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Hump Day Rides the Winter Wave with Annie Boulanger

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Annie Boulanger charges gigantic mountains. Slays powder with reckless abandon. An iconic Canadian backcountry snow slayer goddess, she has the best video parts year after year and was the first female rider featured in Absinthe films. She has been there, is going back to slay it with style, is clueless what day of the week it is, or, what hump day is, but does day to day bullshit really matter when you are spreading the ever loving gospel of getting rad on your snowboard? Nope. Amen, Annie.

What was the worst part about growing up a Quebexican?

All the French people! It’s cool back there. All the mountains are flat.

It seems like Quebec is firmly planted on the snowboard map these days for urban exploration. Discuss growing up in Quebec and what kind of game it was coming up 15 years ago.

It was a lot of parks, really small mountains and not many girls around. No rails at all. It was all tabletops and really bad halfpipes. We had the 418 Crew who was ripping in the pipe in Quebec.

What town did you grow up in?

I am from Montreal. I would drive about an hour to go to Mont Saint-Saveur.

Do you remember your first time snowboarding?

Yeah, it was horrible. I was thirteen. My parents didn’t want to help me get a lesson and it was my brother’s first time, too. He was a bit better than me, so he just ditched me. I was kind of left by myself on a hard slope and I didn’t know what to do. I had really shitty ski clothes on so everything was wet. All my shirts and sweaters were wet.

Were your parents skiers?

Yeah, my parents were skiers so they never wanted me to try snowboarding. So I spent the day by myself trying to figure it out. My second and third days were way better.

Do your folks still ski?

Yeah, they still ski.

I bet they are stoked on snowboarding now.

Yeah, they are super supportive now. They for sure didn’t want to help me buy a snowboard, though. Even before I got on a board I was so captivated by it. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Guys jumping off picnic tables with really baggy pants. I liked sports but I wasn’t someone who wanted to train really hard. It was my kind of sport. I like the party kind of vibe. The freedom of it. I skied before I snowboarded, but I wasn’t really good. With snowboarding it just clicked.

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Little girl, big lines. Photo: Oli Gagnon

Being from Montreal did you speak much English growing up?

No, I spoke mostly French. I learned English in my teens, around fourteen or fifteen.

Do your parents want to separate from Canada and form their own country?

No, no, no, they aren’t that French. They speak English, love to travel and are super worldly.

Were you born with huge balls or do you get testosterone injections?

I would say a bit of both.

Does lacking balls make it easier to be a full bore sledneck?

I am not addicted to snowmobiling, it just gets me to snowboarding. But it’s one of those things you have to learn. How to keep up with all those guys.

Do you think not having balls between your legs makes it easier to get to the spots so you can go huck yourself off huge cliffs?

It makes it easier to hike up stuff. It’s way more comfortable while doing it.

Hana Beaman once told me she thought having boobs to shred with sucked, but she didn’t want balls either being slammed all over rails and whatnot.

I don’t have either. I guess I am just super comfortable, I guess.

Do you have any horrific snowmobile stories to share?

Fuck, almost every day is horrific! Back in the day used to be horrible. So bumpy, but horrific? I have sent my sled off some big cliffs and stuff. Get insurance. I just recommend getting insurance. If you get out and your sled is still running at the end of the day, then its a good day.

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At home in Whistler. Photo: Oli Gagnon

What’s the single best damn thing about snowboarding?

Snowboarding! Powder? But the snowboarding part is the best.

Do you remember the first time you went to Alaska?

Yup. I can’t forget really. I went to Haines. I drove up with Oli Gagnon and Eric the Absinthe filmer. I was really scared and I was really intimidated. I was kind of just wishing I wouldn’t die. In the back of your head you are hoping you are going to kill it, but you don’t. You kind of just end up watching and tumbling around. And you pay a lot of money for it. No, it’s really amazing. But I am going to say I was really scared for sure. I think everybody who goes to Alaska is pretty scared.

Female wise, what was the toughest part about breaking into the male dominated snowboard world of the 1990s?

Just even getting into a contest. I started snowboarding in 1993. They would barely allow girls in the contests. Then all I could do was contests and not anything else. I started riding pretty much by myself because all the guys were too cool to ride with a girl. Then all my best friends were rad guys like JF Pelchat and Gaetan Chanut but I wasn’t allowed to go shoot with them, so… I still feel judged by guys all the time. Guys are stubborn.

What was the moment you felt like you had truly made it as a professional snowboarder?

Probably last year.

What can we do to encourage more girls to shred their daylights out?

I thought you meant like show their boobs?

No, shred their daylights out doesn’t mean show their boobs.

It just has to look easy and attainable and fun.

Snowboarding has had some naysayers in the press lately. How do we fight snowboard ignorance?

I think it’s because skiing has more avenues. Snowboarding is so limited because a lot of people in the industry are just people who want to see gnarly and new stuff. That’s not the main market that is snowboarding. A lot of it is big mountain, or fun powder turns. I think you are cutting out a lot of people by only showing new and gnarly stuff. I think skiing has more avenues to reach out to more people that are older. It’s an older sport and it was dying. I find that the person who grows out of the gnarly phase of snowboarding doesn’t have much to look at and keep interest in it.

We have Jeremy Jones.

Thank God we have Jeremy Jones and the Absinthe movies always have awesome powder sections. Surfing keeps legends around. Snowboarding has kind of struggled with that and it depends on the people who get hired and run the industry, right?

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Showing the mountain who’s boss. photo: Oli Gagnon 

How do you stay safe in the backcountry when the mountain is trying to kill you?

Oh that is tough sometimes. We read a lot of the avalanche reports and I think patience is the key.

Has the mountain tried to kill you?

A couple times. It did last year. I was so surprised, too. It’s when you are not ready.

Have you invested in an abs backpack?

Yeah, I have an abs bag. They are awesome. I haven’t had to pull it yet, though. We try to be really careful. With the weather starting to be different now I find the avy danger to be way different with the temperatures. It’s getting pretty scary. Somedays I realize it ‘s just snowboarding and I better take it down a notch instead of just going to risk my life for a shot. You can’t get carried away by what other people are doing.

Where is your perfect winter wave?

My perfect winter wave would be Whistler. Chairlifts are my friends.

Have you ever used the rescue whistle on your signature Dakine backpack?

I tried it once or twice. It works!

What does Absinthe mean to you?

It was so amazing. I am so thankful. That was one of my biggest goals that I achieved in my career, to film with Absinthe for 5 years. I met some amazing people and I definitely learned a lot about the mountains. Probably one of the best experiences of my career.

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Have you had any bad experiences with Canadian Healthcare?

I havent. Have you?

I would love to have Canadian healthcare.

I ruptured my spleen and I took the ambulance with the sirens all the way to the city from Whistler. I spent a couple days in the hospital, but I never saw a bill. I swore because of the ambulance I was going to get a bill. I still haven’t seen it.

You were out in Brandywine and you ruptured your spleen?

I was on the resort. It wasn’t like some hero story, it was a really dumb move.

Etienne Gilbert, Martin Gallant and Victoria Jealouse – You have had some big mountain pioneers in your back pocket. What’s the biggest piece of advice you have learned from your predecessors?

From Jeremy Jones I learned to take some warm up runs. It’s better to take a easier line and rip down it then to pick a hard line that you struggle down. That was good advice.

What are you doing with the rest of your season?

Hopefully I am going to do some lines. The snow just got stable this week so I am looking forward to some bigger faces. The avy danger has been high so we haven’t been out on many faces. Just doing little cheese wedge stuff. I like it better when I can get on a big slope. Strap on your snowboard and do some turns. I get excited to get on bigger faces. I am hoping to not use my abs bag. April is usually the best month.

Any words of advice for the devoted Yobeat readers?

If you think you can do it, don’t give up.

What do you still hope to accomplish with your snowboard career?

I am actually hoping to get more girls into it. Inspire more people to get out there and have fun and not take it so seriously. I would like to take it less serious and have more fun. I find I was more serious with the Absinthe days and I want to take it less serious. Get more girls stoked and inspired to travel.

Describe your perfect hump day?

Hump day? I Forget my days of the week sometime – powder, no powder. The perfect hump day would be waking up to 30cms of fresh snow and going up with my friends on the mountain and riding the resort. I would take a nap after all that powder. Then I would hang out and maybe go hot tubbing. Then I will have a glass of wine. In a hot tub. Does that sound cool?

Indeed. Who are your sponsors?

Nike, Salomon, Anon, Dakine and Whistler.

Salomon in Saas Fee

Pat Moore guest stars in your first peek at the 13/14 Salomon line. Plus some skating and boarding.

Filmed & Edited by Tanner Pendleton

Riders: Jed Anderson, Josh Dirksen, Wolle Nyvelt, Bode Merrill, Chris Grenier, Louif Paradis, Annie Boulanger, Victor Daviet, Sylvain Bourbousson, and Jamie Nicholls.

The Snowboard Dating Show

I wanted to name this dating show “which snowboard would you fuck?” But Brooke didn’t agree that the name had a nice ring to it. The premise of the show is that we asked a snowboarding citizen to come in and ask questions about three different snowboards without being able to see them. Based on the answers I provided, he the then chose which board he wanted to fuck… or date or whatever.

The Snowboards featured were

Board #1

Forest Space Case EC2-PBTX Snowboard

Board #2

Capita Black Snowboard of Death

Board #3

Salomon Derby

Hump Day Goes South with Austin Leonard

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photo: Erik Hoffman

Austin Leonard is the snowboard king of the south. With smooth style, and the whole dark and handsome thing going on, I expect this kid will see big things. From his little hill in North Carolina, to working at Windell’s in the summer, Austin Leonard actively lives the dream with a gigantic smile on his face.

Where are you from and when did you start riding?

I am from North Carolina in the Appalachian Mountains and I moved here like 13 years ago. I’ve been snowboarding for six or seven years. I started skateboarding and then got into snowboarding by poaching on the hill. I didn’t have tickets or anything and I ended up getting a job at the local skate shop so I got a free pass. I kind of finagled my way in there in that way.

What’s your home mountain?

Appalachian Mountain. It’s just a little hill. Probably 400 foot vertical or something. Straight 30 second runs and a five minute lift ride so, it’s a little bit of hassle but you’ve got to grow up with what you’ve got. I made the best of it for sure and I grew up riding with guys like Cam Pierce and they definitely helped me get better at snowboarding in my area cus there are not any boarders here. Period. It’s not a place like Minnesota or California with a scene. It’s just a small town.

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Austin Leonard’s neighbors had a hard time understanding why this was necessary. Photo: Darcy Bacha

Are you a super-hero in North Carolina?

Ya, It’s pretty easy to recognize me just because I look… different. Way different. When I moved up here I was basically the only black kid in my school and one of the few black kids in the town even so that was kind funny. I’ve got big curly hair and I’m black so I’m super easy to recognize. I just try and make friends with everyone so, I think everyone knows me here. I think it’s funny because I am just a nobody just like everybody else.

Are you traveling this winter or chilling in North Carolina?

I just graduated college in December. I got my degree in graphic design but…that was what made it hard to get a film crew. Everyone gets their crew together in October/November, and I was set to finnish school in December. Had to get that done and out of the way. As soon as I graduated I headed straight to Bachelor for a little bit to get some real Mountain riding in. After that I went down to Bear to film Sundays at the park and I was super stoked on that. That was my first time doing that and it was my first time really entering the “edit” scene because it’s a late time to be getting in with crews. In reality I don’t plan on hanging out here too much longer.

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Austin deals with pressing matters at work.

So you just finished college. Which lifestyle will you choose? boarder or job-seeking-college grad?

Well I just got out of a a five year relationship so lately I have been experiencing the ultimate freedom. Playing life by ear has been going well so far so with all this freedom I’ve been able to jump on the thirty-two spot check tour, which has probably been the best experience I’ve had in a while. Getting to meet people like Chris Bradshaw and Beresford and Kuzyk. It’s one thing to ride with them but to actually live with them for a couple weeks and stay in hotels and get to really know people…It’s cool. Bradshaw was huge influence. He said a lot of stuff that made me feel like sticking with filming things. He sort of just speaks to playing things by ear and letting things come about. So ya, right now I am just playing things by ear and everything seems to be going well and falling into place.

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Fishy business.

What’s the hardest thing you have dealt with this winter in terms of traveling and filming?

For me, I honestly haven’t been snowboarding as a lot of others because I got into it a little late but I think the timing of different things has been the hardest. I haven’t been able to film a full street part and I’ve mostly been filming edits. I sometimes feel like I am waiting for things to fall into place. I try and keep a good mind set about everything, you know. Push the hard things to the side and let ’em be and but if they do get in, then I feel like hard experiences are learning experiences, ya know? you have to go through those hardships and learn what you need to.

How do you support your life of traveling and snowboarding?

{laughing} I work at Windells in the summer and I stack mad racks off the staff sale. In the winter I help out at recess, my local shop in town.

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Watch out ladies, this guy has quick hands. Photo: Oli Gagnon

What are five things that Austin Leonard needs to survive?

Umm spliffs, friends, money…Is that three?

ya.

Ok [laughing] Water and inspiration.

Where am I talking to you from now?

I just drove back from the spot check tour in New York. I’ll be chillin for about two weeks and the other homies are in California. I am going to be heading out west soon for the Asbury demo in Cali and then I will get some much needed Oregon time.

Many of us saw the riffraff video. That shit was hot. Do you rap in real life?

Well…I do get drunk sometimes and freestyle. Me and my homie have been getting more into it so you may some stuff coming in the future. As for the Riff Raff track, that is my homie Viktor Simco’s brother and I just thought to myself “well if I do come out with some hot shit, and Riff Raff is on it, that’s what s good you know? Get that, catch me on tour if he really likes me {laugher}. My main goal is getting super icey to the top ricey, you know? On the real I just like to entertain people, you know? Everyone makes snowboard edits to cool songs and does tight tricks and I was like “well I probably am not going to do anything insane all by myself. That’s how it is riding here, I ride all by myself so, I got my homie to film it but it was just me riding so I had to think about what would make int entertaining and what would make people laugh. That is my overall goal in life really, to make people happy.

I’m tryna make rap videos this summer? You in? I’m tryna piece this thing together.

well shit, I’m recording right now with slush. Beatman is over and we are producing right now. I drank a little moonshine but I figured that would spice things up. Anyway send me your sound cloud and we can figure that out.

Tight. You working at Windell’s again this summer?

yup. What do you do there? This will be my fifth year being a digger.

Have you gotten sick of it yet?

[Laughs] I think everyone gets sick of it but it’s a bitter sweet thing. It’s one of the best experiences that I have every year, no doubt about it. The diggers create a brotherhood and we share that extra bond so if we go camping and get triply and weird…can’t beat that. It gets old in the last couple weeks because you are ready to get home but right now i’m ready to get there so it does’t get old.

Do you have your eye on your next location?

I am thinking about Bend, Oregon. It is super easy to get to other places from there and I have a spot I can live at already. It’s a really cool town. super peaceful and nice. Jonah and Spencer both get mad shots there so, I’m down with that place. That’s my number one right now.

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Channel gap or chanel gap? Both work for Austin.

Who you going to film with for the season?

In October I went on trip To West Virginia with the Keep the Change dudes. West Virginia is a pretty shitty place though and they don’t have options so that was just a fun trip with the homies. Other than that I was in school and everyone got pretty crewed up. I am not trying to be an intruder though and even though I want to get my thing going, I think something will fall into place. And once that happens I am down to move wherever.

Shout outs and Sponsors?

32, Ashbury, Salomon, Bonfire, Crooks and Castles, RAW ROLLING, Airhole face mask, Recess ride shop, and Stance Socks. My shout outs? Shout out to all the diggers, My mom, my family, all my friends, much love to everyone, much love to the haters. Shout out to you guys for keeping it the realest on the internet.Much love. Starting at the bottom, now the top. I see y’all.

Thursdays at the office: Job Hunt

After being charged instead of paid on pay day, Justin goes to SIA to search for a new job. He also signs a contract that no one expects.

Premature Evaluation: 13/14 Salomon and Bonfire

With SIA rapidly approaching, have another two-fer for ya. Here’s what Salomon and Bonfire have been cooking up for 2013/14 across from Franz Bread factory in Portland.

Bonfire

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This year’s Bonfire outerwear has gone past hip and straight to Redneck. Refusing to play into the game of high snowboard fashion, Bonfire brought their outerwear back to America’s roots.

The Outback Boot Pack

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Finally, a snowboard backpack that will blend in with all the other rednecks on your cheap Southwest flight. You are twice as likely to grab someone else’s bag accidentally and end up with trashier luggage than yours.

Barrel Overall

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Whether on hill, working the moonshine still, or marching your daughter’s boyfriend down the isle with a shotgun, the barrel pant revolutionizes classic denim overalls.

Belmont Jacket

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The Belmont jacket is a work-wear inspired coat with a Sherpa collar for solid performance in the coldest and redneck-iest conditions. This collar could be used to warm you during snowmobiling, skeet-shooting, lighting shit on fire and/or ice-fishing.

Women’s Taylor Pant

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The Bonfire woman’s line is keeping the “mom jeans” look alive. These pants come with a tramp stamp patch on the back, so you can let ’em know how you get down.

The Hudson Jacket

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The water-resistant Hudson is more than just your average mid-layer utility. It’s a camo jacket that says to the local bar-cougar, “This guy hunts.” It’s not until you get her home that she discovers you are a piece of shit snowboarder, but by then she doesn’t care anymore, she’s in it for the sex.

Salomon

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I can only imagine the long line of sexual innuendoes going down at the Salomon office With almost every snowboard featuring a pointy nose and tail. “just the tip” jokes must flow like water. I wonder if they are hiring. I’m a sucker for office banter.

The Sick Stick

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Sick.

The Split-boards

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Three Salomon favorites are now available as factory split boards. All come tuned with steel inside and outside edges, inserts for mounting touring brackets, durable custom fit Salomon climbing skins and Karakoram clips. The idea here is to divide and conquer.

The Assassin

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Breeding snowboards can be a dangerous thing, and often times result in the birth of a retarded snowboard. The camber chart for this board looks like some sort of broken penis, but I have a feeling this board is the real deal.

Quantum Bindings

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With a newer, stronger update to Shadow-fit technology, It’s only a matter of time until Salomon asks me to make them
<href=”http://yobeat.com/2012/11/20/young-mountain-baby-presents-the-shadow-fit-rap/”>another rap-music video. Actually they will never want that.

Woman’s OH YEAH!

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The name of this board is awesome, because when you are trying to think of it, your “oh ya” has nothing to do with the actual name of the snowboard.

Young Mountain Baby Presents: The Shadow-Fit Rap

One of the perks of having a rapper on staff at yobeat, is that when a company like Salomon wants to do a feature about their new “shadow-fit” binding technology, we have our work cut out for us.

Instrumental by Mike Fresh. Check his work here

Check out the Hologram binding HERE

Check out the District Bindings HERE

Jed Anderson’s Team Vacation

Just take a minute to think about how much insane footage Jed Anderson has put out on the Internet so far this year already. Here’s some more from Salomon and Bonfire’s Team Vacation last winter.

Bode Merrill Slays Boredom

I flew out to Denver, Colorado the day after Christmas to meet up with Bode Merrill, Chris Grenier, Andy Wright, and Gary Milton. Considering how dry this season was, I was happy just to see snow on the ground.

A lot of crazy stuff went down this trip–this isn’t one of those crazy things, it’s just a warm up. But for me, this is always the best part of the session.

It’s the moment when you know it’s going to work. It’s really exciting. For anyone that’s ever built a ramp, rail, or jump–you know the feeling. As soon as you know it’s going to work, your brain goes crazy. You’re thinking of what you know you can do, what you might be able to do, what you want to do–and what you don’t want to do. It’s really fun to watch someone as talented as Bode go through this process. He makes it look really easy and always ends up doing something insane. – Tanner Pendleton, Bonfire & Salomon filmer

Hump Day with Java Fernandez

I don’t even really know how to start about my bud Java. Honestly the first thing that popped in to my head was “Big Mexican Teddy Bear.” The best part is that he is not even Mexican. He’s Spanish. But he dresses like a Cholo so his friends just stick with “The Mexican.” In fact, not 30 minutes ago I was in the Bonfire/Solomon offices and heard one of the (very) higher ups shout, “Where is the Mexican?” He’s also not that big, it’s his presence. You can’t miss it. Java fills the room every time and I love watching him operate in every day situations because he adds more volume and character to everything. He’s also one of the funniest dudes I know. I would pay money to see Java do stand up. In fact, that is my new goal… to make Java go to an open mic and just see what happens. The only downsides to Java are that he’s in to the motorcycle craze like everyone else and their mom and he’s obsessed with The Smiths. I look past it though. Java is a boss. Friend to all animals and kind to the elderly. — Cory Grove

Interview by Amanda Hankison

Just got your email and think you may be confused, I wanted to do an interview with just you.

Hmm. I’m not sure anyone would have any interest in that.

Ohh, I think there would be some interest.

I don’t do anything but eat meat and low-ball people on Craigslist.


He’s a meat eating, low-balling, gun shootin’ badass.

You had a decent behind the scenes view on this past winter though, and I’m pretty interested in the Team Vacation side of things…and some sort of conspiracy theory on how Salomon grew into what it is right now.

What would you like to know about Team Vacation? I was there from start to finish.

It seemed like it was the culmination of Salomon being rebranded from a random ski company that supported [Robot Food’s] Lame, early riders like Benedek and Dirksen, and was wielding a strange 3D top sheet into a force that has assembled one of the heaviest teams in the world. Has there been a plan all along where you guys were seeking out the best riders, building an amazing team under the radar, and just biding your time until you could launch one of the most covered tours in history or did it just pop into your head one day and it all worked out?

I might be reading into this wrong, but if you’re referring to Josh Dirksen and David Benedek as lame snowboarder, then you’re a crazy person. Those are two of the best snowboarders of all time. If you are referring to them as two snowboarders that starred in the Robot Food film “Lame” then that’s different.

Yes, the movie, I’ll use better-placed capitalization next time.

As far as a plan, we’ve been very calculated about some things and very loose about others. When it came to building a team, I sought out people that I thought were really good and could bring something new, both to the brand and to snowboarding. Louif was the first person I called when I got the job.


Louif didn’t disappoint.

Did you have to do any convincing or was he hyped on the opportunity?

I offered him 11 million dollars and he was sold.
(awkward Skype pause for sarcasm)
But really, Louif is a really smart guy. He stepped into on an opportunity that seems to be working out OK so far.

When was all of this happening, getting the job and talking to Louif? It seems like most of the other riders are also in the street/video part game, not too many competition kids on the list. Was that intended too? Do you think that you were reaching outside of competition results to find the ‘something new’?

I think that was around the end of 2007. We do have a couple people that ride in quite a few contests and they’re really good. Kohei Kudo, Jamie Nicholls, Jenny Jones, Max Buri. A lot of people actually. Personally, I love watching snowboard contests. I’d be lying if I said I was a total fan of some of the things that are happening in contests these days, but man, those kids are really freakin’ good. BTW, let’s keep this to one question at a time. I’m trying to schedule a catalog shoot, revise a budget, and drink coffee at the same time over here.


Product testing.

For sure, sorry about that. You’re totally right, but I was trying to get at the point that the current hype surrounding Salomon is more focused on riders like Bode, Desiree, and Jed. What do you have to say about the role of Jed and the Salomonder in legitimizing Salomon’s position in the street/park area?

I think it’s all about what Jed and Chris do. They’re 2 of the most magnetic people I know. Such good people the both of them. They are talented in different ways that makes both of them unique. Not to kiss too much butt or anything, but Jed was born with some freakish natural talent that doesn’t come along very often. Whether it’s snowboarding, art, skateboarding, music, anything he takes interest in really, he’s just somehow really good at it. He tells his board to do something and it just does it. I spend a lot of time with him so I see it quite a bit. Chris on the other hand, has to work harder for some things but has a determination that I’ve never really seen in another person. When he puts his mind to something, it doesn’t matter what’s in his way, he’ll get it done. He’s a good person and I think that takes him a long way. Not to mention, he’s the smartest uneducated guy I know. To get to your question, I think that both of these guys are totally instrumental in the success of the Salomonder Snowboard and Boss Binding. Both of them are as progressive as it gets with the types of snowboarding they’re doing and I think that’s an easy thing for a lot of people to get hyped on.

That’s really awesome to see such respect towards the riders, I have a feeling that a lot of the success you’re a part of right now is based off the fact that you seem to have formed a family-like atmosphere. Is that part of the reason Team Vacation worked out so well, its all one big family?

I think it made all the difference. We’ve got a tight crew and that is the absolute best part about my job. It makes a big difference in the end when everyone is down for each other. When we go to catalog shoots for example, I usually can’t sleep the night before because I’m looking forward to seeing everyone the next day. I think it’s this way for pretty much everyone on the team. They all have so much respect and admiration for each other. It’s really cool to see with such a diverse group.

While it would be fun to think your life just consists of traveling the world and rounds of cosmos with your friends there is the reality that it’s all on you to keep the team functional. How do you keep it together when your day is full of expense reports, fielding unscheduled interviews, wrangling interns, and the many other tasks you’re responsible for?

Sometimes it can be a lot to juggle. Every winter, life falls apart and then I spend the summer putting it back together. It’s not easy to hang on to a girlfriend and it’s impossible to always make everyone happy. But at the end of the day, I get to do a lot of cool shit and go snowboarding a lot. That means a lot to me. Not to mention, I’m as geeked out on snowboarding as any 16-year-old kid out there. I’ve filmed with every person on the team at some time or another and seeing what they do live is so fucked. I tried to explain it to my dad once that it’s like a die-hard basketball fan having front row tickets to the NBA finals. It’s something else.


Quality control at its finest.

Sounds like that could be a warning to others that your life isn’t meant for just anyone. What’s shaped you to be able to handle so much? College/internships? Your family? Or knowing the right people and a diet of meat and coffee?

I wish I knew how to answer that question. It’s probably a combination of a lot of those things coming together in a way that got me where I am today.

I had heard that you were somewhat a man of mystery, I guess your recipe for success will remain a secret for now. What about basic info, where are you from and how did you get into snowboarding?

I’m from Kansas originally.  I went to school at the University of Kansas and studied biology/pre-med.  Then I moved to Colorado in 1999 and went to culinary school in Vail. I had grown up going on family ski vacations to Colorado being that I lived in the neighboring state.  When I was a sophomore I can remember reading a snowboard magazine —I wish I remembered which one it was, but I can remember a photo of a guy named Ali Goulet jumping off a cliff somewhere in Tahoe I think and I can remember thinking that was what I wanted to do.  I had it in my mind that for some reason, snowboarders always had access to perfect powder.  I don’t know why I believed that, but I can remember thinking it.  I thought about that all the time for some reason.  I went snowboarding for the first time when I was a sophomore in high school in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  That was in 1994.  The first day I went I wore jeans and a shitty old jacket.  It was snowing like crazy and I was riding a huge Kemper snowboard with these really soft Burton boots that said Work on the side of them.  I froze my ass off that day.  I hadn’t really thought about it much until now, but it’s crazy that I can remember pretty much every inch of that first run down.  I got my ass kicked pretty good that day.

For the end I have a classic curveball question that’s rather relevant to the Yobeat audience..what do you think of Nick Lipton?

I think that his charm is that it’s tough to determine whether he’s a genius or legally retarded.

Perfect. Anything else you feel like sharing? General words of wisdom?

Watch Josh Dirksen, Temple Cummins, or Terje Haakonsen turn their snowboards. Copy that with all of your might.

Java’s view of Stockholm while playing B angle for Shoot the Moon and Absinthe’s Twe12ve.

Team Vacation Goes to Japan

Insert witty write up here.

Riders: Chris Carr, Louif Paradis, Chris Grenier, Taka Nakai, Scotty Arnold, Teddy Koo, Desiree Melancon, Harrison Gordon, Kohei Kudou, Ryuichi Kabeta, and Rio Tahara.

Edit by: Tanner Pendleton

Intern Analysis: Salomon F4.0 High-Tops

One perk of interning at Yobeat is that companies send me their products from the future. These super secret sneakers are apparently coming out in a distant Salomon street wear line, and were modeled loosely off Marty Mcfly’s skate shoes from Back to the Future and this year’s F4.0 Snowboard boot. We decided to put them through a series of serious tests to make sure they worked.

Salomon Team UK Vacation

The Salomon and Bonfire teams are living it up in the land of snow domes and chips with every meal. Welcome to the United Kingdom.

A Minute at Northstar

I don’t know what’s better about this edit, Salomon teaching you fools how to use hip hop, or Scotty Arnold’s best part in years. Who says you can’t learn shit while on vacation?

Riders: Chris Carr, Colton Morgan, Gared, Desiree Melancon, Sawyer Dean, Scotty Arnold.

SIA 2012: Day 1

Sandwiched inconveniently in the middle of the season, SIA is happening, again. Wait, did that sound bitter? Cause I didn’t mean it that way at all. In fact, the Yobeat crew is super stoked to be back in Denver for another round of shmooze, booze and product peeks. Day one is a wrap and here’s what we learned: People are still starting new companies. PR people still think the brands they work for are revolutionizing the sport. And it’s always good to see old friends. Since I’ve already written this story a few times, I’ll just spare you much reading and let the pictures tell the rest of the details.

Brad Steward and Terry Kidwell’s combined ages top 100. And if you’re under 20, you probably don’t know who either of them are. Weird.

Windsurfing is just one of the new sports CAPiTA is taking up for 2012/13. The other, single-blading seems slightly more dangerous, so we don’t want to post a picture of it in case you try it, get hurt, and then want someone to blame.

Touch-tech is hot for 2012. This DAKINE glove will enable you to Instagram while boarding and if that’s not a selling feature, we don’t know what is.

Mikey Leblanc is trying out a new brand of professionalism this year, which is a bummer, because working in the new insulated slippers is comfortable, but not professional.

You can take Holden out of Portland, but you’ll never get the Portland out of Holden. Heart Coffee was french pressed on the spot, and Solstice Supply’s Justin Clapick was happy to indulge.

Mikey and highlights of the 2012 Holden line, most of which he described as “not ugly.”

Scotty “The Body” Connerly has a new gig with I.N.I. Cooperative,which uses materials such as hemp and has Bob Marley licensing, but isn’t about smoking weed, rather sustainability. Jah man.

Nike. Still making snowboard boots.

Boas on helmets? Yep, genius. In case you were wondering, the one-size-fits all kids Pro-Tec helmet fit me best anyway.

The big news over at Vans, socks are back for 2012! Yay, socks!

Ashbury’s got a whole damn wall of goggles now.

FUNhat co-founder and current Yobeat Brand Partnership manager Justin Parkhurst described the Coal booth as “heaven.”

Draplin’s got a Michigan Yo-Merica sticker. Do you?

The models Salomon/Bonfire hired to hang out were kinda dull.

Seattle heavy-weights Sean Tedore and Peter Line.

Did ya hear Travis Rice is on Union now? Luckily they make a binding to match every outfit he has!

Not gonna lie, the highlight of my day was getting free Chuckbuddies. You know you’re jealous.

And now for you gear nerds,  here are lots more pictures of the stuff we checked out today.