Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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Pre-modern snowboarding, the mid 1990s to be inexact, Mike Ranquet was a self-proclaimed “anti-Olympic guy.” Meanwhile, Ted Martin was a competitive skier who’d moved to Vail and inadvertently became the literal “man” who’d help usher snowboarding into the Olympics. Ted would switch from two planks to one, co-found the ISF (International Snowboard Federation), and later jump ship to work for the FIS (Federation International de Ski). He also once kicked Ranquet out of Japan, but we’ll get to “the incident” at the end of this post…

20 years later, older, and possibly wiser, the two once sworn enemies found themselves hanging out in Hawaii over beers and talking. The stories they shared had evolved, and as time often does, old battles are now the stuff of humor.

As we watch these 2018 Olympic events unfold in PyeongChang, South Korea, we can expect much of the same shit that went down 20 years ago. Some people will display Olympic outrage over unsafe courses and judging scandals, many will swell with national pride and watch as kids’ dreams come true, and the third sect of the snowboard population will enevitably say, “What’s an Olympics?”

But whether you love it for the glory or the agony, the Olympics are definitely still happening, and snowboarding is now a staple in the Winter Games. In this three-part series we attempt to answer the eternal question: how the hell did we get here? — Brooke Geery

If you’d like to listen to the entire interview in one long sitting, here’s the uncut audio version:

Or if you prefer pictures and well-timed breaks with your informative historical content, scroll down for the video courtesy of Mike’s neighbor Matt Williams. Filmed for fun, and provided to you at no cost for your viewing pleasure!
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And why the hell would a skier wanna organize snowboard events, anyway?
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The true story of how Ted switched sides
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Snowboarding vs the World
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Post script.

An official statement from Michael Ranquet describing “The Incident” discussed throughout the interview.

The incident is in reference to a mishap involving Chris Roach, Ted Martin and myself while at Rusutsu resort on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido in 1990.

On the last morning several obviously angry Japanese men in finely tailored suits were in our room. To my surprise, Ted Martin was also in our room!  What an honor! Being unable to recall coming home the previous night made my stomach shrivel. My initial thought was, “Oh no, no, Gold please help me, what have I done now!?”

I hadn’t done anything wrong, but from what I could gather, the hotel had double-booked our room and we had to vacate, pronto!

I felt sorry for whoever eventually incurred the wrath of Ted and his very angry, well-dressed, Japanese friends. Lucky for us, Ted quickly came to our defense and they agreed to book us another room, But here’s the kicker — not only was our hotel booked, but they said every hotel in Japan was booked!

They were such gracious hosts, which made it impossible for us to say no to their gesture of booking a room in the next closest city… San Francisco!   So in the face of their unwavering insistence that we fly to San Francisco, we witnessed the great Japanese tradition of never giving up despite impending and imminent defeat.

When we left the hotel it seemed like the entire hotel staff (some in tears) and even the police came to bid us farewell. The hospitality of this once fierce island nation extended to the airport as the police let us follow them (in case we got lost) and even walked us on the airplane!  I wanted to convey to my hosts a big artigato, but I don’t speak Chinese. They really wanted us to make the flight and in that sense, it was like a tickertape parade in reverse (ie switch/fakie).

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Sometimes it’s hard to choose, which is why we do the People’s Court. It’s a perfect way to let other people do the choosing for us, and that is how Andrew Tassell, a 23-year-old multi media kid from Ohio, came to receive this week’s Hump Day. If you missed the voting, never fear, another episode will happen soon and if you send your video, perhaps you’ll win, too! But in the meantime, let’s talk about not choosing.

Andrew is into a lot of things – editing, music, occult art and more. He lives in Salt Lake and goes to school, but works in Park City slanging trays. He had a coach, but now (unprofessionally) coaches others, and it’s all working together for him under the dream of being a pro snowboarder. Will the dark lord grant his wish and continue his journey on a path to snowboard super stardom, or will he one day find bandmates and travel the world playing surf rock? For that, only time will choose and we invite you to continue reading. — Brooke Geery
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Photos courtesy Tassellhoff. Left: Timonthy Woodruff

Brooke: So, tell me, how does it feel to be the People’s Court champion? Is it everything you’ve ever dreamed of?

Andrew: I must say I feel as though I am on a parrot’s wings flying through the stratosphere… it’s quite fantastic.

Brooke: Wow what a description! haha. So as an Ohio native, who do you feel is a better representation of the buckeye state, Louie Vito or Jesse Csinsak?

A: Non-profits are tight, but Louie’s Dad runs a local radio station so I can’t argue against some radio marketing (tap dances off)

B: For real tho, what’s something great about Ohio most people don’t know? Something you actually miss about living there (other than your family, cause duh)

A: State fairs were like the biggest thing to do in the summer there, super sketchy carnival rides, gut busting food, and farmer art. Makes you miss the old town vibes.

B: What’s your go-to carnival snack?

A: ”Elephant Ears” Big’ol flat funnel cake thing covered in cinnamon sugar

B: Solid choice. Another serious question, and this one has a photo.
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A: Oh dear.

Brooke: Could your parents be any cuter?

A: Man, I’m like the mutant black sheep of a couple of angelic doves. (eyes roll back)

B: How do they feel about your fascination with the dark lord?

A: Occult vibes in art are one of the strangest things to me. It has a very vivid way of expressing the theme of the topic represented.

B: I have no idea what that means. Can you explain it in a way someone in their mid-to-late 30s who still listens to Blink 182 can understand?

A: If you were to make art about Trump, it would way sicker to represent him as Satan, than a typical bourgeois. haha

B: Now I get it! Thanks.
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Because shirts are for people who give a fuck. Photo: Alden Dow

A: Is it bad to use Trump as an example?

B: No I like it. Someone anyone can picture. I like to picture him as a Cheeto. One of the puffy ones. But maybe we should talk about snowboarding. What was the biggest adjustment for you moving from Ohio to Utah? Anything you didn’t expect?

A: Oh man, I rolled into Park City thinking a big jump was like 40ft. I was wrong. The riding level and strength of the snowboard community around Utah was obscene to me at first

B: Explain.

A: I jumped into riding at Park City from Ohio to snowboard with a freestyle developmental team. Ended up riding with people like Dave Reynolds, and SLC kids like Taxwood, and Bilodeau. Coming from a town with one pro, it was crazy seeing kids that good that young

B: Ahh so that’s what you meant by “snowboard team” when we were talking earlier… I wasn’t sure if thats’s just what the kids are calling crews now. What’s your opinion on coaching? Are you glad you came up with one?

A: Coaching is crazy, I feel like there’s definitely a part of developing your personal style and making your snowboarding your own that could be stunted in the process for some. Having solid fundamentals in the park is so key once you start building your own spots/jumps and such though. That being said, there are some sick coaches out there, Nick Poplawski, and Jacob Levine, who are all about getting people hyped on their own riding.
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Seriously. To hell with shirts! p. Alden Dow

B: On that note, what’s your answer to the question “Why do snowboarders build jumps in the streets?” Skateboarders don’t need em…

A: That’s simple! Skateboarding is way more hardcore.

The future is minimal setups. Start making speed lines out of nothin. Snowboarders need to learn to ollie.

B: Tell me about Alday? Do you guys function as a crew all season or is everyone kinda on their own program and then Alden just puts everything together?

A: Alden and I are definitely the two coach monkeys of the crew. We get the footage together and get overly opinionated about each others editing. Alden does have his own softgoods over there, too. [Ryan] Flaska has been Homie since day 1, he spent last winter filming with Tanner Hall’s crew and let me kidnap his hard drive. haha. And Sam is just a straight vagabond over there, he shows up and disappears haha. Everyone else are the local homies that just feel like getting after it.
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Airin’ over the river styx. Photo: Alden Dow

B: Is living in a place with such a heavy snowboard scene motivational to you? Or do you dream of moving further out into the wilderness some day?

A: I’m a full-fledged city kid. If I’m to old to eat cement riding, then I’ll film and edit.
Salt Lake has this sickest scene too, with the Cottonwoods access to backcountry. Then bam, once you’re done hittin’ some booter, you can drive straight down to the thrift store and get a trendy outfit for whatever weird sub genre of music you’re into.

B: Tell me about your weird music sub genre fetishism.

A: Psychedelic, garage, Doom, and some good’ol soul are all fetishes of mine haha

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B: Do you make your own music?

A: Yeah! Been making what I thought was surf rock as “Tassellhoff” up in my garage for a bit! Playing up at Cabin PC on Mondays. Playing all the instruments at the moment, any vagabond musicians out there?

https://soundcloud.com/user-318886867/sets/gloom
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B: Surf rock huh? Do you even surf, brah?

A: Man I wish. I hate sand. I thought a double snare would make it count, but dang it’s something else.

B: DUDE I am with you on the sand thing. That shit is THE WORST.

A: Why’s it gotta get everywhere like that!
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Out in the wild. Photo: Jayden Adam

B: What’s your ultimate goal with snowboarding?

A: Ultimate goal; Snowboard in new creative ways every day.
^^Cheesy^^

B: lol. yes it is. But it leads me to another deep question. Has everything been done on a snowboard already? Has progression gone too far or will there always be room for more? I mean, when you hit a spot that’s been hit 1000 times by 1000 people, how do you come up with something new and different?

A: Have you seen Cole Navin’s part?

B: Nah, I only watch videos in the People’s Court. lol

A: The funnest part about snowboarding is just tryinggggg to make a spot work. As long as weather keeps doing its thing, and architects keep making cool stuff, people will keep find crazy ways to snowboard on them.

B: That’s a great answer.
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Captured by Daly, created by Dow. 

B: Anything else you wanna say to the Yobeat public, thanks to the people who made this all possible?

A: (tears up)
Max Snowboard shop for suuuure,
Nate Love over at Ride Snowboards
Alden at Alday putting up with me.
And everyone who’s ever touched a shovel during my missions.

FOLLOW Tassell’s adventures on instagram @tassellhoff
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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.
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Tim and Matt go doubles.
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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.”
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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.”
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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.
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What the actual fuck is going on here? 
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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
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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.life The 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.
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Tim braves the polar vortex for a little park action at Big Boulder. Photo: @Shaun Kalatuka/marshmellowslurpee
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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.
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Inside the GoPro matrix.
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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.
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Going with the Flow in AK. Photo: Aaron Dodds
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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.
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The nice thing about shooting your own photos? No one else can make you look stupid.
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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.
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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.”
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A lot of people say they are doing it, or talk about how they’re going to do it, but Matt Shaffer is actually making it happen. Bred in Vermont and groomed for the world of pro boarding in New Hampshire, he managed to get the hell out of the Plymouth party scene and loaded up his Subaru and pointed it west. After a brief stop in the Rockies, he eventually continued on Interstate 80 to Cali, in a tale that’s as juicy as any Kerouac novel. As 2017 comes to a close, he finds himself living the life in Tahoe. Of course, “the life” is different for everyone, and there have been no shortage of bumps in Shaffe’s road. The most notable — a bouncing baby girl named Brixton. Of all the ups and downs, she’s the one 27-year-old Matt is sure has only changed things for the better. So, with the release of his biggest, baddest and best part to date (it’s up there at the top of the page) we decided to double tap @shaffe-daddy for a little bit of hump day action, to find out more about what the hell he’s thinking.

So, tell me about your new part. Why did it take three years?

It’s not that it took me three years to film a part, it’s more like this is what I was doing while I was getting used to living on the West Coast. I was a contest kid so I spent a lot of time traveling when I could and just riding the park as much as possible. I was getting used to living in Tahoe and meeting different filmers and photogs. Getting a feel for the industry out here. I had homies who knew I was hungry so they started bringing me to spots. After a couple trips, I realized that I loved filming in a different way than I loved competing. Two different feelings. It was fun trying to get better at something that was somewhat new for me. After a while it’s all I really wanted to do, but it’s hard to get in with the right guys who have the experience. So I started coming up with my own crew of guys that I work with. Professional filmers like Eric Gillespie, who had never really filmed in the streets for snowboarding. My homie Kurt Brending was a GoPro park guy who I convinced to buy a camera and start working with me. Dude’s got some patience, cuz im a pretty particular guy when it comes to getting shots. And I started working with other photogs, like the legend IJV and my homie Sawyer Mahoney. After putting this part online, it’s all I really want to do. Hoping someone takes a peak n gives me a real shot.

p. Troy Vasilla

Who’s idea was the freeway set up? How did you not die?

The freeway setup was my idea. I was driving around one day with some homies looking for a spot. We were at this lil warehouse with a no trespassing sign at the entrance and a bunch of vehicles. We were contemplating going for this roof thing, but I was not in a very good position to be getting in more trouble, so we decided to bail, but on the way out I saw it. About a mile in a half as the crow flies, there was a huge concrete wall. I pointed at it and the boys said it was an old Chuck G [aka Chas Guldemond] spot. I had to hit it. We cruised over close to it, found a spot to kinda safely pull the rigs off the road and hiked down to it. We were getting some funny faces from passerby’s cuz we were loaded with equipment. But got down to it with no issues and setup for a couple hours. I started hitting it and it was mad sketchy. As soon as you landed you had to put the breaks on and hope you didn’t slide into traffic. That doesn’t look cool though, so the only way to make it legit was basically guarantee you were gonna slide to tar. Hit it for a couple hours until finally I landed my trick and then filled in the bomb hole for the boys. Ten minutes later the cops showed up and gave us the boot with no real problems. Pretty stoked!

That rules when things work out! How did you get into snowboarding for fun?

I have my parents to thank for getting me into snowboarding. They put me on skis around four or five years old. At 10, I borrowed my first snowboard and boots from the neighbors who were two degenerate kids that had a few years on me. Their boots n boards were wayyyy too big for me but I still couldn’t get enough. We built a jump in the backyard and would be out there before school in the morning trying to get in a couple hits. Eventually my parents bought me a super cheap deck and some boots and I think one lesson at Ragged Mountain in NH. I was hooked. I entered my first contest at 13 or 14. It was a boardercross event and I only made to the second round. Eventually ended up in Sunapee NH and rode Mt. Sunapee for quite a long time. New England is where [the path I’m on now] truly started. It was mountains like Sunapee, Ragged, Pats Peak, Okemo and Stratton. I definitely have those parks and the locals around there to thank.

These are the guys who helped make the video magic happen.

And how did you end up in Tahoe?

Well, I graduated high school in Vermont and moved out of Mom and Dad’s house to Plymouth, NH. Holy shit, was that a fun time. I rode Loon for approximately four seasons, and spent my time there looking up to homies like [Mike] Rav and JOC [Johnny O’connor.] They truly sparked my fire. I filmed with guys like the Fairgrounds crew and Paul Osbourne, who I eventually moved in with. Those were some radical fucking days. But you can only live in that town for so long until your body parts (liver) start to fail. Eventually got dragged to Colorado…but noooo thank you. I couldn’t stand it there. I called my homie Jeff Brewer and he told me he had a room amd some beer lined up for me, so I packed the Subi with $250 to my name and bounced to Tahoe. Shit’s been pretty fucking wild ever since. Best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Happily in Tahoe now.

Is Tahoe still the spot? Or is it getting too expensive just like everywhere else? How do you make it work?

Tahoe is definitely still the spot. It’s an interesting place for sure, though. The longer I live here the more I realize it’s completely different than the East. It can suck you in to some pretty gnarly lifestyles. The trick is to just keep your goals in front of you. Rip it up n have a good time, but the people that crush it here are very goal-oriented. How I make it work is a mystery. Life’s hard but that’s because I live in vacationland. I could live in a dump back east and be rich and yada yada, or i can live in the coolest place in the US and bust my ass to make it work. I’d rather bust my ass any day. Tahoe is the shit.

Any thoughts of moving to Reno?

Fuuuuck Reno. Place is garbage. I do my best to not go down there and when I do I just want to get out of there as soon as possible. Mountains for me.

How’s fatherhood treating you? Tell me about your spawn?

Fatherhood…haha oh man where to begin. To be honest it’s a pretty sore subject. I was not ready to be a dad. I was basically told boom, “you’re gonna be a dad and I dont give a fuck what you think about it. Get ready.” It was probably the most scared I’ve ever been in my life. 26 years old, just starting to get real traction in a brand new place 3000 miles away from my family. None of my homies had kids. So it was a real kick in the pants. It took quite a few months to come to grips with it which I have all my homies out here to thank for.

Baby Brix though. Fuck, it’s insane. The moment she came out I was in love. I just wanted to learn everything. How to be the illest diaper changer in the west. How to hold her the right way so she would pass out if she was upset. I didn’t want to let go of her. I also wanted to take a nap because it just so happens that two days earlier was my birthday and then the night before she was born was my Patriots big day at the Super Bowl. So needless to say I was “feeling it.”

I didn’t ride for a couple weeks. I just helped out with Brix and my baby mama. I stayed down in Sacramento while it was dumping in Tahoe. It was whatever though, I just wanted to hold my kid and practice changing shitty diapers. I eventually got to get back to riding after a couple weeks. I went back up to Tahoe to hit a backcountry jump with the Gremlinz and some other homies. It was fun. But after a day and night up there I went right back down to my new family. Crazy times. I really didn’t get back into the swing of things for at least a month in a half. That’s when I started filming the rest of [this part.]

Brixton is the most adorable little girl. She’s already got a sense of humor and a ton of attitude. She’s also got my blue eyes, so I’m pretty much fucked in 15 years. Boys, just a heads up, by the time she’s that old I’ll prolly still be thinking like an 18-year-old boy, so don’t bullshit me. Just treat her right and I won’t have to beat your dad up. Daddy loves you Brixton.

Shaffe daddy

Long hair don’t care. p. Sawyer Mahoney

What’s the best thing about life in Cali? The worst?

Best thing about cali life… haha, oh man. Quite a few million good things. I’d have to say the women..good lord . The worst…the friggin’ taxes. Oh and there’s honestly a different type of grind out here. People from the East are true hustlers in my eyes. Life is a lil lazy out here.

Can you expand on the East coast hustle vs the Cali hustle? It’s so true! I think it’s because they don’t have real winter. lol

I think Cali is just a slightly pampered place. A lot of people’s priorities revolve around money and ego and looks and how cool you are, yada yada. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty people like that back East, but it’s much more prominent here. People from back East are savages. I talking about truly cold winters where you don’t have a choice but to go ride when it’s negative 10 and cloudy because you’re a weekend warrior. And that’s after working a 50 hour week laying tile (you know who you are, Woody.) And during the summer it’s 90 degrees with 90% humidity and you’re landscaping all day because it’s Vermont and there a million farms that need help. People back East are more humble. They live a simpler life. Work hard, play harder. Bust your ass and then drink beers in the woods around a fire. At least, that’s what it’s like where I came from. I’ve become a spoiled lil bitch since moving here. It’s sunny, good snow, great temps, all day, everyday. Hell, most of my part was filmed in a T-shirt. This place is heaven, but on the real, it’s a vacationland. East coasters are hard ass folks and I rep the ones staying true back there. Respect ✊🏼 Growing up riding ice and low light, turns you into a true ripper, especially when you make your way to the west and get perfectly groomed parks with soft snow and sun all day. It’s funny, I’ve noticed myself really enjoying the icy days this season. Brings me back to the good ole days.

Matt Shaffer

Goin all Brisse on em. p. Alex Rust

What would you like to get out of snowboarding? What are you goals with it?

Snowboarding is my escape. It’s exactly what I’ve always needed in my life. It makes me hungry to charge other aspects of my life, such as work or other responsibilities, because I know I’m doing it for a good reason…so I can feed my kid and get back on my snowboard. I can block out all the negativity and become completely happy in those moments that last hours.

I think I can honestly say snowboarding saved my life. I’d probably be dead or in jail without it. It gives me something to focus on and look forward to so I’m not drowned by the craziness of life. Ever since I was a kid, I was a little crazy, and when I found snowboarding I knew it was my end all, be all. All I wanted to do was be a pro snowboarder. I think it took me until the past few years to put everything I have into it though. I was definitely slightly distracted by a partying and women when I was growing up. Snowboarding was my first love, but not always my first priority haha. Nowadays it’s amongst the most important things in my life, along with learning the tricks of fatherhood and keeping the bills paid. I pretty much have no intentions whatsoever of slowing down.
I did have to make a switch though and let go of the wild lifestyle I was living so that I could accommodate a child and snowboarding. I really just want to take it as far as I can. Every year I seem to get more hungry, probably because I know I’m not getting any younger, so I’m tryna get it in while i can. I’m just gonna keep chasing the dream. I truly love snowboarding. Getting paid or not for me, it’s about getting better and building myself up to be the best I can be. It’s taught me a lot of really important lessons in life. I’ve met a lot of really rad people. I’ve got memories that I can always look back on that I’m really proud of. I’m hoping it can do the same for my daughter. I want to end my career knowing that Brix has something to look up to. Something that might spark some passion in her so she pushes to better herself at whatever it is she wants to do. Praying it’s snowboarding! haha

Matt Shaffer

You can take a boy outta the east but… p. Sawyer Mahoney

How does it feel to be a millennial? Did your generation get screwed or will it be the greatest generational story history ever told in 30 or so years?

I’d say we are definitely a different breed. Growing up with all this new technology has created a new way of life that some really love. Me personally, I’m not a big fan. I’m an old school guy. I look back to the way my parents grew up and I respect those times. There’s so much bullshit these days that kids care about more than life. Ego’s through the roof. Nobody is humble anymore. That all being said, I think this generation has created some pretty diligent people. I think people are striving to be better, which is cool. We definitely got the shit end of the stick in some respects.
Coming out of high school with a shitty economy didn’t affect me so much, because all I ever did for work was labor jobs and it’s not that hard to find them. I’ve seen it screw others over, though. It’s a very different time. I’d rather see kids playing in the dirt like I did, than worrying about how many likes they got on their last post. Or watching the Kardashians and wanting to be just as fake and bitchy as them. Hence my daughter not getting a cell phone till she’s a teen or being allowed to watch those stupid shows, at my house, at least. I think it’s very powerful and I just don’t want people to lose track of what’s important and get caught up in all the bullshit that seems important but really doesn’t mean shit. Millennials are a strong group though, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Why should weed be legal?

Weed is dope, haha. Get with the friggin program, America. Corrupt ass government, you won’t keep it this way forever. Half those kooks will be toking by the time it’s fully legal. Shit is medicine and a hell of a lot better than the poison you feed and treat us with.

Matt Shaffer HDHR 2017

Hot Doggin’ p. Sawyer Mahoney

Gimme your predictions for 2018. Snow, politics, the world at large.

2018. Well, I think I said it pretty well the other day. 2017 was an 80 MPH front edge catch. 2018 better be all roses ‘n orgies, haha! I’m thinking it’s gonna be a weird winter for snow, at least out here. We’ll see though, I’m far from a weatherman. I’m still trying to learn how to use my weather app that I’ve had for two years. Haha.

I’m thinking Trump is gonna implode because of his absolute inability to care like a real human being. Dudes a kook, and definitely skis in jeans. I hope his 2018 teaches him some much needed lessons about how the world goes around.

Anything you’re looking forward to? What is the most terrifying?

I’m looking forward to getting my kid back in my custody. I miss her very much. I’m looking forward to riding as much as I can and hopefully, and very sincerely, that someone gives me an opportunity to film another full part with the big dogs. Finna get Brisse on em! I’m definitely looking forward to teaching my daughter how to ride. She’s got a hell of a crew of people to learn from, so ladies watch the fuck out, Brix is coming in hot.

I’d have to say the most terrifying thing is trying to stay on top of life. Money, family, snowboarding, parenting, friends. My life is really really busy and wild and it gets really overwhelming. I think it’s good for me to build character; I just don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. In the last three years I’ve definitely done exactly that though, and here I am talking to you guys with a smile on my face. Bring it on.

Matt Shaffer ART

Art shot. P. Troy Vasilla

Good attitude! Finally here’s your chance to shout out anyone and everyone!

I’d like to give a big shoutout to everyone in Tahoe!! Love all y’all. You people are a strange breed and I love it. Don’t know where I’d be without u . Huge shoutout to all the guys who helped make this edit possible. Eric, Kurt, Goggin, all the other filmers and photogs who took time outta their busy schedules to help my dumb ass out. All the dudes shoveling and not hitting it, y’all the realest. My boys riding next to me, need y’all. MY BSQUAD BOYS, I fucking love y’all hahaa. Megan, thanks for your bit of support and Diane for anything and everything you and your daughter have done for me. All of my bosses who gave me time off to chase this dream, that’s some real shit thank you All of my sponsors still with me and the ones gone, thank you guys for any kind of support you gave over the years. Without you guys none of this would be possible. Gilaffe Snowboards, Smith, Union, Thirtytwo, Volcom, Darkside, Saavi, Be Easy

Yo, Yobeat, thanks for this opportunity y’all still some real ones. Most importantly I gotta thank my family, Robin Chris and Craig. You guys been there since day one. Calling me on my shit and pickin up the pieces when life is rough. I can’t wait to take care of you guys like you have for me, someday. Love you guys so much. Brix I’d like to dedicate this edit to you. I worked my ass off for these clips and I want you to know I will put just as much work into being your dad. I love you kiddo, you keep me moving and breathing. Let’s shred soon and I’ll teach you how to read soon so we can read this together. Definitely gonna need to bleep some of it out.

Follow Matt on Insta Here: @Shaffe_daddy 

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.

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!

And finally while you wait for the official teaser to drop of Nov 1, here’s the one from last spring on both Vimeo and Youtube so you can choose you preferred viewing method. You’re welcome.

In the year 2000 at the ACG Indoor QP contest with my boy Macho Man. I think Evan Rose took this photo. 

So by now you may have noticed Yobeat’s back… Or maybe you’re just tuning in now. Either way, your feed does not lie, after a bit of time off to rest my brain, reset my life and “drain the swamp” as a horrible person once said, I am ready to take on the snowboard media game full steam. For the record, I never personally stopped going snowboarding – but I did stop thinking about it. I did stop looking at the Internet. I did quit scrolling, and liking and everything else. And recently, I even stopped swiping. Instead I took up gardening, mastered the sharing economy of Uber, Lyft and Air BnB, and otherwise upgraded my personal situation to enable a fresh start and a new perspective on our beloved snowboard culture.

As if the universe meant for this to happen at this moment, Andrew Sayer at Boardrap.com hit me up just as my vision was becoming clear to ask me a few questions (ok a lot of questions) about where I’ve been and how I got here. And I’d be lying if walking myself back through my long and winding journey wasn’t a little inpirational to me, so I hope you feel the same way about it!

As for the interview, sorry for the bait and switch but you’ll have to click over to Boardrap to read it.

Part 1 – 1997-2008
Part 2 – 2009-Now!

If you make it through any or all of that, I think you’ll like what’s to come, and if you don’t well, feel free to keep Snowboardermag, TWS or Facebook set as your homepage. I, along with a team of old and new snow-loving fools, will be here, doing our best to entertain and keep snowboarding fun and interesting. Missed you guys. xoxo. _Brooke


In Seaside he’s know as Crab Jesus. If you don’t know Matt Kass, you’re about to.

Matt Kass was a pro snowboarder before anyone had heard of Danny Kass, but you’re more likely to know him as the co-founder and long-time president of Grenade LLC. Matt helped start the brand and grow it into a multi-million dollar business, which employed most of his friends. My career at Grenade started shortly after I bought a house and was freaking out about how to pay for it. Matt offered me a job at Grenade, and I spent the next year of my life doing whatever needed to be done, and generally being part of something pretty cool. A lot has changed since then, and Matt Kass more or less disappeared from the public eye. Ousted from the brand he started, and considered dangerous by some and a joke by others, Matt moved to the Oregon Coast, where he lives with his fiance and son and works as a professional fisherman. But after a few years out of the limelight, Matt hit me up, ready to tell his side of the story.

Brooke: Do you think you’re crazy?

Matt: No, but I have had severe emotional damage done in my life as a child that causes me to act out.I sometimes lose control in given situations with anger. I have anger problems. Do you think I’m crazy?

Brooke: I know you’re crazy.

Matt: hahahha, thanks.

Brooke: What’s your biggest regret from your days running Grenade?

Matt: Starting it. Starting Grenade. I would never do it again. It was my Frankenstein. I sit around every day and miss my friends that I lost through it. Do you know why I’m breaking my silence?

Brooke: No. Do tell.

Matt: It’s kinda cheesy. I sit around and everyone has their story about this or that. I was there, I know what happened. Some things that happened I still don’t understand. Like I ask myself, “What the fuck happened? What could I have done differently?” Then I was reading Yobeat and Colin’s interview and it all came together for me. It wasn’t about me. It was about a group of guys and a time and place…like a movement…like a band! And when they break up it’s never the same!

Brooke: All right, let’s break it down to the undisputed facts real quick. Why did you move the company from Mammoth?

Matt: I kept the Mammoth operation, Danny and JC liquidated it, along with a lot of my friends. I kept my friends around so I wouldn’t quit. I never liked my brother, I just liked Levins and Cole, so once they let all my friends go, there was no point for me to be at Grenade.

Brooke: Where did JC come from? How did he get involved?

Matt Kass: He was hired to help with our networking as a consultant. When Danny asked me to resign, I did. I was the manager of Grenade LLC until resignation or death. Of course he stiffed me on the 75k. But what’s 75k among bros….right? Danny hired JC and made him the CEO and took over from VP to President.

Brooke: Right, but you’re skipping a lot. I mean, I worked there for a year and Danny apparently didn’t even know I did. So how did it go from you hiring Joseph to Danny ousting you?

Matt Kass: Danny paid me to resign per the operating AGREEMENT. He stiffed me on the 75k that I was to be paid as resignation. Danny took over as president and hired Joseph to replace me. So I was screwed in plain English. Next.

What about all the rumors of you flipping out when you left?

When I resigned, yes I broke my brother’s laptop over my knee. Yes, I spray-painted my resignation on the side of the building because it was my building and my spray paint. And yes I took a gun out of there and then they lied about it and I lost my second amendment right to bear arms for two years.

Brooke: What have you been doing since then?

Matt Kass: I was the international and domestic sales manager at Betty Rides until I got fired. I went back to Grenade after being fired from Betty. Grenade moved when my girlfriend gave birth and I got a unexplained extended vacation. When I went in to the new office JC said I stole money again (which is a lie) so I got upset (aka I fucking screamed at that lying turkey), quit and walked out. While I was waiting for the elevator JC tried to beat me up even though I was holding a 3-month-old baby. Since then, I have decided my brother is nothing more than a pony and that if he will let JC push me around while I’m holding my son, aka his nephew, that he is no friend, brother, or family to me. I really did not like working at either Betty Rides or Grenade, in ALL honesty.

How did you end up living in the former “Office” location on Burnside? How long were you there?

Matt Kass: When Nicole and Danny lied on a restraining order, I was given 20 minutes to pick up personal stuff. She sold the rest of my belongings. After that, I was living in a warehouse in Washington, then I got evicted, because I did not have money, because I was never actually paid to resign. My family disowned me, and yes, I was forced to live in a skateshop for over 6 months and sleep on the concrete floor in an asbestos-filled building. I did enjoy it though. Cole made it a point to help me through the hardest time in my life because although he is a failure at life, he is a TRUE friend no the less. How is that?

Brooke: That’s insane. Was Cole living there too?

Matt Kass: Yes, then when I saved up enough money to get a place, he lived in my van outside my house for 6 months. Curt Johnson also lived in the shop when he got kicked out of Flood’s house. I also let homeless people sleep in there when it was cold.

Brooke: Here’s a big one I have. Why didn’t you sell Grenade when the opportunity arose? Quiksilver wanted to buy it, right?

Matt Kass: Yes, actually we were almost sold to Oakley. Danny was always trying to sell Grenade to his sponsors. He always wanted to sell out. I was the hold out. I always rode for small independent companies like Joyride and Mission 6. Danny rides for Oakley and Nike. I would NEVER ride for Nike or Quiksilver, or Gnu (because it’s still Quiksilver.) I’m trying to make a comeback.

Will Matt recapture his pro glory of 2001? More importantly, does anyone still have that hella big Bjorn Leines poster?

Brooke: I want to know all about your comeback, but it seems like it would have made sense to take the cash and start something else, ya know?

Matt Kass: Do you know any bands looking to sponsor a crappy halfpipe rider? I have been working on another company since 2007. The new brand I’m working on is Called ENMY.

Brooke: Ok, I’ll bite. Tell me about ENMY

Matt Kass: It’s a outdoor lifestyle brand. I’m also helping out the guys at Sasquatch Skateboards. I was just hired a couple days ago, I’m really stoked. The kids involved are really talented. I’m in the process of forming a Distribution Company and our first 2 brands are “ENMY” and “Sasquatch Skateboards.” I also started my own fishing business as well as being a dad. I’m busy.

Brooke: I’m confused. I thought you said started Grenade was the worst decision you ever made. Why would you start a new brand?

Matt Kass: I really feel like the industry is getting dry and needs a kick in the ass and I’m just the asshole to do it. I’m starting over without partners and because I feel like it is time to make a comeback. I want to bring my band to trade shows so we can play our awful music. I hired a coach to train me and everything. For real!

Brooke: Wait, what are you talking about? Now you’re in a band with a coach? I thought you were making a snowboarding comeback. Are you drunk?

Matt Kass: No, I just got one of my wisdom teeth pulled. I have a coach so I can make a comeback. I have a band called “The Bent Screws” and when next SIA comes you will see the band and the brand. Hopefully I can start shredding soon, fishing season opens 2/1 though, so I’m going out on the water then.

Brooke: So let me get this straight. You’re going to “train” for like 3 days and then launch a new snowboard career, and by next SIA you will have started a Poler ripoff and distribution company?

Matt Kass: I have been training since October of last year. I skate at least 3 hours a day and I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m not fat like the Dingo. I’ll tell people who think I’m not gonna make a comeback, hey, I did one kassrole, why can’t I do two? When I’m doing 540s below the lip I’ll laugh too. I’ve told Gretchen (Bleiler) she won the X games with my run that I used to do. Sometimes my nollie backside 5 would go above the lip, and sometimes it wouldn’t.

That reminds me of the number one snowboard joke of all time: you know where the best place to pick up snowboard chicks?

Me: Yeah, below the lip.

Matt: Hey, How am I ripping off Poler? You haven’t seen one of my designs.

Me: You said outdoor lifestyle… which is what Poler is doing, but you’re right, I haven’t seen it.

Matt Kass: It’s more of a utilitarian style, fishing gear. I know about Poler, I like those guys, I even modeled for them for free. We’re making fishing gear and outdoor lifestyle type stuff. If a kid wants to wear it snowboarding, that’s his business. And I’m trying to start a distro company, but when I say that I’m trying to do it, I’m not trying to jump out over night like Vanilla Ice. The name of the company is called Ammo distribution– ENMY, Survival and Garden State grip tape. It’s been a pet project of mine for a long time. When I started Grenade I wanted to turn it into a skateboard company. When Danny started he wanted to turn it into a TV show. That’s the truth. When we ultimately fought it was because I didn’t want to be on his TV show and wanted nothing to do with it. Dingo and Danny wanted to do it, they made they pilot and it looked like shit. I didn’t even want to release the project. Danny’s the one who wanted to be on TV.


Boat enthusiast.

Brooke: So, when Grenade ousted you, how many boats did you have in the warehouse?

Matt Kass: 2 or 3. I took one with me

Brooke: Did you buy them with Grenade money?

Matt Kass: Nope with my paycheck. My brother spends Grenade money on weed, all the time. I have proof.

Brooke: What proof?

Matt Kass: Receipts.

Brooke: Who gets a receipts for weed?

Matt Kass: I do. Danny took 80k from Grenade to start that awful TV show.

Brooke: Don’t you think that TV show was marketing?

Matt Kass: No, it’s embarrassing Danny stole money from Grenade and blamed me. JC stole money from Danny and convinced him I took it, I put 600k into Grenade and real estate and all I got back was 175k and I feel like they stole 10 yrs of my life. They never gave me a letter of recommendation even though they said they would.

Brooke: Well, at least you’re not bitter. What have you been up to the last few years… how did you get back on your feet?

Matt Kass: Well do you want the truth? It was a hard climb. I was waiting for the 75k from my resignation agreement and it never came. I was counting on the money, so it really screwed me up. I started living in the shop because I had nowhere to go and Joseph told my friends at Grenade that they would be fired if they talked to me.

We got in trouble at the shop for selling graffiti supplies, got a 5k ticket, had to stop selling paint with was a giant piece of our sales. It was a dead horse. I closed the shop, got a house 6 blocks up the street and started working at Betty Rides. Which, sucked too.

Matt, Elliot and one hell of a flounder.

Brooke: Tell me more about ENMY. What specifically are you gonna make?

Matt Kass: You will see. ENMY is “bottom secret.” There are a couple designs on facebook, but they are old. The new stuff is being made right now. I never really stopped designing T-shirts. I just stopped showing people. It was therapy for me. I’ve done T-shirts for small guys and menus for a pizza place. I just do shit on my computer to get by cause I got a kid and diapers ain’t cheap. I’m no Pinski, I’m not gonna cut off my dick and put it in my ear and then call myself an artist — I lost him when he went bo-mo. That’s Bohemian Modern.

Brooke: How are you funding the brand?

Matt Kass: By myself, I don’t want partners. What I’m trying to get across to all these little brands is, don’t fucking be me. Money does bad things to good people. You want my business advice? Here’s three lessons I’ve learned.

1. Don’t take a partner when you need a loan.
2. Be careful who you get into bed with.
3. Lying can get you into problems and through problems, but only the truth will get you out. You can’t lie a fact. Be careful what you say or do, this is the info age and everything is recorded or on video somewhere.

I explained to my father yesterday, sometimes lying is a part of business. Have I ever told people lies? Yeah, I used to all the time. When I didn’t know the answer to something, I would just say two weeks — it’s from the movie the Money Pit — the contractor would always say “two weeks.” Instead of saying I don’t know I would always say two weeks, because it was embarrassing to say I don’t know.

Brooke: Let’s wrap this up. What else?

Matt Kass: Grenade could have been a lot more and should have been. When I think back of what I started, I think of it as something that that was great. When you used to buy a Grenade T you used to support people like you and Dave and Jesse and Tom and me; it used to be a family people. Now when you buy a Grenade T at Pacsun you’re enabling Joseph to abuse snowboarding and snowboarders and you keep my brother drunk and on drugs. I know we all didn’t do it right. I was never the best boss, and one of the worst things I ever did you caught the brunt of. If you ever asked for a recommendation from me you were a great employee in an environment a lot of people would have failed. I’ve had everyone’s back, every day in that company.

Yahtzee!

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Intro: Mikey Leblanc, Captions: Mike Ranquet

A month ago I lent my credit card to Mike Ranquet.  It was a last minute decision as we were parting ways in a train station in Gigi Ruf’s hometown.  I was headed back to the USA, and he onwards to points unknown, literally. We had just ended a week long riding trip in Austria, and had quickly created a bond that only two true road warriors/gypsy’s could form. We roll loose, and Mike wasn’t thinking about how to pay the next bill, or train or ticket, or meal. Luckily he had me there, because the trip would have taken a less direct direction. However I’m quite sure if I hadn’t lent Mike my credit card, the days to come may have led him in a very interesting direction. And I’m sure his vibe would have carried him on just fine.

The week I had in Austra with Mike was my kinda scene. Roll with the journey, love to everyone you meet, slip seamlessly  into the shred houses along the way (Thanks Rome Snowboards and Gigi to name a few) that took the Mike and Mike show in.

BITD, Ranquet possibly invented flat ground tricks as we know them. When Dave Seoane filmed Mike doing some of the first flat ground tricks in, “Roadkill” they probably had no idea they were about to inspire the entire new school generation to come a few years later. Alters, Cole, Rodgers, Abramason, Iguchi, Schnacky, Salasnek, Tarquin Robbins, etc all coming onto the scene and quickly displacing the old guard within a matter of years.

These days, one thing’s for sure, Mike has style: his fs airs are timeless and signature. I can tell it from a mile away. He’s also got A LOT of HIS-story to share, listen up peeps.

I think we agree the word legend is very over used in snowboarding. Do you consider yourself a legend?

I think I did a lot for the sport – made switch cool, made a lot of tricks cool. Is that legendary status? I don’t know. When you think about it, fairy tales are also synonymous with legend status, so maybe it’s not the best word for snowboarding. So do I consider myself a legend? No.

Who do you consider a snowboard legend? Are there any?

Everyone considers themselves a legend in snowboarding, so the whole meaning of it has been taken away. I can say Kidwell’s a legend, butso can every yahoo on the FB ‘history of snowboarding page’ about themselves. It’s funny how people’s skewed versions of history are taken as fact on that page. On the FB ‘history of skateboarding’ page, that word is used only when appropriate.

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This shot was taken Lech, Austria in 1989, my first trip to Europe. Most of Americans of the time, and certainly The Europeans had never seen the likes of my riding style, I rode switch probably 60% of the time at that point, I inherently knew it was the future. I was doing Cab stalefish, Cab Indy, Cab stalefish revert (fakie to fakie 540 or Cab 540). Never cared for contest results, I figured that I’d never beat Craig so I better find something else. Photo Fran Richards

Tell me about D Day snowboards. Why on earth are you trying to start a snowboard brand right now?

I got talked into it by Roach about five months ago, and let me put it this way. A year ago, I never thought I would have anything to do with snowboarding, or go on the trip I went on the last month. It’s all pretty mind-blowing. When it came up, I just recognized the timing. The timing for the industry as a whole – the riders, the pros – have skipped a generation now. I would say three years ago this never would have worked, it would have been dead in the water already. Even two years ago I don’t think it would have worked. Ten years ago we would have been laughed out of the trade show. It’s interesting when you look at it like that. That’s the first thing I say to everyone – this never would have worked a couple years ago.

So why do you think it’ll work now? Because the industry’s in a transition?

I don’t know if it’ll work now. I hate using the term industry, but I always knew it was gonna be the year after the Olympics, whether it was 2014 or 2010. I had a feeling that the industry would actually come around and look back. Like, look where we came from. Instead of treating it like a joke or a novelty. The industry has an appetite for the next Baby Jesus. It’s always looking for the next big thing. And that’s been the trend for so long, but Baby Jesus, you know, he grew up. Every team is always after this new kid, and that kid’s fucking old after awhile. You look at some goggle companies that have a surf team and you look at that surf team three years ago and you look at it today and there’s maybe one out of the six people that are off that team. You look at a snowboard list now and one from three years ago, and it’s a whole new team. As a brand it’s kinda defeating to try and build some kid up and he just isn’t cool in a couple years. He might be riding better than ever, but you know. It’s hard to market that. I think the reason that it might work now is you gotta grow up as an industry and bring a lot of these kids into the fold. It’s not just a search for Baby Jesus. We can still look for him, but you just want to have some diversity when it comes to brands or the media. Close to 50% of snowboarders are over 25. I mean, that’s a big fucking number. Everyone’s always like, it’s such a young man’s sport. The only people who pay attention to what goes online are people in the industry and other than that, maybe 2-3% of the general snowboarding population goes online to watch those videos. It’s a really small segment that everyone markets to, and most of those people get hooked up anyway. I think the industry is growing up a little bit, ya know.

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This shot was at Mount bachelor in 1987. Only two months prior was a photo of Chris Miller doing a front side air nose bone at Upland skateboard park. As soon as I can get On Snow that year, I knew I was gonna learn that fucking trick What really juiced me was the fact that it was opposite of what Craig Kelly did. In those days, Craig always kicked his tail out, so I was like fuck that I’m kicking my nose out. Nigga what.

What are you guys gonna do differently? Do you have a team?

Yeah, we have Ben Bilocq, Erik Messier, Andrew Burns and Deadlung right now, so that’s a pretty cool fun crew. I rode with Deadlung for like a month this year and that was pretty much the funnest time riding I had in so long. I feel pretty tight with these guys too. I feel my role is to make new in roads, be the face of it for the first year or so and try to elevate our team with us. It’s just a basic formula. Have a couple older dudes that have been around and have a team under them. What’s different about that is me and Roach will always be there. We’ll keep the balance, it’s not like some new marketing director is gonna come in and change things every couple years because he likes this 14 year old. We’ll have continuity.

Trying to market to older people, in snowboarding, seems like a whole new philosophy and it’s obviously not just the team, it all goes together.

In every other board sport, this is not new. Even in surfing, you have guys from 15 to 50 years old and they’re all in great shape. They market to all different people, and it’s the same with snowboarding. It’s time we realized that. It’s weird. For me, living in Hawaii the last six years, you see surf culture is based on respect, respecting your elders and those who were before you. You’d never question anything. I mean Gerry Lopez, 14 year old kids know who he is. They’ve known who he was since they were 10. I don’t expect that in snowboarding, or 14 year old kids to get out of my way, that’s just the culture I’ve been surrounded by these last few years. It’s interesting watching snowboarding slowly come around.

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Craig Kelly was a chemical engineer and he loved Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and UFO; Craig is not buried at Baldface under a cross in the snow. Craig was never a fucking hippie, in life or in death. Photo: Gordon Eshom

You moved to Hawaii and stopped snowboarding, why?

Well, I didn’t quit. I moved to California for awhile for a job, then came back up to Washington and rode that winter. At the same time, my hip was so fucked up for years. I could barely walk, but for some reason I could snowboard still. It was a weird little thing. So I was in complete denial with what was really going on with my body. I moved to Hawaii and that’s when it caught up with me, and I was like, what the fuck is wrong with me. Cut to a couple months later and doctor is walking out with an X-ray, like, what the fuck? He asked me, “What pharmaceutical drugs are you on for the pain,” and I was like none. Nothing works. He got me in within 12 days, he was like, your hip is so fucked up you could either break it and/or dislocate it in your sleep. So I got that fixed in Chicago, and went back to Hawaii and started to heal. I got back in the water, started skating a little bit, and surfing. Just got my head straight, it was a good place to be. You can’t run from anything there, you’re on a fucking island. You have to live a pretty clean life, you just have to slow your life down. So that’s why. And kids, we had kids. I think was out for three seasons total, but I didn’t really ride like do tricks or hit jumps for like 12 years.

That’s the danger of trying to find that older market – How do you make snowboarding look impressive and exciting…

Go ride with me.

Right, but you can go snowboarding and have the best time every time, but how to you translate that into something people want to watch or consume in media form?

When I was in Italy I went to this skateboard ramp, the biggest ramp I’d ever seen in my life. I skated for a few days with these guys and then went to a BBQ. One of the guys spoke English, and I asked, what got you guys to build this ramp? He said, all of them had quit skating for over 10 years, and then in 2008 he happened to pick up a random magazine and there was one photo of Kevin Staab in it. Kevin rips but popularity wise he’s no Hosoi, Hawk or Caballero. So from this one picture, the guy realized that Kevin Staab was his age and was still actively skateboarding! So he showed the magazine to all his buddies and the next day all those guys went out and bought skateboards and started skating parks, and slowly got really into, then built like the biggest ramp in Rome and anywhere south of Rome. It’s a huge thing based off one photo. In snowboarding I think it’s just a matter of posting things that other people can do. People are so scared of unattainable shit. Rails, wall rides, that stuff is really creative, but the media is just flooded with wall rides or rails or jumping over trees or roof gaps. Most people that snowboard will never do any of that shit. They don’t want to. Most people that snowboard just ride down the fucking hill. Most of these guys are super secluded in these rail scenes, but when you really go around the world and look, people are older now and older people like to be smart. And then don’t get hyped on shit they can’t do. I can make basic shit look good and people like that. It’s not that hard to market, you just throw it in the mix. It’s not like you make a big announcement that we’re marketing to 44 year olds! If I was riding for some clothing company I would get one of their ads, that’s how you do it. And the other side of that is big mountain, which is so over the top. They’re like swimming in Antartica, and this shit is not what people do. Most people go to ski areas and that’s it. It’s an easy one to cater to in marketing. Everything’s gotta be new and crazy, and you can only do that for so long.

Right, but how do you make that stand out from the pack? If you look at media as essentially the spectator side of snowboarding, and given my experience, people wanna see crazy shit.

You guys do. The media. It’s a weird one.

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Eggplant at the Lahaina skate park last year. A reminder to all snowboarders; an eggplant is a handplant in which you plant your front hand (as opposed to your back hand) on the coping and grab like you’re doing an Indy air.

I think the media does what the consumer wants in some regards.

You can say this is what people want. Well, the only consumers you have are 17 year olds. The way things are, you can’t consider someone my age, or over like 28, a consumer in snowboarding because there’s nothing in it for them. So the media says, well the people reading the mags are only 17, and it’s because you fucking write the mags for 17 year olds, cause that’s what you think. That those are the only people who do that. I can pick up a skate mag and it’s interesting to me, a cool photo or story, but either way, I can relate to it. It’s not all just so over the top. That’s why most people at a certain age they don’t care to look at snowboarding anymore.

I think that’s a problem in snowboarding for sure, you get older and you don’t feel like you belong anymore.

That’s what’s happened. It’s easy to understand is that it only speaks to a certain age group. I don’t even surf that much, but you see this whole array of surfers, and that’s where snowboarding has to get to sustain. There’s this talk that we’re declining, and in snowboarding, all the videos and magazines output shit, and they’re so over the top. Having a four million dollar heli – no one’s ever going to do that. Most people when they watch skate videos, they can relate. At least they can go to the spots and try to ollie down the stairs. In surfing you get super gnarly waves, but most people can paddle out and do this shit and that’s what they portray. Snowboarding portrays this very finite and acute angle and that’s it. But many people snowboard.

Well yeah, that’s why I’ve always posted park edits and stuff like that.

Yeah, I like the Shredbots stuff, where they just go in an tear those parks apart. That shit is rad. They go to a park that everyone is riding. There’s lots of elements, but mostly they just show these two extremes. Everyone else is in the middle.

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When Roach and I got kicked out of Japan, on the flight home I hatched the idea of telling our current sponsor Santa Cruz snowboards that we should have the same travel budget, same paycheck and just go out and film all year. It was out of necessity of course, because we got kicked off the World Cup tour, and pretty much uninvited to any and every contest. At the time skate videos were huge so I thought why not do the same in snowboarding. Santa Cruz wasn’t too cool with it, but Bert Lamar was. That’s when I started riding for Lamar, he let me do whatever I wanted as long as on every trip I produced.

Surfing and skateboarding are more accessible than snowboarding – you don’t have to pay every time or live by a mountain…

But the reason snowboarding got so big so fast, because it’s the first, and really only board sport that you can teach anyone to do in 2 days. You can take your uncle to a 3 foot mini ramp, all padded up, and that mother fucker is not dropping in. You think about surfing. It’s impossible. They can’t do it. Snowboarding is easy, it’s the easiest of the board sports by such a fucking long shot and that’s why I think the media and the core of the industry, they just don’t get it. Surfing and skateboarding, those guys are fucking hardcore surfers, to be a hardcore surfer you gotta be hell bent on big fucking waves. To be a hardcore skateboarder you have to take beatings down handrails. So to me that’s a more hardcore person running this industries. I think in snowboarding, it’s the fact that anyone can do it, that anyone can work in the industry.

There’s people who don’t even snowboard that make decisions about snowboarding.

It’s not that they don’t snowboard, maybe they do it, it’s just that most people that skate are in it for life. They’ve done it since they were 10 years old and they’re down. Snowboarders, it’s normal people that do it. Most normal people don’t skate and most normal people don’t surf. Snowboarding is a thing that anyone can do so you get a different swatch that goes into the industry.

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BS air in Rome last August. It was after skating one night in Maui, that I realized that I could do most things I did snowboard again.

Does it make sense to look to surfing and skateboarding when you’re dealing with a totally different audience?

Right now in snowboarding, the industry is run by fans. People in surfing and skateboarding care about the fucking sport and that’s where snowboarding should be, and that’s why it’s fucked up. But it’s gotta come around, it can’t keep running around and around as it is.

I think one of the problems with the media is that they’re trying to mass market snowboarding, rather than marketing snowboarding to people who actually snowboard.

Yeah, and that’s why things have to change. Niche marketing is one thing, but just the brands you have now – you don’t have to make a boot, a binding, a board, a powder board, a skateboard. It’s all so bloated now. Let the hat company make hats, let the glove company make gloves. Once brands get to a certain point they just start making everything and it’s shit. So much shitty product. I think consumers want a more niche brand to specialize vs people that basically put their name on everything. Some people do that really well.

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Fall 1987 Mt Bachelor. I lived with Craig at the time, I was 17. I first started doing FS nosebones because of a photo of Chris Miller at Upland Skate Park. He was the first to do them on a skateboard, I’d learned them at the time of my skateboard, but I knew I could do them sick on my snowboard. The other reason I started doing nosebones, was because Craig and everybody else in the world kicked their tail out on every trick, so I naturally did the opposite.

But it’s all based on capitolism – you’re never gonna get everyone to cooperate.

I think consumers will as we roll into this new era of snowboarding. There’s only so much corporatization that people like. If your big brother is sponsored by Red Bull and GoPro then you’re gonna wanna be sponsored by small brands and be less cool. Newer people coming into the sport are going to find the smaller niche brands that much more attractive because they speak to them more.

Last question. Do you worry that snowboarding is going to turn into skiing?

No, not anymore. I used to, but I just don’t anymore.

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At the premiere of Critical Condition. After the premiere Craig and Kelly Jo (his future wife) saw me getting beat up by some bouncers, Kelly Jo said to Craig ‘hey we have to do something’ and Craig said ‘no, you don’t know what Mike did to get himself in that position’. Coming from the same guy that strapped me too his rack and drove me from Mount Hood parking lot to Welches (or some. small town on HWY 26). Only stopping when he got pulled over by the police after going through the DQ drive-through,the woman from DQ called the police after I reached down to get my milkshake from her.

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Midwest-Bred Colin Wilson is a tall drink of water with a mellow demeanor, and a ton of board control. Though plagued with injuries, his positive attitude and Trollhaugen upbringing have enabled him to make his way through the snowboard world as a Burton Knowbuddy and now a Lobster global am. With a slot in the VG am movie due to drop this fall, Colin will continue to turn heads with his controlled tall-guy style and hefty bag of tricks.

How tall are you?

I think I’m about 6’2”.

Do you ever wish you were shorter? I feel like snowboarding is one of the few things where being short is an advantage.

No, I think it’s kind of cool being a little bit different. I don’t think people realize how much harder it is to snowboard when you’re tall. It’s a lot more to control, but I think that’s what’s kind of fun about it is the challenge for sure.

You’re filming for the VG am movie this year. What can you tell me about that project?

It was pretty spontaneous this year. I really had no plans and I got asked to do it which was really cool. I definitely didn’t expect it, but it was definitely a huge opportunity that I was really stoked to get. Just trying to make the best of it. I broke my back earlier this season at the second spot. After six weeks I was back filming with those guys and that was probably the best feeling I could have had. Back on my board, back with the boys.

Who else is filming for the VG movie?

The am movie is Riley Nickerson, Jesse Gouviea, Brady Lem, Jordan Morse, Jordan Small, and I feel like I’m forgetting one but I think that’s about it. It’s a pretty small crew.

Are they doing a pro movie too?

They’re doing a pro movie and they’re also doing an Adidas movie, so the Adidas guys are doing that one, Derrek Lever, Mark Wilson, Tommy Gesme and Wiz and all those other dudes that are really good. They’re doing their own thing with Colton Feldman. What’s cool about the am movie is it’s not really it’s own thing. All of us riders, whether you’re in the pro movie or the Adidas movie, whatever you wanna call it, we all get to film together. I’ll go out and film with Jake or Joe and the Minnesota boys and it’s all going into different projects but we’re all hitting the same spots. It’s really cool.

Sounds like we’re in for a good Fall of movie drops.

Oh yeah. Riley Nickerson. That’s all I’m gonna say, but he’s got some stuff for people to see.

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This was at Elm Creek. That day we went out and hit a few spots and it was really nice out so wanted to keep snowboarding. We had this idea to go to elm creek and went snowboarding. It was really cool, there was a bunch of kids watching. We all started snowboarding and I feel like it created this energy like it was a band performing. We were just doing trains on everything and people were getting really stoked on it, it was fun.

How did you break your back?

I broke my back on a street rail. I over-pressed a little bit and gutted a kink rail really hard. Pretty much broke my back from the contortion. I had a spinal fracture, I fractured 3 vertebrae in my lower back, broke a few ribs and bruised everything on my inside on the left side. What took the longest to heal was mostly just my organs and my muscles on my side. My back actually felt pretty good after about three weeks.

Was that your worst injury?

Back in 2012, at Superpark 17 at Mt Bachelor, it was day 2, second run. I was bombing down to a step down and there was a photographer standing on top of it. I was bombing, no stopping and he jumps in front of me to stop me. I tried to stop, and I almost came to a stop but didn’t and slid off the edge of the step down. I don’t know how far I dropped, but way too far to walk away from and completely destroyed my knee. It was like a list of everything in your knee, like a bomb went off. I was out for a whole season and half of the next one. In the meantime, the Knowbuddy program was starting, and Zack Nigro had hit me up right after I had surgery and I told him, I just had surgery, I’m not going to be able to snowboard this whole season. And he’s like, nah dude, we know, we got your back. They sent me a snowboard and gear, clothes and everything. He was like take your time, don’t worry about it. I spent the following two season trying to mend my knee back into shape and learn how to snowboard again. Ended up having a second surgery to clean up my knee. It took me a little while to get back. It was a big mental thing for sure. It taught me a lot. I got into carpentry at lot more during the off time. When I got back into snowboarding I took it more seriously in the way to taking care of my body and being healthy, but i didn’t take it more seriously like it had to be a job or anything like that. I still have a very mellow mentality about snowboarding. The best way to do it is to not take it seriously, that’s when you do your best. That was a pretty gnarly injury.

You’re from Wisconsin, right?

Yeah I actually grew up in Wisconsin, right by Trollhaugen. I went to the same school as Ethan Deiss, him and I have known each other since we were about 3. We used to wrestle together. We grew up snowboarding together and going to summer school and stuff like that together. Getting in a lot of trouble when we were little. I grew up there until I right after I graduated from High School. Eventually made my way to the Twin Cities and went to school part time and filmed with my friends, the Impaler guys. It was actually Working for the City at the time with Stark and Brett Spurr, Chris Duncan and Sam Duncan, that was pretty cool. I live here now and I love it. I’m close to all the hills for the most part. I’m further away from Trollhaugen then I would like but I still make it there plenty of times a week.

What’s the difference between Minnesota and Wisconsin?

Wisconsin, at least where Trollhaugen is, is a a little more redneck I feel like. It’s a little more rough around the edges than kids who came from the city. You get a different mix of cultures and kids who were raised different. It has its good and bad but it all kinda works out. Everybody’s homies with everybody. There’s not a bunch of crews and everyone’s not real cliqued up trying to be cooler than everybody else. We all kind feed off of each other.

What was it like growing up riding Trollhaugen. Is that why you’re so good?

(laughs) I don’t think I’m good. Trollhaugen is my home. I don’t live in Wisconsin any more, my family doesn’t live there anymore, so when I go to Trollhaugen that’s the closest thing I feel to home for sure. I have a lot of history there. I started snowboarding when I was 8, I skied there when I was little. When I got into snowboarding it all changed and I quit playing winter sports and all that. My parents would drop me off every day after school and I would snowboard till it closed.

What was Ethan like as a little kid? Has Burton changed him?

No, Ethan definitely my best friend. He’s like a brother to me. I think Burton changed his approach to snowboarding. They’re more of a simulated type brand as far as they way they market their riders and their expectations and things like that. I think maybe that has taken a little bit of a toll on Ethan, but he has insane amounts of talent. I don’t think we’ve seen Ethan’s best video part yet. I’m pretty excited for what he has to come, he’s filming with Absinthe and he’s always got something up his sleeve.

While we’re on Burton… you were a Knowbuddy, are you excited to be somebody now?

There were so many people that were so bummed on the Knowboddy thing, but I tried to be as optimistic as I could with Burton and the whole Knowbuddy thing. With Ethan being on Burton, I kinda had an idea and a taste of how Burton works with things. I didn’t necessarily have this goal to be on Burton for the rest of my life and I didn’t have that expectation. I knew it was kind of a stepping stone. It definitely built a foundation for me in snowboarding and helped me with meeting people. I met Bridges and spent a week with the Snowboarder guys when we did an editorial and it was definitely one of the best trips of my life. I got nothing but good things from the whole opportunity. It led me to getting on Lobster and led me to where I am now, which I’m stoked on.

How did you end up getting on Lobster?

A couple people that I didn’t know had hit me up. I didn’t really know if they were serious or not because the guy that hit me up was French and I couldn’t really understand and of his words. I kinda thought it was joke at first and the Haldor hit me up. He spoke really briefly and said he was down to put me on Lobster if I was down. I talked to Diggles and everything kinda came together from there. It was pretty mellow. They don’t really have any expectations of me other than to have fun and film a video part.

So Eiki and Haldor don’t make you do crazy shit?

No, they don’t at all. I actually got the chance to hang with Haldor while he was here in Minnesota. We didn’t really get to film together, which I wish we could have, but we were both doing our own projects so we were pretty busy. He came over one night though and we went out in Minneapolis. He was just the raddest dude. That’s when it really clicked with my with Lobster, I got this immediate satisfaction. I was just so stoked to be a part of it. All Haldor wants to do is have fun, so I’m excited for what’s to come.

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“I had just landed on my face off of a wall ride. I imagined what it looked like if someone was on the rope and they saw it happen and I just started laughing, so that’s why I’m laughing in the picture.”

You work construction as well. What sort of stuff do you do?

I’m an independent contractor, so I work with other contractors and do my own jobs as well. I do new construction and I also do finish carpentry, finishing houses and remodeling old houses. Kinda do a little bit of everything.

Do you do that in the summer?

Yeah and I do it on and off during the snowboard season. When I get time gaps or if the snow is really bad or it’s really cold and there’s just not a lot of snow. I’ll just work that week or in-between trips. For the most part I try to limit it to working spring through fall and taking the winter off.

Do you ever think about moving West?

Yes and no. I always have this itch to wanna move west every time I travel there, but I always get sucked into staying here in Minnesota. I think it’s the fact that it’s a really good place to be stationed as far as work and the community here and the connections and the resources here. As long as I have the ability to travel to those places more often than not I think that replaces the idea of having to live there. I definitely want to move somewhere else in my lifetime to try other things. As I get older I feel like I’m going to get out of street snowboarding a little more, as my body won’t be able to handle as much, and there’s definitely other parts of snowboarding that I want to explore as far as backcountry and stuff like that I really want to get into.

Is there anything specific that you want to do in the future?

I’ve always really liked snowboard parts that have everything in them. Like Keagan and Kazu, they always have street stuff and backcountry stuff and they always have really well rounded parts like they can do anything. That’s always what I’ve followed as far people that try to blaze a new trial and try new things and not just do the same tricks that everyone else does.

What about Mike Cassanova?

He’s insane… at snowboarding. He’s both, but he’s just one of the raddest dudes. I’ve known him since I was a young dude and I’ve always idolized him as far as his style and his approach to snowboarding and as far as just being humbled and always having fun. Like don’t worry about sponsors and what people tell you to do all the time, just go out and have fun. Put some good music in your ears. It’s not always about doing the biggest and gnarliest tricks, it’s about being able to do them controlled and with good style and I’ve always liked the fact that he’s a really proper snowboarder, so I’ve always idolized him in that way.

What are you most hyped on in snowboarding right now?

Honestly, I don’t follow snowboarding very closely as far as watching tons of videos and keeping up with that stuff. I’m stoked on what I’m doing right now and the projects that I’ve been working with. All I wanna do is see my friends’ video parts, that’s all I really care about.

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“That just his last weekend that was the first day I experienced this season of full on spring boarding. That was a really good day at Trollhaugen. We grilled out, it was a textbook bluebird day, grilling in the parking lot, drinking beers with everyone, we didn’t film much because we were having too much fun snowboarding, but we managed to get a couple photos.”

What’s the secret to a good fish fry?

Shore lunch, eggs and panko. You need some wall eye, you batter it all with the shore lunch and then just drop it in the deep fryer or pan fry it. It’s the best. But first you gotta get good fish. I like to fry fish that I catch. get a bunch of Walleye or crappie from Northern Minnesota or our cabin and just fry em up. It’s pretty cool.

How often do you fish?

In the summer I fish every weekend. Not a lot of people know, I feel like when they come to Minnesota. Some people, not gonna say any names, but some people come and are like this place seems so boring. In the winter when they’re filming and it’s cold, but they don’t understand what its like here in the summer. There’s lakes everywhere, there’s amazing views and trails and rivers. I have a cabins that I go to, so it’s definitely a great place to be.

Everywhere is better in the summer. As a snowboarder I feel bad saying that but summer rules.

That’s why it’s hard for me to leave. I like being here in the winter. It’s close to an airport, there’s spots everywhere, there’s resorts everywhere, there’s friends everywhere and people who wanna film. It’s a lot easier to get things done and make things happen, but as soon as you run out of snow as far as filming it’s not the most productive place to be.

Did it snow in Minnesota this year?

It did, just a week ago we lost all our snow. We were filming in Duluth last weekend, and they’re losing all their snow now it’s starting to get warm up there. Minnesota is always tricky. We might end up getting a foot of snow in the next two weeks, but with the weather being the way it is now probably not.

What’s next for you? Got any trips planned?

Right now I’m trying to plan a trip to Bear with Jake OE and some guys to possibly do some stuff with Snowboarder mag, but I really just wanna go where there’s snow and keep riding my snowboard. I wanna head to Tahoe to keep filming there, they just got a bunch of snow, and then spend some time in Bear, then make my way to Mammoth for Holy Bowly and Superpark. That’ll be my next month and we’ll see where I end up from there.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to the snowboarding public?

I don’t really wanna tell anybody what to do or anything, but I just feel like snowboarding is getting a little carried away with trending and being the coolest thing and being these isolated, solo artists. I feel like it should be more of a team effort. People need to try and help each other out and work together to climb the ladder instead of everyone trying to one up each other and be the coolest person and be part of the coolest crew. Be a little more humble.

Snowboarding as a team sport.

It is 100%. If you think about it you can’t go to a spot and film a trick and get it edited into a movie by yourself. You have to have a filmer, you to have people to help you shovel, you have to have people to run a winch or pull a bungee. Not to mention the support that you have from your friends when you’re at a spot or when you’re snowboarding in general. Going snowboarding by yourself can be fun sometimes, but that’s what I love the most about Minnesota. The Minnesota and Wisconsin snowboard communities, you can go snowboarding and you don’t have to call anyone. You know there’s gonna be somebody there that you know or you’re down to shred with. It’s pretty cool.

Sponsors, shout outs?

Definitely big thanks to Haldor and Eiki and Diggles and all the dudes at Lobster and Switchback. David and all the snowboarders at Trollhaugen. The whole midwest crew and all my friends from around the US and across the globe, I want to thank all of them for all the support they’ve given me and making snowboarding what it is. Shout outs to my family and all of my friends, Trollhaugen, Lobster, Switchback, Videograss, the Impaler, Zach Nigro, Alex Andrews and all the dudes at Burton.