Salt Lake City’s got its fare share of dudes on boards–the city’s basically bursting at the seams with ‘em. But to let all these riders meld together into one giant image of a kid front-boarding a rail in tight jeans and a striped sweater just ain’t fare. So, in an effort to battle stereotypes and help you actually get to know some of the cast and characters of the SLC snow-pro scene, we introduce Mr. Jon Kooley. A Salt Lake resident by way of Alaska, Kooley has made his mark on the shred world over the past few years filming with Mack Dawg and more recently Kids Know, as well as being tall and technical, mellow and positive.
How old are you?
Who are your sponsors?
Santa Cruz, Holden, IS Design, Celsius, Coal, MiloSport, Lifetime, Union Bindings and Level.
Why do you live in Salt Lake?
The mountains are awesome, and the fact that the city gets snow is really sweet, too.
What’s growing up riding in Alaska like?
The scene was really small, but we had a tight group of friends. The ERC; that was my crew. We would go up almost every day after school and shred. It was only night riding, but those were some of the best times.
If you had to describe your riding style, what would you call it?I don’t really know, fun! I just like to do what ever is fun.
Who were your early influences?
So many people, for sure the ERC is number one. Jesse Burtner was a really big influence. Then all the people I’d see in the movies. JP Walker, Jeremy Jones, Mikey LeBlanc, I definitely look up to all of them.
Who are your favorite people to ride with now and why?
Justin (Hebbel), Mikey, Seth (Huot), Jeremy, JP, Chris (Demolsky), Jordan (Mendenhall), Mitch (Nelson), the Holden crew. I just really get along with them and they push me.
How hard is it to get a good film part together?
It’s so hard! I had no idea the work that goes into a video part. It’s fun, but you definitely need to be motivated and willing to put in some time.
Is snowboarding becoming wacker or cooler with the passage of time?
I don’t know, I think that snowboarding is really sweet right now, but I think it was at its best in like ’95 or ’96. I have no real reason for thinking that — I just liked the movies back then.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done on your snowboard?
Everything and anything: if the camera was out, chances are good I was scared.
Do you consider yourself a pro snowboarder?
Yes, I do. I don’t really feel like I’m ever being told what to do, but there is definitely a lot more to being a pro snowboarder then just snowboarding.
What’s filming with the Holden crew all about?
My favorite thing about filming with the Holden crew is just everything, I get to ride and film with my friends, and all the filmers are awesome, too. My least favorite thing is the fact that we can never decide on where we want to go.
Who’s video part from over the years do you most admire or wish was yours?
Man, that’s a tough one. I think that out of all the videos, Jeremy Jones’ part in Shakedown is the one I admire most.