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Age 14 and Shreds Harder Than You : Justin Phipps Interview

At the young age  of 14, Justin Phipps, is easily one of the youngest and most stylish rippers we’ve seen making waves in the snowboard scene. He charges features of all sizes and his creativity and dedication to urban riding is refreshing. He has keen insight into the core of snowboarding and embodies unique elements of the shred culture.

We reached out to this young gun and learned what makes him tick, who his influencers are, highlights from his season, where he plans to take his shred career and much more. He might come in a little package, but Justin Phipps is a big badass. Get acquainted.

Name: Justin Phipps
Age/DOB: 14 May 23, 2002
Hometown: Arvada, CO

How long have you been snowboarding? 

This winter will be number 11. I started when my dad taught me to ride at Copper when I was four and I’ve been on a snowboard every winter since.

How did you get into riding?

I think it was more of my dad that got me into riding because I started skiing when I was three just so I could hang on the snow but my dad switched me to a snowboard at four. As I got older, I started to love it. At eight years old, that’s when I decided I wanted to go far in snowboarding. That’s when we started filming some park shots and we came out with my first season edit.

Who are some of the snowboarders you look up to, why?

I look up to certain snowboarders for certain reasons. Chris Grenier because he’s funny and has a good personality. Scott Stevens because he’s super creative and I can relate to him because we both do one footers. I also look up to a lot of the big street riders like Cole Navin who’s been killing it or Louif Paradis.

Front board to a heavy transfer in Arvada, CO.
Front board to a heavy transfer in Arvada, CO. Photo: Dean Barnes 

What’s your role with Satellite Board Shop?

I got hooked up by Satellite two seasons ago and have been riding for them since. I pretty much get a free hat or shirt every once in awhile. And the owner, Raul [Pinto], is always super generous with getting me to meet new people and taking me up to ride during the week. It’s not really about the gear, it’s just a solid crew of homeys and we just help maintain the skate and snow scene!

What were three main highlights from this past season?

Well, I know that two of the three were definitely going to Superpark and The Launch, because those are really the only two times I get to travel for snowboarding throughout the season. Superpark would be number one though because it was my first time ever going there, and the stoke of getting the invite was really awesome . Number three would be SIA On Snow just because so many awesome people I don’t usually see came out to Copper and we got to ride together. It was also pretty cool this year because I got to stay up in Copper with a crew in the VonZipper condo.

You’ve got a rad dad, how does he help support your snowboard pursuits?

Yes, my dad is definitely pretty rad. He’s takes me and my younger brother up on the weekends and we ride pretty much all day,there’s rarely ever a weekend when we’re not riding together. He helps support me by getting street spots together as well. He usually helps make the plan with everyone and he’s always the one who finding the spots and getting a crew together and setting up stuff. He also helps get any extra filming angles runs the winch, pulls the bungee. So I’d say he’s pretty darn rad.

What are your plans for this upcoming season?

My plans are just to snowboard and progress as much as I can. I don’t really travel at all except to Superpark or The Launch so I’ll be going to those events for sure. If there’s ever any rail jams in town I’ll probably be heading to those. And I’ll definitely be working on putting together another street part. Above all of that, I’m gonna try to have as much fun as possible on my board.

50/50 Transfer to Stairs to boardslide in Arvada, CO. Photo:
50/50 Transfer to Stairs to boardslide in Arvada, CO. Photo: Dean Barnes 

Where do you see the level of snowboarding in 10 years?
In 10 years I don’t really have a huge picture in my head of what it’ll be like. But I know what I want it to be like. Hopefully snowboarding will evolve more into stylish tricks and focus on tweaking your grabs and not looking like a helicopter in the air. Also, I hope people will keep putting out sick street parts and movies, and hopefully the serious solo park edits will just go away, I just feel like they’re getting dumb. I also hope nobody tries anything over a quad cork!! Most likely though, I feel that snowboarding might evolve into even more spinning and flips, pretty much less style.

What are your goals with snowboarding?

My goals are to get the most out of my ability level and to keep putting out good content (hopefully street) for as long as I can. I want to hopefully make a career of snowboarding as well, I think that would be completely amazing. Maybe through riding, maybe through working my way into writing and video. What would be unreal though, is getting a cover on a magazine someday, that type of feeling would be unexplainable.

@SavedByJustin — What’s up with your insta name?

Yeah! it all started as a spinoff of the 80’s TV Saved By The Bell. Dad kinda spoofed the brand and called it Saved By The Gnar and kinda ran with that for a little blog I keep and other fun stuff like stickers and tee shirts, etc. Dad suggested the username and it just kind of made sense. Funny story though, I was once DM’d by some person who wanted to make a Justin Bieber fanpage with my username.

Who do you think is the most underrated snowboarder right now?

I would have to say that Ozzy Henning. This is because he slays it not only in the park, but in the streets too, I mean did you see that massive 90 degree C rail he did!? And not only that, but he shreds a skateboard and can rip a snowskate.

SnapChat or Pokemon GO?
Pokemon GO, gotta catch em all!

Tindy or Truckdriver?

Tindy. Although this is the answer I put on my High Cascade questionnaire for tricks I wanted to learn and the counselors stuck me in the beginners group which was a little weird.

Skinny stance or wide?

Wide for me. Stance watching from the chairlift is always fun!

Sponsors: Rome SDS, VonZipper, Satellite Boardshop, Airhole, Airblaster, Celsius, Woodward at Copper

JustinPhipps_BoardslideStalefishBoardslide_ArvadaCO_ByDeanBarnes
Boardslide Stalefish to boardslide. Photo: Dean Barnes

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