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Yobeat’s Year in Review: February 2014

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As we learned in January, lots of stuff happens every day, all winter long in snowboard world, and February was an especially exciting month because, Olympics! If nothing else, it gave us lots of competely absurd things to post about as the mainstream media picked apart our fair sport. Most importantly, this video went viral!

As for those Olympics… Everyone hated the slopestyle course, but not as much as the halfpipe. It sucked, really bad, and we’re still talking about it. In the end, Shaun White disappointed his country and Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenberg became overnight celebs. Conan even came down with a case of Sage fever and ya boi ended up on a Wheaties box.

What else… Tim Eddy’s house is really fucking cool. Ski ballet is amazing. Syncronized Snowboard is defintely poised to be a new Olympic sport.

The legendary Banked Slalom happened and while there was snow on the streets in Portland, there was mostly ice on Mt Baker, so we didn’t make it, but lots of people did. Don’t feel bad for me, I got to go to France.

Michigan became a “place to be” thanks to Hawk Island Snowpark.  Kas Lemmens became our favorite Euro and we decided we like Freddy Perry too. Mark McMorris released a Walmart clothing line.  Big Head Boarding also went viral!

And the most interesting story of all – Inside Edition reported that skiers and snowboarders were getting STONED, on the slopes! This later lead to the explosion of Leo’s Smoke Shack and a pretty epic parody.

Don’t miss a damn thing -follow us on our social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat (@Yobeat.)

 

Nicolas Muller Answers the Critics

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Photo: Blotto Photo

Yobeat recently called out Nicolas Muller for saying that snowboarding needed, “… more of Jay Adams, of people who really live the culture and don’t sell out.” All hell broke loose on the interwebs. While we couldn’t dig up the man himself, Jay Adams, to weigh in on how to make snowboarding more core and save our supposed diminishing past time (Did Jay Adams ever snowboard?) our favorite Swiss was more than willing to set the record straight.

“It got me really going. I was reading all the comments and seeing all the mad haters. People backing me and people hating on the haters. It was going off! Some people were writing articles. I was like, holy shit! I should write this stuff down because these are amazing. People were really adamant about the topic.

Thoughts like I had were this – MC Hammer trying to reinvent himself as a gangster rapper, whoa okay. I get it, but were you saying I was out riding for Pepsi? Have you ever seen me with one beanie that said Monster, Red Bull of fucking anything? Okay, I was in the Art of Flight. That’s the main excuse, “Oh, they do cool films and stuff!” Look at our sport. Every other guy has freaking thing on their head. Sorry I don’t see the reason why I would promote something like that just for the money. That’s my personal opinion. To all the people who work at the energy drink companies, no offense. The drinks just don’t do it for me. I couldn’t for any money promote that.

About the MC Hammer thing, right, Nike is a big corporation. They do really good product for people who want to move their body to be healthy. What happened to listening to the guys like Terje? He stood for something. Like, I am not going to the Olympics. Now I totally get it.

With all my heart, Danny Davis should have been the Olympic champion and he was not. Now he’s all about boycotting the Olympics and I get that. I read the comment on there about how if you boycott the olympics there will be 10 dudes in line to try to get your spot and that spotlight. That will always be. If the industry is all about those dudes in the spotlight to get those hits and those clicks, if the whole industry goes there with the energy drinks and everything no wonder why it’s fucking lame.

The Olympics is like the one shot to tell the world what snowboarding is. The whole world watches TV and see’s snowboarding up there. I know that! I saw that on TV! But I am never going to do that because it’s fucking crazy. I am saying, no you should fucking do that! It’s fucking amazing. Checkout these splitboard guys. They are having the best day. They are stoked.

If I have one shot to tell the world it won’t be that, it won’t be the Olympics. The true art of snowboarding will always be there, like skateboarding went through up’s and down’s. Look at skateboarding now. It’s amazing! Even if skateboarding makes the Olympics, nobody will give a shit. You will still see the Greyson Fletcher clip from Thrasher and go, “Hey, that guy is my hero!” Doesn’t matter who wins the Olympics.

Snowboarding will be alright. The haters will always be there. You hate on Nike, really? Do you even know where it all comes from? You can’t buy anything anymore and have it not come from a couple places. I think we will be alright.” – Nicolas Muller

Danny Davis’ Homeless Hump Day

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Support the homeless. Photo courtesy Burton Snowboards 

Once upon a time, contests and filming coexisted in snowboarding, and most of the top pros did both. These days, both have gotten so intense that to be at the top of your game requires concentrating on one or the other. Unless you’re Danny Davis. As one of the few modern pros to straddle the line, Danny’s wealth of experience seemed best to tap into to explore such pressing questions as should snowboarding boycott the Olympics and other hot topics we have time to overanalyze while we wait for the snow to fall.

Was it upsetting being compared to a homeless person on Reddit?

Yes I saw it, Jack Mitrani sent it to me. That was the first time I’d been on Reddit.com and since then I would say like 40 of my other friends have sent it to me. Always a humbling experience to get made fun of, kinda puts you back in your place.

So is your homeless look a protest of the jock image of competitive snowboarding?

That was definitely the goal. It’s actually in support of homeless people everywhere. It’s ok to look homeless, I suppose.

So for some reason last week, the industry czars are once again calling for snowboarding to boycott the Olympics because it’s bad for snowboarding. As someone who’s who’s been, what do you think?

That’s always a tough one, but if they were saying it was the worst contest of the year, I would agree with that. Do they portray snowboarding in a good way? Not really. But there’s two sides to it. That other part is that maybe helps the industry – brings snowboarding to more people, gets more people snowboarding, brings more money in the sport. Which lets people like myself and others do their jobs. It’s a tough one, I didn’t have the best time at the Olympics. I enjoyed it. Would I go again? I’m gonna have to wait until that comes around, I’m not gonna make that decision now. It’s not very motivating what happened at the last one to go to that one. I could save myself like $10 grand and two weeks and do something else.

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Hood life. Photo: Adam Moran

Do you think being an Olympic snowboarder gives you more opportunities with your bigger sponsors such as Mountain Dew?

I would say not completely. I tried two other times and fucked that up, they didn’t care, they were still down, They’ve always backed me. But I think for a lot of people, yeah, it’s a way to do what you love to do. A lotta bit of work and it’s just kind of how it goes.

Do you think an Olympic boycott is even possible?

I don’t know, you’re always going to have those national teams that will just go and do what the FIS wants. You’re always gonna have those people I think. To get all those mountain schools and all that shit on board is a mission. And I don’t know that it’s the right thing do to either. The Olympics is what it is. In hockey it’s not the biggest thing in the world. I just think that we need to make something that’s better than the Olympics that more people are into. Just something that is snowboarding. The Olympics can live and be run by skiers if it wants – it isn’t very good anyway. The IOC just isn’t good. I think we need to make other shit that’s better. Are you going to be able everyone on board to make a boycott? That’s a hell of a goal.

You were one of the riders that spoke out about the crappy pipe, did you think about boycotting then?

I mean sure those words came out of my mouth out of frustration to Greg or something, but I was trying to keep my mouth shut at that place as much as I could. Everything you said would just be used against you. I was bummed, you know. Everyone tried to hard to get there and you get there and the pipe sucked. Whatever. A contest is a contest. If you’ve got ride a shitty pipe you do it. I wonder if I should have boycotted. It would have been a lot more fun. And the pipe sucking was one thing, the whole format sucked as well, but I must have known that going into it. It was like qualifying, semi finals, finals, all in one day. That never happens. It was just put together by people who don’t really care for the athletes or care about what’s gonna go down. But snowboarding is back for another three years!

Snowboarders started out as rebels. Are we too complacent or soft these days?

Snowboarding is just more accepted. It’s gotten organized, it’s gotten corporate. It’s changed a bunch, some for good some for bad. But are people too soft? I don’t think we’re any softer or ruder than the first generation. It was the era, too just like skateboarding, so I guess, are skateboarders softer now? It’s just different – Look at all these mountain schools. In two weeks when Copper opens their pipe it’ll just be schools and teams.

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If Blotto shoots a guy in the sky shot, that makes it cool, right?

Remember when people could make money doing snowboard contests? What’s it gonna take to bring that back?

I would say people still make money doing contests, I know Mark McMorris makes a lot of money winning contests. But yeah, there’s not enough money in contests. I get like 5th or 6th place and it’s usually like $2-3000 if that, and it costs $2-3000 to get there. It’s tough there’s not a lot of money in contests. I just do the ones that you can win a decent amount.

So is it all about the money?

The shitty contests are about the money.

Is your plan to stay the course and do contests or are you looking into other avenues?

I have always done other things and I want to do more than that for sure, but I’ll always do contests. Dew Tour pipe last year was so good and so fun to ride, and if you don’t get to ride that pipe and that pipe is probably never gonna be like that again because they just don’t take care of it. I like to do certain contests, US Open, X Games is cool. I think I’ll do those, keep trying to learn tricks I wanna learn. If I stop doing well, then that’ll tell me something.

It seems like snowboarding is so divided – on one side you’ve got the video kids that are into filming and being cool and then on the other side you have the contest kids. Some riders such as yourself bridge the gap, but why do you think most people don’t?

It’s kinda like anything else, skateboarding, surfing, they all have different avenues. It allows for more people to shine in the sport, and if it was one way or the other it wouldn’t work. It is harder to come up with a video part. You’ve gotta really stand out. Contests you can kinda work your way up. The core side is ignored by the American public, but then in the magazines there’s not that much stuff about contests, it’s more about free riding and rails.

Why do you think the mainstream gravitates towards contests?

That’s the American way! Win! I think it’s cause they can follow it, there’s something they understand, but that’s something I’ll never know because I’m a snowboarder. I enjoy all aspects of snowboarding. Except Parallel Giant slalom. Although that’s pretty decent as well.

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Peace, love and snowboard parks. Photo: Blotto

Have you ever done PGS?

Well no, but I’ve seen it. I’d wear a pair of hard boots, I would love to try it.

Do you think snowboarding is stuck in the past?

I wish it was. That’d be sick. If everyone was just doing grabs and wearing crazy long hats like back in the day that would be awesome. But everybody’s learning lots of tricks fast, so I wouldn’t stay its stuck in the past. What do you mean?

I feel like a lot of the people in the industry are trying to hold things back to the “way it used to be.” Do you think snowboarding needs a new system?

I think things are going back to being style related and more interested in cool jumps and cool things to hit in the backcountry. Everyone is more interested in style and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Everybody wants to progress in snowboarding, maybe it’s not the way of flips and spins. Some people wanna ride mountains, some people wanna ride switch or hit rails.  People progress in different ways. Videos used to be such a big part of the sport and I don’t think it’s as much that way anymore.

Wait, you don’t think videos are still a big part of snowboarding?

I think they are, they’re a huge part, but I feel like less and less get made. Back in the day there were so many and now it’s just content overload, so it’s tough. There’s a new video part coming out every day.

Yeah I don’t think there’s less then their used to be, it’s just a different delivery system.

Yeah it’s just the world we live in.

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Dreamy Danny. photo: Blotto

How do NASCAR races compare to snowboard events?

NASCAR is fucked. It’s like the Super Bowl every weekend. It’s like 70k people camping in the parking lot, the most dedicated fans you’ve ever seen and a lot of beer drinking. And NASCAR people are incredibly dedicated to their sponsors.

Do you think sponsor loyalty is important? Does it makes sense to switch brands if you get a better offer?

I think if it’s a good brand then go for it. You’ve gotta trust em and have a good relationship with them. That’s a tough one with a lot of brands. There’s always companies that come into snowboarding that come in a lot of money that will drop out, so there’s always opportunities that you’ve gotta pass up.

Have you ever turned down a brand because you weren’t down with them?

Yeah, totally. Sometimes you have to make the decision, do I want to switch or do I want to stay and you’ve gotta lay everything out and try to be somewhat smart business-wise about it. I think sponsors are always gonna want the next good kid. So you gotta just try and last as long you can, make it happen as long as you can.

Cooler sponsor: Mountain Dew or Martin Guitars?

Mountain dew.

Do you feel like you ever have to justify riding for corporate companies? With Nike pulling out it seems like we’re hearing a lot of anti-corporate rhetoric, so as someone who’s always rode for big non-endemic sponsors, do you think big corporations have a place in snowboarding?

With Nike I would say no, because they tried four times and they didn’t really succeed. It’s bad if companies like that are dropping out of snowboarding. It’s kinda scary for the industry anyway. I never really supported Nike being in it, because they’re not really in it. They’re only in it for the market share. I’d rather see companies in it for the market share because their whole company is snowboarding. Snowboard brands are good. Companies that are big are buying up some of the others and that’s just how it goes. But the companies that are privately owned, I think it’s bad ass that they’re able to do it.

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Style? Tech? It’ll never be as fun as riding powder. Photo: Blotto

Are you involved at all in the Frends brand?

I’m not involved at all, it’s Keir and another guy Ryan, and they work super hard and make that thing survive. I have nothing do with that. But if you need some women’s headphones, let us know.

What’s your dream line up for Friendly Gathering?

We were just going through some bands last night. I’m sure there will be some Twiddle and thinking maybe some Charles Bradley. I was thinking another soul night for the gathering because I’ve been listening to a lot of soul music. We’ll see though, it’s too early to tell.

Thanks to the Internet, Michigan is on the map as a snowboard locale. What was it like for you growing up there, pre-internet?

I remember getting AOL and surfing the net for the first time! I was from Alpine Valley, which is confused a lot of times with the one in Wisconsin, which it’s not, it’s in White Lake, Michigan. But there was a tow rope, a jump on the left usually and a half pipe that was cut everyone now and then. A lot of ice. A lot of laps. And night riding, which is how I got to go a lot after school. But I did contests to come up, ya know, I didn’t film, I didn’t really have a crew. I had a bunch of friends in USASA, but I think I bought my first video of snowboarding when I was 14 when I was just starting to get really interested. Chris Englesman is from Michigan too.

There’s a lot of people from there in snowboarding. 

Yeah, I’ve been meeting more and more.

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O face. Photo: Blotto

How long have you been a pro snowboarder?

How do you mean?

How long have you been making money snowboarding?

I think the first contest I ever won money in was in 2005. I won $800.

Boom, you’re pro snowboarder!

Yeah, getting paid I think maybe like 7 years.

Do you feel like you have to work harder to maintain it these days?

Yeah I do think it’s harder than when I was coming up. It seemed a little easier, there was more going on, more money in the sport and more possibilities to ride for brands and make a living or at least get by. I feel like I work pretty hard to keep doing what I’m doing, but I would say there’s people who work harder. Yeah, it’s fucking tough.

But is there really anything to complain about?

No, there’s not, I live a really good life.

What’s your plan for the season? Do you have one yet?

Nah, I just wing it. Last year, totally winging it. (laughs) Of course I have a plan! I’m gonna do Dew Tour and then I have a month or so to film until X Games and I’ll film with Burton and maybe somebody else and probably do US Open, film between X Games and US Open and then film after US open until spring stuff comes up.

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Peace, bro. Photo: Blotto

Is it gonna snow in Tahoe this year?

Everyone is claiming, it’s looking like El Nino.

Do you get to ride at home much?

I’m here right now, but going to Mammoth opening this weekend. I mean, it’s tough to stay here if it’s not snowing, I gotta go somewhere else if I’m not doing contests. In the summer we do Frendly Gathering for pretty much the whole month of June and I’m in Vermont, and then go to Hood, so I don’t spend a whole lot of time at home. But I love Tahoe. I hope it dumps!

Is there anything else going on in snowboarding that you’re especially hyped on?

I like all the Banked Slaloms that keep popping up. That’s a good thing. I was just talking to someone about how I’m not going to be able to go to Dirksen Derby, but I’d like to see more things like that. I think it’s gonna be a good year in the US too, lots of snow.

Hope so! Wanna finish me off with your current sponsor list?

Burton, Mountain Dew, Dragon, Sony and Martin Guitar. That’s the old NASCAR list, I’m thinking about getting it sewn on my jacket.

Slopestyle May be “Too Dangerous” For the Olympics

U.S. snowboarder White speeds down the hill during snowboard slopestyle training at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Rosa Khutor

 

Epic landing shot of Shaun White.

According to NBC Sports (the only people who actually care about the Olympics right now), slopestyle skiing and snowboarding injury rates are way too high to be an Olympic sport. Shaun White’s pull out and Torstein’s broken collarbone, plus a few other bumps a bruises may be enough to get the IOC to pull the plug on the one-time discipline.

“I can say what I feel: That sport should change, otherwise we shouldn’t have it. But the IOC may not follow that,” Engebretsen told the AP in Monaco, calling slopestyle “problematic.” “Something has to be done with that sport.”

So you heard it here second folks, slopestyle’s gotta change for the Olympics! Maybe we’re jaded, but it just doesn’t seem worth it.

Link: nbcsports.com

What the “Real World” Thinks of Snowboarders

I’ve been to the real world. Let me tell you, that place sucks. Normally in the snowboard bubble it’s easy enough to ignore, but once every four years that pesky real world invades Board World with incessant stories about the riders, the lingo, and the culture as a whole. Being Internet Professionals, we read almost every article that comes across the feed, and here are some of the broad generalizations we’ve learned this time around.

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She met them! Via facebook

1. We’re Sex-Crazed (At least the chicks)

First it was Possum Tor’s tweet about finding the Jamaican bobsled team on Tinder which was taken a little too seriously, and sent the Internet into a tizzy. And then on Gawker, it was Jamie Anderson quoted as saying Tinder is “next level” and that she had to delete the app to concentrate on the Olympics.

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2. We’re Whiney bitches

First Yahoo called for a boycott, while in the same article saying snowboarders wouldn’t do it. And then, after the worst pipe contest in recent memory, some guy at the Denver post wrote this article about how Americans should stop being so whiney, citing almost entirely snowboarding incidents.

3. We’re Stoners

Snowboarders will never live down Ross Rebagliati getting that first medal taken away for weed, but it was Conan O’Brien who really threw out the “stoner ” card in his monologue. He then goes on to do a pretty dead on impression of Sage, actually.

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3. We’re still nothing without Shaun White

Of course, the largest number of snowboard-related press has been about El Blanco. Just today there’s this one, this one, this one, this one, well, the list goes on. But we think obvious Olympic enthusiast Rena Bezmen really sums up an “outsiders perspective” in a comment on this article.

Sorry but to me, without Shaun White, Snow Boarding is nothing. He “Is” Snow Boarding, He Is the Reason We watch this Sport, He is the Reason Snow Boarding is known World Wide, There would never be this surge of Snow Boarding if Shaun White had not brought this along to the shouts of “The Flying Tomato”! It will never be the same, because Shaun White’s Spirit “Is” what carries this Sport. I’m an undying Fan!

So there you have it. Snowboarders are whiney sex-crazed stoners who would be nothing without Shaun White. Seem pretty accurate to us. Well, except for that last part. But he sure does make for some entertainment.

NBC’s Shaun White Blow Job

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Since we know you guys just can’t get enough of the Tomato, enjoy this preview of NBC’s Olympic coverage and get to know “the face of action sports” and “the greatest snowboarder alive.” It’s sure to get you super stoked for January. Didn’t work? Watch this video of Olympians dancing instead.

Apparently the Shaun video is too hot for Yobeat, you can watch it here.

Yobeat’s Exclusive Olympic Coverage: 4 Ways Russia is Gonna Blow It

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It’s an Olympic year, which means even we at Yobeat, who normally don’t give a fuck about contests or National pride, are getting caught up in Olympic fever. Don’t pretend like you’re not paying attention and trying to secretly figure out which snowboarder is going to win a Gold medal and then make out with the Silver Medalist in protest ala the black panther solute of 1968. (We’re gonna go with the Boardercross chicks.) After all, It’s always the snowboarders that make the news. Ross Rebagliati and the weed thing (luckily that’s ok, now) Scotty Lago letting a chick suck his medal, Kazu Kokubo sagging his pants and pissing off all of Japan (The Japanese are normally extremely polite people so the fact Kazu is a rebel is even better!) But I digress.

Given our heightened state of awareness of the real world, we’re actually kinda worried about Russia and their general ability to pull off the snowboarding portion of the event specifically. Here are some potential issues we see:

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1. It’s warm in Sochi. Way down south in Russia against the Black sea, it’s not just temperate like Vancouver, it’s “sub humid tropical” with palm trees and all. Sure the snowboarding will be held in a higher elevation, in a newly built Austrian-style ski town, but with all that global warming nonsense and rumors of midwinter temperatures in the 50s this year during January, things are not looking very promising for a wintery scene.

2. Vladimir Putin is a skier. And as we know, skiers and snowboarders have had some issues over the years. Since he also seems like a jerk, who knows if they’ll even let snowboards into the country.

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3. They don’t know anything about snowboarding. We’re not saying no Russians snowboard. In fact, lots of them do. But apparently rather than using an experienced team, such Arena Snowparks again, who built the perfect courses for the Vancouver games, Russia has decided to go with “local contractors.” We can only assume these people will know nothing about snowboarding. And ya know, building a perfect halfpipe is an art form and it takes years to learn. Not to mention the slopestyle course. How sick would if  people couldn’t keep speed mid-run? It would make it pretty tough for  Shaun to nail his boot grabs!

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4. And seriously, what about the gays? Illicit snowboarding pointed out that the anti-gay thing is an issue for Opening Ceremonies flamboyant pageantry, and if they can’t have the Opening Ceremonies, they can’t have the Games at all.

So what we’re trying to say here is Russia, get your shit together. We can’t wait to see if Lindsay Jacobellis can finally win a medal, or if Shaun White learned to hit slopestyle rails and we need the Games to actually happen!

Hey Olympic Athletes: Weed is OK!

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Good news for those stoners who aspire to represent their country in the Olympics! The World Anti Doping Agency, which is in charge of testing Olympians for performance enhancing drugs, is changing the level of weed in your system it will take to get you in trouble. This is exciting for snowboarders, since we are essentially the face of the pot smoking athlete. (In case you got high and forgot, Ross Rebagliati nearly lost medal awarded for snowboarding 1998 after testing positive.)

WADA recently amended its rules on cannabis, raising the threshold for a positive test from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 ng/ml. In 1998 at the Nagano Games, Rebagliati recorded a level of 17.8 ng/ml, and argued the test resulted from second-hand smoke, which he still says. Ben Nichols, a spokesperson for WADA, said the raising of the threshold is meant to catch only athletes who smoke during the period of a competition. The drug isn’t prohibited out of competition.

So basically, you can smoke weed before or after the Olympics, but not during them. Which is good, because the last thing snowboarding needs is someone getting high and deciding it’s a good idea to try triple corks or something.

Link: USA Today

Sage Kotsenburg Talks Cougars with Hump Day

Photos by Cyril Mueller

Sage Kotsenburg rides the delicate balance between being a professional athlete and remaining true to the original definition of a snowboarder. Spend any time amount of time with him, and Sage will prove himself to be a party animal, shredder, and innovator of snowboarding. While he hanging with the rest of the Nike snowboard team at Nike Headquarters, Yobeat was able to snag this interview with the people’s favorite contest rider.

Let’s start this off with the basics. Why snowboarding, and how did you start?

Why not snowboarding, you know? My brother Blaze started doing it, and I started doing it too. That’s basically it.

Speaking of your brother, he told us you have pooped your pants 3 times trying to land a trick.

Yeah, I was trying to do this super sick, triple cork action, and I tried it three times and I consecutively pooped my pants THREE times. I caught my edge all three times and just shat all over the place.

Have you landed it yet?

(laughs) No, I haven’t tried it since. But we went back to the hotel room and threw my dirty, poopy boxers in the trash can in the kitchen of the hotel room and it smelled so bad. It was disgusting, but amazing.

How do you feel about your brother telling us about this?

It’s awesome, the more people that know about these stories the better because not everyone knows that this is a normal occurrence. Even the girls do it, they just don’t want anyone to know.

What is the conversion rate of X Games medals to number of babes you get to sleep with?

It’s unknown. I mean if you brought it out you could probably slam the baddest chicks in the bar.

What would you do with that medal if shit really hit the fan and you had to turn it into something more useful?

I’d melt it down and maybe make a little ring out of it or something and give it to a nice cougar.

You and your homies in Salt Lake put out edits called Lick the Cat. Is that a drug reference?

This is one thing that everyone needs to know. It came from Yelawolf. He has a song named “Lick the Cat” and we were just bumping it one day. Randomly Jeremy started filming these edits with kids from high school and started calling them “Lick The Cat Edits.” Then we just overran that with like 15 people and started making a bunch of edits throughout the season. Then it really just popped when Spring Break The Movie came out. So yeah, it just came from a song.

So what’s Lick the Cat’s plan for this winter?

This is perfect timing because late night on Halloween weekend we decided that that we are going to make a full length video next year. Probably like 45 minutes to an hour long, equivalent to the Art of Flight or That’s it, That’s All.

Do you have any names for it yet?

Yeah, I think were gonna call it “Thom…ooovie”

How much time do you spend partying compared to actually snowboarding?

When you go to Europe it’s the worst. Everyone goes out til like 6 or 7 a.m. and your boy can’t hang like that. I start fading really early. It’s so harsh, I don’t see how those dudes can do it.

Do your parents get pissed when they see you partying on film?

I don’t know if they watch those edits, I think they do. But my mom got bummed at me when I was in Europe because I threw up on my carpet.

The set-up in this place is crazy. Tell me what it’s like riding for Nike.

Riding for Nike is so sick. The whole team is up here now for meetings all week. People are showing us some of the most crazy stuff for next year. They just have people from all different aspects of Nike that are super down for snowboarding. They pull so much stuff from so many different areas of the company so it’s not just a couple snowboarders thinking about what they can put in a boot to make it better, they have guys that have been doing running shoes, army stuff, and football stuff for year. It seems like you can get a combo of sick ideas in terms of the gear.

How much stuff are you allowed to write off on Nike?

I don’t even know. Whenever I’m with them they just buy the stuff so I don’t really have to do that. (laughs)

Are you trying to go to the Olympics?

I am gonna try to go to the Olympics. It would be awesome to get an Olympic medal but the scandal would be the sickest. You know? Like Scotty Lago. So were brainstorming trying to figure out the best scandal that could go down.

So if the pussy conversion from X Games medals is big, how much much of jump can you expect?

Who knows! Not that many people know, but you must get so many cougars though. There are so many good looking cougars in Park City that you just need to marry them all. And in Utah it’s okay to marry a bunch of their people.

In terms of the Olympics and the trick-list that is required, do you feel good about the way you’re progressing?

I think it should be good. I couldn’t really care less how I or anyone else gets there, it’s just rad to be a part of the Olympics. As far as the progression goes, I’m sure some crazy business will be going down. But I think it’ll be more of a fun thing, unlike how it is with the pipe people. They take it a little more serious.

You live in Utah, have you ever done the Mormon soak?

(laughs) I think that’s just like a rumor, I mean you hear everyone like, “oh, you soak?” But I’ve never heard of anyone actually getting the soak part.

What has been your favorite snowboard trip?

Baldface. Easily takes the cake, it was so sick being up there. It was me, Travis Rice, Nicolas, Gigi, E-Jack, Kazu, John-Jack, friggin Devun, Walsh, Jamie lynn was there, I mean the list goes on.

What’s the vibe like being kind of the younger cat riding with all those dudes?

They were so sick! I’ve gotten to know a bunch of them pretty well, like Nicolas and Gigi a lot because of Nike. But Mark and I are there like, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I can ride some pow, but I’m not trying to jump off like a 40 ft tree bonk or something and fly like 100 ft down the face.” It was so gnarly watching them ride, the videos just don’t do justice. But yeah, everyone just took Mark and I under our wing and it was super mellow.

I saw you at Waka Flocka in Portland, shit got hyphy. I assume you’re bumping that when your shredding, what else are you listening to?

Basically some Waka, some Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and then obviously seeing the Lick The Cat edits you can see we love that techno business so a lot of that techno. Just bought my tickets to some Swedish House Mafia in L.A. this March so regardless of where I’m at in the world I’m just gonna fly there for one day and then fly back to wherever I am. So yeah basically just rap, techno, and then obviously stuff like Megadeath, Metallica, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden.

Sponsors?

Nike, Monster Energy, Apo Snowboards, Loctite, Arnette, Neff Gloves, Pro-Tec, Park City, and Nixon.

Any other shout-outs?

Obviously a shout out to my Mom and Dad because they are the reason I’m doing this interview right now, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now, my brother, the Lick the Cat homies, and uhhh.. All those cougars out in Park City, I’m just trying to wife them up.

If yo missed it above, check out Sage in the Nike Snowboarding Project Chapter 2 here!

The 2011 Isenlympics

Now this is some Olympic coverage we can get behind…

With all this constant babble about the Olympics and the big bad FIS and all that other stuff that we don’t really care about we decided to host our own shmolympics.

The whole gang was at the Pleasure Jam at Dachstein this autumn and it was no easy match for all our nerds to compete in the über-serious events like “Strip Snowboarding”, “Homo” or “Beat The New Guy”.

Shaky follow cams, lame tricks that qualify as fun snowboarding, bluebird and a bunch of highly motivated super-athletes is what you’ll get from this freakshow of a contest who’s rules where made up on the go.

Presented by Christobal Patsch with some whistleblowing by Fips Strauss.

Athlete roster:

Alex Tank – GER
Benny Urban – GER
Tobias Strauss – GER
Peter K̦nig РAUT
Daniel X. Rajcsanyi – YLF
Colin Frei – SUI
David Bertschinger Karg – SUI

Filmed and produced by Alex Schiller and Lukas Tielke
Edited by Alex Schiller

FIS Tells Snowboarding to Fuck Off

Have you heard? Snowboarding was given the old fuck you by the suits at FIS over its proposed Olympic Qualification System, according to a post on ESPN.

In a letter sent on Wednesday to the TTR regarding the decision, FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis stated that, “FIS is open to cooperating with TTR and its member Events to continue to develop the sport … However this is a process that needs to begin at a lower level than the top events in order to build trust and understanding between the organizations and persons involved.”

Blah, blah, blah. We were finding it difficult to care much about this, as much like the rest of the world, our interest in the Olympics exists only during the weeks they are actually going on every four years, however, The Rippendales tracked down such a compelling infographic about it, we suddenly decided we care. Sort of.

Links ESPN and The Necessary Hate

The NooB: Danny Kass Says the Darnedest Things

PHOTO BY ARR

PHOTO BY ARR

In my research, I’ve heard a lot about this Danny Kass fellow. He seems to shred the gnar (that’s what you guys call it, right?) pretty epicly. Anyway, I was reading this little feature on some other snowboard site, and I was digging the photos and reading along.

A few things stood out to me as odd, though. His apparent gear crisis not withstanding, he made some interesting points in the interview that I’d like to discuss.

Number one:
“Halfpipes are not an endangered species but you do have skiers trying to take part of snowboarding’s history. I only like watching 2-3 skiers ride the pipe: Tanner and the C crew. A few years ago it was all snowboard parks and now you have a parallel competition schedule. If we don’t fight for what we started, people will take it over,” said Kass.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the same attitude skiers had years ago when they were trying to keep snowboarders off of their mountains? As far as I know, snowboarding fought hard to be allowed on the mountains and now you’re saying only Tanner Hall and his buds are cool enough to share the pipe with you? (I should do some sort of Flathead Valley shout-out for Tanner, but it’ll probably come across like I’m name dropping.)

It seems incredibly hypocritical to go from pleading your case with resort owners to let you play on their hills to saying skiers in the pipe are taking part of “snowboarding’s history.” Snowboarding took the half-pipe from skateboarding and made it a part of its history, right? Why can’t skiers make it part of theirs?

On to number two:
“What can the Olympics learn from events like Grenade Games? They can learn that snowboarding is not about steroids and schedules. The best events are jam format and the funnest [sic] events are the ones put on or organized by snowboarders, NOT SKIERS.”

This was followed by this great quote: “What’s your plan for the Olympics in Whistler 2010? I would like to start training this year as far as learning a new trick or combo and whooping some ass. I just want to stay healthy and focused on pipe for the next two seasons.”

Wait – what? You just said, “…snowboarding is not about steroids and schedules,” then you went on to say that you want to start training this year and focus on learning new combo moves in the halfpipe so you can kick ass at the Olympics? Need I say more?

Number three:

I lied, there is no number three. But Danny, let’s keep the love alive amongst X-treme aggressive downhill winter mountain sports guys, ok? You can always make fun of cross-country skiers, or those snow-cross dudes, right? And don’t get all pissy that I’m calling you out. I’m only serious.


On a 100 percent for-real serious note: Skateboarding lost one of its smoothest pros since my last column. Van Wastell has been high on my list of favorites for a while now. I learned two of my favorite tricks because I saw Van do them; if I can ever do them as well as he did them, I’ll be a happy little skateboarder. Though I never got a chance to meet him or skate with him, I’ll miss seeing new photos and clips,and skateboarding will certainly miss his relaxed style and unique tricks.

So, cheers, Van! Rip in peace.