Photo: Erin Hogue
Five years ago, I went to my first snowboard trade show in Denver. To my surprise and disbelief, I was invited there to attend the TransWorld SNOWboarding Awards Show, at which I was nominated for three awards. It was my first time seeing all these pros in real life and I was so nervous I could hardly breathe. The thought of having my name shown up on the screen or possibly going up on the stage in front of so many people I didn't know was terrifying. I had never been to anything like that and I felt like such a rookie and a kook, completely out of place. As soon as I got to the event, I started pounding drinks to calm my nerves, but it didn't seem to help, so I pounded some more. I was literally shaking as I sat there. By the time they got through the introductions and brought the presenters on stage for the first award, I was a total mess and didn't even realize it—yet When they announced the nominees and said my name, I almost fainted, and when they called my name saying I had won (I think it was Video Part of the Year), the whole room started spinning. I stumbled onto the stage and was instantly blinded by the lights. The sound of my voice on the microphone made me jump and my mind just went blank. I hadn't prepared a speech because I was certain there was no way I would win. Nobody even knew who I was, just some little skid from Canada. I started stammering out some thankyous to the people who had made that video part possible, my mentors, and my sponsors. Right after you win, they pull you backstage to do an on-camera interview before sending you back to the VIP tables with the other nominees and their crews. Mike Ranquet was receiving the Legend Award that year and they had filled the back room with dildos. I think they were meant to be thrown at him on the stage or something. I wasn't sure, but like I said, I wasn't thinking clearly at that point. There was a huge double-ended dildo sitting there, like the honker kind, two-plus feet long, and after I finished my interview, I grabbed it, wrapped it around my neck like a scarf, and stumbled back through the crowd to my table of homies. After some sloppy high-fives and hugs from my buddies, it suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to thank one of my sponsors. It was a big one to forget—a company that I was always striving to impress, but always seemed to fall short.
Frontside 360, Revelstoke, BC. Photo: Crispin Cannon
I already felt like an outsider there and my heart sank as I realized how bad I had just fucked up. I was sitting beside Geno [Sean Genovese] and I was like, "Oh my god, oh my god… I fucked up so bad. What do I do? I'm in so much fucking trouble. Gahhhh."He was like, "Go back up there. You have to go back up." I was thinking there was no way I was going back up on stage, but he was like, "You have to." I was sitting near Mikey Leblanc, too, and he said, “Go back up there. I'll walk you up,” just as Travis Rice came on stage and started his speech to present the next award. Geno pushed me out of my chair and Mikey grabbed me by the arm and shoved me toward the stairs to the stage. Dykeboy was recording with her camera and I later saw Travis’ face being like, "What the fuck?" as I stumbled back up there. I mumbled something like, “I'm sorry. I just need to say one thing,” and pulled the microphone away from him. I pulled a fucking Kanye West on Travis motherfucking Rice. Oh, and did I mention I still had the dildo around my neck? I knew I had to salvage the already messy situation, so I yelled into the microphone that I wanted to thank said sponsor for backing me and heard a few awkward cheers from the audience. Then I looked out and saw all the people in the back of the room behind the VIP section, where there was standing room only. I decided I wanted to seize the opportunity to give them a shout out and it went something like this: "I just wanna say to all you motherfuckers standing behind that fence, that would have been me last year. I sure as shit wouldn't have been allowed in the VIP section and this year I'm standing on this stage with a double-ended dildo around my neck. So follow your fucking dreams ‘cause anything is possible! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!” And with that, I grabbed the dildo, that weighed about the same as a large cat, and whipped it over my head in several wild circles before hucking it as hard as I could into the crowd. However, instead of flying past the VIP section for the fans to catch, like I planned, it fucking SMOKED the Forum team’s table, which was full of my heroes and their snobby entourage. It knocked all their drinks into their cameras and laps. The crowd went fucking wild, except for the Forum guys. I heard from some people that it was the most disrespectful move that had ever gone down at the awards show, and I also heard from people that it was the most awesome fucking thing they had ever seen. I was a total nobody and I smoked a bunch of big-timers with a double-ended dildo. At the time, I was kind of horrified after the whole experience. Have you ever gotten drunk at a party and felt like an idiot the next day? Well, how about being that person in front of a thousand people, including all of your heroes? Looking back several years and award shows later, I think it was fucking amazing. Therefore, it’s my best story ever.