This story originally appeared in the November issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding and has been updated with photos and a full interview with Andrew Hardingham. Subscribe here.
Going from point A to B is kind of limiting for a guy like Hardingham. For him, it's more like A to Z, with dozens of detours and strange trips in between. We got him in one place long enough to talk about how he got with his Delica van, Boler trailer, and his philosophy on speeding slow. —Gerhard Gross
Give us a breakdown of your setup.
It's a right-hand drive 4×4 turbo-diesel van, and it’s only a four cylinder, so it's pretty gutless. What that does, is it slows you down. It doesn’t have air conditioning and that slows you down. When you slow down enough times, you start smelling roses and seeing the world on a different level. It's funny, my top speed up hills with the trailer is 40 kilometers (24 miles-per-hour), so I'm a horrible person to be behind, but normally I drive in the shoulder so everyone can pass, and it's mellow. I can go the speed limit everywhere else, downhills, flats, all that stuff. Speeding slow is great.
What year is that van?
It's a 1994. I imported it from Japan because I used to always go over there and rent them from his guy Clay Tin. He's got a place called Black Diamond Lodge near Niseko in Japan. I just loved those vans so I said, “Screw it, I'm bringing one over.” Clay imported my van for me.
What about the trailer? How did you come across that thing?
It’s a 1982 Boler built in Winnipeg. Boler’s a Canadian trailer company that originally started putting septic tanks together and attaching wheels to them. That's what the trailer is—just a fiberglass septic tank. The company decided, “Hey, we cut a couple of holes in the side of this thing, insulate it, and we've got ourselves a trailer.” They sold for 2,200 dollars back in the ’70s and ’80s. Now it's worth about 5,000 dollars, so it's one of the only things on wheels that's appreciated over time. It's an antique, it stinks, it's moldy, it's awesome. You just can't beat it.
What's the square footage on the trailer?
That's a good question—I can't even tell you. It's a 13-foot trailer but that includes the tongue which is three feet away, so it's 10 feet. It's as narrow as that little van as well, which is no more than five feet wide, so 10 by five by six feet tall, ’cause I'm just hunching a little in it. It's pretty incredible. It's light, only 900 pounds, which is insane. That's like having four big guys in your car. It's so light, I actually lift it to park where I want it.
Is that trailer I was in a couple years ago at Lake Louise for Ruckus In The Rockies?
Yup, that's the one. How many did we have in it? My record was 16 people in there.
There was only maybe one or two other people.
I think later on we had about 10 in there. Four sit at the table but if you put the table down, it's six one side, six on the other, then we're really forcing it. We had to break the Guinness Book of Boler records that day.
Probably not rated for that weight.
No probably not. [Laughs]
Have you done any modifications to it?
I put hangers and an awning on it, but it's just a tarp that attaches with two carabiners. Everything is so expensive for trailers, they're like boats. If you wanna buy a rope called a “boat-rope”, it's three times more expensive. It's the same for trailers. You just have to do your own modifications on most things. I put my own blinds in, they’re a little more on the gypsy side. The van, I can sleep in too. There’s a fold-down bed and it acts as a little table once it folds down.
What about the amenities in the Boler, do you cook in there?
I have three burner stove tops, a little sink, and then I just installed these foot by foot counter-tops that flip up. There’s a mini closet you can either put clothes in or you can have a really amazing bar. I ran a bar right out of it. I wanted to go to events and sell hot dogs and get drunk and just fall out of the trailer when I was trying to serve hot dogs. Bar and hot dogs, just try not to get arrested.
What's in the Hardingham bar setup, the essentials?
Well, there's not much to it. There's just Clamato, gin, rum and Coke, maybe some bourbon.
So mostly just gin Caesars?
Yeah, gin Caesars and tequila Caesars, that's it. Maybe a Tom Collins. It depends if it's summer or spring or if I'm competing or spectating.
A drink for every season and occasion.
You sent me this photo with a bunch of kegs in the back of your van. [Above] What’s that about?
I had to go drop those off to a buddy who was driving to Alaska, so this brewery gave me five kegs to take to Alaska with me. Which is funny—we actually smuggled beer into a place where it's a quarter of the price. When the border guard asked how many beers we had, we counted each keg as one. You're allowed 48 I think, so we had 53 beers, and they're like, “Oh, you’re only five over.” It's pretty sweet, we bootlegged beer into the states, that's like taking cocaine to Columbia. We had those kegs on top of mountains, we had ’em everywhere, it was just wicked.