Cover Photo and portrait: Chad Chomlack
It’s been an amazing ride, this snowboard career of mine. I’ve seen the highs and lows of the industry, started and lost companies, competed in and judged contests, traveled the world, seen friends’ careers start and end, but one thing that’s never changed for me is the love for riding.
It all started for me years ago—almost 30 to be exact—when I realized it rained too much in Vancouver to skateboard all winter and skiing just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I thought I should try this new sport called snowboarding. It wasn’t really new, but it was newly allowed at the resorts. I was hooked right away and after one season, I realized it was much easier than skateboarding. I was 12 when I got my first board—a GNU Kaos 143. I bought it across the line at Bellis Fair Mall with my paper route money.
I continued to ride every winter and skate every summer. I wanted to be a pro skater so badly, but no matter how much I skated, I just couldn’t get to that level. I skated with [Rick] McCrank and others from Van, and they were just that much better, so I figured maybe snowboarding was the ticket. After making a sponsor tape, I got on Westbeach and things exploded from there. Before long, I was traveling the world getting paid to ride.
It was an amazing thing that had happened, but I longed to ride Mount Seymour with my buddies. I didn’t want to be at Mt. Hood, filming with people I didn’t really know. This is when we hatched the plan to start a company called Wildcats and our motto was “to put the fun back into snowboarding!” We would go on to make several movies, and for me, this was the turning point in my life. It made me realize how important it is to have balance. We all need an outlet and mine was shredding and partying with my best buddies. It’s what has made me have such a long career in snowboarding and it’s what gets me pumped to go ride again each September.
At some point, all that partying caught up to me and I realized I’d need to work out to strengthen my body to hit bigger jumps. As standards for filming grew, so did the jumps. With these jumps came a few injuries, like blowing my knee and losing four front teeth. Those are just two of them.
As the season is just about to start soon, I am so excited to get out and film again this winter— maybe it’s because of the project that I’m currently involved in. We’re bringing back the Wildcats crew and taking a look at the past, present, and future of the people involved. It excites me to get out and shred with buddies and send it over some new terrain. So, why am I having all these thoughts and memories racing through my head? Well, to be honest… It snowed last night and I know winter is upon us. Here’s to another great year!