You are also a designer for Lib Tech. Where do you get your inspiration from?
All over, man. We collaborate with the brains behind Lib Technologies and Mervin Manufacturing, both of which are in the driver’s seat as far as board technology and sustainability of board production and business ethics. Then, for the look of the board, I can bring in artists to work with the graphics. Snowboarding graphics are always something we’ve put on a high pedestal, and for good reason. I often find that I’m empowered by the way I feel about the board I ride. Even if it is a bit of a placebo effect. When I am 100 percent into what is beneath my feet, I ride better. Usually I switch it up every year, but the past two years, I’ve been working with Mike Parillo on board graphics. He is such an incredible guy to collaborate with. I’ve never met somebody who is able to take a concept and spot-on be able to turn it into a visual representation. He’s also the creative director for my art and photography gallery called Asymbol in Jackson.
You’ve mentioned that Asymbol has a running joke that you opened this quality art exhibit at a time that people aren’t exactly spending large amounts of money. How has business been?
[Laughs] Business is awesome. We’ve got some non-profits that we’re able to support. and some artists and photographers that we’re able to get out some of their work. We’ve been paying our rent and people’s salaries for a couple months now [Laughs], so it’s not comin’ out of pocket. All is well. We’re able to work on a bunch of pretty unique projects outside of our core collection.
I often find that I’m empowered by the way I feel about the board I ride. When I am 100 percent into what is beneath my feet, I ride better.
Various things, such as this project we did a couple years ago called the I Am Snowboarding project. It was a tribute to a fallen friend of ours, Jeff Anderson. He’s got the JLA foundation, which raises money to build skate parks, help out artists, and various other things. We also just did the Art of Flight collection, which was basically a collection of photos. We made a book, which actually won the western regionals of the print awards. We won for design of the packaging and for the design of our art books. Now we’re going on to nationals.
What does it mean for you to get awards for your ventures outside of snowboarding?
It’s a little bit of gratitude. It’s awesome to see our hard work is acknowledged by our peers and the awards are a representation for having an impact. We try to have standards for all of our projects and put so much added effort to keep them authentic.
You made a pretty big splash with your recent film, Art of Flight. What did you intend for your audience to take away from that movie?
If we had an intention, it is that snowboarding is incredibly dynamic. You’re going to find what you’re look for. The more time that people are able to spend outdoors and in pursuit of any dream, whether it has to do with snowboarding or hiking or working for community service, just getting out there with the willingness to try and fail is when people learn a lot about themselves. The goal of this film was simply trying to push ourselves to find how far we could take it.
What are some things you have learned doing your boarding?
Dedication to not give up. Every one of those locations that we went to in that film, we repeatedly hit dead ends. We took away how not to take the easy way out. We stayed the course, stuck to it, and had the will to make it work.