Name: Scott E Stevens
Hometown: Westfield, Massachusetts
Home Mountain: Mount Snow, VT / Sundown, CT
Currently Riding: Brighton, UT
Websites: TWSnow, TWSkate, DangShades, Crailtap, The Berrics, Facebook, Magical Go-Go
Sponsors: CAPiTA, Volcom, Union, ThirtyTwo, Etnies, Smith, Magical Go-Go, Theory Skateshop, Dakine, Skullcandy, Crab Grab
Favorite OG Riders: Terje Haakonsen and Travis Parker
Young Guns You’re Most Hyped On: Johnny Brady, Brendan Cocard, Brendan Hobush, Mike Rav, Forrest Bailey
Best Film Part of All Time: These might be controversial, but I’m going with two: Jeremy Jones’ ender in Shakedown and Travis Parker in Afterbang.
Where The Hell Is Dustin Craven? Ha! Killin’ it somewhere. Having lots of fun and probably partying excessively.
Scotty; how the hell are you these days? Fully healed, ready to go?
Ahhhh … Healthy enough! I’m great; really can’t complain. There will always be the little things, but I’m looking forward to starting the season up again.
We saw you competing a bit more last year. You gonna be on the rail jam circuit again?
[Laughs] No, the contest thing doesn’t really work that well for me anymore. I did a few during this past year, and placed decently, but they’re all sporadic. If I’m somewhere and there’s a contest going on, I’d usually rather ride than sit on the sidelines, you know?
I’m still reeling from the ender trick in TransWorld’s Get Real last season. Break down the TWS film experience for us.
Thanks! The TransWorld video was a great experience. I got to film with my long-time friend Gary Milton, and it was awesome to go on trips with Grenier, Jed, and McCarthy. It mixed up my mentality, having filmed with Think Thank for so many years.
Despite some big offers coming off of Get Real, you returned to those guys this season.
I went back with Think Thank this year, and I think we made the best video yet. Jesse [Burtner] has helped me out a ton with my filming career, and this year just seemed perfect to do a new video. I know that there’s a possible CAPiTA video for this upcoming season, so I had no choice but to go out with all my Think Thank homies and have an epic season.
Did Burtner and crew miss you?
We’re all amazing friends. We’ve all known each other forever and … Gosh, man; I love these guys! Ha! Ross Phillips is one of the primary filmers and my roommate, so we have a lot of fun filming and we also just know how each other operate. It really wasn’t hard to get back into the rhythm.
You guys go up to Alaska every year, tending towards rail missions over heli lines. What’s AK all about for you?
There are tons of great jump zones, but the rails in Anchorage are pretty next level. They’re everywhere, and the city usually has plenty of snow throughout the year. I mean, heli lines are amazing—and I wish they could be in our budget—but snowshoeing and bungeeing work just fine for our program.
When you guys are scoping rails around AK, do you ever run into the big-budget crews?
Anchorage is pretty far away from Haines and Valdez and all that, but being up there is perfect for us. Not a whole lot of the crew jumps all the time, and in Anchorage you can go out like an hour up to the Pass, where there’s great hiking, snowmobiling, etc, and also hit these amazing rails in downtown. The kind of rails you don’t get in the Lower 48. Perfect hills to drop-in on, plenty of snow—it’s just ideal. If you send somebody up there, they’re going to film a full part. [Laughs] Well, as long as they’re healthy …
How do you, Jesse [Burtner], Think Thank, et cetera react when you hear about million-plus dollar budgets for films these days?
Hmm … I think it’s good! There needs to be extremes to everything. Having these million-dollar budgets out there makes us feel unique to be doing what we are. We don’t need that kind of money. I appreciate watching those videos, but it’s the total opposite end of the spectrum. Those guys probably look at what we do and think, “Damn, that looks fun! I wish we could …” I like all snowboarding. And usually, those high-budget movies feature some very talented dudes, getting paid for a reason.
Where do you find yourself on that spectrum?
For me, personally? I like being low-budget. The pressure’s off. I’m doing what I love, and there aren’t too many obligations. When these obligations come into play, your head goes. Mentally, I’m just fried on a situation if I’m not doing it for myself. That’s the tricky part about snowboarding: you ride because you want to. But when there’s any little pressure placed on you by someone else, everything changes. There’s a lot of that shit out there; people just respond to it differently. I’m lucky. I don’t have to deal with that too often. I have some pretty amazing sponsors, who respect me and let me do what I want.
Do you ever get backlash from trying to keep things fun?
Yeah, definitely. There are times when you just need to sack up and get shit done. You’re getting paid to do it, it’s your job, and you just need to accept that. This is a job. Shit, man … if I could sleep, I’d just sleep! I love sleeping! [Laughs] But you do have to get out there-have to get after it.
There’s definitely backlash to keeping things fun. You’re out there for one reason: to promote a company. That’s why you get paid. The product isn’t going to sell if you’re not out there, being active. There are a few special occasions (some people can get away with it better than others), but right now, I feel this is my chance. I know it’s time to give it everything I have. I mean … yes, occasionally I feel like I should be juicing it a bit more. There’s going to come a time-very soon-when I’m going to need to really focus on my own snowboarding. When I have people paying the bills, I might not need to coach [at HCSC] anymore.
It’s hard to imagine anyone really hating on you. Your parts promote the right ideas, there’s no attitude, you’re a friendly kid … but I’m sure you get you share of the shit.
It does happen occasionally. Snowboarding is so oriented with style … you see the message boards, the comments on them. We all know what’s up there. I’m somewhat neutral though; I wear snowboard clothing. [Laughs] Not too big, not too small …
If I had a gimmick, it would be just going after these silly tricks that appeal to me. Whenever I see someone riding that kind of reminds me of myself, it’s pretty sweet. It is dope, to think that’s going on right now. It’s a lot to take in sometimes.
It can be intimidating.
Snowboarding is not that hard. I ride because I frickin’ love it. If there are kids better than me out there, so be it. Skateboarding, however? That gets tricky. I try to incorporate a little skateboarding into my parts, but I’m just an average skateboarder. Sometimes the kids expect more out of me on a skateboard, and to be honest, that’s the only time the pressure really sets in. But I’m pretty confident in my snowboarding. Kids can see me fall-I don’t give a crap, you know? I’m having fun the whole way.
What skate parts or skaters over the years have you looked to for inspiration?
Louie Barletta, Mike Vallely, Ray Barbee, Koston, Rowley, Dennis Busenitz, Mark Appleyard, Chris Haslam, Daewon Song, Rodney Mullen, Marc Johnson, Andrew Reynolds, Beibel, Mike Carroll, Rick Howard … [Laughs] damn, man-I could go on forever! Subconsciously or not, those dudes have seriously been a huge part.
You’ve been asked-in probably every single interview, ever-how you react to people saying you can’t/don’t hit big jumps, etc. I would’ve told someone to screw off by now … does this still mess with you?
Naw … I do think that big jumps show a lot of confidence in a rider, and I respect every dude who has the balls to hit that shit at top speed-it doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. Sometimes it does, but yeah; I do enjoy dabbling in it, occasionally.
How about a full-on backcountry or Evil Kneivel part?
[Laughs] No, but that would be pretty dope. My love and experience is what I do now. It could change someday, but right now I have ideas and lines and skate shit that I want to cross over. That’ll be there later, for sure.
How about your style in general? It’s impressive, regardless if you’re doing triple-flips or not …
Thanks, man! Well, I’ve been riding for a while and just always obsessed over videos. I mean, snow or skate, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes just seeing a new Louie Barletta part will make my week. Travis Parker’s video parts were just so inspiring … trying to add on or take a new approach is totally where my interest is.
Which leads up to this: do you consider yourself a “pro snowboarder”?
[Deep breath ...] That’s a tricky one. You know what? I think that I do! This year, out of any year, I finally do. I have responsibilities, I do it for a living, I get paid to ride-I finally see it. I have the amateur status from some of my sponsors, but I’m pro for CAPiTA, Union, ThirtyTwo, etc. It’s scary to think that it’s going to end someday, but I’m ready to just live it up while it’s good! The relationships are incredible. Every year, new people are here to have fun. It’s pretty fucking incredible.
Best off-snow moments this season? And this can’t involve the two-man hot tub outside of your SLC house …
[Laughs] Fair enough. Probably the trip to Red Mountain, in Canada. Whenever Mike Yoshida is involved, pranks, jokes, farts, and just a great time are always had.
F—k it. Explain the SLC hot tub.
Ha! Oh, man. We’ve got this little, two-person hot tub at our place in SLC. It’s just my quiet place, my little zen area. I just kind of think about life, and … dude, it’s so f—king gross. Really. It’s just disgusting in that hot tub. But, I’m in there every single day after snowboarding. I just chill and ponder shit, and then dudes come out and chill in it with me. [Laughs] There aren’t really too many girls in there …
Liberty University Bristle-Boardin’ with Chris Beresford, Yale Cousino, Sky Gale, and Aaron Blatt.
You’ve been posting up YouTube edits since you were coming up back East. Let’s link up some classics …
I think the “Tight Pants, Wide Stance” one at Loon always did well, and the “SLC Day In The Life” was pretty sweet because of the obstacle course and swing-skate. I’ve always enjoyed showing those to people.
Your summer plans have involved Mt. Hood for how a long time. What keeps you coming back?
Friends, snowboarding, and just… It’s my life, and I enjoy Oregon. It’s nice having a schedule-HCSC is my only structure for the year. It’s just a great place to feel good on your snowboard and focus on actually riding-not on all the pressure of shooting photos and video.
We heard a camper say that he peed his pants when he found out you were going to be his coach. How does it feel to now be on the other end of the fan stuff?
That’s awesome! That really makes me happy. When I was young and riding for Academy Snowboards, I always tripped out about shredding with [Chad] Otterstrom-he’s the man, by the way. The interaction with these kids is perfect. It gives me such satisfaction that they like my snowboarding, you know? And it’s coming from people that don’t know me. I mean, there’s definitely love and hate, but it’s exciting. Kind of a ‘lifetime achievement’ feeling.
Last question. Scott Stevens, describe your perfect day on a snowboard.
Back East, with everyone I started riding with. Barbecuing with [Austen] Granger, partying and enjoying life, jibbing some logs, slashing some skiers … all that shit, you know? Ha!
Yeah, definitely! Working at High Cascade, I see a lot of kids coming up. There’s this kid, Johnny Brady, who’s one of the most talented snowboarders I’ve ever seen-so under the radar. Give him two more years, and he’ll have an insane video part. He’s going to be the next biggest thing. And Brandon Hobush—most people have already realized how good that little guy is. Mike Ravelson was my camper 5 years ago! Now he’s just killing it all over. They’re all ridiculous.