By Nathan Goss

On September 19, 1978, Neil and I both received bicycles and with them, our first taste of freedom. We’d get up in the morning, jump on our pedal-powered machines and tear around the court until CHiPs or the street lights came on. That Christmas everyone in the neighborhood received bikes. Soon after, the Teal Court Eastsiders

were born.

The T.C.E. was a pretty tough bike crew to run with. There was a

grueling initiation to endure, which consisted of being locked in J.R.’s

haunted garage for fifteen slowly counted seconds, and a dead arm given to you by every member of the crew. We completed the tasks at hand without hesitation, but the last one was tricky for Neil: you had to be at least five years old to get in. At age six, this was no problem for me, but Neil was only four. The gang got together and decided the only way he could become a member was if he tested all the new jumps we found. This began a trend that stayed with Neil throughout his life. He got in the Eastsiders, and eventually Neil and I ran the crew.

Are you affiliated with any other gangs besides the Teal Court

Eastsiders?

Yeah, after the Teal Court Eastsiders broke up I joined the Twenty-Inch Mafia with you and Andy another brother. Remember, we had to step-up to the big f¿kers BMX bikes. But the Teal Court Eastsiders will stay with me forever.

Where do you live and who do you run with now?

I live in Grass Valley, California, just below North Lake Tahoe, with Papa Goss. I run with a gang called the T.S.H.M.¿Tahoe Sled Head Mafia. I also get support from the Trulli Clan in Finland.

Are you a sledneck?

No, a sledneck is a redneck who rides snowmobiles. The T.S.H.M.

lives too close to the city to be true slednecks.

What do you do with your time when you’re not snowboarding or sledding?

I’m interested in learning how to make films.

How’s the film thing going? Do you have any projects in the works?

Yeah, I’m working on a couple of things right now. My friend Joe

and I are writing a screenplay for a movie that will hopefully go into

production this winter.

Would you like to pursue a career in film down the road?

I would like to, but it will be a while. I finally have a chance to focus 100 percent on snowboarding. I want to see how good I can get at hucking myself off jumps and trying to land on my feet, while looking like I’m in control the whole time.

Did you have any injuries last year?

I broke my collarbone on my dirt bike last summer at Mt. Hood, but I was healthy throughout last winter.

Do you go to Mt. Hood every summer?

I’ve been up there three summers since I started riding. I coached at H.C.S.C. High Cascade Snowboard Camp a few sessions, but I don’t like to stay at Government Camp all summer.

Did you go anywhere unique last season?

I took a trip to Japan for a trade show and helped judge a

contest/demo. It was super fun. Then I went to Finland at the beginning of the summer to work with the Powder Room Snowboard Camp. We took an overnight cruise to Sweden, then headed to Norway for the camp. I got to teach kids from all over the world new tricks. I taught one guy from Vermont how to do the sickest McTwists and I can’t even do McTwists!

What’s up with the Trulli Clan?

The Trulli Clan is the toughest gang in Finland. They’re run by a

group of teens who snowboard better than most pros. I thought they were going to beat me up and steal my girlfriend, but they turned out to be super cool guys.

A lot of people seem to be moving toward techno and hip-hop for motivation on the hill. What gets Neil Goss ready to ride?

I like h-hop and techno, too. It’s good music to listen to

when you’re in the right frame of mind and the right environment, but to motivate myself for shredding I like good old rock. Hard rock, like

Metallica or Black Sabbath.

Have you always been a “rocker”?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been into rock. Even when you and Andy were into Run DMC and all that, I was into Guns ‘n’ Roses, dude!

Tell us a little bit about rollin’ seven deep in the Dodge Caravan to Boreal every weekend for the twelve-hour sessions.

Man, the Caravan trips were the shiznit! We would drive three-and-a-half hours to Donner Summit, seven deep, in that hunk of Dodge. We’d arrive at 9:00 a.m. and head straight for the liftline. We would have our gear on for the entire trip since there was no room for excess baggage with seven guys plus boards inside the van. We’d ride until the lifts shut down at 9:00 p.m., get back in the Dodge, and drive home three-and-a-half hours in our cold, wet snow clothes.

Are those trips one of the reasons you got hooked?

Those trips definitely got me hooked! All of us just started

snowboarding at that time. We would fall down the hill together, but we

still had a lot of fun! As a group just learning, we fed off each other

and motivated one another to progress quickly.

Do you still see the “Caravan crew”?

The crew gets together every now and then, but we all went our

separate ways. Most of those guys are living in the Bay Area now, deejaying and working. Guess I was the only one who fell in love with snowboarding, or just had nothing better to do. Either way, I’m happy, they’re happy, and we all get together to ride a couple times a year.

What do you think of the Winter Olympics?

The Olympics require goofy uniforms and a fat ass. My neighbor, the figure skater, is perfect for the Olympics, huge ass. No, in all

seriousness, snowboarding in the Olympics is a totally different sport

from the snowboarding I do. I like the creative side that can be captured on film and enjoyed over and over, not having judges say if the trick I’ve performed was executed with proper form and style.

Are the Olympics key to broadening snowboarding’s popularity?

No, I don’t think the Olympics are important to snowboarding’s

popularity. I mean, if the snowboarding industry thinks figure skating and bobsledding have the type of image we’re looking for, then sure, but I personally would like to see snowboarding stick to its surfing and

skateboarding roots.

How do you feel about the media’s interest in snowboarding?

A lot of people within the media are getting into the snowboard industry now that it’s growing so much and that’s cool¿as long as they don’t make snowboarding look stupid.

What goals do you have for the first winter of the new millennium?

I hope we have a lot of snow this winter ’cause my goal is to

ride as much powder as I can.

What changes have you seen in snowboarding?

There have been big changes in snowboarding. Many of the smaller companies have disappeared, which has made it much more difficult to become a professional snowboarder. People are pushing themselves so hard to stay on top, it’s made the sport progress rapidly.

I hear you recently picked up Jack’s Garage as a shop sponsor?

Yeah, Jack’s Garage rocks! My friend Brent has worked there for a few years now. The last time I went to see him I realized they carry all the companies I support. We had a lot in common, so I jumped on board.

Would you like to thank anyone else for helping you on your way?

Thanks for asking. I would like to thank Sims for the sweet rides,

much thanks to Spy for making me look cooler than I am, Gravis for the kicks, Blue Bird wax, Go Ped for the sweet toys, my dad for the tons of support (too much to list), Powder Room Snowboard Camp, the owners of Jack’s surf shop, Sugar Bowl ski resort, my mom for all her love and support, and of course you for kicking my ass all those years so I could make it this far. Much love, brotha!

 

 

Pull Quotes:

I want to see how good I can get at hucking myself off jumps and trying to land on my feet, while looking like I’m in control the whole time.

I personally would like to see snowboarding stick to its surfing and skateboarding roots.

People are pushing themselves so hard to stay on top, it’s made the sport progress rapidly.

x, Go Ped for the sweet toys, my dad for the tons of support (too much to list), Powder Room Snowboard Camp, the owners of Jack’s surf shop, Sugar Bowl ski resort, my mom for all her love and support, and of course you for kicking my ass all those years so I could make it this far. Much love, brotha!

 

 

Pull Quotes:

I want to see how good I can get at hucking myself off jumps and trying to land on my feet, while looking like I’m in control the whole time.

I personally would like to see snowboarding stick to its surfing and skateboarding roots.

People are pushing themselves so hard to stay on top, it’s made the sport progress rapidly.