Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

JASON BORGSTEDE OPENS UP SHOP ON HUMP DAY

Posted by admin in Yobeat

In the mid 90’s to early 2000’s, Jason Borgstede was known for his video parts, progressive big air tricks and switch 360 backflip affectionately known as the Borgaerial. The Alaskan, who spent half his time in Tahoe, was a member of the illustrious Burton team and a consistent top finisher in events such as the X Games and Vans Triple Crown. He also filmed Mack Dawg parts as well as producing videos alongside Jesse Burtner as part of JB Deuce. I first met Jason when he was in Killington, Vermont for the Bud Light Boarder Battle – and got the chance to interview him for a fledgling Yobeat (then hosted on the 2mb of free space that came with AOL accounts.) Smart, funny and motivated, Borgy was a standout in the bro-party-culture of board world, an example for how pro snowboarders could, and should do their jobs. While his pro career came to a some what sudden end, Borgy never stopped riding and these days, he’s working to spread the stoke to a new generation with his Anchorage-based shop Blue & Gold.

Brooke: Why did you decide to start a shop? Haven’t you heard about the Internet?

Jason: Yeah, it’s tough. I think we were a little bit different in Alaska, people still wanna support local, and it’s a situation where the town is a big little town. I have at least some sort of reputation and established name in this community and I’ve been part of it for 25 years now. I’ve helped with the camps from coaching kids to selling stuff to working in the store. I don’t have a life as a pro snowboarder, so what else can I do to stay involved with that world? And this is it. I’ve done other things, but I knew I wasn’t going to be happy until I got back up here and was involved with something up here. Boarderline was super integral to our lives. That shop was such a community, such a gathering of family type thing for the whole area. Not just my little crew, but everyone surrounding it and we all came together through it. So now, this is my chance to do that. There’s kind of a void here – and this is probably the only place I can see it working – so I’m gonna make a go at it. And we’re gonna have our online site so we can sell stuff, but it’s only really going to be realistic for Alaskans to buy stuff because they’ve gotta pay shipping either way.

Brooke: Where’d the name Blue and Gold come from?

Jason: That’s the colors of the Alaskan flag. We’ve always been super prideful of Alaska, but it’s a little obnoxious to be all “907, 907,” in your face all day long. That’s a little bit more appealing to the sledneck side of things, so we just wanted something that was a little bit cleaner and could be taken a different way. If you didn’t know Alaska, well cool, no big deal, but if you are from Alaska you could say, yeah that’s my stuff right there.

Brooke: I watched the shop tour video you made, did you build all that stuff? How involved were you in the process?

Jason: Yeah, we did everything. I never considered myself like, “oh I have great design ideas” or anything, I just saw stuff that I thought was cool and it kind of came into my head. Like, yeah, I wanna try this. And I put it together and then it looks alright. I wanted to be involved in all of it. I guess that’s a little bit of a micro-manager, a little bit of a obsessiveness about things, but this is my little baby. I wanted to have a say in everything, and I am not the stand-back-and-let-somebody-else-do-it type. If I don’t know how to do something I can certainly be the assistant! I totally renovated my house in Tahoe from the floor up and learned a lot of stuff there, so I did everything I could, and had a lot of help from people that were stoked to help us out.

Ahead of his time. 

Brooke: How long did it take to put everything together, from when you were like I’m gonna build a shop to, hey, we’re open?

Jason: I have hand-written notes from about 6 or 7 years ago of what I wanted the shop to be. I wanted someone to be a backer for me at that point, because I didn’t wanna lose my house if it didn’t work out. The only thing I have to show from snowboarding, my sort of retirement, is my house, so I wanted to protect that. I was trying to get other people to back it, but I didn’t really know the business side of things very well, I just had the ideas. Fast forward three years, I moved back up to Alaska, and I just knew from that point on I was gonna figure it out. A year ago, I started taking classes at this small business development center, trying to learn as much as I could about it, and from that point it was just going. I knew I was gonna do it no matter what happened. I had my house up for sale. I realized that nobody is gonna give you a loan, nobody is gonna get behind you unless you are invested heavily, so fuck it. Just sell the house and I’m all in. Everything is here, you know. This is do or die. I would say about two months before we opened was when we got to start getting in there and moving things around.

We finished building at about 2 am when we were opening at noon the next day. There was plenty of stuff that wasn’t quite done and we’ve just continued to hammer away at since then, but it was like two months of solid bust-your-ass day-in and day-out work, and then rest was planning. I wrote business plans, I visited the banks, I made orders, so I sat in front of this desk hours upon hours when I wasn’t waiting on tables.

A mute grab dating back to 1993.

Brooke: You were waiting tables? Catch me up on your life, because the last I really knew what you were up to you were winning the X Games, doing the Borg-aerial.

Jason: Well, [my sponsorship with Burton] ended in 2000, at the end of the summer. I was still working with [Jesse] Burtner making movies, and that worked out until about 2003. Fall of 2003 he decided to go do his own thing, so I made my own movie that year he made his own movie that year. Then Boarderline went out of business shortly after, and my mom moved out of the state, so I had no reason to be up here half the year anymore. I moved fully into my house in Tahoe and stayed there and then I was just kind of drifting trying to figure out what to do. Snowboarding didn’t really end for me like, “oh I blew out my knee so I’m done,” it was just this slow thing where you think something will pick up and you think the industry will take care of you. Like, oh somebody will hook me up with a job. But that was kind of a bad time for snowboarding so everybody was tight with stuff. The closest I came, Driscoll tried to look out for me for a minute when he was at Nike, but there was somebody he had already interviewed for a position there. Then I found poker when I was in Reno.

Brooke: Poker, huh?

Jason: I just stumbled into a casino, you know I’d never played before, they were doing some little games to teach their dealers for a new poker room they were opening. I started to play for 10 bucks, and I was super stoked. Now all of the sudden I had one more thing to drive me. Nobody was doing anything with me with snowboarding, so I could just sit there and try to like use my brain to figure out something new, and it was a self-motivated thing. You could earn based on how much you forced yourself to learn and get educated. The first year I did a little bit. Okay, but not enough to pay the rent, so I came back to Alaska, worked a construction job, did a video project all summer long. Then at the end of that I went back and was like, I don’t want to sling a hammer anymore, so I better get good at poker. I went back down to Tahoe and didn’t really have to have a normal job for 5 years. Nothing glamorous, I didn’t do anything great, I wasn’t on TV, I didn’t make a million dollars, I just basically got to get by and snowboard. I could snowboard all day and then I could go make some money at night. It was me just perpetuating this child-thing where you get to keep doing what you love, you know. Along those lines, I got married to somebody who was not the right fit for me, but sometimes in those scenarios you kind of force something that you convince yourself, “I have to fight for this!” But really you should see the signs that it’s not right. She was a Mormon girl, I was not.

Brooke: Yeah that’s tough.

Jason: I thought it would work, but it didn’t. We went our separate ways, and that was about 3 and a half, 4 years ago, and that’s when I moved up here. I said, fuck it I wanna be in Alaska, so I packed up the car, tried to find a job up here. I got here and the job I had lined up didn’t work out so I was bumming around, trying to find another job, back living with mom again in her place and then somebody said hey, you can work at the restaurant. You make good money, you get to make your hours and it’s something to do. So I started doing that. I moved up into dinner serving, which means you make more money, and I got days off to snowboard. And it’s mindless work, super easy. If you’re half way personable you can make $40,000 a year without even blinking an eye, pay your bills, and just snowboard. But, I don’t think any of us really want to do that our whole lives, so, thus the plan for the snowboard shop.

High Cascade. 1993. 

Brooke: That makes sense. I actually love waiting tables, but it’s definitely not a career.

Jason: It’s cool, but a bit of my ego was there, and it’s tough to deal with. I tried to never be this guy who was like, “oh I’m a badass snowboarder, you guys are wack.” But there’s a part of me that’s like, “oh cool, I won the X Games, now can I get you some bread and some water?” And you kind of feel like, oh now they look at snowboarders like snowboarding isn’t a real career because look where it gets you in the long run. I felt like I was a bad example of snowboarding at that point and it hurt my heart a little bit to feel like that.

Brooke: I can see that.

Jason: But, I was also raised to never really be ashamed of putting in a hard days work. It’s whatever, you do what you have to do, you swallow your pride, and you move on to better things, you know.

Brooke: Yeah I mean that’s interesting that you say that because I feel like you were in the era and at the point of professionalism in snowboarding where it did seem like, oh maybe I’ll get a job in the industry, maybe this will last forever. Now these kids coming in and they’re lucky to get a 2-year career.

Jason: Yeah.

Burton ad. 1998.

Brooke: It’s just seems like snowboarding isn’t really in a place for making professional snowboarders or longstanding careers work right now. What’s your take on that kind of shift from the more long-standing legend style pro to what’s happening now, and just how quick it’s changing?

Jason: It’s hard to ever say evolution is bad because you don’t know where it’s gonna end up. Maybe it evolves to a point where it’s awesome, I don’t know. I feel a little sad for modern day kids now. Everything is different, every part of it. I was a super fan the whole time I was in snowboarding and even before, but we had heroes in snowboarding because there wasn’t that huge of a community – compared to now – and there weren’t that many pros. And there weren’t these outlets to facilitate new people constantly knocking the other person off of their tier. So now with the Internet – we can get started on a whole ball here…

Brooke: Let’s do it.

Jason: Basically the Internet provides a situation where you can forget about a guy as soon as he doesn’t put something out. Doesn’t matter, it’s hard to build loyalty when you’re inundated constantly with a barrage of nonstop sickness on the Internet, you know?

Brooke: Yup.

Jason: You constantly have new people coming in, and then it takes somebody like a Chris Joslin skating to hit you in the face so hard and so constantly that, “okay, now we’re gonna kinda remember him for a while.” But any of these guys, if they’re not putting out a series constantly, as soon as it stops kids are like, “uuuhhh who cares, next guy!” And it sucks! It sucks for those guys, it diminishes their position to be able to make a bunch of money off of a company because a company can argue that same fact right there, and it also doesn’t make it as much of an impact for a kid. He’s seeing this Clockwork Orange-like, uuuhhh well my eyes are held open kind of thing, instead of getting a few videos every year to study and fall in love with. You knew every minutia in the Mack Dawg movie because you’ve seen it 40 times, you know. And you study every little bit of those things and I just don’t think kids do that now. That’s fine, that’s their prerogative, but I think that it’s tough for us to build heroes anymore. I mean you have people that everybody knows – Travis Rice and Shaun White – but you don’t have a lot of this level of people, unless you’re super into snowboarding.

Arctic Valley. 1993

Brooke: Right.

Jason: I could ramble forever about it, it’s really tough, though. The one thing I don’t like is the fucking nonstop bullshit edits with no quality control. That’s a little on the website’s side of just wanting fresh content. You know I’m sure I’ll get flamed in all the comments for this stuff – but you know you see a Bear edit where, motherfucker we don’t need to see you hit a two-foot bump and not do anything off of it. Or something from Brighton where yeah, there’s sick tricks going down the rail and then the next thing you know you see them do a little sketch and you think okay this is gonna lead to something, and it doesn’t. The clip just cuts and you go to the next thing and you’re like why the fuck was that in there?! Did you not edit?! You just turn the camera on and you let it run. That’s the thing, you see tons of sick riders and stuff, but have some quality control. That was the nice thing about the old days when you only had a few videos a year, and they were only gonna be a half hour each, people had to cut down to their optimal stuff, not just spew garbage all over everyone, you know. There were reasons why those guys like Jeremy, JP and all those Forum guys, got legendary status. It is because they were super picky about what got let out to the world and it made for something that you could appreciate quite a bit, you know. We get that now with Brain Farm, I guess.

Brooke: Yeah but even Brain Farm, I mean look at We Are Blood, it was an hour and a half long. And all the videos this year, they’re all like an hour long. Why make a video an hour long? Who is trying to sit down and watch a snowboard DVD for an hour?

Jason: The nice thing is with the DVD you can just skip to the part you want –

Brooke: Yeah, I guess. Just seems excessive.

Jason: I would probably attribute a little bit of it to the epicness of all these videos coming out. Like Vans Propeller. If you’re gonna spend 5 years making a video, you’re gonna wanna make it a little longer than normal because you’re gonna wanna put in all the efforts that those riders have put into it. You’re gonna wanna at least give them a taste of the big screen. Brain Farm, you know they’re gonna make a long movie because it’s partially a National Geographic special in the middle of it, too.  I watched We Are Blood, and it’s super popular at our store. I show it all the time because it’s a beautiful movie.

Brooke: It is beautiful.

Jason: It’s an absolutely gorgeous movie, great work, everything, I didn’t end up leaving it saying I wanna go skate, I left it every time going that was awesome camera work, and everything has been done on a skateboard, there’s no reason to even try.

Behind the scenes of In For Life, 2002. 

Brooke: Right, totally. I watched it, I went to the premiere, and it was sick, but it needed an actual storyline to be an hour and a half long. Because hey, we drove around in a bus riding our skateboards is not a fucking plot. You know? I think that – and this is just my opinion – that snowboard filmmakers need to decide either I’m making a snowboard video, and it should be something that you can sit down and watch beginning to end, all killer, no filler, half hour tops, get hyped to shred – or I’m making an epic snowboard movie that has an actual plot line, that has been storyboarded out. Go into the season and say hey here’s what we’re gonna do and then we’re gonna use the extras for web stuff – because you need to do that. You can’t spend 2 years, 3 years making a snowboarding movie and not do anything because then you’re gone, you don’t exist.

Jason: Yeah.

Brooke: But I don’t know, these are just things I think about.

Jason: I think about these things all the time. To be honest with you the other thing I can’t stand is that it seems as though there’s somewhat of a backlash against mainstream. And that comes in the form of weed, cigarettes, all that stuff, being like, “look I’m hella raw.” I watched one movie where every single person’s intro shot was them either drinking a beer or smoking a cigarette. That’s like fucking get creative already.

Brooke: Right?

Jason: If every single person in an old Mack Dawg movie ate an ice cream sandwich before their part you’d be like uuuhhh we get it, you know that’s stupid, move on. I don’t need to see how raw every kid smokes and then spits beer out and then goes, “sick, I’m so street,” you know? Just snowboard, dude.

Brooke: Yeah the thing that gets me the most with that stuff, is every dude does that and no one says anything. No sponsors are like, “oh I don’t know if that’s really great for our brand,” and then you get the Too Hard girls and everyone’s like, “oh they’re trying too hard, it’s so lame.” It’s fucked up. Because they’re girls, they’re not allowed to do that? Since we’re talking about things that bug us in snowboarding, the misogyny of snowboarding is out of control. It’s really not getting better. We have a lot of women in power positions in snowboarding, myself included, but I still don’t wanna fly the feminist flag because I know I’ll just get backlash, you know? That’s one thing that as far as snowboarding as an industry, where we have a lot of potential to improve as a community is in respecting women. If they wanna blow smoke at the camera, let them do it without being like, “oh these girls are trying too hard.”

Jason: I totally get it. From my perspective it looks like it’s still an uphill battle, but it looks like more women are starting to break into things. In the past you had Tara Dakides and then you had some girls in big air contests, but you didn’t really have video parts from many girls. Barrett had a little bit of stuff, Tara had some stuff, maybe Morgan LaFonte had some stuff, but you didn’t have like a whole crew. Now you’ve got Vice covering them. But then even on our side when we get Vice to cover them, we all critique that. We should be happy for them that they got such a mainstream outlet. We might not be happy because we don’t like how snowboarding is represented there and you know like whatever, Videograss crew isn’t going to get a Vice interview because nobody gives a fuck. Dudes snowboarding is just dudes snowboarding since the beginning of snowboarding.

Blunt Mag. 1997.

Brooke: Right.

Jason: But so we kind of have to be happy for them just to get into that mainstream coverage and get a foot in the door, because that’s gonna open it up to more girls. We still don’t have as many girls snowboarding on that type of level so everything you chip away at like that. Too Hard and all these other things that are happening are good because it gets one more girl a little reach to say, cool you could do this, you could do that. Not, you could get drunk and tell everybody that you think you should be able to be a slut without being shamed, but you should be able to be like look and say I can snowboard and do what I want. There shouldn’t be any rules for me because I’m a girl. When I moved back up here I met a super awesome girl that snowboards a ton and everything and yeah she gets the same treatment as the guys. Luckily she keeps up really well, but we talk about that stuff, too.

And we had it in my day in snowboarding. I could be honest about it. I could say, yeah I did bigger tricks than Tara Dakides did, but Tara Dakides deserved more money than I did because she brought more people to snowboarding, she sold more product for her companies, so she had a bigger name – she deserved more money than I made. But if we’re gonna be fair, go to be honest the other way too. If your crew is not selling boards for a company, then they’re not gonna get the same support, and that’s the part we don’t know. There’s a reason so-and-so baseball player makes 20 million a year. It’s not for any other reason than he makes that much money for the company. So you know, if – and this probably speaks to your part about the women that are in control there – the women in control should push to advertise the other women more, they should push to put them out in the mainstream more and let people see and figure out how to let the pro women and whatever they’re doing media-wise, interact with other girls in different areas so that more girls come to the sport. That will justify even more money for payroll for other girls and more trips and things like that.

Brooke: Yeah, we’ll get there, hopefully. I remember when I was growing up I thought the X Games were lame because it seemed like the jocks I hated in High School trying to get in on something cool. But I think kids who grew up with the X Games now are like, X Games is sick! You know, I can see snowboarding on TV. As someone who’s won X Games gold, what’s your take?

Jason: Well I had a slightly different perspective because I was always so much of a fan that anything I could see on snowboarding, I loved. The 1st X Games I didn’t get to be a part of, the winter ones, because I wasn’t anybody at that point – but I watched it. I was like “I love this! This is awesome!” We didn’t know it was going to be what it was, we just knew, here’s another contest. I think maybe you’re referring to 6, 7 years after it started, you could look at it and go, this isn’t really doing it for me. But when it 1st came out in ’97, I was like hell yeah this is awesome! Another contest that I get to watch! Cool! So, I was super stoked on it. And then to get to be a part of it, you could start to see when you got there, like whoa, this is kind of a big deal going on. There’s a whole village built around this and all of it, it was pretty rad. I think that now I’m less excited about it. I think proportionately way more of the world is stoked on the X Games than they used to be because way more people snowboard now, or at least know about snowboarding or have some sort of interest. We could all look back at ’97 and say people didn’t really wanna dress like we were dressing. They were like, oh you’re lame. You’re not getting any girls, you’re not getting any cool points, you’re not getting anything because you’re a skater or a snowboarder, so whatever. Now, everybody wants to look like that culture. Whether it’s surf – everybody has a Billabong hoodie. They’ve got a Burton jacket – like everybody wants to have a toe in that lifestyle, even if they don’t wanna do the things. A 50-year-old dude who’s never been on a board will wear Hurley stuff, they wanna be part of that lifestyle. So, therefore, they will watch that stuff when it comes on or they’ll at least give it a glance when they wouldn’t have previously. I’m still torn, I’m kind of still in that camp slightly where it was better when they hated us.

Alpenglow. 1992.

Jason: But, whatever. I don’t know. I’m trying to learn to be better about it and less stuck in my little bubble and try to see more from everybody else’s perspective. I just look at it now and I just want people to have a good experience. We’ve already lost the battle to where every soccer mom and every kid is gonna try these sports, and you know so let’s just make it a good experience for everybody that tries to come into it. Because if they have a good experience, they’re gonna wanna stay with it, and if they stay with it, that’s what keeps our industry going. Keeps it growing and makes a place where pros can have a living and I can make a living off of having a store and then I can work to get skate parks built in our town. I can work to get snowboard camp going again, I can do positive things. If the shop doesn’t stay open, I don’t get to do that stuff, and if people don’t like snowboarding and skateboarding and surfing, then they don’t keep my shop open, you know. So I have to be a fan of this whole chain now, and instead of being, “oh, I’m pro guy” and all I care about is what trick I’m gonna do off the jump today. Now I have to see a much bigger picture and try to take that into account. I’m not the guy anybody gives two craps about watching hit a jump anymore, but I can make an impact by providing a place where the next group of those people can have a positive environment, you know. If I didn’t have the snowboard shop when I grew up, who knows what would have happened. Maybe I never would have gotten to the point of getting to do all these rad things that I got to do for a few years, so maybe now I can help facilitate that for a new generation of people.

Brooke: Definitely. I feel like there’s a lot of people who are in the same camp as you or just you know getting older and wanna stay involved and are trying to figure out how. And I think the answer is help the kids, get them stoked, do things for them, put on events, be a positive member of the community – it’s not about you anymore. But it’s a tough pill to swallow, getting old is really stressful.

Jason: Yeah it’s rough. It’s super rough. I still deal with the situation of trying to come to grips with how my career kind of came to an end. Kevin Jones called the other day and we were talking, and he was like Borg you never got a chance man, you just never got a chance. I had only a few ads ever in a magazine from Burton and most of them were smaller publications, not big things. I never got a chance to really see the potential of where it could go and all that could happen and that’s tough to come to grips with. And it’s not like being a lawyer where if being a lawyer here doesn’t work out, well 10 years later I’m gonna be a lawyer somewhere else, you know. You have this finite window and even if you can still ride well. There’s not that many Iguchi’s out there getting a call from Arbor to come have a pro model at this point in time.

Brooke: Right

Jason: So, yeah you just have to accept that was a window, I got to do some rad stuff, I gotta let that go and move on and figure out how to continue to enjoy life. But it’s really tough when you’re passionate and somebody else cuts it off. You know, you don’t fuck yourself over, it just ends and you’re sitting there swimming around trying to figure out what to do. You’ve still got all this passion and all this excitement and this fire for something and now people are like, no you can’t do that anymore. Yeah, you can still do it, I still snowboard nonstop obviously, but with no travel budget, with no anything you know. Having to grow up and start paying a mortgage and do these other things, all of the sudden, those same carefree opportunities are not there.

High Cascade 1992. Yes that shirt says “ravers suck.”

Brooke: Do you have advice for anyone else going through it? I mean you’ve been grappling with it for a few years, but there’s a lot of people right now who that opportunity is ending for…

Jason: That has really has been one of the hardest things in my life to deal with, because from the moment I started snowboarding at 14, I didn’t wanna do anything else. Then I got the chance to only do that, you know just to live that life, and then it’s just gone. Unless you’ve developed a passion for something else that can take its place… I would argue that most of us who get to a decent level in any sport are fairly like obsessive because you have to have this thing that doesn’t let you think about anything else in order to drive you to be good at something. It takes a lot of practice to be good at anything – 10,000 hours they say – and I just, I struggled. I just sat there and I could not find anything else that made me that excited about life and it was constantly fighting off a borderline depression over it. Like how do I deal with this, how do I find excitement for life, cause now all I’m doing is staring down the barrel of 9-5. You can’t snowboard when it dumps, you better hope on the weekend it snows, like, I’m just dreading that. All I cared about was finding out how to stay in that world. I don’t have a lot of advice, I was just trying to just hammer it into myself, hey you know you only have one life and if you’re gonna sit around and mope about it forever and miss something that’s gone, you’re gonna waste that time and you’re gonna want that time back at some point, so start forcing yourself to enjoy things and be happy and look for other things that can be exciting. For me, it ended up manifesting itself in the business side of working on this shop and the idea of how can I make events that bring people together and get them psyched, how can I do things for kids so they’re like, yeah dude! I can help the local kid try to get sponsored, I can mentor that side of things, and I can still go out and try to learn new tricks, I can still go snowboard as much as I want, but I don’t get to have that be my only focus in life anymore. So to answer your question, I don’t have any advice really, it’s something you personally have to cope with. I wish more people would talk about it, I wish more people would come out in the magazines and let people see the real side of what happens. Most people are really afraid to say anything because they don’t want to screw up their chance at future opportunities. But I wish more people would come out and talk about the struggle of it and let people see the real human beings that are inside this, instead of “everything’s happy!” Then I’m gone, and then nobody knows where you went to what you did or anything, you know, like let’s get to know people’s lives, let’s talk to kids and what’s tough about it. Are they stressing out because they have to decide whether to go to school or blow it off to try to make a living snowboarding? Let’s talk about being depressed afterwards because you spend 20 years solely going towards one goal and then all of the sudden you don’t get the chance to do that thing anymore in the capacity that you were doing it. That fucks people up. Maybe everybody else has it figured out, but I don’t think so.

Brooke: How has the transition for been to like being a shop owner though? Are you able to use some old connections?

Jason: Oh for sure. If I had to walk in and explain at a trade show, “hey I’m Joe Schmo, I’d like to carry your boards,” most companies would have not given me the time of day. There were a number of accounts that basically opened me up because of my legacy in snowboarding and in Alaska. You know, I have a good situation in Alaska and a good reputation for being a part of this community up here and helping build it, so they know that. Then they know me from snowboarding because all of the people I snowboarded with were are either reps now or sale managers or company owners or whatever. It’s super helped out, for sure.

Snowboarding is fucking awesome because so many people came to my aid and helped me out. The Internet allows you to get on Facebook and go oh hey, I heard an interview from Adam Gerkin at Sno Con and he talked about the business so I’m just gonna look him up on Facebook, send him a message saying you sound really knowledgeable and I wanna open up a shop, would you be willing to talk to me? The lady who did Snow Wave in Northern California, Gerkin, Chappy, who does the Soul House Project in Truckee all gave me so much advice. Chappy was just happy to sit on the phone with me and talk to me and tell me everything he could to help me out. Snowboarding people just come to your rescue to help you out. So yeah, I didn’t get an industry job, but I did have a lot of people that said hey, dude, whatever you need, you’re family because you snowboard. And I hadn’t met these people really before, so it’s not like I had this great relationship. It’s just cool people, cool people looking out for others who do what they do.

Brooke: Totally. Yeah I think you hear about how people are talking shit about each other and the industry, but the reality of snowboarding is that most people, when you show up and you’re part of snowboarding, they’re like alright! You can stay at my house, what do you need to know, here’s how you get a discount lift ticket – that’s been my experience traveling around, and it’s cool. I’m so excited I get to be a part of it.

Jason: Yeah. It’s really cool.

Shaka, brah.

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