Jeremy Jones

Declassified

Interview by Cody Dresser

There’s never been a more fitting time for the Jeremy Jones interview. In the wake of a sponsor move that left many in disbelief, he quietly locked Shakedownsstandout part—change hangs in the air. Jeremy’s winter was a series of defining moments, personally and professionally. Rising above controversy and doubt—self-imposed or born on the tongues of others—he took the leap. From rail technician to freestyle legend, upstart to an authority—the veteran has emerged. Jeremy unloads on pros, sponsors, war, and redemption. Hold on to your britches.

 

Let’s talk politics: you’re quite the patriot.

Yeah, I suppose—I’m proud to be an American.

Republican or a democrat?

I’m a republican the majority of the time—that’s what I claim, anyway. They both have really good aspects and positions I don’t agree with.

You had a bumper sticker on your board saying “Bomb Iraq” last winter.

At the U.S. Open I had some stickers made that read “Kill Iraq,” and I got a lot of heat for it. I had some hate e-mail and letters were sent to Burton from people who were pissed off about it. I also had a lot of good response from kids who wanted to buy them. That’s not necessarily how I felt—but I was trying to make a strong statement.

How did you feel when we failed to find biological weapons?

I don’t know … I’m a Bush supporter. I’m a presidential supporter—anyone who would put himself in that position needs all the support they can get. I guess that’s my role, I’m playing the supporter. When it comes election time, if I feel like he isn’t cutting it, I’ll vote for someone else.

On to religion—is it hard to hang out with shredders when you’re Mormon?

It works out—the people I work with most of the time are pretty respectful. I try to avoid bar scenarios altogether or rowdy alcohol-influenced atmospheres just because of the reputation I’ve built—I want to keep it up for the kids and myself. I always split before things break out.

Are you less rigid than other Latter Day Saints members?

Regardless of my faith or beliefs—judging a person comes down to the individual, and that’s the bottom line. Sure, tons of Mormons would look at some people I know and be terrified of them—and run. Just like many other people. For me, you’re into what you’re into, you know?

We always bug you guys about religion.

Yeah, our group of friends, like Mitch Nelson, Brandon Bybee, and Jason Murphy, have always had the Mormon questions, and I think it’s because we actually practice it so much. I’m generalizing, but there will be stagnant Catholics who claim Catholicism but don’t actually practice it regularly. That’s why I don’t think other religions are such a topic of conversation in this industry. Matt Hammer is a religious kid, and he’s had questions as well because he puts his faith into practice.

You give a certain amount of your income to the church?

Yeah, ten percent. It’s something I really believe in—they do good things with the money.

Tell me about your pop’s nickname.

My dad has started really getting into motorcycles in the last six or seven years. He has a couple Harleys, two Triumphs he restored, an old-school racer, and a BMW. His crew calls him “Iron Bt Bob” ’cause he rides so long. He led a ride last year—the Iron Butt Bob run.

Do you own a cycle?

Yeah, I bought a brand-new Harley Sportster. It’s sweet. We go on some short little cruises, but I don’t do the Iron Butt ones.

Back to business—why’d you leave Forum?

Both sides hit a brick wall with the relationship—I wasn’t backing what they were doing anymore. They weren’t taking my input as positive—my visions were complaints. They decided I was the whiny kid because I was persistent with my ideas—from boards to bindings and ad design.

People I considered friends there so easily just turned their backs on others—and it seemed to be a trend around the office. The place is just a stepping-stone for industry people working toward where they ultimately want to be. When it was time to unite for the better of the company, it could never come together. I don’t mean to cut into everyone there, but it was so dysfunctional.

Forum has a rider-run image.

Yeah, and that marketing scheme is exactly what made the place work so well. All the riders were really tight for a few years … we had a lot of good times. That made it hard when I left, in a sense, because of the legacy we {the team} built. We set an example that people followed for years—they still do.

 

How did you land at Burton?

I spent the last six months trying to get out of my {Forum} contract and leave. Three months before it was up, I started talking with Burton ’cause I was allowed to legally. I signed with them the day my Forum contract ran out.

How is your input processed at the Burton machine?

I couldn’t imagine anything better. I’ll see something I spit out at a round-table meeting, sometimes something random, and then get an e-mail from the guy who does shirts, saying, “I overheard you mention this design. Check out what I built!” I’m listened to from so many angles, I don’t even know all these people are hearing me. It’s quite the flip side—it’s crazy!

 

What Jeremy Jones Burton stuff is available?

My two pro-model boards and the edgeless Dominant Slick board. Dave Downing had been working on the Dominant for a while, and then I threw in my ideas. We collaborated on that one.

Burton outerwear as well?

Yep, boards, boots, and bindings. For street clothes I’ve got Matix, and DVS shoes. Also, Recon goggles, MiloSport, and Nixon watches.

What trick gets riders paid this year?

Well, back in the “rodeo flip” days, that single trick could get you paid. Now, rather than rodeos—you’re pro if you can backside lip or frontside board everything. Paychecks are on lockdown fo’ sure {laughter}.

Do the new kids have a strong work ethic like you and JP?

For sure they don’t. You can see a lot of talent—there are probably more newcomers with skills than ever. The first problem is all they do is back lips and front boards. For two, they’re lazy or unwilling to listen to riders who know how to make it happen. But there are a few who are really putting it together—who are going to make it.

Name them.

Seth Huot, first, for me … Justin Hebbel seems to be in there. Jon Kooley. Chris Coulter works really hard. Scotty Arnold.

That leaves a lot of guys who are not living up to their potential.

Not even close. I was just in New Zealand, and we were making up top five lists: top five best riders, top five riders who blew it. The next wave of riders will have a lot of candidates for top five who blew it.

How much of this lies on their sponsors?

Lots. Why would a kid think he needed to work for anything if he has companies bidding on him ’cause he had a cameo in some pro rider’s part? Somewhere along the line, team managers started to get scared that if they didn’t grab a kid, he’d get locked up somewhere else. That fear runs through their blood. The second they hear of a new kid they’re calling all the veterans on the team going, “Let’s pick him up.”

They’re paying riders for projected accomplishments?

Exactly. It’s prepayment and it’s not working. They’re getting a bonus two years early. They’re getting paid for two years, and then if they do finally blow up, getting a little raise. The industry has done this before, just not with riders—we were so flooded with companies and it took a while to weed them out. So many kids are being pulled in by the industry, and they’re just going to be flushed out over the next couple years—only a handful of them will be able to handle it anyway.

Veterans largely held down the big movie parts this season.

The reason for that is because we’ve done it. We’ve had years without movie parts or weak video parts and figured out you need to work.

You had a weak part?

Yeah, an accidental video part in Pulse that was horribleit should have never been in there.

I don’t remember.

See, that’s what I’m saying. I had a lot of redemption this year.

Let’s talk about it. Did Burton have you on a one-year trial contract? If you proved yourself, you signed a million-dollar deal?

That’s a good rumor—but no, it’s not true. There are never one-year contracts when you design pro models and signature products. It’s true in the sense that if I play my cards right with Burton over the next couple years, it may land me an even more beneficial long term deal, fo’ sure. But it wasn’t my motivation for the movie part.

Where did your motivation lie?

There were a couple things. A couple Forum people dissed me pretty harsh when I left—saying that I was washed and wasn’t going to make it happen—that I was just collecting paychecks. I kept that in the back of my head. I wanted to prove them wrong and prove it to myself as well, ’cause that wasn’t my plan. In a way, I kind of wanted them to see what they’d lost.

The year before I didn’t really plan on putting together a video part at all. I ended up with some footage, and it was put together pretty poorly, so I also really needed some redemption. Aside from any personal motives or vengeance, everything just worked out for me. It was just a good year. It was luck, too—a little bit of luck.

Are double lines the future of video?

It should be—they’re so hype, it’s the best. The hardest part is finding them. Jussi Oksanen has a super good one in Lame. You can show a lot more about your riding by linking a couple tricks in the backcountry. Next year, if front boards and back lips are out—then if you can do double lines, you’re paid {laughter}.

Spit thank-yous.

First I’d say thanks to the fear of Mr. Darcy, which accompang up to their potential.

Not even close. I was just in New Zealand, and we were making up top five lists: top five best riders, top five riders who blew it. The next wave of riders will have a lot of candidates for top five who blew it.

How much of this lies on their sponsors?

Lots. Why would a kid think he needed to work for anything if he has companies bidding on him ’cause he had a cameo in some pro rider’s part? Somewhere along the line, team managers started to get scared that if they didn’t grab a kid, he’d get locked up somewhere else. That fear runs through their blood. The second they hear of a new kid they’re calling all the veterans on the team going, “Let’s pick him up.”

They’re paying riders for projected accomplishments?

Exactly. It’s prepayment and it’s not working. They’re getting a bonus two years early. They’re getting paid for two years, and then if they do finally blow up, getting a little raise. The industry has done this before, just not with riders—we were so flooded with companies and it took a while to weed them out. So many kids are being pulled in by the industry, and they’re just going to be flushed out over the next couple years—only a handful of them will be able to handle it anyway.

Veterans largely held down the big movie parts this season.

The reason for that is because we’ve done it. We’ve had years without movie parts or weak video parts and figured out you need to work.

You had a weak part?

Yeah, an accidental video part in Pulse that was horribleit should have never been in there.

I don’t remember.

See, that’s what I’m saying. I had a lot of redemption this year.

Let’s talk about it. Did Burton have you on a one-year trial contract? If you proved yourself, you signed a million-dollar deal?

That’s a good rumor—but no, it’s not true. There are never one-year contracts when you design pro models and signature products. It’s true in the sense that if I play my cards right with Burton over the next couple years, it may land me an even more beneficial long term deal, fo’ sure. But it wasn’t my motivation for the movie part.

Where did your motivation lie?

There were a couple things. A couple Forum people dissed me pretty harsh when I left—saying that I was washed and wasn’t going to make it happen—that I was just collecting paychecks. I kept that in the back of my head. I wanted to prove them wrong and prove it to myself as well, ’cause that wasn’t my plan. In a way, I kind of wanted them to see what they’d lost.

The year before I didn’t really plan on putting together a video part at all. I ended up with some footage, and it was put together pretty poorly, so I also really needed some redemption. Aside from any personal motives or vengeance, everything just worked out for me. It was just a good year. It was luck, too—a little bit of luck.

Are double lines the future of video?

It should be—they’re so hype, it’s the best. The hardest part is finding them. Jussi Oksanen has a super good one in Lame. You can show a lot more about your riding by linking a couple tricks in the backcountry. Next year, if front boards and back lips are out—then if you can do double lines, you’re paid {laughter}.

Spit thank-yous.

First I’d say thanks to the fear of Mr. Darcy, which accompanies my wife, Sher. She was so on point for me all season. If she saw me slippin’, she’d pull me back into place. She was always there for me when I came home, and that’s an incredible feeling—thanks, baby!

JP, Kearns, Mike, Seth, and the entire Shakedown crew for the motivation—next level fo’ sho! Thanks to my family and all my best friends—and my sponsors for the money to make all this happen. Peace.

Caption

JER (01-20)

Rise above: backside 720 melon into a chute—next-level freestyle move. Utah. Sequence: Kevin Zacher/Shakedown

(21)

Backcountry skills pay bills—big front 540 over rock. Andy Wright/Shakedown

(22)

Haul ass, hyena! Check homeboy’s hair flappin’ in the wind. High-speed 50-50. Burlington, Vermont. Andy Wright/Shakedown

(23)

Proper frontside nose press. Utah. Rob Mathis/Shakedown

(24)

Jibbing is only part of the game—frontside dropper. Utah. Andy Wright/Shakedown

(25)

There are few snow bros who can handle a skateboard. Jeremy’s one of ‘em. Big ol’ backside ollie. Rob Mathis/Shakedown

(26)

Front boardslide. SLC, Utah. Photo: Kevin Zacher/Shakedown

Double trouble for many: Jones lays down a Cab five to front seven banger.

(27-42)

Backside 270 to supa’ flex from the master. Utah. Sequence: Rob Mathis/Shakedown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mpanies my wife, Sher. She was so on point for me all season. If she saw me slippin’, she’d pull me back into place. She was always there for me when I came home, and that’s an incredible feeling—thanks, baby!

JP, Kearns, Mike, Seth, and the entire Shakedown crew for the motivation—next level fo’ sho! Thanks to my family and all my best friends—and my sponsors for the money to make all this happen. Peace.

Caption

JER (01-20)

Rise above: backside 720 melon into a chute—next-level freestyle move. Utah. Sequence: Kevin Zacher/Shakedown

(21)

Backcountry skills pay bills—big front 540 over rock. Andy Wright/Shakedown

(22)

Haul ass, hyena! Check homeboy’s hair flappin’ in the wind. High-speed 50-50. Burlington, Vermont. Andy Wright/Shakedown

(23)

Proper frontside nose press. Utah. Rob Mathis/Shakedown

(24)

Jibbing is only part of the game—frontside dropper. Utah. Andy Wright/Shakedown

(25)

There are few snow bros who can handle a skateboard. Jeremy’s one of ‘em. Big ol’ backside ollie. Rob Mathis/Shakedown

(26)

Front boardslide. SLC, Utah. Photo: Kevin Zacher/Shakedown

Double trouble for many: Jones lays down a Cab five to front seven banger.

(27-42)

Backside 270 to supa’ flex from the master. Utah. Sequence: Rob Mathis/Shakedown