free for being very cool/important. Or 2) share the wealth with a needy homey. Even though getting free stuff isn’t very difficult, many people lack the ability to talk to others at all. Surely you’re friends with a social misfit like this and so now it’s your turn to help someone out. Who knows, maybe this kind gesture will make up for one of the other shitty things you’ve done in your life.

The only sure thing is you won’t piss anyone off or hinder your chances of getting more free stuff in the future.

Bro deals are not only a privilege, but a point of pride you can certainly strive to achieve. As long as you keep your cool, while simultaneously providing a small value to the company at large, you too, can master the bro deal. It definitely beats paying full retail!

Original Post on Yobeat

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Classic guy. Classic portrait. Photos: Alex Mertz

Snowboarding isn’t something that most people make a life out of. It’s not because the industry is too exclusive or any of that nonsense, it’s that even the most hardcore snowboarder will probably wake up some day with a job and kids and actual responsibilities, and not care quite as much. But luckily for everyone from the casual enthusiast to the hardcore kid sleeping in his car to make ends meet in a ski town, there are people like Sean Genovese. Sean is a lifer. Truly passionate about snowboarding, he’s set out to help keep the fun, excitement and interest in it for himself, and he’s willing to let you come along for the ride. As the founder of Dinosaurs Will Die, a long-time pro and former shop rat, Sean is the core of snowboarding.

Brooke: You run a core snowboard brand. What does that mean?

Geno: (Laughs) Ummm. Fuck, I don’t know. Core is a weird thing. I try to think of another core brand that I would consider core and then another that I would consider not core, but then when I do that I think that I am just judging and who am I to give a shit about that. Ok, a core brand or a core person is someone who literally does not have a care outside of what they are doing. They only try to appeal to them and their friends, which is the core. But it’s just the core to them, or their little bubble. So who’s to say that whatever brand over there that claims we do whatever, they are doing their thing, so it’s core in a different way. And that’s when you try to generalize snowboarders into one big lump sum and say “we are the middle, we are the center of it all.” You can’t really do that. As it grows, there is different segmenting so the core is growing but their are different types. There are people who ride over 100 days a year, you could be a bum and do that, or you could be really rich and do that. But do they pay attention to anything else? Are they doing it for themselves? True soul boarding? Is that the core? Maybe. Are they paying attention to contests, is that core? Is a video part core? It’s no different than filming figure skating, or filming parkour and putting it on the Internet, you know? Everyone takes it seriously and because we decided to take it seriously, now it’s cool. It’s like we all decided at some point that this was going to be cool.

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Snowboarding was simpler in the 90s. Fewer people did it, the Internet hadn’t ruined it yet, and the popular consensus was to keep shit punk rock. Snowboarding was turning mainstream, and depending on who you asked, it was the beginning, or the end. For the riders who grew up in this magical decade and are still at it, there’s a bit of nostalgia floating around these days. Maybe because it hurt a lot less back then (getting old sucks) but mostly because that’s just kinda how things work. So, for you, my fellow 30+ board brethren, here’s 20 things that will remind you how old you are.

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1. You’ve answered the question “How do you stop on those things?” on a chairlift.

Snowboarding was accepted, but far from mainstream in the 90s. Our parents still assumed it was a fad and you’d often encounter incredulous skiers asking absurd questions. Hell, Transworld even made a shirt with the answers.

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2. You know TB stands for Totally Board.

While technically Fall Line Films was the first, the 90s were all about TB and Mack Dawg. Dawger was arguably more hip with younger riders, while the TB movies had lots of big mountain sections to fast forward through. But either way, you bought them both, every year.

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3. You remember thinking it was insane when Jeff Brushie signed a 1.3 million dollar contract with Ride.

But still thought it was cooler when he rode for Burton. “Selling out” was kind of a big deal back then.

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Brian Regis and Rahm Klampert. Pulled from the Yobeat photo archive.

4. You at one point wished you could ride the Killington half pipe (or you hiked it everyday – and night for the one season it had lights.)

See back then, the average halfpipes topped out at 12 feet and it was actually kinda fun. They were the 90s answer to the rainbow rail. Killington, in particular, had a solid scene of people who almost made it and the week before the Open everyone who was anyone would show up to “train.”

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Photo: Sky Chalmers via ESPN

5. You remember when the US Open was a drunken mess, and people actually cared about it.

Oh, and there were no bag checks.

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These suckers were guarantee not to break. Your ankles on the other hand…

6. You’ve ridden (or wanted) baseless bindings.

So much better board feel, dude.

8. Peter Line is kinda your hero.

Not only was he good at snowboarding, he had funny board graphics, and he was short enough to not be threatening.

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9. You rode a stomp pad before it was ironic.

And if you were riding Clickers, it probably came in handy when they froze, broke, or otherwise failed you mid-run.

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10. You had a Mack Dawg sticker pack, in its entirety, on the back window of your car.

It was a pain in the ass to scrape it off every September when the new one came out, but you had to keep that shit fresh, yo.

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Told ya, Lifty guys.

11. You’ve been denied access to a chairlift for not having a leash.

So you ingeniously rigged up a shoelace from your boot to binding to trick the lifty. Why anyone thought run-away snowboards might be an issue, we’re still not sure.

12. You thought Shaun Palmer was kind of a bad ass.

Now you know he actually is.

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13. You spent hours playing Cool Boarders 2.

But you never touched another snowboard game after Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came out.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 11.44.57 AMJim Rippey, big air master. Photo: air-style.com

14. You remember when guys didn’t land 720s every time in contests.

And when they did, they won the contest.

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Airwalk ad, circa 1996

15. You owned Airwalk Snowboard Boots

They were a big step up from your Sorels, but that’s not saying much.

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Prom ad. Circa 1995

16. Every girl who you knew that rode was sponsored.

Both of them. And Tina Basich was their hero.

17. You either loved, or hated the Garden.

Nothing in between.

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18. You can tell the difference between Ten Foot Pole, Pulley, No Use for a Name and Face to Face when you hear them.

Thanks to the music credits at the beginning of every part in videos, you had that shit down.

 

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Sweet pants dude. No idea who this is, it was an ad for something though.

19. You used a studded belt to hold up your absurdly baggy pants.

And weren’t even a little bit ashamed.

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20. You claim 93/94 was the best season ever.

Cause it was, duh.

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Every since the Too Hard teaser included a girl tossing a bloody tampon, it seems even male snowboarders are aware that girls bleed once a month. It’s ok, it’s just nature and it’s what makes childbirth and the continuation of life possible. But that doesn’t mean it’s not icky for dudes to think about, a pain in the ass for girls to deal with, and most importantly, a bummer when you’re trying to get some snowboard action. Between dealing with cramps, being an even bigger bitch than normal, and trying to protect your long underwear from gross stains, it’s probably the most serious problem facing women’s snowboarding today. So as a fellow female and long time menstruator, I’ve decided to put together a handy guide for snowboarding with your monthly visitor.

 

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Medical.

Pat Bridges is convinced that you are more likely to tear your ACL while menstruating. He’s told me and every other female snowboarder about it on multiple occasions, which makes it true, right? Actually, the truth according to science is changes in your estrogen levels make you more prone to knee injuries around the middle of your cycle, which means, when you’re bleeding, you’re in the clear! So go out there and twist your knees as violently as you want as long as there is blood coming out of your vagina.

 

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Equipment.

Choosing the right feminine hygiene products can make all the difference. First off, maxi pads are out. What are you, 12? As for tampons, there are two schools of thought on this one — with applicator or without. The applicator free tampons are smaller and easier to store, but hell, you’ve got a waterproof jacket with pockets, so does it really matter. Best bet, go with something wrapped in plastic and with a plastic applicator, just in case your taped-seams fail. No one wants a fully soaked tampon expanding in their pocket while they ride.

 

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Advantages.

So there are lots of things that suck about having your period, but like most things in life, there is a bright side. In the male-dominated world of snowboarding, this it is a gross and mysterious process that most dudes don’t want to talk about. So, when there’s an annoying dude hitting on you in the ski town bar? Start talking about it. Trust me, they’ll leave and you can go back to drinking away the pain of cramps.

So there you have it. No more excuses, and no more complaining. Boarding on the rag is still a day boarding, and there’s really nothing wrong with that.