I met mark Landvik in 1998 at the Boarderline summer camp in Girdwood, Alaska. AK was shocking. Shocking because 2,300 miles north of the U.S.-Canada border in a land where the sun never went down, I discovered a group of unsponsored and unknown riders with more skills than any “professionals” I’d seen. Between the camp’s kickers and all-nighters, I got familiar with this infamous group of shreds known as The Juneau Boys. Even then, Landvik had the pop and flow that’s become his signature. I gave him a pair of goggles on my way out of town, sure that Mark, along with all of the AK kids, would one day be famous.
Almost nine years later, I’m not surprised to be interviewing Lando. With a TWS cover shot, the ender in Standard Film’s 2006 release Paradox under his belt, and solid segments in 2007′s Draw The Line, and Volcom’s Escramble, Landvik has definitely arrived. From the simple and timeless power of his method to his innovative switch attacks on cliff drops, Lando’s approach to riding has many comparing his style to northwest legends of the past. And unlike kids “coming up quick” accompanied by lots of hype, Lando has a refreshingly solid and deep history with snowboarding.
He grew up in AK during snowboarding’s renaissance, emulating the sport-changing progression of riders like Jamie Lynn, and shredding the steepest and wildest mountains America ever had the fortune of annexing from Russia. He worked for years as a carpenter during the summer and fall to pay his way and built his career the hard way, piece by piece, without taking any shortcuts. Mark Landvik is true snowboarding, and his dedication has paid off in spades.-Jesse Huffman

What was it like growing up in Alaska?
It was perfect-I got to ride the kind of terrain I’m stoked on now.

How long of a drive is it from Washington to Alaska?
I’ve done it in 36 hours straight.

What are you likely to see or experience on that drive?
Probably like twenty bears, some caribou, moose, and a bunch of birds that fly at your car while you’re doing 90-a lot of suicidal birds.

How do you explain the size and remove of Alaska to people that haven’t been there?
I don’t-everybody knows that Alaska is its own country. It has huge mountains, and the people are a lot different. You’ve been there, how would you explain it?

I have a theory that people get increasingly crazy as you go north-Oregon is pretty mellow, Washington starts to get loopy, people in Canada are crazy, and by the time you get to Alaska, you’re just tweaked, mentally.
(Laughs) There are definitely a few people up here who are pretty interesting.

What was it like growing up with winters without sunshine?
Crazy-I’d go to school and it’d be dark, and come home from school and it’d be getting dark. But the summers make up for it-the sun goes down, but it never actually gets dark.

How did you get involved in snowboarding?
My friends and I were night skiing. My friend had a snowboard so I tried it out, and it was super fun. I was stoked and I got a shred stick the next year.

What was your first board?
A Burton Craig Kelly-bought it from Firm-Diz.

What was snowboarding like in Alaska during the late 80s?
We were pretty hardcore-like, ten of us would just rage the mountain. Snowboarding was pretty big in Juneau back then, but it’s kind of died off now. A lot of the younger Juneau kids aren’t doing it as much because they haven’t been getting that much snow.

Who was your crew?
Myself, Bubba Weedman, Ryan Collard, Firm-Diz, Dan Boneawaver, Scotty B., Jake Liska, and all the Liskas. We had a posse-Chris Currier and Mike Morgan, too.

What was the Borderline shop’s role in that scene?
It was huge. Scott (Liska) came to town and opened a shop in Juneau-probably fifteen years ago-and started sponsoring local kids.

So that was the hub of all the activity?
Yeah, that was the deal. That’s how I got arted-Borderline was huge. Scott did a lot for the Alaskan snowboarding scene. It sucks that it’s all gone-he closed down the shop, and he’s not doing the camp anymore either.

When did you first go snowboarding in mainland United States?
Mainland? (laughs)

What do you call it?
The Lower 48. I used to travel down with our posse to do the Vans Triple Crowns, but I guess the first time would’ve been Mt. Hood; I went to a camp there a long time ago.

Did you find the snowboarding scene there different than it was AK?
For sure. It seems like it’s more hardcore the further north you go. That’s why I like Baker. People there aren’t into the scene there, they just want to ride.

You rode Volcom gear way before they hooked you up. And when I first met you back in AK, you were riding a Lib Tech. You haven’t jumped around between sponsors much.
I’ve always just been super pumped on Lib Tech-where they’re from, and how they’ve presented themselves over the years. Once I met everyone at Mervin, it just kind of clicked. And with Volcom, I didn’t have an outerwear sponsor, and I didn’t really feel like getting a sponsor just to get free stuff. I wanted to be stoked on who I was riding for. So I went and bought a Volcom outfit. Then I met Billy (Anderson) at the Banked Slalom, and after that it got dialed.

I’ve been told there’s a pretty funny story about you getting sponsored by Lib Tech … something about your grandma?
Let’s see (laughs). Mike Olson, who’s one of the cofounders of Mervinm was going to Squim, which is where my grandparents lived, and he was looking for a house to buy because Mervin had just expanded and built another factory out there. He went across on the ferry, called up a realty agent, and it ended up being my grandma.
She told Mike how good I was at snowboarding-you know how grandmas do-and I ended up going in and getting a tour of the place. Chris Owen was the team manager at the time. I don’t think he was too pumped at first, he just thought I was some kid that wanted free stuff. But then I did well at Vegetate-after that he was super pumped. It’s crazy how it all worked out. Thanks, Grandma!

There are a lot of ripping riders from Alaska, but not many have made it big. Why is that?
It’s like we were talking about earlier-people up there are just more into the whole riding thing. They’re not all about going out and collecting sponsors and stuff. You don’t much of it up in Alaska-getting sponsed and being the cool kid on the mountain.
There aren’t many photographers and filmers around either-it makes it a lot harder get noticed.

How has the Juneau posse reacted to your success?
I think they’re proud of me-a part of them is probably bummed that they didn’t do it, too. Everybody who I grew up riding with totally had the potential to be where I’m at right now. But I was the only one who stuck with it.
It kind of sucks because I had to, you know, not loose my friends-but not be able to ride with them as much anymore.

How did you get into filming for Standard?
I like how they film snowboarding-those guys are some of the best cinematographers in the business. Jeanine James at Mervin called them up because we (Lib Tech) sponsor the movie, and they gave me a chance. Standard had a filmer in Canada, and I was in Bellingham, so I went up there with Jimmy Clarke for the first time. I didn’t really have a ride, so I was just cruising up there on the Greyhound to film my Standard part.

How was the transition from filming with friends to working with riders and filmers you’d never met before?
It was different. But the more you film, the more you adjust to working with different people. It’s fun to meet new people, get new blood in there, and get pumped.

Did you feel any extra pressure?
Nope. I’d been waiting to film a part with someone like Standard for so long. When the opportunity came up, we had epic conditions-three feet of powder and bluebird sky in the Whistler backcountry and I just went crazy. I was stoked.

Where do you draw your inspiration and influence from as a snowboarder?
I like watching Gigi, Nicolas, and Travis Rice. Gigi and Nicolas are super cool to watch because you can see they’re having fun. They’re doing gnarly shit, but people can look at it and be like, “Damn, I want to do that.” They get people stoked instead of just scaring them.

Where do you get your influence from as far as doing freestyle tricks on natural terrain?
It’s just a natural progression. People are getting super into jumps-pretty much pushing it to the limits doing gaps and all that stuff. I think it’s more fun to go out and read what the mountain had to offer, and work off of that. Then you’re going out and doing lines and runs, instead of just hiking a jump and hitting it all day-I’m bored of that. It’s a lot more challenging to go out and find natural terrain and do a real line.

Is that the difference between backcountry and sidecountry?
Backcountry is when you go out and ride without putting too much effort into building. When I think of the backcountry, I think of gnarly lines-not just hitting the same jump over and over again.

Have you gone back to AK to film?
Yeah, the last time I filmed for Standard’s Lost In Transition, I went to Valdez. It’s fun up there, it’s gnarly-big stuff. I didn’t get too gnarly on those bigger lines; Jeremy Jones can do that.

What do you think about Jeremy’s riding?
He keeps pushing it. It’s pretty rad to see someone so far ahead of everybody else.

Do you see yourself trying to do more of that type of riding?
I don’t know … those guys are pushing it so hard, it’s not like I’m going to step to anything they’re doing. I have more fun trying to ride natural freestyle lines on the mountain where you can do some tricks.

What’s your definition of style, and where do you think it comes from?
I get stoked on people with more original style like Nicolas Mà…ller-his style and Gigi’s are totally different than anybody else’s and I like it. You can go to the snowboard park in Mammoth and see 50 frontside sevens that are sick, but a lot of the time they look the same. It’s cool when you can actually pick a person out because their style is so original. A lot of my style just came from when I was growing up. Jamie Lynn and Terje were huge influences for me, and my friends were just as big of an influence. You build your style as you’re growing up.

What direction do you want to push snowboarding in?
I want people to get out in the backcountry and have fun. The reason we’re doing this is to have fun, so I don’t take it too seriously. I just want people to try stuff that they don’t usually try.

Speaking of serious, what kind precautions do you take in the backcountry?
I have all the avalanche gear. A cool thing about working with the Hatchetts it that they have tons of backcountry experience-they’re super conscious about what we’re doing and where we’re at all times.
I also never let anybody talk me into anything if it doesn’t feel right. You’ve got to make sure you know where you’re going, because it may look different from another person’s perspective or whatever.

What’s the typical winter day of filming like for Mark Landvik?
Get up pretty early-four or five in the morning. Do a little breakfast, do some stretching, get the sleds fired up, and head out there. I usually start off with a small line in the morning to get my legs going, start filming, and warm up. Try to find something sick to session-natural style-or a little zone that we can all play in. Kick back, have a little coffee, then head on home. Get back to Hatchett’s crib at eight and do it all again the next day.

That’s a pretty savage schedule. How do you stay motivated?
I come back to Baker and ride powder-just get myself back to square one and three feet of powder and bluebird sky in the Whistler backcountry and I just went crazy. I was stoked.

Where do you draw your inspiration and influence from as a snowboarder?
I like watching Gigi, Nicolas, and Travis Rice. Gigi and Nicolas are super cool to watch because you can see they’re having fun. They’re doing gnarly shit, but people can look at it and be like, “Damn, I want to do that.” They get people stoked instead of just scaring them.

Where do you get your influence from as far as doing freestyle tricks on natural terrain?
It’s just a natural progression. People are getting super into jumps-pretty much pushing it to the limits doing gaps and all that stuff. I think it’s more fun to go out and read what the mountain had to offer, and work off of that. Then you’re going out and doing lines and runs, instead of just hiking a jump and hitting it all day-I’m bored of that. It’s a lot more challenging to go out and find natural terrain and do a real line.

Is that the difference between backcountry and sidecountry?
Backcountry is when you go out and ride without putting too much effort into building. When I think of the backcountry, I think of gnarly lines-not just hitting the same jump over and over again.

Have you gone back to AK to film?
Yeah, the last time I filmed for Standard’s Lost In Transition, I went to Valdez. It’s fun up there, it’s gnarly-big stuff. I didn’t get too gnarly on those bigger lines; Jeremy Jones can do that.

What do you think about Jeremy’s riding?
He keeps pushing it. It’s pretty rad to see someone so far ahead of everybody else.

Do you see yourself trying to do more of that type of riding?
I don’t know … those guys are pushing it so hard, it’s not like I’m going to step to anything they’re doing. I have more fun trying to ride natural freestyle lines on the mountain where you can do some tricks.

What’s your definition of style, and where do you think it comes from?
I get stoked on people with more original style like Nicolas Mà…ller-his style and Gigi’s are totally different than anybody else’s and I like it. You can go to the snowboard park in Mammoth and see 50 frontside sevens that are sick, but a lot of the time they look the same. It’s cool when you can actually pick a person out because their style is so original. A lot of my style just came from when I was growing up. Jamie Lynn and Terje were huge influences for me, and my friends were just as big of an influence. You build your style as you’re growing up.

What direction do you want to push snowboarding in?
I want people to get out in the backcountry and have fun. The reason we’re doing this is to have fun, so I don’t take it too seriously. I just want people to try stuff that they don’t usually try.

Speaking of serious, what kind precautions do you take in the backcountry?
I have all the avalanche gear. A cool thing about working with the Hatchetts it that they have tons of backcountry experience-they’re super conscious about what we’re doing and where we’re at all times.
I also never let anybody talk me into anything if it doesn’t feel right. You’ve got to make sure you know where you’re going, because it may look different from another person’s perspective or whatever.

What’s the typical winter day of filming like for Mark Landvik?
Get up pretty early-four or five in the morning. Do a little breakfast, do some stretching, get the sleds fired up, and head out there. I usually start off with a small line in the morning to get my legs going, start filming, and warm up. Try to find something sick to session-natural style-or a little zone that we can all play in. Kick back, have a little coffee, then head on home. Get back to Hatchett’s crib at eight and do it all again the next day.

That’s a pretty savage schedule. How do you stay motivated?
I come back to Baker and ride powder-just get myself back to square one and start over. The best thing is that it’s usually dumping the whole time. When it’s dumping here, it’s pretty fun.

Who do you shred with on those days?
McCarthy, Laing, and Burtner if he’s around.

What is your dream day of snowboarding?
Having all my Alaskan buddies come down and shred Baker during the Banked Slalom! It’s always a good time around here during the Banked.

What do you get after when you’re not snowboarding?
I work on my house. I bought one in December, so I’ve been just doing tons of renovations. I ripped up my whole backyard last summer, and just barely got it back together before fall came around.

How long do you plan on keeping up this level of shred, and what are you planning after?
I’m just trying to do this for a while-until I’m not having fun anymore. After that, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll work in the industry, working for Mervin. I’m pretty content with where I’m at right now.

Shout outs?
Thanks to everybody at Mervin, Volcom, and Vans; Mer at Drop; and all of my sponsors. Thanks to my parents for bringing me up in AK, and all my homies. Special thanks to my grandma.

“I didn’t really have a ride, so I was just cruising up there on the Greyhound to film my Standard part.”












and start over. The best thing is that it’s usually dumping the whole time. When it’s dumping here, it’s pretty fun.

Who do you shred with on those days?
McCarthy, Laing, and Burtner if he’s around.

What is your dream day of snowboarding?
Having all my Alaskan buddies come down and shred Baker during the Banked Slalom! It’s always a good time around here during the Banked.

What do you get after when you’re not snowboarding?
I work on my house. I bought one in December, so I’ve been just doing tons of renovations. I ripped up my whole backyard last summer, and just barely got it back together before fall came around.

How long do you plan on keeping up this level of shred, and what are you planning after?
I’m just trying to do this for a while-until I’m not having fun anymore. After that, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll work in the industry, working for Mervin. I’m pretty content with where I’m at right now.

Shout outs?
Thanks to everybody at Mervin, Volcom, and Vans; Mer at Drop; and all of my sponsors. Thanks to my parents for bringing me up in AK, and all my homies. Special thanks to my grandma.

“I didn’t really have a ride, so I was just cruising up there on the Greyhound to film my Standard part.”