Dave hasn’t been a snowboarder a long time. That’s not to say he’s new to the sport; it’s just that he hasn’t been snowboarding as long as you think he has.

Ya see, Dave’s a surfer. He grew up surfing the Southern California breaks surrounding his Redondo Beach home. He did the normal things: went to school, took some college classes, and worked at his local surf shop. After a few years, the surf shop started selling snowboards, and the sport caught Dave’s attention. In the spring of 1990, just a measly ten years ago, Dave started snowboarding.

Big Bear became his home mountain, and he rode with all the boys up there¿Brian Thein, Mark Parillo, Bryan Iguchi¿you know, the original So Cal boys. For two more years he kept on working at the surf shop, and in the winter of ’92/93 he also began working with the local Burton rep, turning screws, doing demos, talking shop, having fun, and riding¿riding a lot.

It was in the spring of ’94 when Dave’s girlfriend asked Mack Dawg if her boyfriend could tag along on one of her filming trips. After some pleading, Dawger said, “Well, okay.” And that’s when it all started coming in to place. Dave ended up shooting all spring with Dawger and Hatchett for their new video. The first time that the public really saw Dave was in TB3.

I don’t know, there was just something … familiar¿familiar in his face and in his riding. It seemed like he had always been there. Like a good friend, you could relate to him, anyone could, from the fourteen-year-old grom to the 27-year-old industry Jed. As it’s been said too many times, “He just seems like a really nice guy.”

Dave was in. In the front door of professional snowboarding, that is, on his way, on the road to his own personal and professional successes. In the years following 1994, Dave has been in each successive Hatchett and Mack Dawg video, as well as a plethora of photos and interviews in magazines around the world. All this media showed his riding, but more important than the riding, it showed Dave, the person.

Dave has influenced everyone he’s met for the better; as a person and as a snowboarder he’s touched them with his familiarity. It’s that intangible essence, that familiarity that puts you at ease. Dave makes you feel as if he has always been there in this mad world of snowboarding, and been there as a friend.

 

 

You’re generally known as “the nicest guy in snowboarding,” but do you ever get pissed?

I get pissed when people call me “the nicest guy in snowboarding.” No, I’m just kidding. I try to just be a nice person and let God shine through me. It doesn’t do any good to get pissed off.

I get pissed because of the one-trick ponies who are living my dream.

What’s a one trick-pony? Is it someone who is stuck doing just the newest rodeo flip fandango trick-of-the-month? If it is, I say, “Open your eyes and try every part of snowboarding.” People who just ride the pipe or people who say, “I don’t ride the pipe” should really try to branch out and try to be just a snowboarder instead of some specialist.

You’re all over the map with split-boarding in the backcountry and jibbin’ the handrails. Why don’t you focus on one thing?

It all kind of blends together. I mean, snowboarding to me has a lot of different aspects: hitting kickers, freeriding powder, halfpipes, handrails, snowboard parks, cliffs, riding groomed runs¿it’s all a part of being a snowboarder. I would get really bored if I were just doing one thing while I was on a snowboard. I really enjoy mixing it up. It seems kids now are just into one type of riding instead of trying to develop themselves into an overall snowboarder.

If you’d focus on one of those aspects, like the pipe, you could go to the Olympics. So why don’t you start training?

Well, I don’t want to sound totally negative, but to me snowboarding isn’t about competing with each other. I know that having swboarding on TV and in the Olympics is probably good for the overall sport, but personally I think it’s lame, and it starts sucking the soul out of the sport. I think it has a lot to do with who’s running the contest and why. I’ve been to some really fun contests, which are made for the riders and for pushing the sport. I’m just not into the ones that are controlled by big-name companies that don’t have anything to do with snowboarding.

But isn’t that how you make the bank?

I’m very fortunate to have great sponsors who are totally involved in the sport. I’m not the type of person who looks for some big-money deal with some outside-the-industry sponsor. I work pretty closely with all my sponsors because it’s a direct representation of myself.

Did you get to work closely with the Reef girls? TransWorld got a few letters about those ads. What did you think?

I’ve got a wife¿I don’t need to look at those Reef girls.

Oh, I get it. You’re like a surfer, so you’re only looking at the waves in the background. How long have you been a surfer?

I’ve been surfing for about eighteen years, and I still suck. I don’t even feel that it’s a sport, it’s more of a way of life. Living in Southern California it’s just something that you do. I love it. I really look up to pro surfers, like I get all nervous when I meet them or see them around.

You live in So Cal, and you have a house in Tahoe. What happened to Utah?

Well, I grew up in Southern California and started riding up at Big Bear, California. Then I wanted to better myself as a snowboarder and not just be able to ride man-made terrain, so I moved to Utah where I tried to get better at natural terrain and learn to ride real mountains. I lived there for about five years, and that’s when I met Mike Hatchett and Mack Dawg, so I started traveling around and also hanging out in Tahoe. I really liked Lake Tahoe because there’s so much terrain there. So I moved there, and I love it.

In the five years you’ve been filming with Standard and Mack Dawg, have you ever gotten burned-out?

Filming is something that doesn’t really feel like work. I have good friends I work with, so it’s just the best thing ever to go out and find cool stuff to shoot. It’s pretty darn fun. When I’m out filming, I’m having a good time, and I’m not just looking for some crazy stunt to do. I want people to get stoked to snowboard when they watch a snowboard movie, so I just try to make snowboarding look fun … which it is.

Are you not just looking for crazy stunts ’cause you’re old?

I’m not old¿you just think I am! I’m only 32, but I feel like I’m still seventeen or something. I just try to have a really good time, so I guess I feel young. Taking things too seriously makes you feel old. I try to surround myself with people who have fun. I love riding with J.P. Walker, Jeremy Jones, Mikey LeBlanc, Brian Thien, and that crew because they have fun all the time.

Golly gee, everything’s fun. Has anything ever gone wrong for you while snowboarding?

Of course. There are many times when I get really frustrated with what’s going on. I’ve had days where I was out hitting some jump all day long and getting worked, and I’d come home all broken down and depressed because I couldn’t land anything. I’ve traveled to places in the middle of nowhere and sat in a small cabin for a week because it was a blizzard outside. But at least I’m not working in some office, right?

Ouch. What about things going wrong in the backcountry?

The backcountry can be a pretty dangerous place. I’m learning every day about keeping safe while out there. I’ve been in some pretty hairy situations being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’ve been in some small avalanches and some big sloughs, but I’ve never been buried, thank God. The backcountry is a great place to snowboard, and it’s pretty safe if you treat it with respect and if you get yourself educated. You shouldn’t go out there blindly.

If you could change one thing in snowboarding, what would it be?

I guess I wish I’d started younger. But about snowboarding, I think it will change by itself. It just has to go through its growing pains.

See, you are old. And because old people are wise, tell us, what makes a man a man?

You’ve got me. I told you I still feel like a teenager. Maybe a hairy chest makes a man a man.

Great, now that we know what separates the men from the boys, what separates an average shredder from a great one?

Big question. I think that would be style and creativity. I really like watching snowboarders who have style. Nowadays people seem to be more concerned with flipping through the air than having good style while they’re in the air. Being that snowboarding came from surf and skateboard culture, I’m into people who have a style that comes from those sports. I’m also pretty stoked to see riders who can adapt to different aspects in snowboarding. Just because you can rip the park and do all these cool new tricks doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a great snowboarder. Most of the time spent snowboarding is on the snow, so you need to be able to carve and turn your board like it’s part of your body. I hate seeing people just slide their boards around and go off jumps without getting that feeling of your board bending under your feet on a nice turn.

Now for the most stock question ever: do you want to thank anyone?

Of course I would like to thank my sponsors: Burton, Nixon, Hurley, Reef, Oakley, and Snowaccess.com; my wife Shannon; my parents and family; God; the filmers and photographers I work with; and everyone who’s ever come up to me and said, “Hi.” yourself educated. You shouldn’t go out there blindly.

If you could change one thing in snowboarding, what would it be?

I guess I wish I’d started younger. But about snowboarding, I think it will change by itself. It just has to go through its growing pains.

See, you are old. And because old people are wise, tell us, what makes a man a man?

You’ve got me. I told you I still feel like a teenager. Maybe a hairy chest makes a man a man.

Great, now that we know what separates the men from the boys, what separates an average shredder from a great one?

Big question. I think that would be style and creativity. I really like watching snowboarders who have style. Nowadays people seem to be more concerned with flipping through the air than having good style while they’re in the air. Being that snowboarding came from surf and skateboard culture, I’m into people who have a style that comes from those sports. I’m also pretty stoked to see riders who can adapt to different aspects in snowboarding. Just because you can rip the park and do all these cool new tricks doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a great snowboarder. Most of the time spent snowboarding is on the snow, so you need to be able to carve and turn your board like it’s part of your body. I hate seeing people just slide their boards around and go off jumps without getting that feeling of your board bending under your feet on a nice turn.

Now for the most stock question ever: do you want to thank anyone?

Of course I would like to thank my sponsors: Burton, Nixon, Hurley, Reef, Oakley, and Snowaccess.com; my wife Shannon; my parents and family; God; the filmers and photographers I work with; and everyone who’s ever come up to me and said, “Hi.”