Interview by Enzo Plati
Weighin’ in at a petite 135 pounds, and standing 5’10, Justin Fronius is a frail piece of work. When he falls, he shatters. But those moments are few and far between. His ability to snowboard on anything is inspiring, there is nothing he really struggles with. I’m fortunate to have worked for the city with Justin this year. All he ever needed was an opportunity to show his skills, and even after injuries and sickness, Justin came away with a full part in 6 weeks, His humble Midwest demeanor combo’d with his natural ability makes for a great snowboarder and an even better friend. — Jon Stark
E: Where are you from where did you grow up riding?
J: I grew up in Excelsior, MN and I’ve lived there all my life. No mountain. I ride Hyland Hills. It’s probably one of the funnest places to snowboard. It’s a skate park on the hill. I grew up inspired mostly by Jake Olson-Elm and Jonas Michilot. They gave me a whole new perspective of my take on snowboarding – Don’t take things too seriously, be unique, have fun. Surround yourself with friends.
E: What inspired you to move into the ARK this summer?
J: I was looking for a different way to spend my summer. Try out something new. I have been in Minnetonka almost every summer and all my homies were going to be on Hood and I have never snowboarded in the summer so it sounded like a good idea. I apparently had talked to Jared Jordan one night on our friends 21st birthday about being a digger. I completely forgot and about 2 weeks later Jared called and asked if I wanted to dig for the whole summer, at first I heard it was no pay. But I was going to go anyways.
E: As you know the Windells Diggers are know for their shenanigans. How do you think you will hold up? Are you ready?
J: Damn. We have already had some pretty crazy shit happen. Things broken. Tim Windell coming in at 6 o’clock for a wake up call. Kinda unrelated but mice in the house. Bats. Spiders galore. 10 dudes with one bathroom. Um… I really don’t know if I’m ready for it, to be honest. Shits gone down and it’s only been one session. I hope to stay busy taking advantage of Oregon by doing lots of fishing, camping, and mostly just getting to know the place. It’s almost like Minnesota on steroids. So I should be able to stay busy.
Switch Stalefish to lipslide. Photo Dave Brewer
E: Why did you buy a machete your first day here?
J: Well I love doing that shit back home. Running around the woods. Starting fires and just having a good time. When I showed up to Windells all everyone did was go out in the woods and fuck shit up. I heard about the ‘chette crew, including guys like Enzo, Nick, Chef Ryan, JR, and JR’s awesome dog Lola, I knew I would fit in with these guys. Running through the woods laughing and cutting down trees, drinking cheap beer and making sure our headlamps stay lit. I had to go into the hardware store and get one before the first camping trip.
E: How was your first time attempting to film a video part?
J: It all started with my friend Jake Durham. A super talented kid from MN who loves filming everything, we mostly just filmed sunny days messing around at Hyland. Just having fun and hanging with friends, this past winter I worked on filming a video part for a video called “Working for the City” with Jon Stark. Beginning of the year I chipped my pelvis and was going to be out till January. I kinda gave up on the healing process and started riding a month later, I had to snowboard. And eventually met Stark when we were out hitting a rail in Eden Prarie with some friends. Stark had came to the spot with Jonas Michilot and brother Jordan Michilot who also rides for Cal Surf. We pretty much just went from there. He committed to sticking around in Minnesota for about 5 weeks and we filmed my video part.
E. Who is Sugar Glider?
J: Sugar glider is my pet. He is currently at my friend Cole’s house. He is a flying squirrel who is nocturnal and lives off of fruit and vegetables and yogurt. Almost like a mini lemur. My friend had two of them and one passed away and I was always super interested in them, so I got one from a crazy fat lady in Edina, Minnesota. His name is pretty much I guess just a whistle. I don’t really call him anything.
E. Do you think you have a future in the rap industry?
J: Probably, I have to be extremely stoned to get my flow going, but once I do, there ain’t no stoppin, get that pussy droppin, like a bass she be floppin. Titties they be droppin. Stark got the flow but he’s just cock blockin.
Actually Park City, not Hyland. Photo: Dave Brewer
E: What is it about Hyland Hills that makes it so awesome?
J: Danimals. The second I see his red truck with black side panels is when I get super happy to snowboard. Because you know he is always happy and in a good mood, and gets you going. Secondly, the towrope. You can get over 100 laps a day. And there is tranny everywhere. And friends all around.
E: Everyone knows that Minnesota produces talented snowboarders, who of your Midwest peers inspires your snowboarding the most?
J: Jonas Michilot, he is really mellow about everything. He’s into super old things like Polaroid cameras. Tapes. Old bikes. Nintendo 64, thrift stores, used stuff, just stuff that brings you back and keeps you young. You name it. He’s in it because it’s fun, and it keeps you young and you get to live young longer it seems like, at least he tries not to grow up too fast. He is also just super unique. And doesn’t care what people have to say or think. He just does it.
E: Why is it so hard to have a girlfriend and film a video part at the same time?
J: It’s a little difficult. It all depends on the girlfriend. She was down for whatever makes me happy. And to tell ya the truth it’s nice to come home from a super long day working for the city, and go hangout with a gorgeous girl like her.
Gap to backlip. Photo: Dave Brewer
E: So the Burton Park wood rail is down the street from your parents house in Minnetonka. What’s the best trick you’ve done on it with no one watching?
J; When I was young back in the day burton park was awesome because I could walk there. It was wood. And natural run it, I would walk there and just have fun. The run out goes out onto the frozen lake so it’s a pretty cool place to be. Back in the day I did bs 5-0 front 3 out. I was all alone and was pretty happy. No one would believe me.
E: How stoked were you to get on Cal Surf team, that’s a pretty sweet group of snowboarders.
J: Awesome. I looked up to those guys my whole snowboard career, they are the guys that influence me to keep going. They all have become good friends. And I had been trying to get on the team for at least 4 years now. So to finally be a part of it, I guess you could say is a dream come true.
E: What made you want to move to Colorado, and what made you want to leave so fast?
J: I wanted to get out of Minnesota for a winter (mistake). I also just felt like jumping, you cant do to much of that in Minnesota, So I moved out to Summit County for what I thought was gonna be 5 months. I only made it 3. Everybody there sucked. It was a black hole full of losers. And I felt claustrophobic so I left, biggest waste of a winter yet. But I’m glad I found out what it was like, so I appreciate Minnesota more.
This photo sort of speaks for itself. Photo: Darin Back
E: What are you plans for next season and will you be willing to drive more then 10 miles to hit spots this year?
J: It’s not hard to drive less than ten miles and be able to find a spot by my house, considering I’m in Minnesota. But I am super motivated to make something happen next year, and Jon stark will be in Minneapolis to film “Working for the City 2,” so it’s going to be an awesome winter I’m sure I wont forget.
E: P.S. Would you rather have tits and a dick or be a pro snowboarder that gets railed by Elton John on the daily?
J: Definitely tits and a dick. I’m definitely not gay, but I do like Elton Jon. I mean come on, who doesn’t, your little sister? Also I could rub one off, and touch some boobs. Which would be pretty cool. But that’s what my girlfriend’s for. Wait? Did Jon Stark write this interview? Fuck you.
Switch back 270 from above. Photo: Dave Brewer
E: Shout outs…
J: The boys a the hut for getting me on a snowboard and giving me discounts. Mom and dad. And of course my brother Ryan for setting the bar, and my brother Adam for telling me to keep doing it. Jon Stark for bumming me mad cigarettes and driving me around filming all winter. Nick Olsen the TM for DC has done everything he has been able to do for me. Lance Hakker for keeping me stoked on snowboarding and helping me out. Z curl for hooking the digger job up for summer. Nick Karels at DC for getting on my feet. Scott at Cal Surf for being the man. Enzo Plati for giving me the opportunity to do this interview. And most importantly all the friends who are stoked on where I’m at, and to the people who tell me I shouldn’t stop. Also. Thanks to the people that took the time to read through this and actually care. And many many more.. if I forgot you. I didn’t. I just am too lazy to type any more. Cig crew.