Hometown: Waterbury Center, Vermont
Sponsors: Forum, Foursquare, Oakley
After winning the U.S. Open slope in ’04 Jake’s smoothly transitioned from contest riding to filming, yet still manages to come back and blow minds at “the contests that matter” with mellow 9.4-meter (30-plus feet) backside airs in the rain at this past Arctic Challenge. He keeps his sponsor list snug in a day and age where non-endemics are more and more prevalent and stickers jobs are getting out of control. Blauvelt’s built to last, he’s got the moves, his head in the right place, and really he’s just getting started.-E.L.
How did you make it to where you are?
I started out riding at Stowe back in Vermont when Bud Keene and Jenner Richards were coaching at the club at Mt. Mansfield. I started riding with them and they really pushed me. Then I started getting into the USASA series and did pretty well in some of those. I won the nationals in Waterville and then just started doing the contest circuit, moved out to Mammoth from the East Coast, and then my big break was when I won the U.S. Open Slopestyle in ’04, I think. That got my name out there and that allowed me to get on with Defective Films and just start filming, ’cause that’s really my passion, and I’ve just been filming since then.
What do you think you’d be doing if you didn’t get into snowboarding?
I was just talking about that last night with my mom. I think I’d try to be playing soccer. I’ve been getting into soccer a lot especially this past year. I used to be into it a lot back in high school, too, but I had to quit my junior year ’cause I was moving out West and I wanted to stay healthy for snowboarding, but now I just play whenever I’m not snowboarding. It keeps me in good shape and I have fun with it. I think I’d try to either play soccer or skate, but I think I’d have a better chance at soccer.
What scares you?
Getting hurt really bad. My friend from back home was riding last winter, just shredding the slope and he caught his toe edge and scorpioned, and he’s paralyzed now from the nipples down, and it’s like, how many times have I scorpioned? You can’t think about it too much you just have to respect it and know that you could get f-ked up.
What’s more important to you-contests or videos?
For me it’s filming, there’s a lot more room for creativity, especially out in the backcountry, you’re more on your own pace. I have mad respect for the guys doing the contest scene, too, that’s a whole other aspect of snowboarding and it’s crazy. But for me I just like filming because you have time to be real creative and work with the terrain. That’s what I’m really trying to get into is using the natural terrain, ’cause that’s the part of snowboarding that has so much room for improvement.
What’s your idea of a successful snowboard career?
As long as you have respect from all of the riders-you know, the core people that really matter. I think that is a biggie. It’s nice to make money and have a house and all that, it’s nice to make good endorsements and stuff, but at the same time it’s just good to have respect from the riders and the people within the industry. When you’re all washed up and over it people will never have anything bad to say about you.
What direction do you think snowboarding is heading in?
The big companies see how much money can be made off of riders like Shaun, so there’s gonna be some big corporate … I mean, there already are big corporate companies, but even bigger, and we just gotta make sure that we keep supporting the core things and doing the contests that matter and like Baker Banked Slalom and the Arctic Challenge, ’cause if we aren’t careful, we could loose it. We gotta stay on the right path.
What is the “job” part of your job?
The traveling. Filming you’re always trying to go where the snow is, and so if you’re in Whistler and it snows in Tahoe, you gotta bring your sled all twenty hours down there or vice versa. Being able to get that ticket over to Europe ASAP, and then willing to hop on four different planes and spend two days traveling, and then you get there and it’s not even good (laughs).
What’s next for you in snowboarding?
Making the move from Tahoe to Bellingham, gonna be riding Baker a lot. I know quite a few locals up there, so hopefully they’ll teach me the mountain, and that’s only like three hours away from Whistler, the Mecca of filming. And just trying to focus on a video part that I’m stoked on, ’cause that hasn’t really happened yet. Then doing the contests that matter, and just having fun most