Jason McAlister’s Interview

By Josh Dirksen and Dave Sypniewski

Do you have any idea how tough it is to be a world-class pro from the Northwest? Everything is in the boonies up here. It’s always raining and snowing, so nobody takes photos and rarely can you shoot video. All the cool shred companies are in California, and the contest hype is next to zero. To become a pro out of the Northwest you have to be good. Not only do you have to be good, but you’ve also gotta have some style. This ain’t no California man-made jump park. Each day brings new windlips and different terrain from the day before; there are no signs pointing to the good jumps. You have to be versatile, strong, and extremely creative. Jason fits this description.

More often than not people forget to look at the grand scheme of things. When I say that, I mean placing the elements of snowboarding into the world picture. Fashion, pro riders, product, style, hype, coolness, contests, chicks, dudes, and bindings all fit somewhere in the overall image of the world. When it comes down to it, snowboarding is no different than basketball, shuffleboard, or tennis. Snowboarding is just another recreational outlet people can choose. Don’t for a second think you’re cooler or more stylish than the kid on the swim team. You’re not. Jason knows this.

He recognizes his place in snowboarding and honors the fact that he’s fortunate enough to be a pro. He knows as a pro he is an ambassador of recreation and fun. He won the lottery of life. He helps people leave their jobs for the weekend and lose stress. He helps young kids feel good about themselves. He helps companies produce a better product. He works hard for his free money.¿Kris Jamieson

Josh: State your full name, and tell us about your life growing up?

I was born at home in the backwoods of a little town in southern Oregon in 1976. I was given a name only a hippie mom could have come up with, which I’m not going to reveal. I was about five when I named myself Jason McAlister.

I was raised with two brothers in Northern California by a wonderful single mom. We lived in a community some people might call a commune, but it wasn’t really like that. It was just a huge piece of property out in the country with a bunch of families living there. It was a great place to grow up; we had like 10,000 acres of land we could play on, ride motorcycles, and fish. It was twenty miles to the closest town, so we never had to worry about getting in any trouble with the police. Luckily, it was only an hour from Boreal and Donner Summit, so when I was fourteen I was able to learn how to snowboard. I moved to Eugene, Oregon when I was sixteen, and that’s where I met you, Josh. Then after high school I moved to Maui for like five months to learn how to surf. After that, I ended up in Bend with you, and have been here ever since.

When did you first start wearing shoes and cutting your hair?

I might have been raised by a hippie mom, but shoes and a haircut every now and again were a normal thing. I was raised a vegetarian and we didn’t have TV until I was sixteen, though.

Dave: Are you a lover or a fighter?

I don’t know if I’m a lover or a fighter. I have never been in a fight, and I have never been in love, so I don’t really now what I am. I think I would generally be called a lover ’cause I’m a pretty easy-going guy, and like to try to be friendly to everybody I meet. And I want to be in love, but I need to meet the perfect girl first, which is hard for me. I can never seem to find one I’m interested in and who likes me. I think it’s ’cause both my roommates are super-handsome guys, and all the girls like them. Oh well, I’ll find a girl sometime.

Who do you live with?

I live with Marcus Egge and Josh Dirksen. We have a super-cool house that Marcus owns. We all travel a lot, which has been good, and we all get to hang out and chill together when weret home. It’s always super fun hangin’ with the boys, and we always seem to have a lot of houseguests.

Who makes the most money?

I don’t know, those guys are both really good snowboarders, so I think they make more than I do. It doesn’t really matter to me, ’cause I’m just stoked we can all make a living at what we love to do.

You’re the last person in the house to get an interview; do you guys ever get jealous of each other?

I just think it’s cool we are all getting video and editorial coverage at the same time. It seems like all three of us had our best year ever, and I think it will only get better. I don’t think we ever get jealous of each other because we’re all doing well, and doing things we want to do, which makes us happy. Living with those guys has been the best thing that ever happened to me, because when I was getting started they used to drag me around on their trips, that helped me out a lot. It’s also cool riding with them because we go out and push each other, which is one of the most fun parts of snowboarding for me.

Back to the girls, I’ve seen you bust out on the dance floor, and I know that gets the chicks.

I’m generally pretty shy, but once I get a couple in me, I do like to dance. I think the liquid courage helps me out a lot. We finally got a big bar in Bend that has a dance floor everybody goes to on the weekends. It’s actually a lot of fun whoopin’ it up with all your friends and then going out dancing. As far as getting any chicks with my dance moves, that has never happened. Most of the girls I’ve met out dancing have never been worth taking out, and all the ones I want to ask out, I’m too shy to talk to.

What about a certain product called the bionic minnow, does that intimidate you?

Dirksen, you wish the bionic minnow could intimidate me. In fact, the only thing it is intimidating to is the bass you want to catch. That thing sucks, I don’t think you could catch anything with it even if you put bacon on the hook.

Do you have a personal tailor who takes in your snowboarding pants?

You know that is a pretty funny question ’cause I’ve been getting a lot of crap about that. Everybody seems to think I wear super-tight pants, and they tell me they look painted on. Before Whitey’s movie, The Revival, came out I heard it so much I was super nervous I would look funny in the movie, but I didn’t even notice. This winter Jeremy Jones called me up and told me he liked the way I rode, but that I needed bigger pants. So I tried to get some XLs but they still didn’t seem to look any better. I said f¿k it and didn’t worry about it anymore. Maybe I’ll try to get some “cool ones” for this winter.

What’s it like being a slumlord?

I don’t know what it’s like to be a slumlord ’cause I’m not one yet, but someday I hope to be. Actually my roommate Marcus Egge and I just got our first rental property a couple months ago. It’s a pretty nice place, so I don’t know if you could call it a slum. We’re actually trying to get properties that are pretty beat up and then fix them up to be nice homes for people to live in. So in theory, we are trying to get rid of slums. For now, fixing up houses is like a hobby we can do in the summer, the off season, to give us something new to do. I really like doing it and actually find it fun to be doing something that’s a lot of work and a great skill to know.

How did you find out about all this stuff? It sounds pretty complicated, did you have any help?

Marcus and I had been talking about trying to buy a fixer-upper for a while. This winter I was out in Utah with Whitey, and I saw this infomercial with millionaire Russ Whitney about the house-purchasing program on TV, so I ordered it. It cost quit a bit of money, and a lot of people gave me shit for it, but I didn’t care. Two weeks later I got this whole program including books, videos, CDs, and a coach I could talk to on the phone. It was pretty cool; I learned a whole lot, and now I have a pretty good understanding on how to be successful as a real-estate investor.

I think you’re about the only pro snowboarder who doesn’t wish he were a pro skateboarder instead. What other sports are you involved in besides snowboarding?

I used to skate a whole lot when I was younger, but I’m super accident prone. I was always getting hurt, so I quit. I never thought I’d like golf until I tried it, and it’s so fricking hard that it has me addicted. It has actually become one of my favorite things to do when I’m not riding. I also love the ocean, and surfing is one of the coolest sports I’ve ever done. It’s one of those sports I wish I could do every day, but living up in Oregon puts a little hinder on that. Someday I want to live somewhere tropical for part of the year so I can surf whenever.

How do you feel about Mt. Bachelor?

Mt. Bachelor sucks. Don’t get me wrong, the snowboarding is actually very fun if you know where to go, but the people running Bachelor are morons. We have tried real hard to work with them, but they just don’t seem to understand or want to be involved. Maybe someday they’ll come around. We’ll see.

Is this why you bought a snowmobile, so you wouldn’t have to deal with Mt. Bachelor?

That isn’t the only reason, but it sure is nice being able to go out snowmobiling instead of going to Bachelor.

Have you ever invented any tricks?

It’s funny you ask; Dano Pendygrasse and I were just down in Chile talking about how people are renaming tricks that already have names. Just kidding around with him, I told him that would be like me renaming the frontside 360 the Freaky Tweaky. He got a kick out of that and told everybody I named the trick the Mcali Twist. From that point on for the rest of the trip I got nonstop shit for it.

Sponsors and thank yous.

Salomon, Bonfire, Oakley, and Side Effect Snowboard Shop. Extra thanks to my parents, Will and Ben, Gus, Josh and Marcus, Quinn and Embry, Arty from FLF, and Whitey at Kingpin.

 

 

Pull Quotes

I don’t know if I’m a lover or a fighter. I have never been in a fight, and I have never been in love …

It cost quit a bit of money, and a lot of people gave me shit for it, but I didn’t care.

This winter Jeremy Jones called me up and told me he liked the way I rode, but that I needed bigger pants, so I tried to get some XLs but they still didn’t seem to look any better.

I was about five when I named myself Jason McAlister.

ogram including books, videos, CDs, and a coach I could talk to on the phone. It was pretty cool; I learned a whole lot, and now I have a pretty good understanding on how to be successful as a real-estate investor.

I think you’re about the only pro snowboarder who doesn’t wish he were a pro skateboarder instead. What other sports are you involved in besides snowboarding?

I used to skate a whole lot when I was younger, but I’m super accident prone. I was always getting hurt, so I quit. I never thought I’d like golf until I tried it, and it’s so fricking hard that it has me addicted. It has actually become one of my favorite things to do when I’m not riding. I also love the ocean, and surfing is one of the coolest sports I’ve ever done. It’s one of those sports I wish I could do every day, but living up in Oregon puts a little hinder on that. Someday I want to live somewhere tropical for part of the year so I can surf whenever.

How do you feel about Mt. Bachelor?

Mt. Bachelor sucks. Don’t get me wrong, the snowboarding is actually very fun if you know where to go, but the people running Bachelor are morons. We have tried real hard to work with them, but they just don’t seem to understand or want to be involved. Maybe someday they’ll come around. We’ll see.

Is this why you bought a snowmobile, so you wouldn’t have to deal with Mt. Bachelor?

That isn’t the only reason, but it sure is nice being able to go out snowmobiling instead of going to Bachelor.

Have you ever invented any tricks?

It’s funny you ask; Dano Pendygrasse and I were just down in Chile talking about how people are renaming tricks that already have names. Just kidding around with him, I told him that would be like me renaming the frontside 360 the Freaky Tweaky. He got a kick out of that and told everybody I named the trick the Mcali Twist. From that point on for the rest of the trip I got nonstop shit for it.

Sponsors and thank yous.

Salomon, Bonfire, Oakley, and Side Effect Snowboard Shop. Extra thanks to my parents, Will and Ben, Gus, Josh and Marcus, Quinn and Embry, Arty from FLF, and Whitey at Kingpin.

 

 

Pull Quotes

I don’t know if I’m a lover or a fighter. I have never been in a fight, and I have never been in love …

It cost quit a bit of money, and a lot of people gave me shit for it, but I didn’t care.

This winter Jeremy Jones called me up and told me he liked the way I rode, but that I needed bigger pants, so I tried to get some XLs but they still didn’t seem to look any better.

I was about five when I named myself Jason McAlister.