Ask Robin Van Gyn: Week 1

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Hello lonely boys and hard up girls. Your friend Robin Van Gyn is here to answer all your pressing questions about life. Got a quandary for Robin and her Magic 8 ball? Just post it in the comments and maybe you’ll be lucky enough that Robin will choose you. For now, see if any of the following advice applies.

From: Assblaster
How do I avoid the friends zone?

Dearest Assblaster,
Seems as though you might need to accept that you might never go anywhere else. My sympathies.

From: Jeff holce
What’s the best way to get out of the friend zone?

Well for starters, I think it would be smart to avoid titles like “Assblaster” when commenting online, maybe just all the time, something to think about anyway. Other than that, I think these gents made this great rap that could give you some insight on this problem:

From: Red Gerard

How come you never called me back?

Oh my god, seriously Red? I had no idea. Did you leave a message? I feel like a jerk, you know I would have phoned you back if you left a message. Hit me up, we’ll do some laps. You’re the man:

From: thatgoodlife

I’ve got a crush on Marie France Roy like every guy who snowboards…any tips on how to catch her eye?

Dear Life,

Who doesn’t? the girl is amazing. I am not sure if you know this, but Marie is French Canadian, she likes Canadian stuff. My advice to you to shower her with gifts! Most Canadian women go crazy for the following items:
1. Beaver Pelts
2. Large poutine, extra curds.
3. The Best of Celine Dion
4. A Double Double
5. Strange Brew on HD DVD
Follow this up with a card that says nothing but “Sorry”.

From: rube


Cries for help come in all forms. I cannot consciously respond to this post as I feel responses only encourage Rube in his darkest hour.
To fill viewers in, this submission is a post by the mayor of Whistler. He has a major addiction to the site known as Tinder. There was a video leaked of him using the site, but he denied it. It was only after the police confirmed the existence of the video that Rube admitted, although not apologetically, to “having a problem” and continued to embarrass himself through the media saying things like “ he has enough BLEEP to eat at home”. We are here for you buddy, whenever you are ready to really get the help you need.


From: Mark Kelly

Robin I have a serious question about how to score a Canadian snow/hottie/bride, not only are the Canadian girls awfully cute, smart, down to earth, and ripping skiers and riders but there are also all of the benefits of being Canadian. It seems that all of you Canadians are incredibly friendly, polite and powder loving which is awesome, not to mention some pretty damn fine terrain to play on and copious amounts of snow! There is also that three party government, the Canadian health care program and the lack of being viewed with scorn by the rest of the world. I do not come empty handed, I am a successful Alaskan heli ski guide, fairly smart (for a guide on skis) and in exchange for great snow, friendly countrymen, health care etc… I can offer all of the opportunities of American life, the right to be spied upon by my government, to pay way, way to much for lift tickets to crappy resorts and the pleasure of getting road raged and flashed the finger on your way to, well anywhere in the US. Any advice on how to find and cute female Canadian snow person willing to marry (or adopt) a ski guide that lives in a camper on the back of his truck while pursuing bottomless pow around N America? (I also have marginal experience playing Settlers of Catan) Whether you can help or not, I hope to see you in Haines again one of these seasons, Cheers MK

Dearest Hoping and Wishing,
The adoption papers are in the mail. I come up to Haines to pick you up and take you home on the 1st of April, until then, sleep well my child.

From: Chandler Haberlack

My number is 425-760-9103
I would sooooooooooo date you

Dear Chandler,
I love science too and cant wait for your results, I forgot my birthday a long time ago, this is really going to help. I am assuming this is what you mean:

Def: Radiocarbon dating (or simply carbon dating) (verb)is a radiometric dating technique that uses the decay of carbon-14 (14
C) to estimate the age of organic materials, such as wood and leather, up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years Before Present (BP, present defined as AD 1950).[1]

From: yo

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From: BoostedAWD

Have you ever gotten the urge to just yell Rick Ross’s famous “UGH!” when you are at the top of a mountain?

The magic 8 ball says “definitely maybe”, but its less of a Rick Ross “UGH” and more of a Lil’ Jon “Yeeaaha”. This is not a problem, but my advise to you is too expand your rapper noise vernacular to find more celebratory sounds:

Rejected Edits: Road Head Edition


This edition of Rejected Edits comes to you late as hell because I’m on an SLC road trip. It’s about 1 am right now and I’m writing this from the back seat of my car, which I have parked in front of a closed-down coffee shop so I can steal their wifi and watch your shit-ass edits. Now I’m sure we’re both glad to be sharing an intimate moment in my back seat, but it’s getting late and I really have to take a dump. So let’s get this over with so I can head over to Walgreens and give them my diarrhea. — Oliver Woodrow Dixon


Grade: D

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? More like Soggy with a Chance of Buster. This shit is so plain Jane that it’s hard to talk shit about it properly. It’s like a piece of plain ass toast with nothing on it. Not even a bit of “I can’t believe it’s not butter,” which I firmly believe actually IS butter and they have just been lying to us this whole time. You guys need to put some spice in your edits! Put on some juggalo face paint and do some ignorant shit or at least hit us with some heaters!


Grade: D-

What the.. I don’t even.. is this a joke? Or is it a subliminal advertisement for the Pow hi-five mitt? Get that damn filmer hand out of here! Even if it was a joke, it wasn’t that funny. The horse is dead bud, no need to continue beating it’s ass. Also, shit talking doesn’t really work when you have the 100+ MPH wind proof go pro backing on. However, it did sound like you were talking smack about my boi Drew Brees. That man is a damn American hero! I think he lifts too, so you better watch yo’ back, mane.


Grade: A+ (for partying) C+ (Everything else)

Jesus Horse-Effing Christ, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with what happened at about 1:36 aka one of the most “I have completely checked out in life” things I have seen in a hot minute. I would love to know the story behind that but at the same time, there is something very romantic and mystical about it’s complete lack of context. Speaking of romantic and mystical, how the fuck are there so many babes in Wisconsin? Da fuck? I’m jelly. All-in-all this is a great party edit but the Devil’s Head park is just so lacking.. It’s a bummer really, I feel like you guys kick ass at riding it’s just that the park there is no fun to watch.


Grade: C-

Spencer! I know you know better than this! Brighton sucks. It really really sucks. Even giving it a Michigan park handicap, it still really sucks. In order to make those features look like they’re not completely baby dick you would have to take your camera, with your doomsday fish eye lens, and put it in a foot-and-a-half deep hole in the ground. Even then it would still seem pretty small. My advice to you is to go with Dom to Cannonsburg, and film the Drip Squad getting their Drip on and give me and Dom the footy so we can edit it into some drip and a double cup type shit. Drip Squad is that shit I do like. I might even change my name to Oliver DRIPSon-Cider. P.S. Your bitch is lacking vitamin D and she wants drip squad to be the ones to supply it. Unfortunately for her we were too busy spitting beer on each other and lighting bottle rockets in yo’ house.


Grade: B

The riding in this actually isn’t that bad but when you consider the location it seems a bit lacking. With all due respect this is a pretty good edit.. but every other edit that I’ve seen from Elm causes me to make involuntary sex sounds, and not your average sex sounds, loud, fetish type shit where I am cursing the person causing such sensations. Once you’ve had an experience like that it’s hard to.. well.. go back.


Grade: C-

Seriously? No Chevy Chase shout out? How are you about to title this Christmas Vacation and not have a Christmas Vacation shout out? Also ask yourself this: When in my life have I ever wanted to watch a stranger’s Christmas vacation video? I am assuming the answer is never and you know what? That’s okay. It’s an honest mistake. Mad people get excited on taking vacations and want to make edits about it. However, there is a big difference between Christmas Break and Spring Break. Doesn’t a Spring Break edit sound more exciting? It does. Because, for one, we have removed the term “christ” (leading me to wonder if there are any anti-christ-mas edits out there) and, for two, it leads one to believe that the subject of said edit got really really loose and acted like an asshole on vacation. Which, sounds like the formula for a perfect edit to me. Try it again using those ingredients and holler atcha boy.


Grade: D

It’s hard not to compare this edit to my sex game. Confusing, a bit awkward, and very short. For extra credit, it also ends incredibly abruptly, without any sort of warning, whatsoever, and leaves everyone involved feeling like they were just part of some sort of wet n’ sticky circus act.

Ballhootin’ Ep.2

Grade: D

This might be the first time a crew has been rejected twice in the same installment of rejected edits! I think I’m starting to get your guys’ joke a bit more now. It seems like you’re going for a based god shout out, where it’s like “we don’t totally suck but if we make a sucky ironic edit people might dig it” type thing. I don’t think it works that way in the snowboard community, sorry guys. You have to put in a little more work than that. Get yo’ hustle on lil’ pimpz.


Grade: C

What we got ourselves here is a classic low key So-Cal kickback chill edit. It’s just kind of a big stoney mess. There is a lot of random shit thrown in there with a few backward peace signs and “negative” camera effects. There was a couple of real aggro tricks flying around but the only ones that seemed to be in slow motion were sloppily thrown in taps and swivels. On a positive note, there is a booty shot in this which is pretty cool. What’s even cooler is that you cant really tell if the person whose booty is being filmed is aware of what is going on, which leads me to believe that it is very much possible that the filmer took it upon his or her self to creeper cam this booty, which is very G-code and deserves a shout out.


Grade: C

I was pretty excited to see some riding from Spain but realized my excitement was ill-advised as soon as I heard a Little Wayne song. When is that dude going to go away forever? I feel like anything by Little Wayne is just so basic and most edits to his music tend to follow suit. This is another one that’s hard to say anything interesting about. I found myself checking how much time was left in the edit multiple times. Also, you decided to name your crew “Friends”? You realize that’s already a thing, right?

Hump Day Story Time with Brandon Cocard

Slednecking with Ben Lynch. Photo courtesy Brandon Cocard.

Interview by Josh Parker

When I was asked to do an interview with Brandon Cocard for YoBeat, Lipton specifically said, “get the dirt.” Having known Brandon for three years, I knew this was going to be a problem. Not only is he one of the most humble guys I know, he absolutely kills it on a snowboard. From 80-foot park jumps, to backcountry booters, to the biggest rail jams, Cocard kills it. He’s not hooked on drugs. He doesn’t have an ego. He’s not getting paid a ton of money. He snowboards because he loves it and that is something this industry needs.

It’s 8 A.M. Do you always wake up this early?

No, definitely not, I have been waking up early to give my girlfriend rides to work. I usually wake up around 11. I’m not a morning person at all and I don’t like waking up.

But you like your gf…

Oh man I love my girlfriend. I was taking online classes this winter. She knew I wasn’t going to do my homework. I had to go to Alaska for a trip and we didn’t have wi-fi up where I was. She ended up doing my homework for the whole semester. She was a full time student as well so she was doing twice as much work as everyone just so I could have fun snowboarding. Another time my phone was broken for like 4 months and she just bought me a phone for no reason. I had no money to buy my own.

Behind every great man… Photo courtesy Brandon

I thought pro snowboarders were rich…?

(Laughing) We are rich, I don’t know what happened to all my money, I blacked out. There are two ways to make money at snowboarding. One is sponsor contracts which don’t come easy when you are on the up and coming new guy list. The other is contests. To be successful in contests these days you need all 4 9’s and double corks. Basically I’m gonna be struggling with money for a while.

Did you compete at all this past year?

I did the first stop of Dew Tour and realized I should have learned double corks over the summer. I wanted to, but I never got around to it, I was having too much fun just shredding.

How was Hood this summer and working at Windells?

It was awesome because I lived in Portland and didn’t have to sleep at the ark (Windells employee housing).

The ark is pretty famous for being gnarly…

Yeah it’s a little different now. A bunch of the troublemakers AKA “the fun people” got fired and they cleaned it up. But it was cool not having to live there and being able to do my own thing. I could just hang out in Portland during my free time. It wasn’t that awesome having to wake up at 5 a.m. to go to work though.

Flippin’ fun. Photo: Jeff Hawe
So you took a lot of trips this winter, what were you doing up in Alaska?

Trying to film. We were on a Respect Your Elders trip and it was springtime. We were there for a month and a half and I maybe got to snowboard for 7 or 8 days. It’s crazy because you are just up there sitting around. We ran into the Absinthe crew who were also just sitting around. It made me feel a little better to see them doing nothing too. I met so many cool people on that trip. I met Kevin Jones in a bar. I was super drunk; otherwise I wouldn’t have talked to him at all.

What was that conversation about?

He was fucking with me. It was super loud in the bar. He was purposely talking super quiet to me so I couldn’t hear him. I didn’t really care because I was stoked to be sharing a beer with him. The one thing he told me that really stood out was “You’re a cool guy, you’re obviously out here for the right reasons.” He then continued to tell me how he met Jamie Lynn at a bar and then he looked at me and said with a straight face “don’t be a hero.”  It was pretty confusing so I brought up fishing knowing he would go on and on about that for at least an hour.

What do you think he meant when he said “Don’t be a hero?”

I seriously have no idea. I think he meant Alaska, Valdez specifically, is a very dangerous place and he wanted to warn me to play it safe. He’s a smart guy and he knows the terrain.

A lot of people are looking forward to Respect Your Elders. What’s the story with that project?

It’s a funny title. The idea was to start in southern Colorado in Silverton and make our way west to Tahoe and then north to Alaska. Basically, it was a giant road trip. Along the way, we tried to meet up with friends who wanted to board powder and go on fun adventures. We met up with Josh Dirksen, Travis Parker, Temple Cummins, and Mikey Basich along the way. The younger dudes consisted of Ben Lynch, Skyler Thorton, Aaron Robinson, and myself.

Is it a movie about old dudes showing young dudes what’s up?

It wasn’t like “Ok kids, this is how you do it.” It wasn’t undermining or anything like that. They respected us and we respected them. They showed us a lot of amazing places. They were always there to answer all our questions and give us pointers. It is pretty cool to get advice from guys with their experience. We were all friends.

So it was a learning experience?

It was a huge learning experience, especially in Alaska.  Those guys showed us the ropes and taught us everything we needed to know.

Party time, eh? Photo courtesy Brandon

Do all those older dudes still party?

(Laughing) No they don’t party at all. Partying is for teenyboppers and raves. We didn’t go to any raves. They do have mature taste buds though, especially when it comes to whiskey. Whiskey was a necessity on those camping trips. Many nights ended with passing a bottle around a campfire.

Sounds like a bunch of powder hounds, is that what we can expect to see in Respect Your Elders?

You’re definitely not going to see any handrails. It’s snowboarding completely stripped down, trying to highlight all the little feelings we experience from doing what we do. It’s not huge cheese wedge jumps and its not dolly cams and a huge production. It’s not crazy or wild. We tried to capture friends hanging out snowboarding and appreciating what we get to do. The movie definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s more about what snowboarding is to us, and to everybody, when you’re not out there trying to be the gnarliest dude on the hill. We just tried to have fun and snowboard with all of our friends and that’s basically what we did. It was 100% made by us. That’s an accomplishment. It’s one thing to make a video with your friends, but it’s another thing to make the movie, make the soundtrack, make everything by yourselves and we completely stand by it. I’m sure there is going to be people that want more from the movie, but they can go buy a Mack Dawg video if they want to see nonstop bangers.

They can’t buy a Mack Dawg video. They quit making movies.

(Laughing) Right, I forgot about that.

Epic backcountry. Photo: Jeff Hawe

You’re using all original music for the movie?

Our original concept that we came up with for the movie included having fun at all times. One of the last things we came up with to add to that concept was to always enjoy music. Since I have been with Airblaster, we have always brought instruments and stuff like that on trips. If we didn’t have instruments, we would always just jam out with whatever was lying around; pot, pans, spoons, etc.

Jesse Grandkoski would grab a pot and a spoon, Ben would start strumming a guitar, and Travis would start singing. From that environment we decided we wanted to use our own music in the movie. Between expensive music rights and the large amount of crappy music out there, we decided to make our own. I’m not saying our music is any better though.

Who is contributing original music?

It was nerve racking deciding who was going to contribute. I got deemed the guy in charge. I’m not the best musician in the world. I actually can’t even read music and then Jesse was like, “Brandon you’re the music director.” The first day that I went to the studio I was so lost and nervous.  My buddy Chris just flew in from Truckee and he met me at my house in Portland and I was freaking out. Chris said, “Dude, just chill out, you got this. We will just go in there and jam.” And that’s what we did.

Tim Eddy, Chris and I just jammed and we came up with an amazing song. Chris ended up laying down a 10 minutes face melting guitar solo first try, first take. That song is in the Baker section. After that I knew it was on. Chris, Tim, and I did 2 songs. Diana’s (my girlfriend) brother did 2 tracks. Clayton (the northwest Airblaster rep) has a band called The Lonesome Billies. They wrote the Respect Your Elders theme song. All of the music is very country and folky. Shake Bones (Jarad Hadi and Tyler Verigan’s band) did the 2 songs which were used in the Tahoe section. Skyler and I wrote the first song in the movie called “Waiting on the Sun” which is based on camping in Alaska.

Who was the craziest, wildest one in the bunch during the filming of Respect Your Elders?

Ben Lynch is the wild man. He always had a pistol at his side and he acted like the sheriff. Travis Parker is the funniest person I have ever hung out with. It’s impossible to keep a straight face around that guy. He always breaks into song. He loves Irish drinking tunes.

Respecting of elders. Photo courtesy Brandon

Why does Ben carry around a pistol? Sounds like he belongs in a Technine movie…

Because he is a bad ass. He’s a mountain man. That’s what they do. Ben Lynch is the man to have around in the wilderness. He’s one of my best friends and he is one of the smartest, most levelheaded people I have ever met.  (Laughing) I just said Ben Lynch was level headed. I never felt scared when he was around.

I want to tell you another story. We were on Thompson pass and it was snowing so hard. It was ridiculous. Travis came up the week before it really started to snow. I’m not really blaming him for this. Actually, I am. He came up sick for a few days and then he left. He got all of us sick and then took off. It was a weird sickness. It consisted of a metallic taste in your throat, your body was weak, and you coughed up this gnarly stuff. I have never been that sick. Everyone was miserable and then it started dumping. We got trapped at the campsite and we got stuck in the Blue Ox (Ben Lynch’s truck). We couldn’t snowboard because we were so sick. Ben, Skyler, Kyle (our filmer), and I were stuck sleeping in the truck. There was no room. We were all sick and hacking up shit. Normally only 2 people should sleep in there and we had 4 dudes in there plus our gear.

We started going crazy. We called it the “Valdisease” (because we were in Valdez). Ben was always yelling (Ben yells a lot) and then Skyler started yelling.  It was funny and miserable at the same time. One night we couldn’t take it anymore. Ben was speaking gibberish and I was getting claustrophobic while Kyle was just trying to keep it cool. Basically we freaked the fuck out. We busted out of the Blue Ox and we had all this insane anxiety. We had a weird, sick rage. We had a bunch of empty whiskey bottles and we decided to make Molotov cocktails. We started filling the bottles with gasoline. I have never made one before. Ben had like 4 or 5 rifles in the truck and he grabbed a shotgun. We started throwing the bottles into the air and Ben started shooting them. Our arms were starting on fire from the gas everywhere.

Did that make you guys feel better?

Yeah it did. It calmed us down. We felt better. It was snowing so hard we couldn’t enjoy it for long. Messing shit up and shooting guns relieved all of the tension and pressure.

Did you guys call Travis out for getting you sick?

No, because he bought us a day of heli-boarding. We couldn’t be upset after that. He hooked it up. It was a total surprise. It was definitely something special that I got to share with my best buddy Ben and Travis, who I have looked up to since I started snowboarding. Wait, I have another story about Alaska.

On the road again. Photo courtesy Brandon

Ok, go ahead

Ben and I were driving north from California to Canada and before we had gotten to Portland we had already run out of gas twice. We finally got to the Canadian border at 2 a.m. and I was so tired. Ben was getting pissed at me for falling asleep. The Ox has a rumble that just puts you to sleep and I couldn’t help it. We were just looking for a place to crash right over the boarder. Ben had all of these guns with him and we thought we did all the paper work to make it legal. We were just worried about one gun, the pistol, because they don’t allow handguns in Canada. The boarder patrol asked about the guns and Ben showed him the paper work. Then the guard asked if we had any handguns. I literally watched Ben make the decision whether or not he was going to lie about it on the spot.  He’s such a solid dude that he told the guy “I have a pistol.” They said, “Well you can’t come into Canada.” It was such a blow to our travel ego because of all the hang-ups. They wouldn’t let us in and we were trying to figure out how to get in and where we were going to put the gun. We had to figure out how we could store the pistol because you have to have proof that you stored it somewhere so they know you didn’t just hide it. We couldn’t just bury it in the desert. We remembered passing a storage unit 50 miles before the border so we went back. It was super cheap for the size. It was the funniest sight I had ever seen. Ben rented an entire storage unit and put the pistol and a box of ammo in the corner. We were laughing so hard about what a ridiculous sight it was.  Then we crossed the border again and they let us through.

Wow, that is quite the story. Lynch is a bad ass! So you’ve been with CAPiTA for a while, how’s that going?

It’s going good. Blue has my back 100% and its cool to know he sees something in my riding and I take that as a huge compliment. Especially because the team is so stacked. To be part of it is a huge honor.

I hear they are making a team video this year?

Yeah they are. It’s really exciting.

Do you think it will be as artsy as the last one?

I have no idea. It’s a whole new team working on the filming and editing than First Kiss.

Same trick, different angle. Photo: Jeff Hawe

Who on the team are you most stoked on?

(Scott) Stevens is an amazingly rad dude and a blast to board with. But I think I am most stoked on (Jess) Kimura. She pushes it so hard. She’s the only girl I have ever felt pushed by.

Do you think she makes it harder for other girl snowboarders because she is pushing it so hard?

I don’t think she makes it hard for them but she is definitely forcing them to step their game up. She is driving them all to progress girls’ snowboarding to the next level.

When you were at Hood this summer, who did you notice as being the next wave of talent?

Eric Willet and Sage Kotsenberg. They are the most amazing riders to hit jumps with. They have every trick on lock.

Thos dudes are contest boarders. Do you think people in general actually care about contest snowboarding?

Well look at Shaun White and the Olympics. It drives our industry. Shaun is the gateway drug for the outside public to get introduced to what we do.

1080 degrees. Photo courtesy Brandon

What are your plans for this season?

I’m putting all my time and effort into the CAPiTA team movie and it’s the biggest project I have ever worked on. It’s cool because I get to ride with my teammates more. I’m really excited to ride with Brisse. He is such a good all around rider. He is going to be pushing my snowboarding.

Other than the CAPiTA movie, is there anything else? Are you going to marry your sugar momma anytime soon?

No, she doesn’t want to get married yet. I told her I was going to marry her when she gets out of college (which just happened). She is way too level headed for that. She laughed at me. There is plenty of time.

Thanks buddy.

No, thank you.