What’s “super lame” in snowboarding?
I’m not going to say names, but there are a lot of people who put themselves on a crazy pedestal, above other people. I don’t agree with that shit. Just like the way some of the elders in snowboarding demand respect when they already have it. I can refer to skating—look at someone like Andrew Reynolds. He supports skating and he’s a humble dude, so people show him respect because he deserves it. I feel like a lot of people in snowboarding are just insecure or something and they demand this crazy respect that’s already in place. And they do lame shit that just makes them look ridiculous. Rather than embracing the new generation, they’re trying to be like, “We’re still the best, show some respect; pay your dues.” People already know you’re a legend, you don’t have to be weird about it.
Have you dealt with this firsthand?
I’ve never had to deal with it, but I read about it, see it in videos. It kind of makes me cringe, gives me some secondhand embarrassment.
How many street parts do you think you can put out? What comes next?
I think about that. Maybe I will get into powder. You know backcountry and big-mountain snowboarding isn’t too different from snowboarding in the street. You go to a mountain, they’re all different. You go to a city, they’re all different. Different shit to hit. There’s always new shit to do, it’s just figuring out what that is. There’s still so much potential in the street: new ways to see it and portray it. That’s what I get psyched on. Even working with new filmers and doing something different. There’s so much creatively still to be done.
So you’re not buying a sled and moving to Whistler anytime soon?
No. Someday I might try to film in the backcountry, but I’m never gonna have a truck and a sled and live in Whistler. You can quote me on that. It’s never gonna happen.
What about a halfpipe comeback? Could you put together a run?
I don’t think so [laughs]. I still love riding halfpipe—it’s so sweet—but the people running halfpipe competition, like FIS, they’re a bunch of f—king kooks. I don’t have any interest in dealing with that shit. Riding halfpipes is so fun, but the competition side of it is insane to me: coaches yelling at the kids and waxing their board for every run. The kids aren’t having fun at all. It’s f—ked. It’s just been completely ruined. I couldn’t be around that anymore.
It kinds of makes you feel bad that snowboarding has gotten to that point.
Yeah, totally. It’s so weird to me how that has happened. Another ironic thing is that my family actually runs a coaching program called Riders On Board. It’s different than a traditional snowboarding program. It’s not about yelling at the kids or pushing them to do shit they don’t want to do. It’s about having fun— more like a mentoring program. I think it’s great. It also gives me the opportunity to get out and ride with local kids. There are a lot of young people coming up in snowboarding who aren’t into competing. Some kids enjoy it, they have that competitive nature and I’m not hating on that.
But say you were hating on it. Do you feel it’s risky for you or other pro riders to criticize something going on in snowboarding? Isn’t that the big taboo?
Yeah, for sure. I know exactly what you’re saying. I don’t really care. I’ll say what I think. A lot of snowboarders are pussies. Like, everybody has to be friends with everyone else; everyone has to agree on everything. That’s one thing in snowboarding that’s completely different than every other part of my life. In snowboarding nobody wants to have confrontation in any way. Even when I know something is bothering somebody, no one ever says anything about it. People get away with a lot of shit that they shouldn’t, at least in my eyes.
Do you have any other wisdom to share with kids out there?
Well, yeah. We’re just normal-ass dudes. Just like normal people. I want kids to know that they can do this shit, too. It’s just putting the work in. I did kind of start fresh, and I wasn’t that good at rails. A lot of kids come up to me and ask me, “How did you get to where you’re at?” Here’s my answer: Pretty much, just go snowboarding. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but just be yourself. Don’t try to impress people or feel forced to go jump down something that you don’t want to jump down. Don’t focus on sponsorship. If it’s gonna happen, it’ll just happen.
Kids think these snowboarders are just so different from them. Every one of my friends that’s a pro snowboarder, they’re all exactly the same as you. Some kid got my number and phoned me yesterday, like, “Hello, is this Jed?” I’m like, “Yeah, what’s up?” He was like, “I can believe it’s really you. That’s so sweet that you like, talk.” I was like, “What do you mean?” I’m a normal-ass kid. When I’m home I hang out with my friends, I go skateboarding, go to the river to swim. But I used to be the same way. I remember meeting Mikey LeBlanc and tripping out. Or perfect example, when I first met Laurent [LNP], I couldn’t even believe that I was snowboarding with him. I was fully starstruck. We went to Subway the first day I met him and I asked him—so creepily, so awkwardly—like, “Are those the pants you were wearing in Bandwagon?” And he was just like, “What?” Then I was like, “Nothing, nothing. Don’t worry about it.” I was just thinking, “I’m stupid, I’m stupid, why would I ask that?” I know him now and he’s so normal, but then I thought of him as this higher guy. When you look up to people so much then see them in person, it’s just a trip.
Even though I’m talking about this and I think kids shouldn’t be scared or feel awkward to come say what’s up, last night I saw Gigi [Rüf] and I was thinking, “Damn this is pretty cool.” So I’m still kind of that kid, fully a fan of snowboarding.