Hump Day Rides the Warp Wave with Eric Messier and Gray Thompson

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You have likely double-taked in awe at their cinematic snow spectacles. Two telepathically radical minded new wave dudes, Eric Messier and Gray Thompson, from the nether regions of North Lake Tahoe are on a mystical journey of epic shred proportions. Amidst the mountains, deserts, tits, road flares, VHS and general tomfoolery emerged the beast that is Warp Wave. The holy grail of shredding is out there, waiting to be found and devoured. These dudes have found it. All hail Warp Wave.

Where did you get into snowboarding?

Eric Messier: I was in the 6th grade, on the East Coast visiting Vermont and saw snowboarding. There were a ton of snowboarders out there and I was really into skateboarding at the time. It was a no brainer to switch over because it looked like so much fun. I was over skiing and wanted to try something new.

Gray Thompson: I started in 1997. It was my 6th birthday. December 12, 1997. I went to Sierra at Tahoe my first day. Begged my parents to let me rent a board and try it out. Seems like forever ago.

Do you guys remember meeting each other?

Messier: I think we met out snowboarding. We both were on Comune at the time. He seemed like a mellow dude and he was on the same vibe like I was. We got along really well right off the bat.

Thompson: I think I was shooting a lot of photos at the time. It was around 2010. I think I just ran into those dudes and we started boarding and shooting photos. Having a grand ole time!

Messier: I think the first time we went out we shot something at Squaw Valley. Some roof jam thing. You shooting Ben and I.

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Rider: Eric. Photo: Gray

Take us back to the beginning of establishing the psychedelic experience that is Warp Wave.

Messier: Gray was living with Curtis Woodman at the time and I came over and showed him this edit I had made of when I went to Europe. He had some footage too and we just started talking. Why don’t we just start our own video project and make our own movie? We were sick of having other people in charge of our footage and doing what they wanted to do with our footage. Fuck that! We can do it ourselves.

Thompson: That was it. The Europe edit sparked this whole series of events that is now Warp Wave. Why are we putting our snowboarding in other people’s hands? We had a certain way that we wanted it to come out. We can manifest it ourselves, so we did it!

Explain the Warpe Du Look Movement to us.

Thompson: The Warpe Du Look is a medieval film look that’s been around for centuries. We are trying to master the art of it, one snowboard video at a time. We had to come up with our film genre because that’s what we do – we come up with weird shit. We encourage others to bitch and film content for this genre.

How important is it to show a different facet of snowboarding?

Messier: I think it’s really important. Especially right now. You see a lot of the same shit these days. A lot of park edits. A lot of the same tricks and stuff. We just want to show more of what snowboarding is to us. The fun side of it. Not taking it so seriously. Not trying to hurt yourself. We want to show kids you don’t have to do all this gnarly shit to have fun on a snowboard. You can do that if that is your thing, but i just feel like the general whole of snowboarding that’s not what it’s about.

Thompson: I grew up riding Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and consider them freeriding mountains where people go there to enjoy the natural slopes. So, I grew up just seeing people snowboarding – just nothing else, just linking turns. Amping up on storm days in the pow. I think that once I got more and more into snowboarding, and following the videos and stuff in the industry, people weren’t really showcasing that way of riding that I was seeing everyday. I just felt there was a lack of content in this genre of snowboarding, ya know? We want to change that.

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When I watch you guys I often think of Travis Parker.

Messier: Definitely a big influence on me and Gray for sure. He makes you want to go snowboarding.

Thompson: He was one of those first pros who found snowboarding for what it was and just had fun with it.

Messier: Definitely that vibe he had we appreciate and we look up to him for that.

Where did each of you grow up?

Messier: I grew up in North Lake Tahoe.

Thompson: In San Francisco. Right in the middle of the city.

Messier: He was the weekend warrior.

Thompson: Yes, I was the weekend warrior. From the 7 x 7 jail.

You guys talk about bringing simplicity back to shredding.

Thompson: I think we have just figured out in the simplest form that makes us happy and what we get stoked on. We are super in tune with the littlest things of getting stoked on a turn and what that feels like and that simplicity. That’s the simplicity we want to bring back to snowboarding.

Why do you work well together?

Messier: We are into the same things and we are on the same vibe. Common interests, ya know?

Thompson: We always both get the same idea all the time. I think because we’re both pretty mellow dudes. We don’t get crazy, kinda. We just get along easy, you know?

Whose decision was it to shoot the first season on VHS? Was it difficult?

Thompson: Somehow we came across this shit camera. We borrowed it from a friend’s garage. It was a camera he had from back in the 90s. This was in the summer and we just started filming summer shit. One night went over and projected it onto a TV. We started playing with it and pointing the camera at the mirrors and stuff. It would show up as this crazy endless hallway on the TV. Trippy things like that. I think we decided right there it would be a really fun format to shoot a snowboard video in.

Messier: It’s kind of an experiment. It might come out a little trippy in some parts. It’s a really fun way to mix things up. At the same time we shoot Hi-Def now. We didn’t want to be those guys who just limit ourselves to VHS. We’re going to shoot some 16mm this year. We’re going to shoot Hi-Def. We’re probably going to shoot some Hi-8 and VHS. We don’t want to limit ourselves to one style, I guess. It’s fun to play around with different things.

What would be your biggest criticism of mainstream snowboarding’s “quality” these days?

Messier: I think just mainstream snowboarding getting these companies involved – energy drinks and stuff. Shit sponsors, or soda sponsors, or whatever. I think that’s the worst part.

Thompson: I think the industry has a hood on and is blocking out the simplest raddest things in snowboarding. They’re just not really aware of the awesomeness that it really is – the roots. That’s probably my biggest bummer on that, but it’s changing.

Messier: I would be down for big companies sponsoring people, but the soda companies – just what they stand for and the product they are trying to sell to people is garbage. I am not backing that at all. I understand why people do it. They need the money and the companies support their lifestyle. Live their American dream. I am not going to hate on people for doing it. I don’t agree with it. I am never going to do it.

Thompson: Anything that’s short term is bad for the industry. We’re all about longevity here. We all want to snowboard our whole lives. If that means drinking less energy drinks than that’s a good thing.

What filmmakers have influenced you guys most?

Both: Jake Price, Hatchett Brothers, Whitey, Brad Kremer, Absinthe, Dave Seone.

Messier: Willie Bogner for sure! He has the ski clothing line called, Bogner. He makes the ridiculously expensive one pieces. It’s a 100-year-old company. Back in his day – this is Bogner the 2nd, junior, he was real artsy. It was kind of like what we are doing. It wasn’t really so much about the trick. It was out there. Good stuff.

You guys started the Hot Boy’n Movement. Please explain.

Thompson: Hot Boy’n has been around since the beginning of time.

Messier: It’s basically a take on Hot Dog the ski flick. Where freestyling skiing once was. Get down the mountain and hit the mogul field with style and speed. We just started kinda hot boy’n when we were at Alpine Meadows one day and I just cut off this old guy. An old skier. It was an accident. He caught up with us at the lift line and was kinda like pushing me and said, “You guys are just hot boy’n around! Who do you think you are?” We just kinda ran with that the whole hot boy’n thing . Kind of just like being badass on the mountain. Ripping around and getting loose and wild.

Thompson: Just ripping. Not a care in the world! Hot Boy’n down the mountain.

How big of a role does nudity play in Warp Wave?

Messier: The kids seem to like it. We had access to it, so we used it. No one really hates on some tits. We were pretty stoked, so why not?

Thompson: It’s just bringing a fun, sexy, elegant vibe. The warpe du look takes a few elements of filmmaking and one of those is nudity.

Does pond skimming, snowboarding with models and road flares always have a place in snowboarding?

Messier: Yeah, why not? I think those will always be a part of snowboarding. At least for me. Road flares? I need to get some of those.

Thompson: Those would be a good hot boy’n tool.

What adventure was most fulfilling for you this season?

Messier: For me, probably, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I had never been there. Our whole crew was epic. Everyone was awesome. It snowed every single day. We rode powder every day. We saw moose running down the freeway. Buffalo! Hot springs that we snowmobiled to. It was everything that makes a snowboarding trip great.

Thompson – Good booze, good people, good times. Thanks to Jackson Hole Resort for hooking it up and letting us ride there. Huge mountain, top to bottom all day.

Where does next season take you guys?

Messier: I think we have a view different ideas. We are probably going to do a couple different projects. All Warp Wave projects. One is Hot Boy’n – The Movie. More scripted and setup scenes and it’s still kind of in the early stages of getting the idea for it. It’s going to be wild. We also had this thing we were trying to do last season called “The Sierra Surfer Tour” where we shredded mountains in the Sierra’s via splitboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snow camping – just going to weird little mountains. That never happened this year because it never really snowed in Tahoe. So, depending on the season, we will do some Sierra Surfer Tour as well. We are also hoping to do some sort of foreign trip.

Thompson: Time to go foreign, baby! Hot boy’n in a foreign country.

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Gray enjoys the original energy drink. Photo: Eric

What do you hope to bring with Warp Wave to snowboarding, ultimately?

Messier: For me, it’s been pretty fulfilling that the last two years have had all these older legends, pros and people in the industry come up to us and tell us how stoked on Warp Wave they are, and that what we are doing is special for snowboarding. That means a ton to me because it’s the people that I looked up to and who got me stoked to go out and ride.

Thompson: I have kind of been asking myself that same question, and for me it becomes more and more clear. We already fulfilled where we thought Warp Wave was going, or going to happen. We just wanted to put out a new vibe and get people stoked, just happy on life and everything and snowboarding especially. We just want to get people stoked to go snowboarding.

How does one find their own Warp Wave?

Thompson: It’s all about being in your element. In your wave, you know? Finding your flow and going with it. Tuning into the wave of frequencies within your body when you’re snowboarding and keeping a smile on your face and all your friends hooting and hollering.

Words of wisdom for the Yobeat faithful?

Thompson: Don’t take yourselves too serious. It’s about having fun. Make the most of it.

Messier: I think Scotty Wittlake said it best, “Serious snowboarding is for serious idiots.”

Sponsors?

Messier: D Day snowboards, Owner Operator, Arkade Belts, Snow Peak
Thompson: Owner Operator, Von Zipper, Arkade belts, Snow Peak

14 replies
  1. DJ Khaled
    DJ Khaled says:

    listen up kids. these boys speak the truth. boobs, vhs, turns, no ego and no bullshit. DJ Khaled we da best.

  2. live_action
    live_action says:

    I have watched Rem Cycle countless times in the past year, best snowboard flick of last season. Warp Wave is the truth on snow. These guys are where snowboarding needs to go if they want out of this economic funk. Can’t wait to order my dday messier deck in a couple weeks. Hot boyn time…

  3. lee
    lee says:

    One of the best things to happen in snowboarding in a long time.. Go visit warp-wave.com and buy their product to help further the stoke

  4. Lil 'bud'dha
    Lil 'bud'dha says:

    This is what snowboarding should be about. Just turning with your friends, going on trips to experience new things and find new zones, and having the most fun you can, whether thats in the pow, park, or streets.

    Fuck whoever can flip the most, whoever has the best time wins.

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