Chris Beresford seems like he’s on a pretty even keel. With Chris there is no wild style, contrived image or marketing antics — just good ole’ New England style snowboarding. As one of the only riders to not migrate west, he represents the bitter end of the pro snowboard scene moored on the East Coast, and somehow he has had a successful run at it from western Massachusetts. Chris is a good dude, an amazingly creative rider and has kept his bearings in the snowboard scene, more than most, I’d say.
How is your knee?
It’s good. I bought a mountain bike actually. I just cruise this bike trail and ride four to five days a week and it’s feeling better. I just got back from Chile on a K2 trip and I was able to ride. I was fine but it made me realize I really need to do some physical therapy. I can’t go into a room and have somebody tell me what to do; it’s not how I work. I have to want to do it on my own so that’s what I did.
What was the injury?
I came to find out that I bruised my meniscus super bad. I guess those don’t heal very easily. I don’t really know. I was so drugged up when he was explaining everything afterwards I was just like, ok cool man, whatever. I was able to walk out of my surgery that same day. I couldn’t feel much.
How did you get hurt?
I dropped this thing in Alaska. I went up there to ride powder and we ended up just doing whatever we could because the snow was so crappy. I’m an idiot and I dropped off two-stories but there was also a 30-foot gap that you had to clear too. I just didn’t go fast enough, like an idiot. It would have been way better to go too long than do what I did and go too short. I did it and I was able to still ride, it hurt and my knee would swell but I finished up filming for the year. I’m pretty happy with my part, so it’s all good.
Tell me about filming for your part in Ransack Rebellion.
Every year you set up to film a video part, but you don’t know what is going to happen. I want to do something I haven’t ever done before; I don’t want to cancel a shot out. I don’t really film the bonus so much anymore- I used to just film anything, but now I go out and try to film a video part. I want every shot that I am spending time on, and basically half the time we’re out there we’re shoveling, so I’m not wasting time, I’m trying to get shots and put a part together. If I have a good week of filming then I can go out and enjoy snowboarding and ride the mountain with my friends. That’s what I work for. I work hard filming then I’ll reward myself with a couple days of actually snowboarding for fun.
Were you happy with how it turned out?
Yeah, I was so excited to go ride some powder, not saying I was going to do double corks. The year before with Right Brain Left Brain was my first time ever jumping and it was one of the cooler feelings- when you ride away from something because it’s actually good snow. The only time I’d ever tried jumping was into hot pow, and you can’t land in that stuff, it just doesn’t really work. And when I went to Alaska last year for Right Brain Left Brain and did a front seven and actually rode away it was like, whoa maybe I know how to snowboard. I think it was the fact that it was real snow and not hot pow.
How did filming for Ransack Rebellion compare to filming for Think Thank any other year?
Filming for Ransack was a bit different than previous years because I was riding with some new guys like Sean black and Ted Borland. All in all it forced me to step my shit up a bit and not be so orange cone Think Thank, if that makes sense? [Laughs]
Concrete. Photo: Alex Mertz
Backcountry or concrete?
If I can go ride backcountry I’d love to. This past year for Ransack Rebellion I have a rail part. That’s not necessarily my style, but you know… I feel like my style is just that if something is in front of me I am going to snowboard and try to figure out how to get a shot.
So your style is just to snowboard?
I think I’m pretty normal, if you ask me. I don’t think I have weird anything. I don’t dress funny; I am just a normal snowboarder on the mountain. My pants aren’t huge, they’re not tight, they’re just normal.
Are you saying you are not image conscious?
Not really. I think that’s probably why my sponsors don’t do much with me, but whatever. That’s how normal people who buy snowboard stuff are. I just think the image thing is funny. Most people who buy snowboard stuff aren’t buying the image.
Do you think sponsors would help out more if you had an image?
It definitely helps a lot when you have some sort of quirky image to sell. I try to do different stuff on my snowboard and be different as a snowboarder but I don’t have a weird image. I wear a sweatshirt, a hat and a pair of pants. That’s what I go film in. I don’t feel like I have to do anything else, you know?
Sequence: Tim Zimmerman
Have you ever thought about coming up with an image? It might help.
Not really because I decided that I just think it’s so silly when people completely change it up. I think it’s ridiculous. That’s why I chose my sponsors, they didn’t exactly come to me, I went to them. I thought K2 would be a good sponsor for me because they’re normal, they don’t have an image really. They’re so all over the map with gear. 32 has that fitted image, but they also do normal stuff. I just tried to ride for companies that I thought would be down for me because I felt they kind of fit my style, which is what you wouldn’t call a style. It is whatever the hell it is.
Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Jack Nicholson? What about crazed ax murderer?
I could start rolling with that, but I don’t know. I’d probably make more money if I was trying to be some biker or some gnarly person not taking showers for week at a time, but I’m a pretty clean dude and that’s how it is.
That’s respectable. Where did you spend most of your time filming this year?
I filmed a ton on the East Coast. Seriously, I’d say 70% of my video part is within an hour of my house in Massachusetts. It was so easy. A lot of stuff I did was outside of my comfort level but we had so much snow I had to do that. In order to keep doing this, you have to go outside your comfort level.
What is it like trying to film a video part and stay connected from Massachusetts all winter?
It wasn’t weird at all. It was fine because a bunch of Think Thank’s guys were out here staying at my place. It was weird because we’d go out on a daily basis and not see snowboarders; I like going out and not having to fight over spots. That’s why Salt Lake is so crazy to me, you have to wait like three days to go hit a rail because it’s all booked up for the next few days.
Park. Photo: Alex Mertz
You’re one of the only people in a long time who has stayed on the East Coast and had a successful snowboard career.
It’s funny back in the day there was Eastern Edge and those mags, I was so young but there was more of a scene on the East Coast. That kind of went away- the pro snowboard scene.
Well thanks for holding it down for all us pussies who moved west. If there was ever a good winter to be East, it was this past one.
I did one rail that got hit a bunch, and I almost don’t want to say where it is, but it’s the most perfect down bar and it’s somewhere around Connecticut. The Transworld guys went to it and some of the Videograss guys, well I guess it’s Videograss now, and that is just so funny to me because it is so close to my house. People are going to find the good stuff no matter what but I was pretty pissed honestly, but it’s whatever it doesn’t matter at all.
Does it bum you when other film crews invade your neighborhood like that?
It totally does. It’s just funny because I know those guys and you think they’d get in touch or figure out how to be like, hey I’m in your area what’s up. But they came within a half hour of my house and they probably drove right through the area that I am from and I didn’t get a phone call. You don’t get nothing, and it’s your hometown. I know that Scott Stevens, I didn’t film with him this year, but he was bummed that I brought guys in like Sean Black and Brandon Hammond out. They were on the East Coast and they were at Scott’s spots too. Some of the spots are places that Scott found and I would ride those too, so he wasn’t happy that I was showing those guys. It’s just a funny inside the snowboard world, you know?
Actual Powder. Photo: Zimmerman
A lot of crews went to Boston this year and there hasn’t been the opportunity to do that in a long time because of snow. Did you go to the city?
Yeah I consider that Grenier’s zone, I don’t ever really go out to Boston. I literally filmed one day out in Boston and it actually was really awesome. I just let that be Grenier’s zone and I got Western Mass.
A lot of the guys who you grew up with and are your friends, including Scott, don’t film for the same video. How do you deal with the turf wars?
It’s fine. He gets upset with me over it more than I do. I don’t really care, I know that sounds lame, but I got mad when the VG guys came just because they’re not even from the East Coast, they’re completely random. They didn’t even go with anybody from the East Coast to hit these rails. I can understand why Scott gets mad, but I am from the same area and [Sean and Brandon] are filming with me this year, so of course I am going to go to the things I want to hit. I really don’t get mad, it’s just snowboarding at the end of the day. Who cares?
Are you a Masshole?
I don’t know, I could be. I am straight up from Massachusetts for my entire life; I have never lived anywhere else.
Are you a sports fan?
Yeah I’m not crazy though. I watch the Bruins, but I don’t watch every game, same with the Redsox. I’ve always been more into the action sports stuff. I played soccer when I was in middle school, but other than that I never really played sports.
How was going to Chile with K2?
That was pretty sweet, minus the fact that there was no snow. It would have been cool to see a little more culture but whatever, you can’t complain it’s snowboarding in August. Other than me being skeptical about my knee, it was so fun. I hadn’t snowboarded in five months, and just doing an Indy grab, I was so psyched. Turning and not really doing anything was so fun.
What’s the Jordanesford?
I had made up this drink that was orange juice and Pisco because we had already drank all the Coca-Cola and we still had Pisco left. I called it the lazy man or the Jordanesford because it’s just orange juice and Pisco. Then they got all crazy with it and put orange slices and some shaved orange and this and that. The name is a combination of me Mendenhall and Larson all put together. If that makes any sense at all…
Skateboarding. Photo: Alex Mertz
Dang Shades seems like it has been gaining some steam, how’s it going?
It’s definitely slowing up because it’s the fall and summer is over, but I am out of sunglasses. I have a new shipment coming in, I want to say once I get that in it will pick back up. I have shops calling me but I don’t have anything to sell. It should be better than in past winters, but it’s always going to slow up because people aren’t going to have the same sunglasses mindset during the winter as they do in the summer, even though it’s still sunny in the winter.
Snowboarders starting companies seems very common right now. Is that what a rider who is not making the big bucks has to do to survive?
It almost seems that way. I know some of my buddies, not that they have crazy images, but they are making a ton of money. I’m making the same amount as, not a manager at McDonald’s but a normal 17 year-old kid making minimum wage. That’s how much I bring in from snowboarding.
There is something wrong with that.
It’s funny, I don’t even care. I am more than happy to say I get paid to snowboard but I’m never going to have a down payment for a house or buy a car.
Yeah, there is no middle class of snowboarding. You’re either making $10,000 or ten times that.
Any plans for next winter?
I might move to Salt Lake I am thinking. It’s just with Dang doing better, I can actually afford to do it. I guess the East Coast is a comfort zone because my car is a piece of crap and I can get around here, but I would never trust it to drive out there. But if I’m going to do it I need a new car, so I’m going to hit up some sponsors. I’m sure they would be psyched because it’s more of the snowboard Mecca as far as web edits and that kind of stuff goes. Hopefully Salt Lake, if not I definitely know how to live on the East Coast. I’m not a pro snowboarder, but I am a snowboarder from the East Coast and I’ve been doing it and no one has ever complained, not any of my sponsors. When you look at numbers, as far as what sells, the East Coast is huge and a lot of people buy snowboard gear here too.
Who are your sponsors that haven’t complained?
K2 Snowboards, 32, Fat Trax/ Eastern Boarder, Magical G0-Go, Pow, Etnies and Dang Shades.