Derek Molinski

Ambush molinski portrait cannon

Portrait: Crispin Cannon

Interview: Colin D Watt

Congratulations on your interview in one of the most prestigious

snowboarding magazines in the world. You must be making lots of

money these days.

So much money. I don’t know what to do with it all.

You live in Whistler with all the other professional snowboarders?

Yeah. All my friends make so much money off snowboarding. It’s crazy.

Tell us just how cool you are by namedropping all of the people you

hang out with.

Oh, shit. I live with Eman Anderson. He’s a pro—pro model and everything.

I also hang out with Jody Wachniak.


He’s also pro, but I guess we call him “amateur” now.

He got demoted?

Yup, he got demoted. He got the old cut from DC, which is pretty harsh

because I just got on them.

So you took his spot?

I won’t say I took his spot because I’m on the Canadian program and he

was actually making money.

So Devun Walsh should be worried that you’ll take his spot?

Yeah, he’s kinda stressin’. I’ve talked to him a couple times and told him

to chill out. Everyone’s getting cut in snowboarding, but that’s fine with

me because I’m making so much money still. I’m not seein’ any of this

recession shit. I’m still livin' the dream!

And then Devun was like, “Who are you?” Does he even know who you


Yeah, of course dude. He follows me on Instagram. We’re tight.

Interesting. I actually looked at your Instagram. It’s @derek_mo, am I


This is correct.

Are you a professional fisherman as well?

Trying to be.

I’m not gonna lie… I really, REALLY creeped your Instagram pretty hard

to see how good you are at snowboarding, but it seems like all you do is

fish, ride dirtbikes, and hang out with your boyfriend Eman Anderson.

Whoa. I wouldn’t say boyfriend at all. Maybe fishing partner. We go fishing

and we snowboard together.

Ambush molinski damman

50-50 Frontside 360, London Ontario. Photo: Ralph Damman

Do you two go fishing in the dark?

I actually have a girlfriend!

This is newsworthy.

Yeah, this is news. This is new.

Does she know it?

She knows I’m a pro fuckin’ fisherman, that’s for sure.

But does she know that she’s your girlfriend?

Oh, yeah. She knows it.

Name drop?

Her name is Stephanie.

You realize that tons of other hot chicks are gonna

be all over you when they read this. Are you seriously

gonna cock-block yourself in print?

In print. On paper. It’s official. Not Facebook official,

but King Snow official.

Oh, shit. That’s twice as good. You grew up in the

Gypsy Mob. Let’s talk about that.

Yeah. I started snowboarding before they were even

called “Gypsy Mob.” We all snowboarded at our

local hill, Spring Hill, smallest chairlift on record. It’s

basically just a ditch on a floodway with a towrope

and some rails. When I started I was probably like 14

or 15 and all those guys were a little older than me.

They were called the “Prairie Dogs” back in the day.

My first year starting there, they made their first

movie. I got to see it and that was what inspired me

to go snowboarding every day and that was what

got me hyped on the scene. Next year they started

Gypsy Mob, but I was not a part of it. I was just the

little grom kid trying to get in there.

The keener?

Yeah, the keener.

And they teased you?

They teased me. They used to call me “Swindler”

because I couldn’t really snowboard, but somehow

I’d swindle my way onto a rail and make it to the

end. They took me filming and shit with them all the

time. It was really sweet of them to do that. They

really took me under their wings.

You were “Baby Derek” to them?

Little Baby Fuckin’ D-Mo, pretty much. It was tight. I

owe a lot to those guys. They taught me everything.

Who helped you out the most?

[Jake] Kuzyk was the head dude. Him and Chris Saniuk

were the main guys. Griff [Kevin Griffin] came

back and I was best friends with his little brother,

Josh, but Kev was the pro that came back from


Pro, like making lots of money from being a professional


Getting lots of stickers for free! A couple boards

here and there, but he was a big deal. Of course

[Andrew] Geeves was always there, another pro

snowboarder, and everybody would just come to

the hill, sit down, and watch him do his thing.

Were you a Gypsy kid or more of the Mobster type?

I was more of the Mobster style to be honest,

growing up in Winnipeg, you know? Saniuk was the

head of the Gypsyness though—pretty OG guy who

taught us all the fuckin’ bad shit we know. There

were a couple of us more hoodrat kids that were up

to no good, just doin’ the dirt.

Doin’ the dirt? Can you explain a bit more.

I don’t really want to get into detail. Let’s just say

we were breakin’ the law, but we had a good time

doin’ it.

Been to jail?

Been arrested a couple times.

Drop the soap?

I did not get… Not in jail.

You never made it to first base in jail?

Never made it to first base in jail, no.

What about with the girlfriend?

Once or twice, yeah [laughs].

Did you quit the Mob?

The Mob just ended. Kuzyk was the head editor and

filmer of pretty much everything. He was the head

dude at Gypsy Mob and then Sandbox took him

under their wing and he just didn’t have time for us.

Ambush molinski damman2

Noseslide, London Ontario. Photo: Ralph Damman

Onward and upward?

I believe he called it, “stepping stones.” Ask Kevin

Griffin about this if you want. We were just stepping

stones, I guess, but it was sweet boarding with him.

Until he left his friends in the dust?

He has cool friends now. They’re all American or

skaters, but I totally understand. It’s cool.

Still friends?

Oh, yeah. Still friends. We talk on occasion, but there

was a time when we would hang out every lunch

break and watch snowboard videos. I feel like we’re

not as close as we used to be.

Is there a touch of resentment there?

I just miss him, man. I miss my good friend Jake. We

used to be tight.

I’ll say hi to him for you if I see him in Hollywood.

Yeah. But if you do, he might not say hi back [laughs].

So you quit one gang and joined the next. What’s

the new shit?

The DOPE crew. It’s just a bunch of dope-smoking

dirtballs. It’s awesome. Pretty much the same thing as

Winnipeg—We just smoke weed and go travel around

spots, snowboard, drink beers, and just chill. It’s not

too serious at all. We’re just havin’ fun.

So, basically just double corks, TTR points, and


That’s what I’m about. That’s what I live for. You

should check me out on the tour.

What was the tour you were on last winter?

The Tour de Sloop. Me and Jody started the Sloop


What’s this “slooping” all about?

Just ridin’ around and not trying to take it too seriously.

Just sloopin’ into little trannies, not trying

to get your board too high off the ground, keepin’

it real low and safe… Just having a good time

out there, low impact snowboarding and sloopin’


Where’d you go? Who’d you hang with? What

went down?

We only did one trip last winter, actually. It was a

pretty slow year. We went to Ontario and stayed in

Caledon at Brockle [David Brocklebank]’s mom’s

house. She killed it. Made us three meals a

day, every day. There were nine dudes staying

in her basement. It was so sick. We were

in Brockle’s den down there, playing table

hockey, smoking bongs, listening to records

and drinking beers every day after boarding.

It was pretty tight. We rented a van and

just mobbed around. Fuck it. It was me, Jody,

Eman, Layne [Treeter], Brockle, Scot Brown,

Ralph, and I think that’s it. Did I say Crazy Rob?

Crazy Rob [Lemay] was in there, too. He was

pretty much on a bender the whole time, just

drinkin’ at every spot, which was tight. He’s

good to have along.

Ambush molinski damman1

Boardslide Popover to Wallride, London Ontario. Photo: Ralph Damman

If you're not drinking at the spot, you must be

doing it wrong.

Mandatory beers at the spot. We just have a

good time everywhere we go. It’s all we know.

Did you guys overstay your welcome at all?

How pissed was Brockle’s mom?

She was hyped to have us there! I’m pretty sure

by the end she was getting over us and the

smells that were rolling through there. Stinky

Ralph… I’m not gonna namedrop anyone but

Stinky Ralph.

That’s Ralph Damman, right? Just to clarify,

you’re talking about Ralph Damman the

professional photographer that makes lots of


Yeah, that tall stinky guy. He’s not professional,

though. Super amateur styles. He’s still learning,


Besides traveling around snowboarding while

smoking weed and drinking in public, what

fills the rest of your time?

I do a lot of fishing—that’s for damn sure. Probably

almost more than snowboarding. It’s the

best way to go kill time besides snowboarding.

Just go stand outside and drink some more

beers, smoke some pot outside, and try to

catch some fish.

It seems like fishing is more important in your

life than snowboarding, but this is kind of a

snowboard magazine.

We probably should talk about snowboarding.

The sponsors would be a little more hyped on

that, I guess.

Are you going to post a tight boarding photo

when you get this issue of King Snow?

Yeah. I’ll probably hashtag all my sponsors to

let ‘em all know. It’s one hashtag, super simple.

It’s real quick and they all understand. They

get it. I don’t have time to list off all of my

sponsors every time.

Can you even remember all of your sponsors,

all at once? List ‘em off. You must see those

names pretty frequently when you’re getting

all of those paychecks in the mail.

Yeah, I know. Those paychecks… They keep

comin’ in. E.I. of Canada, Unemployment Insurance.

Then I ride for DC. I got on them last

summer. They’re pretty tight. They hook up a

lot of product and they’re doing everything

they can to support me and I’m thankful for

riding with them. I ride for Neff, which is sweet

because they’re under the same distribution

as the Stepchild dudes, so I get to do trips

with those guys and they’re all my homies.

Salmon Arms, Nic Heringa’s company. They

make the best gloves out there. Coastal Riders,

dope shop in Langley. They give me a pass at

Seymour. Thank you so much for that—love

Seymour! I.S. Eyewear, my first sponsor. It’s

probably been six or seven years. Thanks Karl

[Fuhre] for keepin’ it real. And fuck… I really

don't wanna forget anybody. Duh Bolts, can’t

forget them. David Brocklebank is making pro

model bolts for your snowboard so you can

pop like Eman and sloop like Deadlung. We got

a movie coming out soon, too. Brockle’s been

workin’ on that in the lab.

Same shit as DOPE?

Same shit, but better. More homies, more beer,

more liquor, more bongs.

Less Olympics?

Oh, yeah. Less Olympics, less triple corks, less


So basically you’re just making lots of money,

drinking beers, smoking pot, fishing, and

every once in a while you go snowboarding

with your friends?

Yeah. It’s a tough life. Tough life.

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