Shane Stalling isn’t a pro snowboarder, but if you’re looking for someone to define what snowboarding is, look no further. He rides as much as he can, he plays music, he helps anyone who needs it, and he does it all because he wants to — not because he’s supposed to. With no shortage of energy or motivation, over the past ten years Shane’s unfiltered charm has earned him well-deserved “local legend” status in Big Sky, Montana. If you ever have the chance to meet or ride with Shane, do it. It will be the best time you’ve had in your life. Just watch out — what he thinks is possible, might not actually be — but that’s no reason not to try.
How would you describe living in Montana to someone who’s never been here?
I don’t want to answer that. I don’t want to say it’s good here.
Cause then people from Portland will move here. (laughs) It’s still pretty raw. There’s a good shred scene, there’s not like a big pro scene. There’s a lot of mom and pop ski areas, you see a lot of people who wear jeans. It’s a good place. It’s mellow and not mellow at the same time.
You just put on the Smash Life banked slalom for ARob for the second time this year, how did you think it went?
It sure went a lot better than last year. I learned a lot last year organizational wise, kinda how to run the event. This year I was able to start it earlier and bring in different categories. The nice thing is, last year the timer broke kinda right at the end and some people still hadn’t taken their runs. Everyone knows why we’re there, so we just party boarded it. No one really cared, no one really cares what happens at it. We’re there for a good cause. This year was good, the timing worked, we had a big crew of people there, a big crew of rippers.
Like Lucas Debari.
Yeah, Lucas Debari was there, the whole Go Boarding crew was there. It’s a big deal for someone to drive all the way up to Big Sky just to do a Banked Slalom, it’s pretty sweet.
How does it compare to the other banked slaloms out there?
Other banked slaloms don’t have a super G at the end of the them. You don’t get core shots in other banked slaloms, and have everyone be like, well, there’s nothing we can do about it. There’s fucking rocks there. There was one really sharp corner and the rocks were seriously starting to stop people, but no one gave a shit. Everyone still dropped in and charged over the rocks. (Alex) Yoder was standing there and he was just like, whatever, what are you gonna do, which is kinda the whole Smash Life scene. There’s always gonna be obstacles that you gotta overcome but people don’t care. No one bitches about it. At least I don’t hear em bitch about it. You guys were probably bitching about it.
Ha no way. Today we hiked out into the backcountry and it was awesome — endless pow and pillow lines. How do you find crazy spots like that?
You just explore. Go wander around in the woods basically, that’s how you find stuff. If you just drive on the road and never walk off the road you’ll never find anything. That was a special spot today, I’m glad you guys got to experience that. It was awesome.
It was amazing. We were up there to hang a board for A-rob, what’s the story behind that?
Aaron used to spend a bunch of time here. To pay to get to his next place, he would sell old boards off, so a bunch of our friends have old boards that we were given or bought off him sitting around. The spot we went to today, Aaron used to go there with us all the time, and show us how to snowboard, basically. We thought it was a really cool, special place. Super quiet back there. So we thought it would be nice to have Aaron’s board there, be able to high five it, or salute it every time you drop in from a run because you’re about to go bash 20 pillows in a run or get face shots. When you’re dropping in, you’re not going to have a bad run, guaranteed. If you can go in with A-rob’s stoke into your run that’s already going to be sweet, it’s perfect.
Last year we wanted to hang the board but we had a bad snow year, so we didn’t go back there even once, which worked out well because we got to hang out with Jason today, which was awesome. Having him there to hang his brother’s board up, that meant a lot. And a bunch of his other friends. It was perfect. A lot better than just a couple of us going up there.
What was the highlight of today for you?
Losing my hangover. For sure. (laughs) No my highlight of today was party boarding with 24 people on light, deep snow. I was surprised at how good that snow was. But other than that, just having people from all over. You have Mitch Kirby, it’s his first time in the backcountry probably, and then riding right next to him is Lucas Debari. You have the high fives between the two of them and everything, you just have such a wide range of people of all abilities, all shredding and being stoked.
We can thank Aaron for today. Without Aaron, stuff like today wouldn’t have happened. We kept that place a secret for five years — Todd Kirby and those guys found it too — but I never ever would have thought of bringing 20 people back there. Ever. But because of Aaron, 24 people today had an epic today, and that’s awesome. That’s the whole idea of the smash life thing, get everyone together boarding and not care if it’s your first time in the backcountry or if you were just in Antartica with Xavier de le Rue.
That’s awesome, as is your band.Â Tell us about it.
We have a band called the Riot Act. We have a song called “Show Me Where you Pee From.”
Can you give us a sample lyric?
There’s only really one line it’s, “Girl, drop your shorts to your boots and show me where you pee from.”
Who wrote that?
Actually it’s a line our friend Yomar used to say a lot when he would be kinda buzz drunk to girls. And so we wrote the song and Brian couldn’t think of any lyrics for it. Earlier in the day I had heard Yomar say that to someone and I was like, show my where you pee from! Just start yelling that. Then Brian added the line about drop you skirt to your boots and then it became a pretty badass song. It was the first song we played last night.
Actually, on Halloween I had a girl do that before we even played that song, so that was awesome. Seriously. It was weird. I was playing the drums and this girl was really high and all of a sudden I look up and her dress is just pulled up. We played Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese all the way through, and she got a little loose.
So what you’re saying is, girls do like guys in bands?
Yeah, but the problem with being in a band playing at the bar is you get done playing at 1:30 and then you have to pack up all your stuff. So you’re done at like 2:30 and then some dude’s already taken the girl that you want to hook up with home. It’s the artistic plight.
How many Eskimo brothers do you have in Big Sky/Bozeman?
I’m not answering that question. But you’re sitting next to one of them. (laughs)
Fine… So, you came into two kids, how did that change your life?
That sounded horrible. Listen to the question you just asked. That’s fucked up. I’ve never come into two kids.
(Laughs) Let me rephrase. Your girlfriend Amy has two kids, how’s being a dad?
Well, I’m not a dad, more of a “role model.” It’s super fun though. Christmas is super fun because you’re not just like, thanks, I got socks, you actually have kids excited about opening presents and stuff. Kids are awesome. I babysat them the other day, they’re 6 and 8, we rode the Big Sky tram, so that’s awesome.
Do you have them snowboarding yet?
Not yet, they have snowboards though, so they’ll pick it up.
Are you afraid that they’ll ski?
Nah, they can do whatever they want. Amy will read this. She does not like when I make fun of skiers. You’re getting me in so much trouble.
No I won’t. I’ll get you in trouble with all your friends but not your girlfriend. Let’s talk about Todd Kirby. Why is he so good at snowboarding?
I don’t know. We had like the same snowboard coach growing up and I’m not nearly as good as him, so Matt Gustafson must have gotten a lot better at coaching. That’s my only reason. The only thing I can think of. He’s way better than me, which is not fair.
You didn’t grow up in Montana? Where are you from?
I grew up in Minnesota. Grew up riding Buck Hill and once I had a drivers license I started riding Hyland. Then I moved down to Mammoth for a year in 2003, but I got sick of Los Angelesers, so I moved to the exact opposite of Mammoth, which is Bozeman. Been here for 10 years now. Don’t even want to leave. It’s awesome.
You must have lived in Mammoth during the glory years of Grenade.
It was 2003, definitely when Grenade was going on. It was before the village was there, La Sierras was like the drinking spot, it was still like kind of a raw ski town. It’s kind of a little more uppity ski town now.
Do you have any good stories from those days?
I lived right near Danny (Kass), there would always be crazy shit going on in the parking lot, but none that I can remember.
That’s the problem with old stories.
Nah, I forgot those by the next day. (Laughs.)
What’s your personal favorite part about Montana?
The fishin’. If there’s a body of water that’s moving, there’s probably fish in it. Even like irrigation ditches that run through town have like 24-inch fish in them. The fish are bigger than the irrigation ditch is wide. The snowboarding is good too, but I’m getting old, so, fishing.
How old are you?
While we’re talking age, why was the cut off 38 for Masters in the Banked Slalom?
Well it was 40, and then our friend Travis Boss, who used to be a Ride pro, has bad knees or something, and called me and was like, I don’t want to compete against all you guys. So I asked him how old he was and he said 38, so I moved it to 38. And then Erik Morrison, who ended up getting like 13th overall, he thought he was in the old man division at 36, but he’s got two years to wait. He ended up beating me. I might just keep it with whatever TÂ Boss’s age is from now on.
Can you explain to be how RC beat all of us in the Yobeat cup?
RC stood around in the cold, filming all day long while you guys were snowboarding. He didn’t even have a warm up run and he still beat all of you. It’s cause he lived in Montana and he knows how to ride fast.
Fair enough. Is there anything else that you would like to say to the Yobeat public?
Yeah, keep hating on videos, it’s awesome to read. We had a video up and someone said they’d rather “hammer a glass pipe into their dick hole than watch that video ever again.” It’s one of the best comments I’ve ever read. But don’t submit stuff to Yobeat if you’re gonna be offended if it gets made fun of. Every time I submit edits, I submit them to see what people say about them. What is the meanest thing that’s going to be said, cause I want to laugh, because I don’t care. If it wasn’t for that, Yobeat wouldn’t be what that is. Also, Joe Pope can get fucked, so go to the Smash Life Banked Slalom at Alpental on the 19th of January.