Joe Sexton has been a household name in snowboarding for years and has done a lot for the industry. He has been on both sides of the coin, as a rider and a company owner. By being in snowboarding for so long, Joe has learned a couple of lessons from it—stuff that’s helped him live a better life. Here are three of those life lessons. —William Fraser
I WOULDN’T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING
Throughout my life, doing this whole snowboarding thing has brought up many hard questions about my identity and values. I’ve done therapy, I’ve had really bad stress and anxiety, and depression at times. But, one really important lesson I’ve learned is that I would not trade snowboarding for anything. It has made me who I am. If I get hurt these days it’s never like, “That’s it. I’m done.” It’s like, “Alright, I’m getting healthy and I’m getting back at it.” I never once had that thought that this was going to be it. I wanna keep going and keep doing more cool stuff, whether that’s with snowboarding or with Public, because I’ve learned how much snowboarding means to me.
FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
When I was younger, I remember trying to get on the rope tow when I really couldn’t do it. As a result, I got thrown off and then pushed over by someone. It didn’t feel good. But, instead of staying really upset and potentially quitting snowboarding, I decided to go to another ski hill, one where there were people more my age. This is where I found Jake OE and Jonas Michilot, which changed everything. This idea of finding what works for you now runs deep in my life. Over my life, I’ve had to reframe so much of what I’m doing in order to keep doing it. For example, I wasn’t always going to be able to snowboard like I did 10 years ago, and the industry was not always going to be the same, but I have found ways to keep snowboarding in my life—even though my life looks very different than I imagined it years ago.
IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE PERFECT
A big life lesson I’ve learned from snowboarding has to do with perfectionism. This is because little imperfections can really bother me. There have been many times in my career where I remember getting a clip and totally picking apart all the small things. Even with my brand, Public, at seven years in I still think that every mistake could be the end of it. I have had to learn that it’s okay to be imperfect. You can’t function if you want everything to be perfect. With snowboarding, I gotta remind myself sometimes that it’s still a trick, it’s still done well, and that’s cool - regardless of what I think. Or, with Public, when I find myself wishing a board had come out cooler than it did, I’ve learned that it’s still a snowboard, it’s still in the catalogue, and people are still stoked. I can be okay with that. Things can be good enough. In some situations, these imperfections can even make it better.