Chad called me on the phone one night out of the blue and drunk. Â Never even met the kid andÂ he says, “When you gonna put me on Bluebird?” I’m like “Are you fucking kidding me – right fucking now.” Â That was a long ass time ago. Â Homeboy has been throwing down like a real man shredderÂ since way before you little shits were suckin’ on your mom’s busted ass tit. Chad is a major commodity in snowboarding. Â So, hopefully this industry will continue to give him the respect he deserves. Â — Willie McMillon
Jack: Do you make it a point to call all your potential sponsors shit-faced?
Chad: Actually, I don’t drink much anymore. I think it was (Nic) Drago that made the call. Â He had a t-shirt on or something and I had always thought Bluebird was a sweet company. Â But yeah, I should try and make a point of getting sponsors like that, since Bluebird is my longest standing sponsor so far.
You’ve been at for a good decade now, so could you tell us exactly how you came to progress without the aid of a late-release limited boot colorways or the technology of a reverse camber board?
Simple – spin until ya hit and know how to eat it. Â No, I don’t know? Â I just snowboard a lot and that’s what I live for. Â If you go out and have fun everyday you’re going to get better. You just have to have what is or isn’t a gimmick. In the end it’s you blowing it, not the board.
You dropped out of the Academy a few years back and now the Rossignol deal is done too. Are you that difficult to work with?
Academy was having issues a few years ago, so I had to leave. Â I couldn’t ride for them for free. Â No hard feelings there though, I think they’re still going at it. Â After that I decided to ride for Rossignol since it’s pretty much a sure thing that a big company is going to pay their bills. Â But that didn’t work out either – I just quit a couple months ago. When Quiksilver sold them, which they told me wasn’t going to happen when I signed, they decided to make major cuts. I could of stayed on for another year but decided it was best to just leave. Â I don’t like riding for someone when I don’t see a future in the company. Â It was awesome before then. I actually got paid on time and we were getting a lot of coverage in the mags and videos. It seemed like we were doing a good job and things were looking up. Â But whatever, they hooked me up for two years and I thank them for that. Â Just gotta move on and find a snowboard company that doesn’t have dirtbags attached to it.
So are you even making a living off of snowboarding at this point?
Every two years my board sponsor either goes under or has financial issues and I have to find a new one. Â I have no board sponsor right now — I’m riding a Miller beer board at the moment. It says “Miller Time” across the base, but it’s cool since that’s my girl’s last name (Miller). Â Anyway, I guess if I do find a new board sponsor they can expect to go under in few years. I still ride for Bonfire, Copper Mountain, Bolle, Bluebird, I AM, Remind Insoles and I get free gloves and sweet camera backpacks from Dakine. ( check out Chad’s photos here)Â It’s enough to keep the dream alive — that’s all I’m really looking to do.
Before all of that weren’t you on Forum for about eight seconds there?
Yeah, I rode for them for about a year after M3 gave us all the boot. Â Then they started having financial issues so I bailed from them and went to Academy. Â Since Burton ended up buying them (Forum,) they seem good to go. Â Their movies are still amazing. Peter Line is the best snowboarder ever, and I think the team is just as good as when they were the “Forum 8.”
How much input do you have in the engineering and design of your pro model wax?
I took a picture of myself holding a popsicle for the (Bluebird) ad. Â I chose the white wax because I collect old snowboards and I wax them before I hang them and the white kind makes ‘em look all new. Â I also use it in the spring and summer cause it’s the warm weather kind. Â But Willie designed it — he’s pretty creative when it comes to that stuff.
Have you ever threatened a boss or co-worker?
Kind of…I’ve been bartending in Breck and one night the cook wouldn’t pay for his drinks because he was so drunk. I called him out pretty hard but never threatened him, just kicked him out.
What do you think of the world ending in 2012 – getting nervous or what?
My girlfriend is really scared — it’s gonna be crazy, kind of like when the year 2000 was about to hit. Â Personally, I can’t wait. Maybe there will be some new mountains somewhere because of it.
What’s the best video part you’ve filmed — personal favorite?
Technical Difficulties or The Revival. Â I had the best year that year. I got to travel a lot it opened my eyes to snowboarding, especially being from Minnesota. I think I filmed most of that stuff in April and May. Â I’ve probably had better parts then that since, but those were the first I ever liked – I’ve been trying to match them for 10 years.
I saw him on a plane to New Zealand a couple of years ago and talked to him a bit then. Â He seemed pretty out of the snowboard scene, just doing commercials and Jackass stuff. Â My friend Kurt and Brad Kremer filmed most of my footage from the Whitey movies and all the skit stuff was filmed with Whitey — those are what made his movies awesome.
Worst slam ever?
I’ve had 10 concussions, but my worst slam has to be last January when I hurt my foot. Â The fall itself didn’t hurt but it took me out for a long time.
When you go upside down, sometimes you hit your head. photo: Davelehl.com
Do you have any projects or sinister plans in the works?
Bluebird is going to make another movie this winter – same with Role Model. I learned all of those double-chuck moves last year on small jumps right before I got hurt. Â I kind of want to try those on bigger jumps this year. Â I have a couple unexplored spots in Colorado I want to go to as well. Besides that, I just bought a new camera, so I want to film and take a lot of photos on the side. Â I don’t really want to do anything stock, keep doing new stuff.
What kind of other crud are you into aside from snowboarding?
All kinds of things lately. I’m really into shooting pictures and filming. I’ve been bartending and coaching at the Copper Woodward during the off-season. I’ve got a sweet girlfriend and I skateboard. Â I’ve really gotten into golf – you can catch air, hit trees and not get hurt. Â I also like driving my El Camino. Â Mostly just into active things. I can’t sit around or I go nuts.
One final, foreboding question — being one of the top freestyle riders for the past decade and seeing how far the tricks have progressed since you came up, do you ever feel like your career is winding down – that the end may be near?
Nah, I still feel like I’m gonna shred for a long time to come. Snowboarding is my life and I’m going to keep on doing it whether people (companies?) are supporting me or not.Â A lot of people always ask me, “What are you going do when you’re career is done?” and I always tell them “I’m gonna snowboard.”