A Hump Day iChat with Russell Winfield and Pat Bridges

,

Mr. Bridges. Photo: Tim Zimmerman

If you’re a regular reader of this site you may know Russell Winfield better as Uncle Russ Russ, but if you know anything about snowboard history, you know he’s a legend in his own right. So who better to interview some of snowboarding’s other legends? Pat Bridges isn’t just the editor of Snowboarder Magazine, but a walking encyclopedia of all things snowboarding (past and present), so read on and maybe you’ll learn something.

Russell Winfield 5:16 pm so where were you born?

bridgespat 5:18 pm I was born June 13th, 1973 in Rutland, Vermont. At this time my parents lived in Killington, Vt, which was 15 miles west of Rutland.

Russell Winfield 5:18 pm What is your first memory or encounter with a pro snowboarder and where?

bridgespat 5:21 pm I went to Stratton in 1985 or 1986 and had to get certified and Mark Heingartner who was world slalom champion was the guy who denied me my certification pass. I then went to Magic Mountain and got a lesson.

Russell Winfield 5:23 pm Now that I think about I have the same memory, but mine wasn’t so great because I didn’t get my certification first time cause I had the fins on it and couldn’t slide around on the ice!!!! lol

bridgespat 5:23 pm That’s one of the reasons why I live in San Clemente and don’t surf. Bad memories of anything with skegs.

Actual evidence of Pat Bridges’ big air career. Stimilon Air and Style, some time in the 90s.

Russell Winfield 5:24 pm hahahahahahahahaha!!!
  The thing I’m kinda wonderin’ is, I know you were buddies Sully and that crowd.. How did you go from that to journalism….?

bridgespat 5:31 pm When I was a junior in High School everyone who was in High School in Vermont had to write an essay about how they are currently manifesting their own future. I wrote about how snowboarding would take me away from the sticks of Vermont and show me the world much like hockey skates do for kids in Canada or basketball does for inner city kids. Understand that as the son of ski bums I wasn’t given a lot of advantages despite growing up in a ski town. If I didn’t get the free pass as a resident I would never have been able to snowboard. Anyways I won the essay contest and got a scholarship to a writers camp. There I was a snowboarder surrounded by these hot, nerdy, girls who were into writing and writers. I was hooked from that moment on writing about snowboarding. Unfortunately the encounters with the prose ho’s ended then and there but the writing and riding stuck. A few years later I realized I was a better writer than rider so I took that path. I gave Sully the name East Infection and a year later he approached me about being the editor of EI. That became my college. 
    I have a question. When I first saw you around in the VTSP days I heard you went in the bathroom at a house party and shaved your pubes. Then you went into the crowded living room and threw your pubes on all the partygoers. True?

Russell Winfield 5:33 pm Hmmmm I think that was Matt Mitchell but…. It could have been me!!!! Honestly I don’t remember. Sounds like a great party gag!!!
 We used to really woop it up back in the VTSP/Stratton days!! So like me your higher ed is spotted at best…  would you say because you were a regional pro snowboarder you knew the importance of the riders in the sport?

bridgespat 5:45 pm The regional rider bit didn’t come close to showing me the world. It showed me New England at best. I do have a lot of theories about the importance of riders. Most notably I have theories about the erosion of pro rider esteem within our sports culture. I see two causes of this. The first is the overspecialization of products in the marketplace. When there were 10 brands and each brand only had 5 models then riders could easily facilitate sales based on their reputation and exploits. Yet brands become subservient to the lazy needs of shop buyers. Shop buyers who aren’t invested in the culture pressure brands to give them products that they can sell despite being ignorant of what snowboarding truly is. You hear brands regurgitate the same shit to riders about shops not being able to push pro models. Well it isn’t that they can’t, it is that they are either too lazy to or don’t know how to. This is what happens when someone out of touch is forced to sell snowboards. In turn that shop only buys products which can be moved by someone with the least snowboarding knowledge possible. If someone doesn’t know who Danny Kass is then sell ’em on the banana tech or magnetraction that board has. Companies make pro models out to be retail kryptonite when in fact it is still just a snowboard and odds are a better one than the others. Then there is reverse camber which has its benefits but it has become manna for the masses and in turn there is a lot of sub par reverse camber being brought to market.
    So were your pro models the product of market research? Talk about niche market.

bridgespat 5:47 pm Tell us about Bill Cosby calling up Ride to talk about the Fat Albert knock off graphic.
 Is it true that the Ride bindings were called the Horse Shoe because people were lucky if they didn’t fly off mid air?

Russell Winfield 5:49 pm Well my boards were based on the theory that even though they were for me I needed to make something that everybody would like… So that what I did. As far as the Bill Cosby Story I like doing that one in my Bill Cosby voice… I’m sure it wasn’t him that called though.. Who knows… 
    Alright back to you

Would probably best best to just caption this one “Don’t ask.”

bridgespat 5:49 pm What about the Horse Shoe bindings? How much kibby did Blattner make off of those?

Russell Winfield 5:51 pm Jake is very quiet. I never had a binding fall off. So who knows the were very complicated to put on. I see the journalist in you is tryin’ to spin this soooo… I’m going to say this: Pro models are not kyrpto.. They just don’t make as much as the other boards for the companies… If they are krypto then I guess Travis Rice’s board is an anomaly, but it’s not. I think the riders these days weren’t brought up to market themselves like we did.

bridgespat 5:54 pm Yet if 50% of the boards in stores today were pro models and the other 50% were mid level and entry level boards would less snowboards be sold? I doubt it. Doesn’t seem to be a problem in skating. Who was better looking: Nicole Anglerath, Victoria Jealouse or Jennie Waara?

Russell Winfield 5:54 pm Jeeesum Bridges!!!
    As far as the ladies they are very, very good. I think Victoria was prob the best big mountain rider and Nicolette is a great friend who was the halfpipe queen of her time. Then Jenni Waari came and took the Euro crown.. funny you ask about those three.. They are all very beautiful snowboarder girls.

Modern day Bridges action shot. Photo: Zimmerman

Russell Winfield 5:56 pm Ok, if you want to do an interview we can do it in ur mag buddy?!!!!! 🙂 
    lol
    No, but companies got dollar signs in there eyes!! and that’s it!!
    Besides CAPiTA of course! We devour everything.

bridgespat 5:58 pm Seriously. If pro models were all there was people would still need to buy boards. How the ink hits the top sheet doesn’t effect the experience, but it does effect the culture and in turn how rich of a lifestyle experience we create.

Russell Winfield 5:59 pm true!!! you are right.. Maybe that’s part of the problem with the history.. If there were more “legends” out there with pro models that were still be supported by companies the youth would be forced to learn
. lol. but seriously

bridgespat 6:00 pm Who do you think had the highest selling pro model ever?

Russell Winfield 6:00 pm Hmmm Probably Craig.. R.I.P.. He had like six different sizes!

bridgespat 6:01 pm Yup. Ok ask me another question. Need a new diatribe.

90s self portrait.

Russell Winfield 6:03 pm So you heard what I feel is a bunch of naive stuff on the net about Superpark .. People talking about how they were expecting quad corks and shit… I personally think that’s snacrobatics!!!! I think that super park should be as TJ deemed it in the realms film Super FUN park.. How bout you?

Russell Winfield 6:07 pm well
    BRIDGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Did you go for frickin smoke break? If you did and didnt tell me
    ‘Bastard!

Russell Winfield 6:09 pm fuk it I’m going to smoke too
    b to the r bee

bridgespat 6:11 pm Well people have their opinions. It is hard for people who have never been to Superpark to realize that the event is multi-dimensional. Just as I want to see progression of riding and features I look forward to presenting the invitees with an opportunity to lap and have fun with their peers in an exclusive environment. When you have LNP, Terry Kidwell, Bryan Fox, Dustin Craven, Erin Comstock and Jeremy Thompson taking the same chair that is something rare. Most riders spend their season either going from contest to contest where they get an hour of practice and two runs to prove themselves or are on the grind filming a part with the same five guys in the same five spots or cities. At Superpark riders, filmers, photogs and TM’s get a chance to ride and work at their own pace amongst old friends and people who they may have never met before. So eclectic and unique in this day and age. A lot like the Open of the 90’s actually where I’d see Kevin Young, Ingemar, Pete, Jamie and guys like yourself having a good time lapping and not taking the biggest event of the year too seriously while 10,000 drunk teenagers ate it all up.

bridgespat 6:14 pm Got a text message from Ranquet.

Russell Winfield 6:14 pm Nice tell spanky I say whats up. So because the industry had gotten so corporate, do you feel that the bottom line, which used to be punk kids, is now dollars signs and if so is that a bad thing?

bridgespat 6:23 pm The industry hasn’t gone so corporate. As a matter of fact we are now in a better place then we were five years ago. Lately I’ve seen a lot more snowboarders given the chance to become stewards of snowboarding with solid industry jobs. Look at Tedore. He is designing some sick boards for K2. Taking chances and keeping it real. Look at the Happy Hour board. There is no law that states that just because you snowboard you can’t use a cad program. That is what used to piss me off. I’d see companies hire people with no ties to snowboarding when I knew there were riders with degrees who would bring passion to those positions but they were overlooked. I see how it happens though. Once a non snowboarder is brought to a position of power at a snowboarding company they hire other non riders because they want to insulate themselves from those people who know what’s up and can always hold their not being a rider over their head. It becomes a cancer at some companies. Same thing happens at retail. If a buyer doesn’t snowboard they’ll hire sales people who don’t snowboard so their decisions with the ordering doesn’t get questioned. 
    Boom.
    Please let the readers know this was done on iChat.

Russell Winfield 6:25 pm it’s going to be kept in this format

bridgespat 6:26 pm
    That is why Apple rules. Steve Jobs is a programmer and engineer first and a suit second.

Russell Winfield 6:26 pm yup!
   Well really I think that Tedore is a sweet dude.. I have a feeling that he deserves to be with a company that he can flourish at.. Not saying he cant do that at K2 but there are other options….

bridgespat 6:28 pm Do you think you are still the only rider to successfully execute the triple stump bonk?

Russell Winfield 6:30 pm No, I am pretty sure Roan (Rogers) and the rest of the boys did it too. We were all real tight back in the day. That leads me to another question. Do you fell that that making of such perfect parks and jumps have taken away from the mountain riding? I love the parks but still it seems like kids gave up the mountain looking for stumps and jibs, wood rails and cat track gaps?

bridgespat 6:34 pm Not really. Maybe it has effected how well people turn. I see it in my riding. I am a lazy lapper and when it gets rutted I really pussy foot. Well groomed modern parks have definitely accelerated the progression of tricks. People could always do triple corks. The bodies were just as equipped thirty years ago as they are today to do ’em and any board boot and binding from the last fifteen years can stick one. It is the terrain that has changed and the access to high speed quads and sleds to get that quick lap to try ’em over and over.

Since this has been about Russ too, here’s a classic shot of him we stole from Facebook.

bridgespat 6:35 pm Lets wrap this up. This interview is already longer than your Hyperlight sponsorship. Nice A# track pants at Superpark by the way. I am friends with Baye on Facebook. You have any stories about Jeremy Jones from the Alphanumeric ad shoots back in the day?

Russell Winfield 6:37 pm Well Baye could have been on the jersey shore and J Jones is a mellow Cat!!! Thanks A# was sweet!! Pat it was a pleasure buddy!!! Thanks for your time and the invite to Superpark!!!!

bridgespat 6:38 pm Let’s do this again late June and I look forward to seeing you at ANTPM in July. Now go have another FourLoko on the clock.
    This time on me.

Russell Winfield  6:39 pm LOL Wow, that stuff is bad for you!!! Ltr Bridges!!!

bridgespat Later Russ.

bridgespat is offline 6:39 pm

This is how people used to communicate before ichat. Another classic from the 90s.

18 replies
  1. dbag
    dbag says:

    I like this “Once a non snowboarder is brought to a position of power at a snowboarding company they hire other non riders because they want to insulate themselves from those people who know what’s up and can always hold their not being a rider over their head. It becomes a cancer at some companies. ” Isn’t that what its like at TWS.

  2. Chuck Schick
    Chuck Schick says:

    Yeah, I really like the Eye’s theory about the non-rider employee insulation thing. I never thought about it, but it makes a lot of sense.

    Good for Tedore to work at Capita now!!

  3. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    “No, but companies got dollar signs in there eyes!! and that’s it!!
 Besides CAPiTA of course! We devour everything.”

    I hope that was a joke.

  4. Uncle Russruss
    Uncle Russruss says:

    Nope not a joke Andrew.. Im not saying that Capita doesnt want to make money! What I’m saying is its a SNOWBOARDER owned and operated company that values the roots of this industry and therefore produces snowboards that are for snowboarders!!!!!! Get behind something that you believe and stay true to yourself!!
    Uncle Russ

  5. Fonzie
    Fonzie says:

    This interview struck a major nerve with me. As a passionate rider with a master’s in mechanical engineering, I was insanely bitter that K2 couldn’t even give me a phone call after I applied for a bindings position on their website 3 fucking times last year. The job just got posted, disappeared, reappeared, disappeared, reappeared, and then vanished without me ever hearing from them despite being qualified. Granted, this could have been due to HR incompetence – a common theme with corporations – it was a major let down. It’s dope that they employed Sean Tedore (AKA a real rider), and that’s why I figured I had a shot. I guess not. It sounds like he’s moved on though (congratulations), and that also explains the recently posted board engineer position. Suffice to say, I’m on a Pickle with Union bindings screwed to it. Ironically, I at least got a response from C3 when I asked about an engineering gig there, and a response from Tedore when I asked if he could pass my name on to K2’s HR. That’s legit.

    Sorry for the rant. This was a great interview/article though. Pat Bridges sounds like an insightful dude. It’s good to hear the wisdom being spread.

  6. Uncle Russruss
    Uncle Russruss says:

    Fonzie,
    Welcome to the game buddy.. I wish you the best of luck lookin for work in the industry!! Tedore!!!! We love you too man!!!!

  7. Sad Brad
    Sad Brad says:

    oh shit. tedore at capita? muthafucking game just got changed.
    c3 making power moves and tedore being where he belongs.

  8. Piles
    Piles says:

    this was rad interview, good perspectives and stuff. But really? nothing on foreign made boards from north africa or asia with a big enough warranty program to make for CrAP decks that dont last?

Comments are closed.