The Manboys

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Words: Eric Greene, Photos: Russell Dalby

I remember the moment when I turned from boy to man. I was a little late in the game compared to most, but not too late like those boys who wait until marriage to become a man. For me, it happened in college. I was 18 and living on the basement floor of a dormitory building in Calgary as a lonely little virgin boy. I blame my lengthy phase of virginity on dating all the wrong girls in high school—good scholarly girls who weren’t yet women. On a side note, my friend lost his virginity when he was 13. True story. He had sex with a girl who was 15—pretty much a woman at that time. The crazy party is that she got pregnant. She had an abortion (he paid half), and he grew a full beard the following day. When he turned 26, it was hilarious when we figured out that he hypothetically could’ve been a grandfather at that age. Five years after my friend became a man, I woke up in my shitty dorm room beside a girl named Melissa and an empty bottle of $11 tequila. Manhood, baby. 

Anyways, I’m getting sidetracked with my own memory lane. This article is not supposed to be about my coming of age and awkward hung over morning as a man (the first of many). This article is about The Manboys, who are a collective of the only six people in the world who are eternally trapped in the transition of boy to man. They are no longer boys, but not yet men, and they will likely remain like that forever. They also snowboard. I’m not sure how many of the six Manboys are still virgins. 

Actually, this article is only about half of The Manboys—three of them— who went to Cooke City, Montana together last winter. The other three Manboys were doing something else, but I have no idea what. I didn’t talk to them. Those guys are Mark Sollors, Jody Wachniak and Robjn Taylor. I talk to Mark sometimes because he’s my favourite. It sucked when I heard that he didn’t go to Montana. Matt Belzile, Rusty Ockenden, and Chris Rasman went to Montana. From what I gather, they hung around in their underwear together, shared beds, listened to Beyonce in their cabin where they ate every meal together, and went snowboarding a couple times when it wasn’t too cold for them. Boys will be Manboys.

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Matt Belzile, Frontside 720


What film project were you working on before The Manboys existed?

Before The Manboys project, I filmed for a K2 project called This Is Me.

What was the dynamic of your previous film crew?

That year I pretty much just filmed with Rusty and Rasman. Between the three of us, we hired a filmer ‘cause we all wanted to ride together.

Does is suck to work with people who aren’t your best buds?

Sometimes, but most of the time it doesn't. You really get to know the people you work with, so you can make some lifelong friendships. But it can also go the other way.

Do you think you need to pay your dues as a pro snowboarder for a decade before you can do what you want without getting fired?

Yeah, it seems that way. I see so many new crews come up with their own projects that are sick and then the sponsors come in and make them do their company projects. Like, the Keep The Change guys. Most of them went to do different projects in order to make their sponsors happy.

Are all your sponsors down with The Manboys project?

Yeah. They’re so down.

Do you think there’s a difference with how your fans see you and how you really are?

It's hard to really know someone after watching them for a couple minutes on a web video, so yeah.

Is there a bit of faking going on in those web videos?

Nah. There’s just not enough airtime.

Now that you guys are a publically official group of best buds, is it harder to hang out with other people outside of your group?

Yeah. People are always like, "Where are all the guys?" "What's everyone doing?" "Does Mark hang out with you guys?" Shit like that.

What kinds of things do you do in the summer?

We snowboard on the glacier, jump into lakes, and buy condos and renovate them. That sort of stuff.

What do your girlfriends think about The Manboys?

Most of us have girlfriends. They think it's funny to pretend they're "Mangirls." They snipe photos of us and send them to the @officialmanboysfanboys Instagram account.

Are your girlfriends friends with each other? Do you think they’ll ever form a crew called The Womangirls to rival you?

Yeah, they're all buds. Maybe.

If any of the girlfriends had a tiff and started a girl-on-girl war of slander, would it potentially break up The Manboys?

Fuck no!

Are you the best snowboarder of all The Manboys?


Because you can do the most difficult tricks.


Was it your idea to go to Cooke City, Montana?

Yeah. The whole season I was trying to convince everybody to go and no one was down. It wasn't until snow conditions in the whole province of B.C. sucked and after driving around B.C. to make sure of that, Rusty and Rasman asked me about Cooke City.

What went down on the trip?

Some not-so-mellow -35F weather. Some mornings we couldn't even start our sleds it was so cold. Besides that, it was a lot of exploring, figuring out the zones, building jumps that didn't work, getting face shots, and Instagramming the deep snow to make everyone jealous.

Why did only three of The Manboys go to Montana? That’s only 50 per cent of the team. Do the other guys have issues with crossing the border?

There were only three of us because Mark was busy filming for Burton, Robjn never leaves Blackcomb, and Jody is poor.

There are photos of the three of you guys hanging out together in your underwear. How bored did you get in Montana?

Well, on the really cold days we would either not go out at all or we would go out for an hour or two. So yeah, there was a lot of playing Cribbage and hanging in our under garments.

Did you guys party hard and did anyone vomit in the backcountry?

We would have a few casuals, but we never went full retard.

Did you do the best snowboarding out of everyone in Montana?

No. By the time we had it all figured out, it was time to leave. I definitely could use a rebate.

If you could kick one person out of The Manboys, who would it be?

I see what you're trying to do here, but obviously it'd be Jody ‘cause he's too poor.

In what ways do you feel like a man and in what ways do you still feel like a boy?

I feel like a man ‘cause I have a lot more responsibilities than I used to, but I still feel like a boy when I'm on my snowboard.

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Rusty Okenden, Frontside 360


How come you’re arguably a better snowboarder, but not as famous as Mark?

Ha. First of all, we both suck. I feel like we’re both rubbing two sticks together trying to light a fire, but meanwhile all these triple-cork guys are walkin’ around with Zippos. Second, the only person who has ever told me I'm better than Mark is Mark, and that's because he's overly modest. Or maybe I’m being overly modest? I learned that from Mark. Anyways, as far as fame goes, I'll be real with you. Mark rides for Burton. They have an arsenal of videographers, photographers, team managers, blogographers, and some other guys whose jobs are to promote and make the B team look like a bunch of rock stars. All the B riders need to do is be good at snowboarding and the brand handles the rest.

What do you think about Chris Bradshaw being richer than you from snowboarding?


Do you like The Manboys better than the Absinthe crew?

Yes. But these are guys that I have grown with over years and years—my family, if you will. The Absinthe crew is fuckin' awesome, but when it comes down to brass tax, you gotta pick family, right?

Do you like The Manboys better than the People crew?

Yes. The People crew is no more—for years now. You know Forum is gone, too, right? Mack Dawg? Robot Food? Sandbox?

Do you like The Manboys better than the Sandbox crew?


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Rusty Okenden, Cab 540

You and Mark are the original Manboys. How did you gather up the other guys?

Actually, Mark and I are originally Junior Manboys. When The Manboys were first birthed into this world, it was Mikee HK, Robjn Taylor, Geoff Brown, Andre Benoit, Rube Goldberg, Jon Roth, and maybe someone else. Then me, Mikey Pederson, and Mark were inducted into their little gang, Crapneto, but were far too young, inexperienced, and broke to be real Manboys. Hence, The Junior Manboys. Anyways, now, years later, we are the new Manboys, and the other guys were easy decisions: Robjn, who would actually have a higher rank than us if this were the military, Matt and Chris, who I was filming with anyways and are our very close boarder friends, and Jody, because obviously we want Jody.

You and Mark are the bosses, though.

Thanks. At least as far as the Canada Revenue Agency is concerned, we are.

If you had to kick one of your Manboys out of the crew, who would it be and who would be the ideal boy to replace him with?

Well, honestly we all bring something different to the table, so cutting someone would be tough. So I'm not gonna say. But I'll tell you who would be the last one to kick out: Robjn. If we did kick someone out, I would replace him with Justin Timberlake. I think he could get us more views and he seems like a great guy.

Do you feel responsible to turn these boys into men?

On the contrary. I'm trying to keep these men as boys.

Does anyone ever argue you on your manliness because of your hair?

Negative. But people always seem to bring it up in interviews. 

Lots of women must be jealous of your hair.

Definitely not. I think women like clean, straight, pleasant-smelling hair. My hair is a woman’s nightmare.

Speaking of women, you guys all have girlfriends except for Rasman who can’t get one. Do your female counterparts ever get jealous about how tight you guys are?

Mark actually doesn't have a girlfriend, either. And Rasman could get one—almost anyone. That's probably why it’s so tough. Too many options. I can’t speak on behalf of the other guys with gals, but my gal? She is the tits. We do everything together. One day we will get married on a mountain and King Snow will not be invited.

You guys are all taking a trip together this season? Isn’t that just like going on vacation?

We might go to Sweden. We’re still planning that one. Living in Whistler is very much like a vacation and since we all keep hanging out together, that's kind of like a trip together.

Was the trip to Montana incredible?

It was super fun, yeah. Rednecks, sledding from your door, beers, fuckin’ weird ass Americans, killer snow, and Yellowstone Park. It was amazing.

What was the most spectacular thing that happened in Cooke City?

Well, Fahrenheit and Celsius met each other. I think that's somewhere close to -40, so that was spectacularly bad. But other than that, the whole trip was a very good time. I will remember that one.

Would you ever consider moving to Cooke City and taking all The Manboys with you in order to further your careers?

Nope. We are way more efficient in Whistler. Also, the scene in Cooke City… It's not a snowboard scene. It's a drunk, oil money, turbo sled, big truck, handlebar moustache scene.

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Who is the most annoying Manboy to travel with?

Chris because of this thing he was doing driving to Cooke City. It was a two-day drive, mostly at night, and he was driving beside me on a two-lane highway with his high beams shooting into my side mirror and into my eyes. I would speed up to get away and he would follow closely. I would slow down really slow to let him pass and he wouldn't. Finally, I pulled over and started yelling at him. He told me he was trying to help me light up the road, but really all I could see was high beams hitting me in the face—and not Hana's Hibeams.

Who is the laziest?

Jody. I won’t get into that one.

Who has the nicest method?

Mark. See In Color.

Would you ever consider selling The Manboys as a franchise to KMart?

Absolutely. Can you give me their contact info?

Do you feel like The Manboys project is finally going to lead you to all the big paychecks you deserve?

Definitely, once I get the K-Mart contact info.

Are your sponsors all down with The Manboys project?

Fuck yeah. Our sponsors are totally down with our shit. I think we all have enough successful projects under our belts that they can justify and trust us to come out with something good. Big thanks to our sponsors for that one. Everyone pulled through, no questions asked.

If any of them were against it and wanted you to do halfpipe contests, would you tell them to kick rocks?

Yes. Halfpipe is my nightmare. I want to say it’s lame, and I think it is, but I also can't ride halfpipe, so who the fuck am I to say anything about it?

Do you guys live together or just hang out with each other all the time?

I live with Mark, and Robjn lives with Matt, but everyone is always at my house, drinking beers, eating food, and leaving all of their fuckin’ dishes and mess behind when they leave. It's awesome.

Do you guys party together a lot?

All together? Not much. But tonight we are, as soon as I finish doing this crap!

Who parties the hardest?


Who ghosts out the earliest?

Fuck. I do. But when I do party, I really do a good job of it. Getting me to go into a bar requires a lot of lubrication.

Are you guys the big dogs in Whistler these days or the old dogs?

Well, I'm not claiming old dogs. You know how it is… Money, babes, travelling, new trucks, big houses, contracts, but this shit ain’t easy. No, but really, we're not old. I think we're still the youngest guys out filming backcountry parts here. We’re also not big. I can go to a bar in Whistler and not know anyone, but it seems like everyone is like 16 in there.

If you guys filmed your own traditional snowboard movies, would you have the last part every time?

Yes, but only because I am the best.

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Matt Belzile, Method

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Chris Rasman, Frontside 360


Remember when I already interviewed you for this issue?

Oh, yeah. That was fun. I hope people actually read it. You've got to be sick of talking to me by now, though.

Are you sick of talking about The Manboys yet?

No. We’re just getting started and The Manboys are awesome. Just watch our third episode, "Farewell Horses," and you'll see for yourself. Ejack said so.

Weren’t you already a man before you had to drop your maturity back down to Rusty and Mark’s level?

I would say Mark brings my maturity up and Rusty brings it down. It’s a healthy balance.

You’re known as a motivated and hungry keener. Do you have to motivate the other guys to work hard?

Everyone on the crew is pretty self-motivated. We all have our bad mood days, though. I don't think I get those as much. If I’m riding backcountry with Jody, I have to motivate him to jump off something he's scared of. He always ends up doing it, though.

But the other guys are all lazier than you, right?

I don't think so. Wait. I'm not saying I’m lazy, though, right? Fuck. I’ll argue that your small crew holds the best Canadian snowboarders right now and you guys are on par with any international crews. 

Why do you think you guys aren’t in the superstar arena yet?

I think enough of the world still has no idea who we are, so yeah. Maybe we will be superstars soon. I sure as hell hope so. I wanna go to the Playboy mansion and party with Dan Bilzerian for a night, and whatever the heck else superstar snowboarders might do.

Mark is a superstar, but you’re almost as good as he is. Will The Manboys project take you to the next level?

I don't think I’m as good as Mark. Mark’s style! It’s so good. It's better than mine. Or maybe just different? I don’t know. However, I can do Double Rodeos and I don't think Mark wants to try one. As far as The Manboys project taking me to the next level, I think it will help. We have an all-time group of talented homies and we don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

How are you guys funding the project? Through a Kickstarter campaign?

No. We save the Kickstarter campaigns for when we want to order pizza and go to the movies sometimes. The project is being funded buy our individual sponsors and Monster Energy.

Are you working within a normal budget for a big production or are you doing things ghetto?

We don't have a ton of money, that’s for sure. I had to do things pretty ghetto last year to get by and make my season happen.

When you went to Cooke City, how many Manboys slept in each bed?

Two Manboys in each bed. But Nate [Laverty] is too homophobic to share a bed. I don't think I’d want to sleep with Nate, anyways.

What’s the food like in Cooke City?

I thought it was pretty damn good. A few places had awesome pizza, bison and elk burgers, steaks, etc. I mean, come on. It’s right on the boarder of Yellowstone Park. There are lots of animals running around ready to be hunted.

Did you guys mingle with the local cowboys?

A bit. There wasn't really a selection of females. We more just made friends with the people who ran the motel we were staying at and the dude who works at the gas station, which is also a sled shop, and he's the mechanic. He was pretty rough around the edges, but when we got to know him, he was cool. Plus, he warrantied a recoil for me when I was already back in Whistler.

How does the terrain there stand up against the Whistler zones?

It can’t touch Whistler in my opinion. There’s cool stuff, for sure. The rocks, slopes, and trees are different, so it’s got unique stuff, but it’s just not Whistler. We found the zones to be kinda small and the snow is weird there. It doesn't fill in as well, even though there’s lots of it.

Did you link up with Jason Robinson? That dude is the best.

No, he was busy travelling with Absinthe while we were there. That dude is the best, though—so happy and so talented.

Do you ever fight with the other Manboys when you’re on long road trips?

It doesn't matter how good of friends you are. When you cram any dudes into a cabin for long enough, they are going to get annoyed with each other eventually. I get frustrated with Matt when he uses all the honey on his cereal and there’s none left for my coffee. It’s pretty mellow, though. I usually get in fistfights with everyone else when they land tricks and I don't. 

If you wanted to listen to One Direction in the car and Matt wanted to listen to Beyonce, who would win the debate?

I think I'd win. But One Direction? Really, man? With those two options, I would let Matt win in that scenario.

Considering there were only three of you on the trip, were you lonely and missing the other Manboys the whole time?

We weren't lonely. We had each other, man. But, yes. We wished the whole band was there together. That would’ve been sweet.

Did you all get together for family dinner when you got back to Whistler?

Yeah. We call those meetings and drink beer and eat pizza. Mark usually pays for it.

Is it true you’re the only bachelor in The Manboys?

That is true. I’m the last man standing.

In what other ways are you the odd man out?

I’m the most gullible, I've got the biggest nose, and I’d probably win those fistfights I was talking about if

they actually happened.

Do the other guys’ girlfriends always try to set you up on weird dates with their sketchy single friends?

Not really on dates, but some of them try to play wing-girl sometimes. I think Robjn’s girlfriend was actually trying last night. It was our Manboys party at Garf’s and I was 2 a.m. drunk by 10.

Does Tinder exist in Whistler or is it too small of a town?

Oh, it exists. I’d say it's probably better on weekends. During weekdays, it runs out pretty quickly and you see a lot of girls you already now pretty well. You end up matching with them for fun and start messing with each other on Tinder even though you have each other’s numbers. To be honest, Tinder has got boring for me. I never really capitalized on any Tinder scenarios and it’s just so repetitive. I really only play the hot-or-not game these days.

Have you ever been scrolling Tinder and seen one of the other Manboys’ girlfriends on there?

No, that hasn't happened yet.

Have people been asking you if they can be in the The Manboys?

Yeah. They have, actually. I was asked how much the buy-in is to be a part of the crew the other day.

What are the names of some people who have asked and been denied?

Next question.

What else are you guys into aside from snowboarding?

We’re all into different stuff. Well, a bunch of us really love surfing. We like to go to spas sometimes. We like to drink beer on occasion. We like to ride bikes and some of us ride motorcycles. Some of us like girls and others just like our girlfriends. Some are into trading stocks, some buy houses, and some are obsessed with Teslas.

Do you know how many times “Manboys” was written in this article?

Please say it was 69.

Way off. It was 49 times, but that’s still pretty good.

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