It’s a typically stormy fall afternoon on the Washington coast. A good twenty or so bodies bob up and down on surfboards as five to six foot waves roll through in sporadic bursts. The swell isn’t exactly clean, but hoods are down (a rarity in these cold, black waters) and the waves are satisfying enough, so everyone stays out for hours. The only thing unusual about this day is that the waters seem a little more crowded than usual. But then that’s probably because the day has a purpose beyond surfing, it’s also a day of celebration for a mish- mash group of friends who’ve been coming to this spot for years. It’s Jamie Lynn’s 23rd birthday.

Jamie floats somewhere in the middle of the pack. It’s easy to recognize him by his flaming red hair (the color of the week) as he pumps a few powerful strokes and then pops up comfortably catching the breaking swell. Flowing effortlessly up and down on the wave, he rides it in, then drops to his stomach and paddles back out for more with a smile on his face. This is one of the places where he appears to feel at home. All the elements are present: his friends, the ocean, a cloudy sky, he’s on his turf for a minute instead of on the road.

Six months later and 3,000 miles across the Pacific ocean in Tsugaike, Japan at the Jeff Fulton Snowboard Camp Jamie stands in the middle of a group of people posing for a handful of cameras. With a big smile, he flashes the thumbs up sign over and over appearing about as comfortable in the middle of this fan club feeding frenzy as he was when he was surrounded by his friends back in Washington. This is Jamie now half way through 23, and he really isn’t much different than he was six months earlier and probably won’t be much different six months from now. He’s a little wiser, obviously has a few more stamps in his passport, but he treats today like he treats every day–enjoying it all minute by minute as he continues to skate comfortably on his journey through life.

From the camp he provides Snowboarding Online with interview number 6,364. Well, okay he wasn’t really sure how many interviews he has given since his popularity explosion in the early 90s, but regardless this is it. Another momentary peep show into Jamie Michael Lynn’s life.

The Basics
Roots: Born September 23, 1973 in Vancouver, Washington and grew up in the back of a VW bug.

Snowboarding history: He has been riding plastic coated pieces of wood for ten years.

Sponsors: Lib Tech, Sessions, Dragon

SOL: It’s kind of amusing to watch you in Japan or actually anywhere, but especially in Japan because you receive an incredible amount of attention when you’re around snowboarders and snowboarding events. Is this ever difficult or is it no big deal most of the time?

JL: Sometimes it’s difficult just when I want to be in my own world. When the environment that I am in is one of public visibility it’s not so private anymore. But it’s my job to accept that and to learn to deal with it, mostly because I like the interaction between people because from every person that I have met, I have learned something from them either good or bad. To say that I wouldn’t want that anymore would be to cut myself off from a lot of knowledge.

SOL: Do you remember the first time someone asked you for your autograph?

JL: It was probably the first time I came to Japan about six years ago. For me just coming over to Japan as an unknown rider and them wanting an autograph kind of raises the questions of why they would really want that in the first place.

SOL: When you are in the snowboarding world you’re constantly being watched, do you ever get self-conscious about all of the attention?

JL: Again, that’s something that I try not to be too conscious of because I really don’t think that you as a person should change regardless of your position in the sport that you strap a piece of wood, metal, and plastic to your feet and ride down the hill on.

SOL: What is the biggest change you’ve seen in snowboarding over the last ten years?

JL:The loss of soul and spirit, and that is directly related to larger money driven companies who are not driven by the love of the sport, but more driven by the dollars it can generate.

SOL:That’s the negative, what about the positive?

JL: A positive for me is just being able to travel and snowboard in places I never would have if I didn’t have the chance to do it through snowboarding.

SOL:Who has been your biggest influence both in your riding and in life?

JL:Milarapa. He’s one of the founders of Tibetan Buddhism.
One of the foremost lamas and teachers in Bhuddism. Through his teachings it directs my path on snowboarding and in life.

SOL: If you gave up snowboarding as career tomorrow, what would you spend your time doing?

JL:First, I would stay home for about a month and spend time with my family, and then probably go to art school, and then go on a long bike ride.

SOL:Speaking of bikes, what’s up with the GT ad? (Jamie appeared in a mountain bike ad for GT in TransWorld SNOWboarding earlier this season.)

JL: I have my beginnings riding bikes and I raced for a little bit before I started skateboarding. Riding for GT was pretty much an offer through a friend of a friend. It’s basically the use of a professional snowboarder as a marketing tool to sell products for them to snowboarders.

SOL:Is that sarcasm in your voice?

JL:It’s not so much sarcastic as much as it is a realization. A lot of the people at GT come from a different background than snowboarding, but they’re nice and helpful. Brian Gas and Todd Corbitt are two of the guys that were instrumental in working that out. It was a trade off, I did an ad and got some bikes. But also I did it with the understanding that it’s beneficial to use mountain biking as a conditioning tool for snowboarding.

SOL:Do you ever feel like marketing tool for pushing snowboarding products? I know this is a weird question to answer cause you don’t want to bum any of your sponsors out.

JL: To say no would be ignorant to the fact that that’s how business works. In my mind I try to keep it the farthest I can away from that notion. But it’s how people make their living, and if I can make a living doing something I love to do I wouldn’t want to squander that opportunity. That’s why I just surround myself with people that help me and that makes me want to help them.

SOL: What do you think of training and the whole attitude people have about it these days? Doing things like mountain biking or whatever to make you a better snowboarder. Some people criticize training and say that it’s wrecking the freedom of snowboarding.

JL: I just think my lifestyle is fortunate enough that I love to ride bikes, skate, surf, and it just happens to be that those are sports that are physically demanding. This keeps you in good physical condition so it’s kind of an unconscious training for snowboarding.

SOL: It seems that you’re fairly proficient at everything you try be it art or snowboarding. Is there anything that you’ve tried that you’ve never been able to get or do you just pursue every activity until you get good at it?

JL: There are two things that drive me to pick something up and to excel at it. The desire to do it and the love for whatever it is that you try to achieve whether it’s a sport or a painting or a chord on the guitar. If you don’t have the will, the love, the desire inside then it doesn’t propel you to learn or to keep you focused.

SOL: Is there anything you’re not good at?

JL: Probably working a day job. That’s mostly because I haven’t tried it yet though

SOL: You’ve never had a job, no paper routes or something?

JL: I helped my parents grow sprouts.

SOL: Your parents are sprout farmers?

JL: They’ve been for nineteen years.

SOL: How did they get onto that?

JL: My father was a sprout apprentice.

SOL: Yeah, right.
JL: (Laughs) He worked for a guy who grew sprouts and I guess it was his divine destiny.

SOL: Mom and Dad, anyone else at home?

JL: I have two brothers.

SOL: Back to sports, I saw you racing at the Morrow Motocross last summer and you seem to be pretty into that sport. What is it about motocross that you like?

JL: It’s something that I always wanted to do as a kid but didn’t have what it took to support getting into it because it’s not a cheap sport. I like sports that you’re decision making is critical with your reflexes and your physical being, and riding a motorcycle poses those challenges. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake with motocross, the consequences are a lot higher than most other sports I have done in the past.

SOL: You’re also pretty into surfing. When did you first get interested in that? Does it ever seem odd to you that there is such a strong surf culture in Washington and Oregon?

JL: I started going out to the coast in Oregon and Washington six years ago and was introduced to it by my now team manager Paul Ferrel. He probably took me out there as someone to keep him company on the long drive out there. I have always had a love for the ocean and now I find that surfing is a way, because of its isolation and remoteness, it’s a good way to cleanse my sometimes clouded head.

SOL: What are your thoughts on surfing in the NW after having surfed around the world?

JL: There’s no place like home. It’s a lot different than throwing on a pair of trunks and walking across the street and jumping in the water. It’s cold and the waves are usually big. If something happens out there your usually on your own to get your butt out of trouble.

SOL: Are you speaking from experience?

JL: No, just mostly as a discouragement that it’s not California dreaming.

SOL: After snowboarding the world do you still find you enjoy snowboarding in the NW as much as you did when you started?

JL: Yes, and a lot has to do with the familiar aspects of knowing the terrain and knowing the people that ski and snowboard on my home mountains and the knowledge of when the conditions are best.

SOL: Do you have a mountain that you call home?

JL: The Cascade range is my home mountain, just cause of the close proximity to a lot of the ski areas.

SOL: You’re living in Seattle these days but building a house in Auburn, why Auburn?

JL: Fortunately enough through my endeavors in snowboarding it has made it financially possible for me to facilitate a place for me and my friends to have fun without the worry of the neighbors calling the cops or other things that have hindered the ability to have a good time while your young and still physically be able to have fun. It’s the longest place that I have lived. After living there for ten years, you start to get root, and after traveling to a lot of different areas in the world I have kind of come to an understanding of what I really want out of that kind of living environment, and that environment is being close to the mountains, somewhat close to the ocean, and near some peace and quiet.

SOL: Were you home much this season, and did you snowboard in the Northwest or were you busy with other things?

JL: This season was probably the first in a couple years that I got to ride a lot in the beginning of the season. I really made it a point to get the best days when the snow was good.

SOL: Were you at one mountain more than the rest?

JL: Not really at any one in particular, but there was a week when I went to all of the opening days starting with Mount Baker and then I went to Steven’s Pass and then opening day at Crystal.

SOL: What do you think about the progression of snowboardinbeen for nineteen years.

SOL: How did they get onto that?

JL: My father was a sprout apprentice.

SOL: Yeah, right.


JL: (Laughs) He worked for a guy who grew sprouts and I guess it was his divine destiny.

SOL: Mom and Dad, anyone else at home?

JL: I have two brothers.

SOL: Back to sports, I saw you racing at the Morrow Motocross last summer and you seem to be pretty into that sport. What is it about motocross that you like?

JL: It’s something that I always wanted to do as a kid but didn’t have what it took to support getting into it because it’s not a cheap sport. I like sports that you’re decision making is critical with your reflexes and your physical being, and riding a motorcycle poses those challenges. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake with motocross, the consequences are a lot higher than most other sports I have done in the past.

SOL: You’re also pretty into surfing. When did you first get interested in that? Does it ever seem odd to you that there is such a strong surf culture in Washington and Oregon?

JL: I started going out to the coast in Oregon and Washington six years ago and was introduced to it by my now team manager Paul Ferrel. He probably took me out there as someone to keep him company on the long drive out there. I have always had a love for the ocean and now I find that surfing is a way, because of its isolation and remoteness, it’s a good way to cleanse my sometimes clouded head.

SOL: What are your thoughts on surfing in the NW after having surfed around the world?

JL: There’s no place like home. It’s a lot different than throwing on a pair of trunks and walking across the street and jumping in the water. It’s cold and the waves are usually big. If something happens out there your usually on your own to get your butt out of trouble.

SOL: Are you speaking from experience?

JL: No, just mostly as a discouragement that it’s not California dreaming.

SOL: After snowboarding the world do you still find you enjoy snowboarding in the NW as much as you did when you started?

JL: Yes, and a lot has to do with the familiar aspects of knowing the terrain and knowing the people that ski and snowboard on my home mountains and the knowledge of when the conditions are best.

SOL: Do you have a mountain that you call home?

JL: The Cascade range is my home mountain, just cause of the close proximity to a lot of the ski areas.

SOL: You’re living in Seattle these days but building a house in Auburn, why Auburn?

JL: Fortunately enough through my endeavors in snowboarding it has made it financially possible for me to facilitate a place for me and my friends to have fun without the worry of the neighbors calling the cops or other things that have hindered the ability to have a good time while your young and still physically be able to have fun. It’s the longest place that I have lived. After living there for ten years, you start to get root, and after traveling to a lot of different areas in the world I have kind of come to an understanding of what I really want out of that kind of living environment, and that environment is being close to the mountains, somewhat close to the ocean, and near some peace and quiet.

SOL: Were you home much this season, and did you snowboard in the Northwest or were you busy with other things?

JL: This season was probably the first in a couple years that I got to ride a lot in the beginning of the season. I really made it a point to get the best days when the snow was good.

SOL: Were you at one mountain more than the rest?

JL: Not really at any one in particular, but there was a week when I went to all of the opening days starting with Mount Baker and then I went to Steven’s Pass and then opening day at Crystal.

SOL: What do you think about the progression of snowboarding over the last few years? There are those who like to claim that there are a lot of generic riders out there with no style… being one of the few who no one would ever say that about, what are your thoughts on snowboarding style today?

JL: That’s a weird question because for me snowboarding is a vehicle for one’s individual expression based on fun, and I don’t think anyone is really in the right to say who’s better or worse. To me as long as everyone is out there riding powder and having fun then that’s progression.

SOL: What’s the best thing or most important thing that snowboarding has taught you about yourself and about life?

JL: That you really only have yourself in this world. Just through all of the traveling, it breaks you down from the comforts of your friends, your family, your pillow, and all you’re really left with is what’s inside yourself. It puts you in a position to use your survival skills and just through those travels you are taught lessons the hard way and that’s through experience on your own.

SOL: Up to this point in your snowboarding career where is the place that you’ve been to outside of Washington that has been most memorable?

JL: There are a couple of different places. My first trip to Europe where I got a chance to snowboard in the Swiss and French Alps. And another one was getting early up privileges with Mike Hatchett and Standard Films at Squaw Valley on a blue sky two foot powder day. And another one would be getting a chance to snowboard in Greece. That’s a place that I never thought I would get a chance to travel to let alone snowboard in the mountains.

SOL: If you could never travel outside of the United States again beginning today, what would you miss most about jet setting around the world?

JL: Getting a chance to learn. To me the world’s like a class room. Not traveling would be like instead of learning a variety of different subjects it would be like getting taught the same things day after day.