This past winter I found myself staying with Jesse at an Airbnb in Toronto. Every evening I’d come back to see him diligently logging clips or systematically searching Google Earth like it was an extension of himself. Being a snowboarder and producing videos has a multifaceted list of tasks that include but are not exclusive to: creating proposals, finding spots, snow removal, stacking clips, logging clips, sourcing music, editing, planning premieres, making merch, and the list goes on. It’s not very often that you’ll find someone who, on top of starring in the features, takes it upon themselves to carry the entire process. With an aptitude, work ethic and style well beyond his years, you can’t help but be excited to see Jesse snowboard.
Words and photos by Liam Glass
I heard you’ve never skied and you started boarding when you were super young.
Yeah, I grew up riding at Beaver Valley in Ontario. With my dad [Steve Jarrett] in the snowboard industry with events and media, I was immersed in it from a young age. When I was three, my dad got me a snowboard to slide around in our front yard. I really didn’t get into it until a few years later. My older cousins were getting into snowboarding so that made me want to do it, too.
How did you get into street snowboarding and filming videos?
I’d always kind of had an interest in recording things and always found myself picking up a camera. Growing up my dad was always feeding me different videos to watch and I definitely gravitated toward street videos. Trash League in Ontario played a big part in showing me what was good. It’s one thing to see a video with a bunch of pros you don’t really know, but being able to see people like Mark Goodall and Chris Fellner riding at the same hill as me made street boarding seem more achievable. Eventually, Dawson MclLachlan kinda took me under his wing and I started filming with him.
How did Paid Programming come to be?
It all started when me and Vinny [Laszlo] started to ride together a few years back. Everyone I’d been filming with at the time was older than me, so it was nice to find a like- minded person closer to my age. At the time we were filming for different projects and we both wanted to take the lead on a project of our own. Out of that came Paid Programming.
You grew up as a second-generation snowboarder. Your dad was pretty dialed into what’s good in snowboarding. Did he help you avoid some of the awkward growing pains that some of us had to go through in our formative years?
Yeah, my dad was always super supportive and would point me in the right direction when it came to what’s good in snowboarding. I’d say he let me figure most of it out on my own. He’d take me out of school to snowboard when there was snow on the ground. Definitely missed a few too many tests. When I first started street boarding he was the one driving me around to check spots and wasn’t a stranger to picking up a shovel to make things happen. Don’t know many other dads that’d do that. Really can’t thank him enough.
You went to a lot of events growing up. Any wild stories from going to those as a kid?
I probably went to more premieres than most other kids. I was always sneaking in when I was underage. I vividly remember standing on the sidelines of a big air contest in Whistler and getting a high-five from E-man Anderson. I hadn’t met many other redhead snowboarders so I thought that was pretty cool. One time at Wakestock I met Flava Flav of Public Enemy backstage. I was standing with my skateboard, scared shitless, he challenged me to a game of S-K-A-T-E, but it turned out he was just fucking with me and didn’t even skate [laughs].
If you had to guess, how many hours have you spent on Google Earth looking for spots? I don’t think I’ve met anyone who is quite as rigorous as you at it.
Too many to count, I might’ve lost a couple of months of my life looking for spots. Gotta keep doing it to stay sharp. Leading up to winter I find myself staying up almost every night just going from city to city. I’ll usually start on one corner of the city and go section by section until I’ve roughly scoped everywhere. It’s a nice break for my mind as I tend to overthink things a lot. Using the shift command really speeds things up when scoping around. By the end of the night, I’ll usually end up burning my finger though.
Favourite thing happening in snowboarding right now and what’s something you’d like to see change?
I really like to see new spots being hit, especially when the spot is the trick. And I’ve been spending a lot of money out of pocket trying to film, maybe more budget getting thrown around.
You’re an avid consumer of snowboarding videos. What would be your Top 5 video parts?
Layne Treeter, Half Off; Martyn Vachon, Subcity; Adam Franks, Psych; Tommy Gesme, Bender; Cooper Whittier, Dreamcastle.
Outside of snowboarding, what gets you hyped?
There’s a pool table where I live. I get pretty hyped to demolish the competition. A lot of my free time I spend looking for new music on YouTube or trying to think up new shirt graphics. I just moved my printing press out to Calgary so I’m hoping to get some different things printed once I’m done editing our snowboard video. Spending time with my friends is nice, too.
What’s this season looking like for you?
I moved to Calgary and I’m just gonna keep filming with my friends. This year I’m working on a project with Quin Ellul, one of my favourite boarders, so I’m excited to work with him this winter.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
Rob Madill, Malcolm Vaughn, Charles Javier, Matt Dear, Stu Cameron, Mom and Dad, my red hair, Quin Ellul, Vinny Laz, Dawson McLachlan, Tomi Maletic, Chris Fitzsimmons, and yourself, of course.