Kris Jamieson, or Jaymo, as he’s fondly known around the shred world, has seen some stuff and done some things. If you don’t know who he is, well, just read on…
Mike Estes: Mr Kris Jamieson, how are you? What have you been up too lately? As in this last decade.
Well Mike….There is a bit of irony in your question. That being, that you and I have known each other since High School and we are 47yrs old; of course, that is not the actual irony, but it sets context for the irony. A decade? That’s only 10 years! That is 1/3 of the time we have been shredding and inventing ourselves. So the last decade? Geeze? I suppose I would sum it up as, “A non-stop evolution of efforts to become who I have always wanted to be”.
Who have I always wanted to be? ME! I get a little bit better at it every day! I will not be defined by any single piece of equipment or style……just on a mission of shred; using that mission of shred as a challenge for personal growth.
The challenge is that of a situation and a set of tasks….defined by me, of which make me stoked to be alive. Any time you want to go faster or bigger you need to overcome a set of challenges. When life hands me challanges and tasks that I am not specifically stoked on, I will have had practice dealing with somewhat similar situations, but from an environment which I choose and made me happy. The shred life is simply practice for shit that life will throw at you. The shred life gives us life tools.
So…..I suppose I can throw out some resume type items if that will be a bit easier to understand.
I was one of two original founding team riders of Lib Tech, alongside my dear friends Matt Cummins and owners Mike Olson and Pete Saari. Of course we worked with each other at GNU the 5 years prior.
Besides evolving snowboards and snowboarding culture alongside the other 20 people who rode snowboards in the early 80s, I was fascinated by photo journalism and film. My dad was a photo journalist so I kinda grew up with it. I worked alongside the earlier photo journalists in snow shred mostly as an athlete, but also landed some sweet gigs like a feature article in Peterson’s Photographic Magazine in 1989. Oh yes! Like print. Peterson’s Photographic was the worlds largest photography mag at the time. There was no digital or internet at this point in time……just in case you didn’t realize that.
I spent 12 years with ESPN and the Xgames doing a bit of everything. I wrote for their websites, I directed shoots, and did a ton of on camera hosting and talent. Hell, I even had a nationally syndicated rock/interview radio show on ABC radio networks. The 90’s and early 2000’s were pretty rad. I was deep in the mix with the Olympic Superpipe at Salt Lake….media stuff for the Olympics and ESPN/ABC. I had a bunch of TV shows I was involved with as well. Core Culture on USA Networks, Board Wild, Super Sixteen…..and actually the first handful of shows that FOX Fuel Network even aired.
I was competing on the side……won a few big events……but mostly crashed out…..hahahahah! All or nothing right! What did Zorlac Skateboards always say? “Go Big or Go Home”….maybe it was “Go Skate or Go Home”.
Blah blah blah….geeze……I could go on forever. I’m 47 and have been living this shred dream since high school so the experiences are plenty. Fast forward…..fell in love with a GoPro Camera 7 years ago after many experiments with POV myself. I Became friends with GoPro’s founders and have been in deep with GoPro ever since. I have no plans on ever leaving. GoPro is the culmination of my entire life and the future is looking crazy!
Where are you currently living?
Started off in Corvallis Eugene area with my family in the 70s and 80’s. Spent some time in Hawaii with my mom and dad as my dad’s work took him over there. Ended up in Bend Oregon in the mid 80’s and have been rooted here ever since; aside from a few job related stints in Portland, SF and Seattle…..Bend has always been home.
So here I am now in Bend. Married with three kids, surround by my entire family on both sides. Its pretty epic.
When will Mt Bachelor get night boarding/skiing?
hahahahah it will never happen. It’s a forest service thing. Let’s focus on getting the new chairlifts put in.
How often to you cross over to the ‘dark-side’ of alpine sports and click into your 4 edge setups?
I still ski a lot. Especially since mervin mfg started making NAS slope tools a bunch of years back. The lib NAS skis are fairly badazz. I use skis for a lot of back country trips, skinning and such….also when I am hanging with super bad ass ski friends. Snowboards are simply not as fast or as capable in sketchy backcountry or travel. I know people are hating on me right now, but skis will always go bigger and faster. It’s physics….sorry. However, nothing will ever replace a snowboard in deep pow. There is a tool for every task and adventure.
Do you Splitboard or build urban rail setups?
I actually don’t own a split board. Mervin makes them, but they are all too narrow for my size 13 feet and too small for my 6’5 frame. I ride these custom 28.5mm wide skunk apes. I use the mountain approach system. I love those folding skis and the speed at which you can switch out. Sure, there is a bit of added weight, but the juice is most certainly worth the squeeze.
As for urban? I usually snow skate or do other weirdness. No modern urban to speak of. Lots of goofy sled tactics however. Like riding standup paddle boards on snow covered golf courses.
A lot of folks in the PNW are hoping Pat Malendoski beats cancer, do you have news on snowboardings best cat driver/park builder?
I see Pat all the time. He is a great old friend. Yes, it is true he was sucker punched by planet earth in a big way. His brain cancer has effected his ability to work and play on many levels. However, he is making a remarkable recovery. He is an inspiration. It’s actually quite impressive how our peer group has come together to support Pat. The whole support and fundraising process has been a pleasure. If there is anything that has come good out of Pat’s cancer, it is that Pat has proven to the world that his friends and peers are grateful, giving, caring and selfless.
Can you list your favorite skateparks in Oregon? And why?
I feel like every skatepark has its own little gem. I am a coping skater. Meaning I love grinding and sliding. Anywhere where the pool coping is dialed, and the steel is clean…..I am ready to skate. I am however, a pure tranny skater. I am too old to run out of anything. My feet and ankles get too sore. I can’t put myself into any situation that could cause me to jump to my feet and or abort a large stair set. Tranny is the name of my skate game.
If you could ride with anyone past or present, who would it be?
I am a sort of lone ranger. I don’t really make plans with anyone…..I just show up and shred. 90 percent of the time, whether it is bike, snow, skate or surf…..the line up is filled with old friends and good times. Every day I go out to get some, I simply improve my odds of connecting with more shred loving people.
I don’t even want to list names…..there are just so many wonderful rippers and friends that I enjoy riding with. You of course right, Mike? duh! I love the Witt Wear Crew here in Bend. Some of my longtime partners in shred like Sean Donnell (Original Mervin Graphic Designer) and more of the Bend Crew…..JD Platt, Tyler Dewilde, Dirksen…..argh, don’t get me started….so many great rippers.
I do love visiting Canada. There are a group of skiers up there I simply love to shred with. Stan Rey, Julia Murry and Davey Barr in particular. Google Stan Rey and have your mind blown! On the snowboard side of things Ken Ach and Don Schwartz hold down the fort up there.
Do you ever ‘fanboy’ out around all the celebrities you meet in the music industry?
I do a lot of work in the music world. I have been lucky to hang with some fairly big players. I don’t really have time to “Fanboy” out as I am on the job and have work to get done. I have a family to feed and a million smart 25 year olds that want my job badly. I need to preform and be on task and deliver the goods. So no….no time to geek or kook out.
Will there ever be a JoJo Beanstalk reunion show?
Perhaps….we have all done a lot with music and we are all still friends. Bebee is a Hollywood rockstar working with all the biggies…..and Joey Boiseneau has not missed a beat since the beginning. We get a lot of requests so we will probably make it happen eventually. Music is fun and is even more fun to make. Everyone should write a song and pick up some time of instrument. Everyone needs to be in a shitty garage band. It should be a mandatory right of passage for every 21 year old.
Can you tell everyone what happened to Fishpaw Gloves?
They simply called it quits before they got into financial trouble. Closed the doors on their terms and not on somebody else’s terms. Joey and Kieth are straight shooters. They were not going to let themselves be in a place where they potentially could hurt someone else. Wow? Odd question mike? That was a long long time ago. Does anyone reading Yo Beat even know what Fishpaw is?
Aren’t you part owner of One Ball snowboard wax?
hahah no. Not even sure where you got this idea. Yeah sure, The Cummins family and I are tight…..but I have no business connection to them…..other that using the wax.
Do you sell any of your old snowboards?
Nope….I ride all my boards till the explode or I just keep em. I am not a hoarder either. I also live by a very important rule. Any piece of equipment that is given to me can never be sold for money. I am not one to sell my goods into the open market. Never have been. I believe it pollutes the retail market place and in the end hurts the entire industry. The pattern of “pros” selling equipment on the grey market nearly killed the industry once before. It is so typical to forget what history has taught us.
I either keep my boards, or I have given them to someone in need. And yes, I have some collectors sticks that I am sure are worth a lot of money. The last one I let go was a 85’ Sims 1700 Swallow Tail. Donated it to Pat’s Cancer Fundraising auction.
Your medical file is as large as a NYC Phone book, describe all your injuries from snowboarding/biking?
Left and right ankles
Left and right femurs
both wrists and arms several times
both shoulder blades
teeth knocked out
The one thing I have never done is torn any knee ligaments…MCL and ACL stuff. Never seem to hurt the soft tissue but always seem to blow out my bones.
You were one of the very first summer snowboard camp coaches. Do you have any fond memories to share?
Good question. You and I created and started the first camp on Mt Hood ever. The Rebel Snowboard camp! Yeeeeow. Good Times. My best Mt Hood summer story happened before the Palmer high speed quad was built. The glacier was still accessed by the old double chair. That thing was slooooooow. Took forever to get up that thing. I think it was a 30min lift ride from the bottom? Anyway……in 1991 when we were launching Lib Tech…..Matt Cummins and I decided we were gonna ride down from the top buck naked, DIRECTLY UNDER THE SLOW CHAIR, so all the ski racers would trip bananas….pun intended.
Matt and I ripped off our clothes and his little brother Temple carried them down for us. We were making slush-pow-8s the whole way down laughing hysterically. Finally Matt caught an edge and slammed…..I don’t think I have ever laughed that hard again. I wish I could have recorded the moment. Then again, thank god no one could record it….it was 1991.
Do you still chat by any chance with Chris Karol?
I see him every now and then. He is out east…..in a gnarly punk rock band…..but killing it and keeping the dream alive!
You’re very loyal to Mervin MFG’s Mike Olsen and Peter Saari as documented in the ‘Mat Cummings 25 year documentary’ that aired this recent winter, will you ever get a ‘pro model’?
hahahah no way. I am not the pro model type. Thanks for asking….but I really have never been that great of a skater or rider for that matter. I am just really good at showing up. There have been countless riders that are much more talented than I have ever been. They just made a decision to leave the shred community, be it good or bad…..and go in different directions. I am still here. You don’t need to be good to get an interview in Yo Beat…..you just need to stick around long enough to get one. It took me 35 years. Thanks Brooke Geery.
Will you ever get the golden duct tape at the Legendary Banked Slalom?
Maybe now that I am in the old fart class…..even though I missed this year 30yr anniversary. I have hit the podium at Baker in years past……I have had good days and bad……but have never really landed on my feet there? I will continue to try……and ya never know……as showing up is half the battle.
Name your favorite place to take your family for dinner in Bend?
If it is the whole posse….wife and three kids? hmmmmm? Since dinner plans are often dictated by the youngest denominators mood (he’s 5) our goto is Flatbread in the Old Mill. It meets all of our needs. Best burger? Deschutes Brewery. Best Mex? El Sancho! Best Date Night? Ariannas. Best Coffee? Back Porch Coffee.
Does your youngest son Wilhelm still stop randomly on the bike trails and pee?
All my kids are so different. And yes, 5yr old Wilhelm is loose. He is the freebird of the family for sure.
This interview stuff is tough. I guess I would say check out “Have You Seen Clem”…..a super weird Documentary Fiction Indy film I made with some friends. You can buy it on iTunes. We finished it about ten years ago. It’s a big part of my life for sure. I Also included a copy of my auto-biographical song, “Shred the Rad”….Geery has got a link for everyone. And like I said earlier….everybody should write a song and make some music. Being in awesome shitty garage bands is the best thing I ever did. Big thanks to GoPro and its’ founders for letting me help steer your ship in the early days…..funny how things work out. Big Thanks to Mervin for 30 years of good times. Thanks to my wife Kelly, who truly has made my dream possible. Last but not least….to the shred community…..for keeping it real and interesting for all these years.
and….thanks Brooke Geery for finally putting me in your bad ass mag! YO BEAT.