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Ten years ago if you had said Peter Line was at the peak of his career, no one would have argued. He had his own company, filmed some of the best video parts, and consistently threw tricks that other riders couldn’t even imagine. Back then everyone just accepted that Peter was the best thing going in the sport, but what no one could have predicted, is how long it would last. While other riders have come and gone, and snowboarding is full of a new generation of styles, talents and tricks, Peter Line is still a rider everyone looks up to, and a lot of people would kill to be. This is the second YoBeat Peter Line interview.
BG: First off, what exactly do you do with yourself these days?
PL: I live in Seattle, where the riding is only an hour away, so during the early winter I cruise my local hill. This year was my first year filming in… I don’t know 4 years-ish, at least filming a full part. It comes out in October-ish, the new Forum video. During these summer months, I paint once in a while, drink too much, hang out with my girlfriend and dog the most, stare at the internet too much, write too little, and sleep till my head hurts, but that could be from the drinking.
BG: Why did you decide to film again after so many years?
PL: I got the motivation back again. I think you can only be burnt for so long before you completely quit or get stoked again. I got stoked again.
BG: So did you spend the whole season filming like the “kids” do, or did you take a more mellow approach?
PL: Yeah, I did it like the kids, or at least, how I did it as a kid — full emersion in the film world. It took sometime to break the rust, and was out for a month and a half with a broken foot, but I tried to film as much as possible. Could have found some better luck, but I’m happy with the season.
BG: Are you still pretty involved in the business side of forum?
PL: Not anymore, with the sale to Burton, I’m no longer that tight with the company on that level anymore. I still give them designs and help with team stuff and other decisions, but before, I was always at the office during the summers, working more directly with the people there.
BG: Oh I see. Well, then how did you feel about the sale to Burton, and what they are doing/have done with the brand?
PL: It was and is pretty awesome that Burton bought the brands, Forum/ 4sqr/SB needed to be bought, so it’s a really good thing that a company like Burton was there. Now, they still keep pretty much hands off, from what I can see and what I hear, they just let Forum do what it does best. And helps out where we weren’t so on it.
BG: Very diplomatic! So who is most in charge of steering the ship these days?
PL: It seems it’s a more collaboration with a few guys over there, between the marketing guy, the design guy and the product guy. They seem to get everything pretty tight and come up with some cool shit.
BG: I’m definitely impressed with the team. Did you get to ride with those guys a bunch while filming? Who were you most excited to ride with?
PL: Yeah, the team is getting pretty tight again. I haven’t seen everyone’s part yet, but I did see Jake Blavelt’s. His part is sick, crazy backcountry lines. Early season I took a trip to Baker with John Jackson. He’s the new guy, so it was cool to ride and get to know him. That guy can land anything.
BG: OK so looking into the future, what can you tell me about the documentary Mack Dawg is doing about you? How did that come about?
PL: It’s just now in the works. I guess he’s already compiled a bunch of good stuff from the interviews done for Double Decade. He’s really motivated for it, and of course I am too. I’ve got a lot of footage to go through though.
BG: You’ve definitely had a long career. I just went back and dug up your old YoBeat interview to see if I could repurpose any questions, but man, those questions were bad! So I guess, when you started snowboarding, did you ever think you’d be able to make a living off it of so long?
PL: As a kid, I thought it would be a dream to get free products. When I got products I thought it would be amazing to not have to work and only snowboard. When I started getting paid to snowboard I couldn’t believe it. Now that I’ve made a career out of it, and made money and owned companies, I look back and realize, that as a kid, I couldn’t even fathom of dreaming to where I’ve gotten in snowboarding.
BG: Do you still get recognized when you go snowboarding?
PL: Yeah, all the time still at my local mountain, but anywhere else, no not really. I don’t shave as much as I used to, or I need to shave more often than I used to, so I’m a hairy Peter Line now, not a kid Peter Line like what people remember me for.
BG: Do you think you are still relevant to the “next generation”?
PL: Yeah, I’ve still got my creativity and new ideas, and some new trick variations coming out. It seems the next generation is actually taking more and more from snowboarding’s past, from the colors to the tricks. So I’m right there with their 80’s inspiration, 80’s snowboarding is what inspired me too 20 years ago.
BG: What is the worst trend you’ve seen come and go over your tenure in snowboarding?
PL: A lot of the trends weren’t really that bad, they were just taken to an extreme so they got bad. Stances got wide, from 18inches to 27 inches back to 22ish. Each trend helped define the sport and develop it. I was never a fan of the step-in bindings, that was actually a trend that made people’s style worse, but other than that I’m cool with most trends, even the tight pants one now. I see it more than just tight pants though, they have their own riding style too. Tricks that are fun and weird — that inspires me. Pants can get too tight, and stances can get a too wide, big deal.
BG: So you are “snowboard famous”, but then you have someone like Shaun White who is “famous famous?” Would you ever want that?
PL: I would like the money and opportunities it brings, but famous to be famous, no. I liked the recognition I got for my snowboarding from my peers and the kids, to get the admiration for snowboarding is good. Shawn is the snowboarder who is famous with people who don’t snowboard. I don’t know?
BG: So, how do you feel about the fact that the forum video finished second in our poll of videos people are going to skip this year?
PL: What video is the one they most want to see?
BG: Well, Absinthe is last, so I guess that’s it.
PL: It’s cool if they don’t want to buy it, but they should at least check out as many snowboarding videos as they can. That’s how you get to see all the new best tricks, that’s how you improve. And the Forum movie has some pretty sick shit in it.
BG: So what movie are you most excited to see then?
PL: Not sure, I’m going to check out Double Decade. I heard it’s pretty sick with a lot of old footage and interviews.
BG: How insane is it that it’s been 20 years?
PL: Same as I’ve been riding
BG: Does that make you feel old?
PL: I am old… Old enough to see the first mags and first snowboarding videos, ever. I’ve had idols from Terry Kidwell to Jed Anderson.
BG: You were one of the older members of the original Forum crew, right, yet a lot of them have sort of faded away and you are still around and killing it. Why do you think that is?
PL: I was the old man of the team from the beginning, but all those guys are still around, they are just riding for new teams now. Me and Joni are the only ones left from the original Forum 8.
BG: Were you bummed when some of the other guys decided to leave?
PL: Yeah for sure, some didn’t have their contracts renewed right after the sale due to money, and the others faded off for different reasons.
BG: I guess that’s business. Ok, enough snowboarding. Who are you going to vote for?
PL: Obama, of course.
BG: Of course. Do you think voting is important and do you encourage the kids to register?
PL: I think it’s important, I do what I can, but sometimes people shouldn’t vote. The bigot voter doesn’t vote rationally.
BG: Right, I guess that’s the problem with a democracy. All right, well, anything else you’d like to say?
PL: No I think it went pretty well.
BG: Thanks a lot for your time!
PL: No problem, gonna go eat some pizza now.