The Layne Treeter Interview

Layne Treeter is a gem of a human. He's a great friend, 100 per cent genuine, and he couldn't be phoney if he tried. His snowboard talent is one-of-a-kind, filming monumental video parts in the D.O.P.E., Duh Bolts, and Videograss movies. Yes, he stepped away for years, but the rumours are true. Layne is back and filming hammers again. We caught up with him to get some insight into why he walked away, what brought him back, and how he will help you find and build spots. 

by Rob Lemay

[o] Jacee Juhasz

What's your process on the hunt for a new spot? Are you using Google Earth? Are you just looking for stuff with character?

Well, it's a bit of Google Earth for sure. I just look for anywhere with natural speed. So anywhere that's hilly and has something unique that would be fun to snowboard on. I like to go fast and hit something with speed. 

Not hitting a lot of big kink rails these days?

Not really, but I would. I would rather ride my snowboard more than jumping straight onto a rail. I like finding something high speed, something that's got more flow, where you get the feeling of actual snowboarding. It’s like when you're riding the mountain and hitting a side hit, basically cruising down a run and then you hit this feature. That's what I like.

Ice Ride, Montreal, QC. [o] Jacee Juhasz

Speaking of side hits, you had an Instagram clip that went crazy viral this year— 4.2 million views and counting. 

Yeah, it was pretty random. We were just having a good day cruising around with E-man, my buddy Wu, and my girlfriend Shannon. We were looking for a spot to have a drink at the end of the day. We went to this picnic table on the mountain, and it was kind of busy so kept riding and passed that side hit. I had a shovel with me and stopped to shape it a bit. I remember I hit it once, and then I hiked up so far that I had to call them. I was thinking, “I'm just going to launch this thing as far as I can.” I remember E-man saying, “You don't need to go that big.” I was like, nah, I want to go big. It's funny too, when I hit it the first time and I kind of thought I hit it right, but I drifted towards the run and landed low in the landing. So the next time I thought, I'm just going to aim for the trees hard left. I took off the jump and thought I was actually going to hit the trees… somehow just kind of drifted to the landing. I had hit it two days before my birthday, and by my birthday, someone would be like, “You see how many views it has now?” You'd look at it again, and it'd be another 200,000 views in an hour. Something was up with it. It was crazy. A lot of people in the comments were like, “Oh, that's fake. There's no way he could go that big.” It does kinda look like I'm going slow into it. I guess it's just the way the jump was, and it was kind of icy, so it made me pick up some speed. 

I love it. When did young Layne start snowboarding? Where did you get your start?

I skied when I was really young. My whole family skied. Both my parents, my sisters, my grandpa, and my uncles. My dad's side of the family lived in the Okanagan, so we would go on family trips maybe once a year to Silver Star. I remember seeing a snowboard for the first time there, and I was like, I want to try that. I got a rental, did a lesson, and then was like, I don't want to ski anymore. The first board I got was an Oxygen. When I was younger, I would ride Snow Valley [in Edmonton]. As I got older, I would go to Rabbit Hill. That's where the good park was, for sure.

Yeah, Warren Williams was making the rails at Rabbit Hill.

Yeah. That's where I met Warren, and there was a good scene there. They had a rope tow park, and there was a deck in the middle of the park, a big balcony thing where people hang out. You could see everything. Whether you were snowboarding or you were chilling on the deck watching, everyone was having fun. 

Lipslide, Whistler, BC. [o] Oli Gagnon

Back in 2016, you were filming your last part for Videograss’ Half Off. What was that experience like, what made you walk away after that winter?

That winter was good. I didn't know that I was filming for that movie at the start of the winter, and then I randomly got hit up by Riley Erickson and Jake Durham. They were in Minnesota and they asked me to come out there two days after Christmas. We just ended up going to random parties, and I spent New Year's in Minneapolis. I actually hurt myself on this stupid spot, and I only filmed one thing on that trip and then left. I wasn't even thinking about the movie and didn't know what was going on. I was just hanging out in Edmonton, and then John Stark called me, “Apparently, you're filming for this movie?” He didn't know I was filming for it, and I didn't know I was filming for it, but he was like, “If you want to come to Ottawa, we're in Ottawa.” I took the next flight out. They picked me up and went straight to this spot, and I filmed something that day. It was pretty sick. Stark and I were getting along, and I ended up staying on that trip for two months. 



It's one of your best parts. 

Yeah, it was fun. Jon and I really got along, and it was fun. Definitely, my favourite spots I've hit were in that part.

The gap out to the Back Lip onto the roof drop? 

Yeah, the back lip. That was crazy, too. The whole in-run was already filled in. We rolled up and it was like, holy shit. There was snow built up on the fire escape. Usually, those are metal grate stairs and snow doesn't pile up. I remember finding that and being like, holy shit, this is crazy. It was early on. I think it was one of the second spots I hit. I've never seen anything like it, perfect natty speed out to this flat bar to roof.

What happened after that? Why did you stop filming?

Well, at the end of that trip, I remember I was trying this gap to a weird rail. I was putting a lot of effort into it, and then I ate shit, and I was just lying in the landing. I was like, “Fuck it, over this.” Every year that I would film, the next year, I would kind of hope something cool would come out of it. I just put all this effort into this video part and would hope someone would be like let's do some cool shit. The fall would come around, and it would just be crickets, nothing going on. I don't think I had much motivation when I walked away. From a career standpoint in the industry, no one would really do, or say anything. It just seemed like whatever I would do wouldn’t get me any further ahead than where I was. I could have kept going and kept filming, but I was definitely just kind of burnt out. And so, suddenly I thought, how am I going to outdo this? I literally have to try and almost kill myself. I escaped death that last season. 

Front Blunt 270, Montreal, QC. [o] Jacee Juhasz

What was the motivation to film again this winter?

It was not planned whatsoever. I just found myself living in Whistler the last couple of years and snowboarding more and more, and having lots of fun on my snowboard. At the start of last winter, I suddenly had this urge to go and look for spots, around town even. I filmed a couple of things at the skatepark before the mountain opened and was really enjoying it. I really like setting things up, building the spot, creating something and finding something, and proving to myself that I can make it work. It’s really fun. I was snowboarding more and then went to Vancouver when it snowed and filmed a couple of things. It kind of took off from there. I remember saying, “This is probably the most fun I've ever had on my snowboard.”  I didn't think I would go on a trip to Montreal. Brockle kept asking me to come, I was kind of working and busy, but then he kept hitting me up about how much it had snowed. I looked it up, and it snowed like a metre in January. Anywhere with that much snow, the potential is kind of unlimited. So I went, and it was a lot of fun.


“From bong tokes to lab coats, Layne fucking Treeter is a legend of the game. When other riders are asked who their favourite riders are, Layne is always named. Anyone growing up around the 2010-era wished they had Layne's mean switch bs nose press. For someone to take a break from this whirlwind industry and come back just as strong is something only the greats can do. He snowboards because he truly loves it.” —Marty Vachon


What's the plan for this year? What are you working on?

Zero plan at the moment. Nothing. I don't know. I haven’t been snowboarding in a while, so I'm not sure. If I feel like filming, I'll film. It's more like… if I want to, I will.

If you see some spots…

Maybe I'll set up spots for other people. Yeah, that was a joke I had at one point, setting up a business of selling spots. Not even selling 'em, but just like a spot agent. I even had a slogan: We find ‘em, you grind them. Maybe that's my next venture.

50-50, Vancouver, BC. [o] Brad Heppner

Somebody reading this might take you up on that.

Oh yeah, trademark. “We find 'em. You grind 'em.” But yeah, no plans, really.

You're sitting on some good footage for the new D.O.P.E. movie coming out next year.

Yeah, more than I thought I would have, for sure. We'll see. It's hard to say right now. I'm definitely stoked to go snowboarding.

Last question, just a funny one. You're living in Whistler now. What's your pick? If you could only ride one mountain, would it be Whistler or Blackcomb?

It's funny, I was gone from Whistler for quite a few years. I don't know exactly how long, but then I found myself living back here and didn't really realize how divided the town was between each mountain. It's crazy. People who are like Whistler only, or Blackcomb only. The first year I was back in Whistler, I was living in Creekside and rode a lot of Whistler Mountain. It's just right there and I liked it, but I was riding with a lot of people who would not go to Blackcomb. They just wouldn't go there. Last year I was in Emerald on the other side of town, so I would ride Blackcomb way more. I love them both. It's hard to pick.

Do you have any parting words?

Yeah, thanks to all my friends and family. I love you all.

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