Lucas Huffman Interview

Lukas Huffman

Intro by Lukas

Interview by Jesse Huffman

Check it out. Here’s the Lukas interview, which I’m understandably pretty excited about. I hope you enjoy the pictures and get pumped to go snowboarding and have some fun. I know I was having a real good time when all this went down.

Let’s start at the beginning: My twin brother Jesse and I were born in Randolph, Vermont 22 years ago. We then moved fifteen minutes up the road to Montpelier–the smallest state capital and the only one without a McDonald’s. We spent the next eighteen years learning the ropes, Vermont style. Somewhere in there, about ten years ago, I gave snowboarding a shot. Now I’ve migrated to the West Coast–Vancouver, British Colombia, to be exact–where I’ve found whiter and fluffier pastures. Since the days of having my parents drive me to the slope every weekend, a lot has changed.

Now, about the words: I’ve got my opinions and views on life, and they work well for me. Read them if you want to know what I’m about, but remember not to be afraid to figure your own shit out. As you digest all this, realize that sometimes I know what I’m talking about, and sometimes I really don’t.–Lukas Huffman

How did you get introduced to our strange way of interacting with the winter environment?

I noticed people years ago sliding sideways down the slope. At that point in my life I skateboarded a lot, and the general concept of snowboarding is that it looks like you’re skateboarding. It looked like fun, and I found out it was.

 

You like to jump off a lot of big things. How does fear play into your snowboarding?

Fear is such an important thing. If you’re never scared, you’re dumb and can really hurt yourself. It’s neat to feel fear, but to still check out what you’re doing to make sure it’s safe. If I feel nervous or unsettled, I’m unable to perform. I get scared, but I’m never unsafe.

What’s the difference between confidence and cockiness?

Confidence is a settling of mind and body, whereas cockiness involves a bit of showmanship. When someone’s cocky, they seem to need to make some sort of impression; when someone’s confident, they’re not worried about the impression they’re going to make. Confidence is a good thing to have throughout life–it comes from proving things to yourself. Cockiness has a lot to do with proving things to other people.

If confidence is part of your ego, do you find it can sometimes overwhelm the rest of your personality and make it hard for you to be a balanced individual?

Confidence can always boost an ego, and it’s great to feel good about oneself, but it’s good to take a walk sometimes and breathe it down. Or, when I take a real good fall and slam, I’m immediately brought back to reality.

And you keep it all in perspective.

Yeah–I can come hurdling off a big rock and stomp it like nobody’s business, but that doesn’t mean I can go into the city and start talking about physics with someone. I might be good in my field, but there are a billion other fields and different aspects of life that other people know.

Now that snowboarding has turned into a full-blown career, how have your priorities changed?

The last couple of years I’ve been focusing on filming a lot. It’s pretty cool because it provides projects–for example, shooting photos for this interview or trying to film a good video part. It’s a real sense of accomplishment when I’m driving home at the end of the day after stomping a trick I wanted to do, or shooshing a line I had in mind. These are goals that have popped up since I’ve grown, and snowboarding as a career has actually become a reality. I think everyone has to change as their lives change.

Anotheroal year after year is to learn new tricks and try to progress. That’s the cool thing about snowboarding–it’s always progressing. Every year airs are getting bigger and better; it’s fun to try to keep up with that and push myself. I’m always trying to improve at freeriding, too. For example, becoming more comfortable doing steep, blind lines, or navigating pillow lines–things like that. It’s important to feel comfortable and confident on the old-school shred stick whatever the situation.

However, my number-one priority has always been to have fun in any situation. I’ve always told myself if I ever stop having fun snowboarding, I’ll move on to something else. Also, I find if I’m not having fun, I don’t snowboard as well. My philosophy is good snowboarding and having a good time go hand in hand. As my life changes, new priorities materialize, but there are some things that don’t and hopefully won’t change.

Do you get a different satisfaction from this newer involvement?

Yeah, it’s satisfying when I sit down in the fall and check out my video, or when this issue arrives at my door and I see my interview–I’m going to freak out! It’s crazy, I feel like I’ve really achieved something. Not that I didn’t feel that way before, but I’m finally reaching some major goals.

It can sometimes be easy to take all this for granted. What do you do to stay grounded in the reality that shredding for a job is a very high privilege?

I always try to take a step back from everything to check out what’s going on. It looks like this: most winter days I’m on the mountain (snowmobiling, hiking, or going up on the lift), and snowboarding the best stuff possible. This is interjected with trips to Europe and around the States. And, I get paid to do all this. That’s great; I find appreciating it is easy. Things can get blinding at times, though, so it’s good to try to see things from a different perspective. It’s also so important to acknowledge the blessed life we lead. If I didn’t appreciate all this, I’d have my head up my ass.

How do you feel about being a marketing tool for a specific lifestyle?

It enables me to have my snowmobile and my car, so that’s nice. The position I’m in right now is one I’ve fantasized about for a while–it seems all right. And the thing is, I’m excited about the companies I work for, like Nitro, Northwave, and Sessions. I support the way they do their business.

What kind of involvement do you have with the product you ride?

It’s become a little more in-depth in the last couple of years. With the snowboards it’s awesome, I get to go down and hang out at the Nitro design studio with Mike Dawson, who is amazing. We basically tell him all our ideas and concepts on graphics, and he creates the physical evidence. So, that’s cool. Next year’s Nitro boards are straight from the minds of the riders: they are the exact shapes we all want to ride, and they’ve got the graphics on them we want to see. It’s pretty much another cool project where I get to see my ideas materialize. And the same goes with Sessions; I just went down there and had a couple design meetings.

How did growing up in Vermont affect your outlook on life?

Well, a lot of good people are in Vermont, like my family and the group of friends I grew up with. My family has always been supportive of the decisions I make, so that has given me the courage to do what I think are the right things, and to try to make the right choices in life. My friends from Vermont are awesome. They’re all real cool, smart kids. Most of them go to college now, so it’s sweet to hang out with them and chat about the rest of the world. They remind me of things other than snowboarding.

Also, Vermont is beautiful and full of cool things to do, especially as a kid. In the summer, there’s lots of hiking and biking to be had in the mountains; when it’s hot and humid, there are tons of lakes and streams to chill in; and the cold-ass winters yield some real good snowboarding. If it weren’t for Vermont, I wouldn’t have been introduced to snowboarding. It has really helped me to appreciate and take advantage of the outdoors, and has inspired my positive outlook on life. Vermont helped me to grow up strong so I could take on the world.

Are you some kind of sap with all this positive stuff going on?

I’m not a sap, but more like a locomotive of positivity.

How did you end up in Whistler?

I saw pictures, and it was pretty simple. When I graduated from high school in ’96 I lived in Jackson for a year, and that was awesome. There’s only so much you can do when you’re eighteen in the States, though. I wanted to snowboard real bad, and I wanted a cool place to live–Whistler had a combination of the two, so I decided that’s where I should go. There’s lots of extracurricular stuff to do there–especially if you’re under 21.

And now?

Well, after living in Jackson Hole and Whistler, this year I moved to North Vancouver, which really helps me remain balanced. Hanging in Whistler was super fun, and I have so many great friends there, but Vancouver’s a nice change. I can listen to live music any day of the week, although I haven’t been able to enjoy it at all lately because I haven’t been around. Depending on what my mood is, I can do jazz if I want to go mellow, or I can look for some funky dance if I want to go hype. And there are tons of people surrounding me who don’t even know what snowboarding is. It makes me appreciate what I’m doing. I share my life with them, and they think it’s crazy. It’s good to be in the city for a change to remember everything else going on out in the world.

So, you find it’s important to maintain a good balance and perspective on life.

Yeah, it’s common sense that everyone needs to stay balanced. It’s good to have some intense shredding, but it’s also important to step outside the whirlwind and slow down to see what else is going on. And then, once I check it out, I think about how much I like what snowboarding’s doing, and I get all energized to go again.

What do you involve yourself with when you’re not snowboarding or on the phone?

Ha, when I’m not snowboarding or on the phone, huh? Well, I’ve been really bad the last month, but I like to read quite a bit. I just started reading The Celestine Prophecy. Have you heard about that?

I think I’ve heard the name.

Yeah, it’s a cool book–nothing groundbreaking, but it’s fun to read just to keep my mind active. Also, in the summertime I always like to return to Vermont to see my family and friends–I don’t get to see them very often.

What kind of plans do you have for the future?

Oh, besides world domination and a massive outbreak of hepatitis?

Yeah.

I was planning on snowboarding for a couple more years. Things just keep getting better and better by the year, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it–that’s what I say. But in the big picture, next on my list of things to do is go to college to study and learn, and then I’m going to …

Become a responsible member of society?

Yep, just slip right in and see what it’s like being part of society–but that also keeps getting vaguer by the year. Hey, I’d like to plug a great quote from our brother Eric Huffman, who said, “Life is like jazz.” You see, there’s this snowboard solo going on right now, and I foresee a big academic solo coming up. Then I’m not really sure what’s next–there might be a big horn session. But yeah, I’m going to school In the summer, there’s lots of hiking and biking to be had in the mountains; when it’s hot and humid, there are tons of lakes and streams to chill in; and the cold-ass winters yield some real good snowboarding. If it weren’t for Vermont, I wouldn’t have been introduced to snowboarding. It has really helped me to appreciate and take advantage of the outdoors, and has inspired my positive outlook on life. Vermont helped me to grow up strong so I could take on the world.

Are you some kind of sap with all this positive stuff going on?

I’m not a sap, but more like a locomotive of positivity.

How did you end up in Whistler?

I saw pictures, and it was pretty simple. When I graduated from high school in ’96 I lived in Jackson for a year, and that was awesome. There’s only so much you can do when you’re eighteen in the States, though. I wanted to snowboard real bad, and I wanted a cool place to live–Whistler had a combination of the two, so I decided that’s where I should go. There’s lots of extracurricular stuff to do there–especially if you’re under 21.

And now?

Well, after living in Jackson Hole and Whistler, this year I moved to North Vancouver, which really helps me remain balanced. Hanging in Whistler was super fun, and I have so many great friends there, but Vancouver’s a nice change. I can listen to live music any day of the week, although I haven’t been able to enjoy it at all lately because I haven’t been around. Depending on what my mood is, I can do jazz if I want to go mellow, or I can look for some funky dance if I want to go hype. And there are tons of people surrounding me who don’t even know what snowboarding is. It makes me appreciate what I’m doing. I share my life with them, and they think it’s crazy. It’s good to be in the city for a change to remember everything else going on out in the world.

So, you find it’s important to maintain a good balance and perspective on life.

Yeah, it’s common sense that everyone needs to stay balanced. It’s good to have some intense shredding, but it’s also important to step outside the whirlwind and slow down to see what else is going on. And then, once I check it out, I think about how much I like what snowboarding’s doing, and I get all energized to go again.

What do you involve yourself with when you’re not snowboarding or on the phone?

Ha, when I’m not snowboarding or on the phone, huh? Well, I’ve been really bad the last month, but I like to read quite a bit. I just started reading The Celestine Prophecy. Have you heard about that?

I think I’ve heard the name.

Yeah, it’s a cool book–nothing groundbreaking, but it’s fun to read just to keep my mind active. Also, in the summertime I always like to return to Vermont to see my family and friends–I don’t get to see them very often.

What kind of plans do you have for the future?

Oh, besides world domination and a massive outbreak of hepatitis?

Yeah.

I was planning on snowboarding for a couple more years. Things just keep getting better and better by the year, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it–that’s what I say. But in the big picture, next on my list of things to do is go to college to study and learn, and then I’m going to …

Become a responsible member of society?

Yep, just slip right in and see what it’s like being part of society–but that also keeps getting vaguer by the year. Hey, I’d like to plug a great quote from our brother Eric Huffman, who said, “Life is like jazz.” You see, there’s this snowboard solo going on right now, and I foresee a big academic solo coming up. Then I’m not really sure what’s next–there might be a big horn session. But yeah, I’m going to school and I’ll see where it takes me.

Would you like to thank anyone?

Word up to everyone I’ve had a good time with–you know who you are. Thanks to my parents Ben and Kristin; my brothers and sister–Jesse, Eric, Jake, and Polly; and my sponsors Nitro, Northwave, Drake, Sessions, Dragon, and DaKine. Also to the TRP, especially Corbett and Sanchez; everyone who let me stay on their couch; any photographers who pointed their gear in my direction; my crew from Montpelier–too many names to drop; Whistler dogs Shandy, Jon, and Mike; my homies from Star Island; and, of course, my pair of killer boots.

 

Pull Quotes:

I’m not a sap, but more like a locomotive of positivity.

If I didn’t appreciate all this, I’d have my head up my ass.

If I feel nervous or unsettled, I’m unable to perform. I get scared, but I’m never unsafe.

The position I’m in right now is one I’ve fantasized about for a while–it seems all right.hool and I’ll see where it takes me.

Would you like to thank anyone?

Word up to everyone I’ve had a good time with–you know who you are. Thanks to my parents Ben and Kristin; my brothers and sister–Jesse, Eric, Jake, and Polly; and my sponsors Nitro, Northwave, Drake, Sessions, Dragon, and DaKine. Also to the TRP, especially Corbett and Sanchez; everyone who let me stay on their couch; any photographers who pointed their gear in my direction; my crew from Montpelier–too many names to drop; Whistler dogs Shandy, Jon, and Mike; my homies from Star Island; and, of course, my pair of killer boots.

 

Pull Quotes:

I’m not a sap, but more like a locomotive of positivity.

If I didn’t appreciate all this, I’d have my head up my ass.

If I feel nervous or unsettled, I’m unable to perform. I get scared, but I’m never unsafe.

The position I’m in right now is one I’ve fantasized about for a while–it seems all right.