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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.