Hump Day Goes Inside the Mole Hole with Sawyer Deen

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Part Gremlin. Part Ninja. Sawyer Deen everyone. Photo: Erik Hoffman

Sawyer Deen started off as another one of those 30-inch-stance-rocking, Jeenyus-girl-board-riding, 10-deep-sweatshirt-wearing park rats. That season the front blunt sameway was all the rage, and luckily enough that trick came easily to him. We went to the PBRJ at Waterville and Sawyer “front blunt” Deen took home a qualifying spot for the finals in Mammoth. That was about 5 years ago. Since then he has moved from Vermont to California and been adopted into the Gremlinz family. This interview fills in some of the gaps in his life you may or may not have wanted to know about. — Jeremiah Paquette

How many times did you puke today?

One in the morning, a whole session of dry heaving, one more upchuck that actually had something come out, so two and a half times.

Do you see Jerm as a role model?

I don’t think you could look up to him in that sense, he’s more of an asshole that gets you to do things.

What’s the story with you and Jerm? How did he become your third parent?

I was a skateboarder and I went up snowboarding with my friends who were all doing snowboard club. Jeremiah was there and he was doing tricks I didn’t know you could do on a snowboard, cause I was a a skateboarder and I didn’t really know about it yet — I was still doing crooked board slides. He kinda took me on at first for like a week or two and I ended up joining the team and I just kinda worked my way in like that. That first year he ended up taking me to Mammoth to do a Peanut Butter Rail Jam and I accidentally managed to qualify for the finals even though didn’t really know what was going on.


Boreal Boarding. Photo: Ben Birk

Tell us about how you got from a shred rat at Bolton Valley to where you are now.

At one point, I think was like 15, I realized that Vermont really wasn’t doing it for me anymore and I definitely needed to get out and see other places. Jeremiah and I devised a whole plan to go to Mammoth. That year it didn’t happen though, I had to do school and stuff and my mom wasn’t really down for it yet. The next year I came out to Tahoe for like a month and a half and stayed with Jeremiah there. Then every year after that kept going for longer and longer and now I’m there full time. The last two years I have been there the whole time, summer and winter.

Why did you decide to pursue snowboarding as a lifestyle?

I remember telling my dad that skateboarding hurt a lot and I wanted to do more snowboarding and that was the convincing argument to do the “Jeremiah snowboard team” and things like that. It seems like it worked out better.

You pretty much do two competitions a year, the Bonfire Pipe to Pipe and the Volcom PBRJ.  Why so limited?

If anyone ever wanted to put me into any big contests I would do them, those are the two that are easy and kinda just go and do them and end up winning money or whatever, so they work out. It’s not like a don’t have a desire to do bigger better things, just no real opportunity.


Off into the sunset. photo: Ben Birk

Unlike most people in your generation who put out park rail edits weekly, more than half of your shots in the GBP movies are backcountry. Why do you go that route?

It’s a new thing to me and I would rather pursue snowboarding in that sense than doing things I already know how to do. It’s just constantly progressing in a different sense.

But you can still win rail jams.

Rails always came to me, that was the only thing. Up until recently I couldn’t really do jumps either, it was like, I was a rail rider. I guess when you do that from the start you realize there’s other things to do, more to be had. The backcountry stuff is amazing, I would love to do that year round. All in all, I would more love to be the well rounded snowboarder. I don’t really wanna be stuck in one thing, I want to be able do everything, there’s so much more to snowboarding than just one thing.

Who did the frontblunt 360 front blunt on a down rail first, you or Casanova?

Mike Casanova. I watched him to it at Northstar on an up flat down box, it was the first time I ever witnessed the trick going up flat to down. I did it at High Cascade and definitely saw a few other people do it around the same time, so who knows who really did it first.


Maybe he thinks he’s strapped in? Photo: Darcy Bacha

Who are your influences in skateboarding and snowboarding?

Mike Casanova and people like that. Bode Merrill, people who’ve been there and can do it all and are really good at it. True professionals in a sense.

What about in skateboarding?

Skateboarding, I just look up to my friends and what’s going on around me and try and keep up with them. When I was younger I was really into it and doing all the skate things and it was the same world I’m in right now, doing contests and stuff, but I can’t really look up to anyone in it like I used to anymore.

So you were on the track to be a pro skateboarder, which seems like every snowboarder’s dream. Why did you decide against it?

I don’t personally think I could have made it to be a professional skateboarder, or at least one of the ones you hear of and that have a big name. It was hard. Everyone’s so good at it and it’s so much harder than snowboarding and I just got burnt out on it. When you do something every day of your life at 9 years old, I just needed something different. Snowboarding was such a good way to get out of it and still be doing something productive and use the talent that I had built doing that.

You pulled a double cork 10 on the Squaw Valley mini table jump. Has anyone ever done a smaller dub 10?

I don’t know if there was a smaller double cork, but I’ve seen smaller double back flips out of Tyler Lynch. BMX jump style. The 1080 one might be rare though.


Photo: Ben Birk

What’s so great about moles?

Nothing. They’re really bad for you. My mom’s asked me about the moles and I think she’s on to it. Sorry mom.

When and where did you first lose your virginity?

Damn it that one’s so bad, too. In the bathroom. At one of those New Hampshire mountains. That’s on the line. haha.

Why have you never hooked Jerm up with your older sisters?

They’re way too good for him.

Have you ever “soaked”?

Oooh, I don’t know if you would call it soaking or being denied, but I guess it could be one in the same.

Who has hooked up with more older girls? You or Will Bateman?

Will Bateman. It’s no joke, he’s hooked up with some old women, like late 40s, early 50s. A mom with a boyfriend who wasn’t stoked when he caught wind that this might be happening.


Totally a slam dunk. Photo: Erik Hoffman

Jerm says he picked you up from HCSC one time when your mom messed up your plane ticket and you had the biggest shit eating grin on your face. Why so happy that day?

Oh, that could get me in trouble for so many ways. High Cascade can’t even know about that. Let’s just say I got lucky.

What is it like to live with the Gremlinz?

It’s awesome, everyone’s a little mellower than people think and it’s just a good group of people to hang out with all the time and do things with.

Do you get to travel much?

I’m pretty Tahoe based due to funds, but I would love to go on trips and explore the world of snowboarding more than just one place. Not that Tahoe’s not great, but there’s more to be had other places.

What’s your dream destination?

I like where I am now, I can’t see myself ever moving out of Tahoe for a home destination. But if I could live on a some tropical island with no worries what so ever that would be a dream come true. I can see myself doing nothing forever very happily.


Mellow hip hop. Photo: Tyler Orton


Where do you wanna take snowboarding? What’s your goal?

As far as I can really, I don’t have any limits. I would never limit myself to this has gone too far or anything. I’d love it to progress and keep building on what I have going now. Eventually I guess just be somebody in snowboarding.

Sponsors?

Bonfire, Salomon, and then all the Gremlinz are sponsored by Jslv and Electric. I don’t think I’m sponsored by anyone else, but it would be sweet if I was.

26 replies
  1. cookie
    cookie says:

    still rockin that termite board sawyer? hahhah keep slaying them mountains my dude, im pushin for ya

  2. KIP
    KIP says:

    met him a looooong time ago at hcsc, must have been 2005/06, lived in the same chalet. Cool dude, shreds super hard. Nice interview too

  3. molespit
    molespit says:

    “That year it didn’t happen though, I had to do school and stuff and my mom wasn’t really down for it yet.”

    Sawyer, everyone knows you dropped out of school in 8th grade and worked at 95 Triple X. By ‘stuff’ you probably mean move into the dark room at Zach’s and sleep until 3 every day. Damn do I miss that shit, stay up!

  4. C.K.G.
    C.K.G. says:

    Sawyer is a standup dude. No frills, bells or whistles. Just straight slaying with little side talk. He shows up to blow up and I had some of the best days filming in Tahoe with this guy. Too true of an interview.

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