Corey Smith: Hit it and Quit it

A man and his dog


Snowboarding gets stale fast, real fast. Without change snowboarding would become the most repetitive thing on earth. Once upon a time Corey Smith provided change, and the snowboard world hasn’t been the same since. Corey’s bat out of hell, ride hard, and live harder mentality was so refreshing to the snowboard scene that you can see entire armies of youngsters emulating the man on hills across the country. Corey recently left Portland, Oregon to move to LA, so I caught up with him to see what his deal is these days.

NL:You left Portland a little bit ago. How are things now and what are you doing?

Smith:I’m just living the dream in sunny LA.

NL: How is the art going, are you still creating art and holding shows?

Smith: Yes, I still have shows and create new artwork. I try to have six shows a year. At least that’s what’s necessary to make a living.

NL: Is snowboarding dead to you? Or do you still get up to the mountain every now and again?

Smith: I’ve been surfing these days. I feel like I’ve snowboarded enough for one lifetime. I only went a few times this last winter because I needed a break from the scene. I plan on going a bit more this next winter. I kinda just “hit it and quit it” with pro snowboarding. Just snowboarding is a really simple existence and I personally need more from life than trying to learn tricks and break my neck.

NL: Are you still involved with the design of Capita? Tell us about this years deck.

Smith: I still design the Stairmasters and the limited edition Xtreme Stairmasters. I put some old Dungeons and Dragons monsters on them and described their magical attributes. The Xtremes have pictures of the love of my life jumping on a hotel bed topless. The pics are from a series of photo transfer paintings I did called “Prescription Pills and Hotel Bills”. It was during one of the craziest periods of my life. I was just traveling all the time partying everyday and fulfilling some Spinal Tapish cliches.

NL: You were always a big force in the D.I.Y. snowboard scene, what do you think of the current direction snowboarding is going in?

Smith: I have no idea. Things seem cool. I think it’s funny how people are doing the stuff I was doing five years ago when they said it wasn’t real snowboarding. Like all the street skate style shit. There’s a lot of haters in the snowboard scene and a lot of people who aren’t very open minded. There’s a lot of people who will clown on you for something and then you see them doing it years later. Kind of a bummer sometimes.

NL: If you could see anyone come back and strap in who would it be?

Smith: I don’t know, maybe someone dead.

NL: Who do you think the future is? Who are the up and comers?

Smith: Everyone on the Ambiguous team represents what I like to see in snowboarding. I’m more interested in people that represent the snowboarding lifestyle rather than who’s the raddest.

NL: Does it matter with this global warming crunch?

SMith: Yeah, I guess current events really make snowboarding seem small. I think with the US economy in the dump, endless occupation of Iraq, a possible war with Iran, fear of a terrorist attack, government corruption, and the upcoming election, everyone’s anxiety level is raising even if it’s just subconscious. We’re living in crazy times indeed.

NL: Before you go, how is the old greyhound doing?

Smith: Marcel Ducamp is wonderful. He loves California especially running on the beach.

Check out NeoProto’s Some Kind of Life or NeoProto to witness Corey’s hottest action, and his unique approach to snowboarding.

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