Filming: Keith Rutherford
Edit: Daniel Evans
Additional Footage courtesy of Tim Humpreys
Terribly transcribed by Alexander “LEG” Johnson hemingsworth III

In a world where the lines between pro, am, and nobody are barely discernable, Tim Humphreys is still a professional snowboarder. What does that mean? Well, he’s a brand ambassador, a stunt man, a filmer and editor, and now a small business owner too. He’s gracefully spun past the “normal” age when Americans disappear from professional snowboarding and is now one of the rare breed of adult who’s managing to make a living with his snowboard skills.

We ran into Tim on the hill at Mammoth Opening weekend, where he and Sage Kotsengerg were testing out some GoPros from the future. Eight hours and 100 gb later, Tim was in our condo, still wearing all his snowboard gear, and ready to chat it up with Madison Blackley and I. If you hate reading and want the short, sponsor-friendly version – watch the video above. But if you want all the real dirt you can read it all below, and catch a few additional clips deemed TOO EDGY by our censors.

Tim and Matt go doubles.

Brooke: Tell us about your movie project.

Tim: So this summer me and a bunch of my friends didn’t have a snowboard video that we were putting anything towards, but we had all this footage between all of us, and so Matt Williams was like, “ let’s just put together a snowboard video.”He came up with the name “Uncaged.” I was super busy, didn’t really have time to think about it so I was like, “ oh yeah totally, perfect.”

Madison: Uncaged. I dig it. Who did the editing?

Tim: Just me and Matt. We split up the movie in half — Matt made the intro, his part, Adam Hohmeyer’s part, Sam Klein’s part, and the credit reel. Then I made Chris Depaula’s part, Nile Rominec’s part. Me and Dylan (Thompson) share this crazy part, it’s real sick.

Brooke: Is Dylan Thompson autistic?

Tim: Um… I don’t think so. I think he’s like kind of more an introverted type of person y’know, he definitely doesn’t say too much. He’s a man of few words, but he carries a big motherfucking sword! I don’t think he’s autistic or any shit like that though. We are always on the same wavelength always just like he will see something and we will be thinking the same exact shit and he just doesn’t feel the need to use lots of words to say shit, y’know he just kind of keeps it to what’s important. Maybe I’m Autistic, I don’t know.

I learned a lot from filming street with him this year. He operates really efficiently. It was actually insane watching him go,learning all of his street knowledge and everything about filming in the streets. He’s just got it so dialed from doing it for so many years. He knew what type of spots to look for and he is extremely focused and motivated.

It’s funny though when he gets drunk. The the floodgates just open! It’s hilarious because there’s so much shit where unless something really pisses him off, or something he needs to take care of right then he’s just like whatever. He doesn’t say anything about it, but when he gets drunk, he’ll start ranting about some shit. He just lets loose and you’re all like, “ fuck yeah, Dylan.”

Brooke: How do you feel about social media?

Tim: it’s just annoying that everyone cares so much about it right now. Y’know that it’s THAT big of a deal that it almost runs our lives. Instagram fucking views translate into how my career is perceived. How it started was just like, “oh yeah share some photos of my friends, see what my friends are up to” and now it’s just this whole other thing. It’s like something that was pleasure- just totally got business thrown into it now. It’s similar to snowboarding for a living, y’know. Snowboarding is this thing I love, but sometimes doing it for a living and having my whole livelihood is based off of it, sometimes things will get frustrating. I get burnt out. Sometime I’ll have so much shit expected of me and I don’t feel like I can deliver it.

Sometimes I’ll post the stupidest shit and it gets so many more views than anything else. I’ll work so hard to make the most baller video and it gets no love, then I’ll post something I wasn’t even going to post because I filmed it shitty or whatever and it gets 150,000 views!

Maybe now that Pornhub is getting involved with snowboarding I’ll get a new sponsor. Working the social media, Pornhub plugs like, “Hey, I’m alone and bored in this gondola @mammothmountain, I wonder what I can do with this 5 minutes @pornhub winky face emoji.”

Brooke: What’s your dream sponsor?

Madison: Airline Sponsor?

Tim: Free flights anywhere? Damn. Hmmm what’s a good airline?

Madison: Delta, duh.

Tim: Delta? Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive. I don’t really like that, but hey if I’m sponsored by them I won’t have to pay their obnoxious each way $150 surfboard fees. That’s another reason why I don’t fly Delta. It’s fucked up to spend $300 to get your boards there and back. You might as well buy boards when you’re there.

Brooke: How did you get into surfing in New Jersey? Is it really like the show Jersey Shore?

Tim: My family and I would go down to the beach for a week or two every summer. Straight up. We would go to Seaside Park and Heights where all that shit was filmed. It’s insane- like that show is an understatement of the reality there. It’s gnarly- I feel like they did a bunch of shit and they couldn’t even show it.

Brooke: Did you ever compete in Spring Loaded at Killington?

Yeah, I literally should of won that shit like 3 fucking times but see that’s the thing- the odds were always loaded against you if you were not from Killington. Literally, you couldn’t place or anything if you were not from Killington. So, I would go there and put down winning runs and not even make finals.

My very first memory of the first Killington Spring Loaded was sick though. The very first person I met when I was like 12 or 11 or something like that, was Lucas Magoon. Just imagine us as little 12 year olds! Within 15 minutes of meeting we were both getting tackled by ski patrol and getting our passes pulled. We were hucking snowballs up at the gondola and shit. Ski patrol ripped our tickets off and were being total dicks to us. Magoon’s mom worked up at the resort and she like found out about it and flipped her shit. They had to come back give us our tickets and apologize. Little Magoon. Even at 12 years old he didn’t give a fuck! He was awesome.

What the actual fuck is going on here? 

Brooke: It’s 2018 and weed is now legal! How do you feel?

Tim: It’s insane how prohibition has been over the last few years. For what it is and how harsh the penalties have been on it amazing to see in my lifetime. It’s like prohibition on alcohol being lifted. But weed is almost less bad than alcohol.

Madison: Almost? Or completely?

Tim: Completely. Stoners don’t really fight each other, and shit like that. It’s funny how harsh it’s been. I actually did some research on why it’s been illegal and it doesn’t even have to do with weed’s psychoactive effects. You used to be able to pay your taxes in hemp, and money was printed on hemp and it’s actually a way better textile for everything like rope and clothing. Actually, a lot of old school knots don’t even work on nylon rope because the hemp fibers stick together way better.

But what ended up happening was people came out with petroleum-based polymers and they had all these patents. So they launched smear campaigners like “Reefer Madness” to get rid of industrial hemp, and they did it by making weed just a drug. Now people are starting to pull their heads out of their asses and figuring out a way to kind of bring it back, starting with CBD and medicinal marijuana. It’s like, ‘hey give up the stupid reefer madness bullshit, like you guys all got brainwashed.’ The new generation didn’t have Reefer Madness so we are all like, “ what the fuck is everybody so harsh on it?” It’s comical- like what people believed this stuff? Yeah, and everyone has that old school mentality because of all these smear campaigns, but it all really boils down to industrial hemp patients and big companies and money.

Brooke: So you’re saying is a government conspiracy?

Tim: I don’t know about a government conspiracy. It’s more just like companies leveraging things to…

Madison: Corporations are government almost…

Tim: Man, that’s so deep. But yeah, I think it’s awesome that weed is being legalized everywhere now because I think is a positive thing in a lot of people’s lives. Especially that the CBD stuff is available to people because that has really good medical benefits for like a wide variety of people. And people are not getting arrested for having a gram of weed on them. which is the stupidest shit ever y’know. So I think everyone’s lives got a lot less stressful since weed has become legalized in these states

Brooke: Speaking of weed, tell us about VRZR.

Yeah, so I started this lifestyle accessory brand over the summer, it’s called VRZR, which is Italian slang for greenery. I’m just starting to make a bunch of these accessory pieces that are good for our more active stoners that want to bring their gear and accessories out to cutty places.

Tim: The first product that I made is called the Rolling Case. It’s like two rolling trays that clamshell together. It’s like everything that’s built to sit on your coffee table. Zip it up, throw it in your backpack and take it with you. the VRZR kit on sale right on on my website www.VRZR.life, yeah I’m not a “ dot com’er” I’m a “dot lifer.” Yeah and I like the .life handle. the instagram to @VRZR.life The other product is “the pokey thing”

Madison: The Pokey Thing, that’s literally it’s name?

Tim: Yeah, it’s that thing you always need but nobody ever knows what it’s called but everyone knows what a “Pokey Thing” is. I got a bunch of gemstone beads and titanium bars. I actually don’t make the beads myself I order the beads and bars, then cut them down to size and glue them on. They’re all like these dyed gemstone beads. I make these all by hand and it’s cool every bead is a little different. It’s a lil arts and crafty, because everyone’s a little different, so you know different sizes and lengths different colors.

You can use the pokey thing to clean your grinder out or pick your bowl out or you could dab with it. And with the bead side you can pack it.

All the rolling trays you see in the head shops are just built to sit on the table, but like the second you drop them or anything they are going to just explode a part and your shit goes flying everywhere. This keeps everything together. Y’know, we take our weed out snowboarding, snowmobiling, camping we are always on the go outdoors. Tinder dates, you never know.

Humpy Big Boulder

Tim braves the polar vortex for a little park action at Big Boulder. Photo: @Shaun Kalatuka/marshmellowslurpee

Brooke: What’s your best Tinder story?

Tim: I only met up with one chick on Tinder. I don’t know, I hung out with her for a while, we are still cool, still friends and still hang out.

Brooke: That’s a boring story.

Tim: Yeah, Tinder in Truckee fucking sucks. Unless you set your radius to max and age range 18-55, you have 20 swipes before you run out.

Madison: And you know all the swipes.

Tim: Ughh yeah. Did you hear when Beckmann was cat fishing people on Tinder? Oh my god. This was the funniest shit ever. I wish we could of documented all of this, it was insane.
So I was living with Kyle Beckmann in Truckee and he had this chick that he was with back in Florida or whatever. He hit her up and was like, “ I want to catfish all of my friends, can you just send me some photos and shit to make a fake profile.” She was all like super down with it and thought it was hilarious. So he made a fake Facebook account and a fake tinder account and he would just go through swipe on people that we knew. He would do it everywhere. We went to Superpark and on film trips and he got so many people. He got Aspen [Weaver], and Jaegar [Bailey]. He got a shitload of people, oh yeah, Benny Milam.

It was the funniest shit and it went on for such a long time because everyone who got Catfished was so embarrassed about it that no one told anyone about it. He got so many people before anyone found out. We would use our roommate Kim’s phone to FaceTime them and everything. He would do all this stuff to lead them up and everything and then he would get them on FaceTime and be like “hey” and we would screen shot it the second it loaded up.

in the Vortex

Inside the GoPro matrix.

Brooke: Why is everyone so sensitive in America?

Tim: It’s because of the whole lawsuit lawyer sue you system. Because people can literally just do something stupid and get hurt, even though they knew fully well what they were doing was wrong. They can still find a way to legally blame the other person and get money from them.

They try things in the US are made idiot proof. It’s a pain in the ass snowboarding, trying to hit street spots and someone goes, “ get the fuck off my property, you will fucking sue me.” Everyone’s like “it’s a liability issue, we would love to watch you snowboard but we can’t because of insurance and stupid shit.” It makes it such a struggle to do street stuff.

I grew up riding with my family, and when I was 7 or 8 years old I was riding by myself. Being 8 years old on a snowboard, there’s like a lot dangerous situations, where what I did as my 8-year-old self was at my own discretion. I’m really glad I had snowboarding to present me with those challenges at such a young age.

Brooke: Your dad snowboards?

Oh yeah, my dad Bruce, he’s a total shredder. He’s like 67 now. Actually he and my brother started snowboarding about a year before I did. They just went out a couple of times and we’re like, “ yo, you gotta check this out.” They bought this snowboard video, “The Meltdown Project,” by Mack Dawg and they brought it home and I watched that shit like, a thousand times…It got me stoked and the next year we would go out every weekend. Me, my dad, my mom, my brother and sister. We would just go snowboarding every weekend, and that’s what really got me hyped up on and and they were really hyped because we got to go as a family and go snowboard every weekend.

Madison: That’s pretty awesome, not many people get to do that.

Tim: Yeah it’s so weird, my dad got me into snowboarding.

Up in AK. Photo: Dodds

Going with the Flow in AK. Photo: Aaron Dodds

Brooke: Let’s talk about traveling. What’s the weirdest shit you’ve ever eaten on the road?

The weirdest shit I’ve seen was in South Korea. It was one of the first places I went outside of the United States. I went to a junior world contest and I do not know what the fuck I ate half the time. I remember this soup that they had; they were stirring it up and there were tentacles and I swear I saw an eyeball pop out of it. They just had this weird ass seafood shit going on. I remember Hhalf the stuff I had I was like “ aww this is not to bad” then I had some other stuff and was (makes puke sound) like, “what the fuck.” Everyone else is just munching and I’m like ,“oh my god, I’m going to starve tonight.”

Madison: Isn’t that where the Olympics is this year?

Tim: Yeah I think so. Do they have big mountains? What about the downhill?

Madison: You would need one steep hill?

Tim: Yeah, but you would need like 2,000 ft of vert at least to have a downhill. This is the olympics, they are not going to have a bitch-made downhill. Like you need to be able to go 80mph for two minutes straight to have a downhill.. Have you ever watched the downhill? Yo it’s gnar. I wouldn’t do any of that shit. Even though it’s ski racing and ski racing is like “blah,”, the shit they do is so crazy. Downhill is the gnarliest thing. If you fuck up, either you will get really worked or die.They have razor sharp edges and they pour water on that shit to turn it to ice to make it faster. It’ sucks. That’s why I never turned into a ski racer- it did not look enjoyable.

Madison: Oh that’s why?

Tim:
Yeah, and because fuck ski boots. That’s most of the reason I don’t do it.

Madison: What is the reason you would do it?

Tim: It’s way more convenient for touring in the backcountry and stuff like that. Four edges, four times the control. You can go way bigger. I spent a lot of time shredding with Sammy Carlson seeing what the skis can do for him versus what a snowboard does for me. I really notice where the trade offs are. On skis it’s easier to hold a perfect line, especially blasting really big on hips.

Madison: Like you can point it way faster for way longer?

Tim: Yeah and just have a straighter takeoff. On a snowboard you need to be on your edge to do a setup turn, but with the skis you can square up on both skis and hold that line and not drift. Unlike on a snowboard where you kinda have a little bit of a drift because you have to use your edges a little bit.

a self portrait

The nice thing about shooting your own photos? No one else can make you look stupid.

Madison: Does that make snowboarding cooler? Because it IS harder?

Tim: um I don’t know, what is cool?

Madison: Holding a GoPro stick all the time?

Tim: I know that used to not be cool that’s for sure! When I first started doing it people would talk so much shit about it. I think it fucks up my regular snowboard style sometimes. It’s hard. You have to figure out where to put it. To put it in the right place you really have to extend that arm straight out. Iron fist. You can’t bend your elbow.

Brooke: Oh man, let’s get some official Tim Humphreys GoPro Filming tips!

Tim: I got lots of tips. So erect arm, solid grip for sure. You really gotta think about what you’re doing. Every time I go I kinda have a plan. When you hold your arm straight out, that’s not how you do tricks normally, so you have to compensate for it. A lot of times doing spins and stuff, and jump tricks, the bigger the jump, the easier. If I’m spinning cab my front arm is straight out and all the throw comes from my back arm.

You want the camera out in front of you a little bit. Either front arm or back, but keep it in front of you. You never want to go back behind you because then your body blocks most of what’s in the frame. If you’ve got it up over top of your head toot much you only see your head and shoulders. You lose the board and everything below you. What I do is try a lot of stuff and then I’ll look at it and figure out what I did wrong or what I want to do to adjust, then I’ll go out again. It takes a little bit trial and error.

Brooke: How about filming a 180 on a side hit?

So going into a side hit you just hold it out and up and in front of you a little bit. You really want to try and not pull it into you, or like, waver your arm. You want to just stay squared up on your board. Just get a nice even pop – don’t use your arms to help you pop – you want to just have everything come from your legs. Just hold it still out there and try to keep it kinda in the same spot and you know, even look at it and smile. In our GoPro training seminars they teach you facial expressions…

Madison: Wait, you have GoPro training seminars?

Tim: Yeah, the GoPro program. I’ve been one of their athletes for the past five years, and we have a lot of private events. They just teach us stuff like what they’ve found resonates well in social media. Basic stuff like, wear a single, brightly colored jacket. That pops real well in the video and helps you in photos to separate you from the background. If I really want to get a proper GoPro shot, I’ll wear something bright and poppy that will really contrast what I’m snowboarding against.

UNCAGED: THE MOVIE

Brooke: That’s crazy. Speaking of crazy shit, what’s up with Flow Snowboards?

Tim: Yeah, crazy shit going down at Flow. They just got bought by Nidecker I just signed a 2-year deal, so they are keeping me around.

Madison: You have always been with them, right?

Tim: Yeah for 10 years. Holy crap, it’s been so long. I’m really stoked on all the product and everything they are making. I think it’s cool that Nidecker took them over because I think all the gear is going to be made in Austria again. Over the last few years a lot of the gear started going to China. Flow used to make all its stuff in Austria, and that was when all that shit was really tight.Then the whole industry, basically all at the same time, started making its low end stuff in China. The high end stuff was still made in Austria. That’s what Flow was doing for a while, and I think now that Nidecker is picking them up everything will transition back to Europe, which should be pretty nice. It’s kinda weird to see it all change, but it’s kinda what skate brands have been doing for years. They all have been under certain umbrellas, being made by the same people even though they are different brands. Nidecker still make boards, and now they are going to have boots and bindings. They also own Jones, YES and Now. And Flow is going to be flowing. It’s cool how they have all of these resources now.

Brooke: Tell me a good story about former Flow Team Manager Andrew Mutty?

Tim: Oh my god, I would do anything to have Mutty be my team manager again. I learned everything from him. He is just the man, first of all. When I first started riding for Flow, I’d just gotten out of high school didn’t know shit. Mutty took me everywhere with Lago. I would just see what he did and learned everything. One time at the Rat in Govy – he knocked two dudes out at once.

Brooke: Ahh the good old days. How old are you now?

Tim: I’m not going to say. I don’t want my sponsors to find out (laughs.) I remember growing up there was a stigma about the age 26. I feel like snowboarders at age 26 fall off the face of the earth. I don’t know, maybe life kicks in, or they realize snowboarding isn’ truly paying the bills, and now I’m off my parents health insurance and have to pay for my own. Like, fuck.

It sucks that no snowboard sponsors pay for any sort of health insurance of any kind or anything. It’s insane there are so many snowboarders at Superpark that don’t have health insurance. Real talk. It’s crazy it can even exist like that. When you’re a pro snowboarder you are 110% on your own. If you get seriously injured and you don’t have health insurance, because your sponsors don’t pay you enough to even fucking afford it, then they stop paying you because you can’t snowboard for a certain span of time because you got hurt. You’re fucked. It’s crazy that the action sports industry is that way. Companies just hire snowboarders as independent contracts, so they are not employees and they don’t have to give them insurance benefits or any of this other stuff. It’s crazy, either you need to be winning contests and making money or have some other stuff on the side that you are doing.

Brooke: On that note, what’s on your agenda for this season?

We are doing these Sam Adams Big Air tours. They’re fucking sick. We did 3 of them last year and we’re doing 10 stops this year. Mostly at East Coast and some Midwest mountains. It’s an exhibition and they have these 3D projectors and they project all this trippy 3d shit on the landings. We have it all timed out, not like a set routine, but we go in these formations skiers and snowboarders and do whatever tricks or we kinda figure out what we want to do before.

Madison: Like figure skating?

Brooke: Lol or like Boom Boom Huck Jam meets Nitro Circus with some Sam Adams thrown in!

Tim: Yeah, they just promote the shit out of Sam Adams. Give out free samples, get people drunk and have a good time. And the mountains are stoked. We hit a lot of not-so-big resorts.Last year we did Camelback in Pennsylvania, Cranmore in New Hampshire and we did Big Sky in Montana. It’s pretty cool we are hitting all of these less trafficked resorts and the crowds get way more stoked. You know, you do a 720 off a jump in Breckenridge no one’s going to give a fuck. Every second a skier says the words, “do a dub 12. ” So even a triple cork won’t fucking impress anyone in Colorado. We are hitting all these other resorts, just doing backflips and 720’s or 900’s. If someone’s feeling frisky and chucks a double, the crowd goes nuts. They are so stoked. They never get to see snowboarding like that in person. Plus getting to meet all the riders, everyone’s having a great time getting drunk. We do an autograph signing, hang out with them and everything. It’s really cool that we get to go to all these places where people wouldn’t get to hang out with a bunch of pro snowboarders for the day and just talk with people and slap hi-fives. Like, “hey we are real people too, we are not just these things you swipe on instagram and double tap.”