The Lost Footage: Area 241

Airblaster keeps finding footage on the old harddrives and they’re so nice, they’re just letting you watch it. Here’s what Respect Your Elders DP Kyle Norman Schwartz had to say about this edition of lost footage from a trip with Mikey B:

When we showed up to his castle, [Mikey] told us that he had already pushed a back country jump for us with his snow cat. What a guy! That’s what I call hospitality! So we had a fun session on the jump, but Tim ended up hurting his knee because he is a beast and sent it way to hard on a cab fiver and ran into a bush. So Tim peaced out and in the mean time Mike pushed up a small tree stall with his snow cat and we sessioned it once Brandon got back from dropping Tim off. Besides Tim getting hurt it was a really awesome start to our time spent at Area-241. Thanks MIKEY B!

Respect Your Elders: The Lost Footage

For those of you who complained last year that Respect Your Elders was too short, apparently Airblaster has been holding out on us. Kyle Schwartz hooked up all the leftover footage and here is the stuff from Kendall Mountain Resort in Silverton, CO. Featuring Travis Parker, Josh Dirksen, Ben Lynch, and Brandon Cocard.

Signal’s E.T.T. with Terry Kidwell

Before the camber and rocker debate, before step ins or baseless bindings, hell, before edges, there was Terry Kidwell. On this Third Thursday, Dave Lee and the Signal Crew set out to replicate Terry’s old snowboards with the help of o.g. skateboard maker Paul Schmidt and a little bit of modern technology. If you like snowboard nostalgia, then this is the one for use.

No Country for Hump Day with Ben Lynch

Ben and the Blue Ox.

Ben Lynch is an awesome human. He always has a smile on his face and is down for a good time all the time. He doesn’t want to be famous and he doesn’t care if you know who he is. He just wants to have fun on his snowboard. I met up with Ben at a Mexican restaurant at Winter Park to do this interview. Jesse Grandkoski came with him. Respect Your Elders was on the TV behind the bar and Ben went up to the bartender to order a drink as one of his parts in the video was on. Some locals were watching the video and saw Ben and exclaimed, “this is my favorite movie of the year, you kill it!” Ben just smiled and said “thanks.”His modesty knows no bounds.

So what have you been up to lately?

Man, I’ve really just been dicking around Winter Park all season so far. I’ve been hiking Berthoud pass and getting some wild backcountry lines and pillows with some rad friends like Jackson (Fowler) and Ryan (Arrington). I’m just having a blast riding in Colorado.

Colorado is so fucking cold, how do you deal with it?

I don’t know. I guess I’m used to it by now. I was raised up here so it’s definitely one of those things were you don’t really feel it after a while. It[s funny I was riding with a bunch of people today who were getting frostbite and I didn’t even notice that it was that cold out. I mean, I know its cold but I don’t really care as much as other people.

It seems like everyone loved Respect your Elders. Were you expecting that?

You know, from the beginning I knew it was really just a simple movie based on real simple snowboarding. It wasn’t over the edge serious. It wasn’t about double corks or being extreme. It was just boarding. We wanted to capture the feeling of hanging with your friends and riding snow wherever you could just for the fun of it. People keep telling me it was one of the best movies they have seen. I wasn’t really expecting it. It’s nice to see that people are interested in just good old-fashioned snowboarding,

So you spent most of the winter with Cocard. How is it hanging with that dude?

It was the best. We always seemed to find ourselves in shenanigans and adventures. We never plan on anything and we never know what’s gonna happen next. Sometimes it’s deadly and sometimes it’s fun. He’s such a calm guy, he never trips out about anything, and he never complains. Ultimately he’s the best dude to go on a trip with. He’s a no drama kind of dude. Well almost no drama, except on the Alaska trip.

Halfpike. Not just for the Olympics. Photo: Jon Hill.

What happened on that trip?

I wouldn’t call it drama but basically it was Skyler Thorton, Kyle Shwartz, Brandon and myself sleeping in the back of the Blue Ox (Ben’s old blue truck). So we were in a real extremely confined space. I remember Brandon didn’t want to be left out of the top bunk where Skyler and myself were and he kept trying to put his head up where he were. I was like “fuck man just calm down and put your head down.” There was some yelling. I kind of freaked out on him. We also caught the Valdez disease.

The Valdez Disease? Sounds like an STD?

(Laughing) It does. It was the worst sickness I have ever had. The worst cough, basically the worst everything. None of us had any energy but we still had to make a movie. Travis Parker came out and he was kinda sick but he wanted to come out and hangout with us. All of a sudden I got sick and then Brandon got sick and then Skyler got sick and we were all sleeping in the same camper. We were all hacking in the back of the truck and we thought we were gonna die. We were a little mad at Travis and then he bought us heli rides. Can’t really be mad after that.

Was that your first heli trip?

It was. I didn’t know what to expect but I was excited. Its something every snowboarder dreams of.

Alaska is a pretty big deal. What an amazing place to go heli-boarding for the first time. Were you prepared?

Yeah I was really nervous but I was stoked at the same time. Adrenalin took over and it was so fun. I had no clue what I was getting into but I knew it was an amazing opportunity and it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life.

Brandon told me a story about you and gun. Guns and you seem to be synonymous. What’s the deal with that?

I have a lot of guns. I grew up hunting. My dad and my whole family are hunters. I own a lot of them.

What do you hunt?

I hunt elk, deer, rabbits, grouse, and occasionally mountain lions.

Do you have any crazy hunting stories?

I don’t have any of myself but I was with my friend hunting mountain lions one time. He went into a cave with a flashlight with a 44 magnum. It was messed up. I said “good luck” and waited outside. He went into the cave and it was real quiet for a while. All of a sudden I saw the flashlight click on and heard BOOM BOOM BOOM. There was yelling and I didn’t know what to think. Next thing I know he was dragging a lion out of the cave with a big smile on his face.

Country boy. Photo: Jon Hill.

Sounds like you grew up in the country, which is kind of rare in the snowboarding scene. Did that background shape the type of person you are?

Hell yeah! Absolutely. Growing up in the country you don’t have anything to do so you get creative and find things to do with your time. You make fun out of nothing. I think it forces you to use your brain more. You have to invent things to do with your time.

So how did you end up getting into snowboarding?

I skied for 3 days and at that time my 2 older brothers were snowboarders. I saw one of them do a front flip off a cornice and that looked way cooler than what I was doing on skis. I was hooked after that. I’d also have to say my mom got me into snowboarding. She went 2 days before I did. Basically my whole family was doing it and I wanted to be a part of it.

I actually was sitting next to your mom the first time she saw August when you fell into the crevasse. She was holding my hand real tight and tearing up. Do you feel like she is always worried you since then?

I know she is worried all the time. But I don’t think she does more now than she has in the past. I was a handful as a kid and got into a lot of trouble and she was always worried. She also knows I can get out of bad situations and she trusts me. I don’t like to scare her, but I can’t help it. It’s just a motherly thing.

Do your brothers still snowboard?

They do every once in a while. They kinda moved on to real life.

What’s keeping you from living in the real world?

The love for snowboarding. I think snowboarding is an outlet for me to express my freedom. It’s like being an eagle. You can just fly. Nothing can stop you. I can go wherever I want and do whatever I want. Why would I want anything other than that?

No heli required. Photo: Jon Hill

You spend a lot of time with Travis Parker and you guys have a very similar riding style in terms of creativity and snowboarding for the pure enjoyment of snowboarding. How did he help shape your career?

The first time I ever snowboarded with him was here at Winter Park for an Airblaster sales meeting. I really liked his style of riding in the Robot Food movies. He was fluid and had some of the best style and that drove me to try and emulate, not necessarily copy, his riding style. He helped me with K2 and Airblaster and being a good bud. He’s just a good bud and I love to board with him all the time.,

It seems like Airblaster is the perfect fit for you. Fun and creativity seem to be their forte. What’s next for the team?

(Laughing) Shit. I don’t know.

Jesse Grandkoski (sitting in on the interview) Fuck I don’t know either. Everyone is working on their own project. We will all get together in the spring and make something happen.

Dark. Photo: Jon Hill.

What’s your plan for the rest of the season?

I’m doing this film project with the Robinson brothers (Aaron and Jason).

What’s that all about?

Basically its gonna be like an old school snowboarding flick. Back country lines and powder boarding. I’m traveling to Baker and cruising up to Alaska and Montana. I’m really excited for this project. It has everything I love about snowboarding; fun, friends, and powder hounding.

You lived in Portland this summer. That city is a big change from country living. How was that experience?

Living in Portland was great. There’s always something fun to do but it always leads to trouble. A country boy like me goes a little crazy being in the city for too long so I always needed to find my own style of fun. Nick Dirks, Alex Burton, and the boys were always into that as well. It’s something like a twister when we get together. There is a huge difference from living in the city and living in the country. I don’t like the city nearly as much, basically because there’s more freedom in the country. You can do just about anything you want.

One time Nick had purchased a moped thing after some partying I was riding on the back and we ended up having to run from the police. You could probably picture Nick driving and me sitting on the back barely hanging on, on a tiny moped thing. We got away due to whiskey throttles and his great get away skills. As copilot I’d say we were quite on point.

Anyone you want to thank, any last words?

I would like to thank Jesse Grandkoski for paying for this meal and everything he has done, Satellite, Airblaster for promoting good time snowboarding, and K2. Oh and Winter Park and hot moms.

Why hot moms?

They just seem to have the most ambition to get wild. Plus their hips are like car smashers…

What does that mean?

Use your imagination

Far from the Country. Photo: Jon Hill.

Cheers to Respect Your Elders in PDX

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I have a confession to make: the showing of Respect Your Elders and Cheers in Portland was the first movie premiere I’ve made it to this year. And it’s currently October. This pathetic fact was made possible because I spent most of September in random places (such as Orlando and Ohio), and also that I am anti social and go to bed early. The latter may also be why I showed up at the Clinton St Theater promptly at 7 PM for the first, all-ages showing.

Ok, another semi embarrassing confession: despite my position as allegedly all-knowing member of the snowboard media, I had no idea there was an “adult showing” at 9 pm. The Facebook event invitation said 7, dammit. However, I have no regrets about getting there early and checking out both movies with a crowd not pounding back beers, because once again, I am anti social. But enough about me.

The movie pairing of the evening was a bit odd. Things started with Resourceful Gnome’s Respect Your Elders, a 20-minute movie about snowboarding people actually want to do (read: riding pow), with all original music, and very few after effects. Then after the obligatory product toss for goods from Airblaster, K2 and even some passes to Timberline, People’s Cheers fired up. If there’s one thing that can be said about Justin and Pierre, it’s that they definitely know how to put together a movie. But compared to the very raw Respect Your Elders, immediately watching Cheers was sort of like going from the outskirts of the Sundance Film Festival directly into a Will Smith summer blockbuster. Basically the only thing the movies had in common was being sponsored by K2.

While the disconnect made my head hurt a little bit, both movies had their certain charm, and you can’t beat watching GoPro footage on the big screen (seriously, way cooler than on the ‘net!) Once the kids were kicked out, the real party started as pro-bros and ironic-mustache-clad dickheads crowded into the theater. Since I’d already watched both movies, I did my schmoozing, got the shot, and left before the second showing. Having been to a few of these things though, I imagine the 21-plus showing was a bit rowdier, and the movies were exactly the same. Oh yeah, and a good time was had by all! Of course.

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.