Zak Hale Hustles Hump Day


A big kid. All photos:

Moves to Big Bear at 5, a sponsored rider by age 9, an agent at 12, and he’s slangin’ and bangin’ chicks at 14. Meet Zak Hale – straight California hustla. At a mere 19 years of age Zak is one of the world’s best rail riders with a bag of stunts and style eons beyond the year stated on his sixth fake id. Whether it’s his opening bromance with Ethan Deiss in this year’s Burton flick, Standing Sideways, or the Videograss spectacular, Retrospect, Zak Hale is charging full bore as his generation’s style master.

Do you live in Big Bear?

No, I am living in Breckenridge, Colorado now. I moved away from Big Bear in October.

Who got you into snowboarding?

I moved to Big Bear when I was 5. I started skiing when I was 5. I saw snowboarding and I told my Dad that’s what I wanted to do, but he wouldn’t let me do it for the first season, and then the next season I just kept trying to convince him to let me do it and he finally did. I was six when I started.

Your dad was all anti snowboarding at first?

He was that old dude that was just like, “Oh you’re just a bunch of teenage kids doing something”. He wasn’t anti it, though. Once I started snowboarding the next year he got really into it. He would always go out with me everyday and he actually snowboards now; he doesn’t ski anymore.

Watch out for the wall.

Where were you born?

Montreal. My Dad’s job moved him around a lot and that’s where I happened to be born.

You somehow end up in Big Bear of all places. Growing up in Big Bear, did you fight a ton of wildfires?

Yeah, for sure. There were only a couple where I really remember we had to get evacuated. There was one one year where got evacuated for over a week. It was one of the biggest ones they had. They thought for sure it was going to burn Big Bear, but it stopped before it got there.

Are you good at digging a fire line?

Yeah, I can dig a mean fire line. And I always have the hoses outside my house ready.

No fire damage here.

Outside of fighting wildfires, did you spend a lot of time ruining people from LA when they ventured up to Big Bear?

That’s for sure. We had a group of kids when we we were younger called the midget mafia and I was a part of that when I was really young. We were just a bunch of kids dressing in a bunch of thug ass clothes fucking with people. We would sit out in front of Big Bear and just heckle people. “Hey lady you dropped your dildo!”

What was it like when all of LA comes up?

It sucked. It was horrible. It’s a 9-ball show, like, you would see everything. Anything you can possibly imagine. People in costumes, girls riding with spaghetti straps, it’s southern California on vacation — they come up to Big Bear for their snowboarding experience. Dudes straight out of the marines that hit the bar, then went back up at 2:30 to see if they can do anything.

How many times have you had fake ids confiscated?

I’ve only had one confiscated, and I’ve had for or five of them, and I still have one right now that’s pretty good. I’ve had a fake id since I was 14.

Making himself at home in Wisconsin.

What’s the story behind Ethan Deiss chipping your tooth?

I was carrying him home and we ate shit going up the stairs, and I faced it. Just straight into the stairs because I had both arms around him. I had no other way to get him. I just went straight face into the stairs.

You and Ethan Deiss have one of the more interesting bromances in professional snowboarding these days.

Yeah, that’s for sure.

If you’re Mr. Bean, then he’s the boy with glasses from The Christmas Story.

(Laughing) We met each other a year and a half ago. We both ride for Burton and Monster, so every trip we go on, either one of us are there. It’s pretty hard not to become good friends when you are traveling the world together and experiencing this crazy shit all the time. Me and him are the same. We just want to snowboard, have fun and then just chill after.

Midwest shit.

How was Alaska? Have you been up there twice this season?

Yeah, been up there twice and going up there again on Tuesday. We were going to go to Europe, but instead we are heading back to Alaska.

What was more exciting — snowboarding for the first time or losing your virginity to your girlfriend, Gabi Viteri?

That’s funny because that question first came around when we started hanging out and I told her I lost my virginity to her (laughing). I told her I was kidding. When I first went snowboarding it was the most exciting thing in my life, for sure. Losing your virginity is really not that cool because you just don’t know what the fucking is going on. I was like 14 and the girl just completely sucked.

Have you and Gabi moved into together?

Yep, we live together. Just me and her.

How does being one of the younger professional snowboarding power couples make you feel?

We’re just powering through this snowboarding thing together. It’s cool, because we both do the same shit, so that is nice. There is no arguing about traveling and stuff. She goes on her trip, I go on my trip. We come home and the last thing we want to talk about is snowboarding more.

Then you compare who got a bigger paycheck from Jake Burton?

We actually had that conversation the other night. She wouldn’t tell me how much she makes (laughing).

No seriously, watch out for the wall.

Zak, what has been the highlight of the year, thus far?

I’ve been to Alaska three times. We went to Japan for a rail jam and it was fucking sick. Me, Ethan Deiss, and Alex Andrews went. All the Forum boys – Cameron Pierce, Stevie Bell and Dylan Alito, we were all kind of together and it was really fun.

Did Dylan Alito snowboard dressed as a member of the Insane Clown Posse?

No, but I was at the Downtown Throwdown when he did. Some bum gave Ethan Deiss a bag of weed chocolates off the street. He ate them and got fucked up.

You could maybe smoke weed from a stranger, but I recommend against eating weed from a stranger.

There could be something crazy in there.

Ethan Deiss sounds like a wild man. Eating weed chocolates from homeless people in San Francisco, attacking a horse meat platter with fervor in Slovenia.

He is actually pretty mellow now. He has a girlfriend whom he’s in love with. He bought her a promise ring when we were in Alaska. He’s always been mellow, but he has his wild moments for sure.

If you could model your life after one rapper, who would that be?

Lil Wayne, for sure. He’s got it dialed. Even though he doesn’t do shit, and he makes some lame songs that 15-year-old girls like, he fucking is super rich, and he’s got his life on lock. Young Jeezy is the shit, too, but he’s just a gangsta. I wouldn’t always want to feel like I was going to get shot, so for sure it’s Lil Wayne.

Next step: filmer?

Blotto says you are going to rule the world by the time you are 25. What are you going to do when you rule the world at 25?

That’s 6 years from now? When I am ruling the world I want people to do their own thing. That’s what I would do. I would have a mandatory chill day, so nobody could do shit all day.

Don’t they call that Sunday?

Yeah, but people still do stuff on Sunday.

How often do you go through a snowboard when riding street?

This year was actually my first year breaking a snowboard in half, and I’ve already gone through three. I had never broken a snowboard before this year. I think it’s because of how cold it was in Alaska is why they broke.

What’s the greatest thing you’ve discovered about Alaska from going there so much?

There is nothing really that great about it (laughing). It’s really dark. The only reason that state is even a state is because of oil money. It’s a smart investment plan.

Do they put you guys up in the Ritz Carlton in Anchorage?

No, we had a house. They put the contest people up in the Ritz Carlton. We are used to it. Just put 8 dudes in a house together.

What is it with this kid and walls?

What’s the perfect hump day for Zak Hale?

Going snowboarding, chilling, playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and doing nothing.

What’s Gabi doing when you are playing all these video games?

I usually try and play them when she’s not here (laughing).

Do you wear the headset around her?

Yeah, I don’t know, she doesn’t mind it (laughing).

Sponsors: Burton, Monster, Analog, Dragon, Skull Candy, Bear Mountain, Ethika

24 replies
  1. Piles
    Piles says:

    hope this dude know that jeezy went to private school… aka this dude looks up to fake ass rappers. style man for his generation? cmmmmon

  2. jake burton
    jake burton says:

    who cares that jeezy went to a private school! you guys are a buncha of haters, that’s it. zak shreds better than you, has a hotter girlfriend than you and a bigger tv to fucking nerd out to call of duty on. deal with it, assholes.


    Jeezy ran with big meech and the real Black Mafia Family, he’s no studio gangster, start watching Gangland idiot

  4. Poofacekillah
    Poofacekillah says:

    Where is Maurkass Mondays!?!? Haven’t seen one on VG in over a month.. they done for season? O yea and cinnamon toast crunch is my jam.

  5. Zappa
    Zappa says:

    Rode the lift with this little puke earlier this year..yawn.
    All he could talk about was himself with a little lackey in tow. He was blabbering about some shot he’d uploaded to Facebook or somenonsense earlier that morning. His little lackey was like, “awwww yeah Zak Hale in da house” —I wanted to just laugh. Watching him ride, nothing like these videos…….not impressed. Obviously he turned it on. At least he didnt look like 90% of the dirtbags up at Bear. Glad to be out of that shithole SoCAL…..

  6. triple 6 mafia
    triple 6 mafia says:

    damn man, telling this kid his girlfriend is tore up and he’s getting sloppy seconds on the internet… Your cuttin this nigga deep. Pretty cruel hahahaha i feel bad. but then i don’t because he get’s paid to snowboard.

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