Story By Cody Dresser

While industry pukes worry about rider image and marketability, year after year, the ‘Cats just party on. The Wildcats are an anti-team-you won’t find these guys training next to an Olympic squad, nor are they contractually obligated to hang out with one another. Nope, they weren’t assembled by a marketing genius in So Cal, either. But they all heat it up on a snowboard-as witnessed in their newest film, Nine Lives-and they’re the funnest jerks around.

I’m not only referring to the kind of fun that leaves you with a two-day hangover. These kids love to snowboard. And why not? Their setup is a model for success-balance business and pleasure, and keep it light by filming with your pals. It’s not rocket science, but it works. And they’ve controlled the tone of “getting it done” by filming together, exclusively. No one’s trying to outshine one another-these kids fail, fall, and overcome together. The rest of the world take note-get a tight crew, enjoy yourself, and lighten the f-k up!

Matt Davis For President

Describe your role with the Wildcats.

I’m president of the company. I basically oversee everything from clothing design to distribution, editing, and also helping to organize the guys. It’s a full-time job.

How many soft-goods?

Four tees, four hoodies and zip hoodies, baseball caps and beanies-pretty basic stuff. Next year will have a lot more cut and sew: two styles of jeans and eight different T-shirt logos.

Are you in many shops?

Yeah. Pretty much every hardcore snow and skate shop in Western Canada carries our stuff.

Who does all the filming?

We have a full-time filmer, and Rob Dow films, as well as myself-the Wildcats also shoot each other a lot. We get a good amount of contributed footage from Sean Kearns and Mack Dawg.

What makes the Wildcats special?

Friendship-and the fact they really don’t care what other people think of them.

A Few Words With Devun Walsh

How did the Wildcats come about?

First we started calling our backflip sideways roll the Wildcat ’cause it was so fun. We were up at Mt. Seymour drinking Wildcat brew one day and started doing the trick-we were like, “It’s called the Wildcat for sure!” We just thought it would be fun to rename a trick.

Who was the original crew back then?

Chris Dufficy, Dionne Delesalle, Rob Dow, Dave Cashen, Jacob McEntire, and myself. I had this big party at my house the same year LiL’ Bastards was coming out. Everybody started saying, “Yeah, we’re the Wildcats,” you know, just joking about it. Then some shirts were made to wear at the trade show for fun. People were like, “Oh, cool. It’s your own thing.”

How did the films come about?

We wanted to show the everyday life of the Wildcats instead of making a typical snowboard movie, basically. A way for kids to see what we’re up to-something less serious and more fun.

Is the new film more snowboarding and less fun?

No, I don’t think so. Everyone just stepped up their riding a bit.

Explain the difference between the Wildcats and a snowboard team.

We’re a crew of friends. You don’t have to do some crazy trick to be on our team. We ride together and just support each other. Everyone rides for different companies-we simply wanted to have something that was ours, together. The main theme of the Wildcats is fun and friendship.

Wildcats in JapanStory By Cody Dresser

The Wildcats In Japan

Beginning Of The End
After a hateful twelve-hour plane ride, the Wildcats trip started in typical international fashion. A plane full of sauced Canadians landed lightly, emptied of all liquids-an hour late. Paavo was nearly escorted away by the sky marshals for being loud and obnoxious, off to a sweet start. Arriving early, I met up with the Japanese Wildcats distributor, Manueverline, and they had no clue who I was. They’d anticipated eight ‘Cats and found themselves with four strays. Wildcat president Matt Davis handled his business, and set thingstraight. An hour through Tokyo in a bumpy box van while Paavo sang Britney foreshadowed a week of idiocy ahead. We had a half hour at our hotel, then off to a party. Another hour in a subway-everything takes an hour in Tokyo. Sideshow Bob, a.k.a. Paavo, was in full effect, stumbling, arguing with an inebriated Japanese businessman, and doing backflips. The hip-hop joint was wack until Hiro from TWS Japan showed up and started buyin’. The club filled with girls and smoke. I took a deep breath and inhaled an entire carton, secondhand.

Catatonic
Thursday was a poster-signing day at the Japanese trade show, and the TransWorld booth offered plenty of beverages. CAPiTA’s Blue Montgomery showed up, and things started a little early. The infamous “day party” scenario always ends poorly, and this was no exception-broken bottles, sloppy sushi, and stolen plants. The ‘Cats took the night off and were tucked in by nine. Blue hid me in a laundry cart, but nobody would wake for the funny guys. I fell asleep in the cart-must have been the jet lag.

Slummin’ It
On Friday, shopping in Tokyo put the hurt on everyone financially. Five cameras and five grand later, we headed toward Nagano in rush-hour traffic-smart thinking. Half a day later, we reached the TWS Japan house. Hiro and the staff stayed in Tokyo due to deadlines. The crib was a cold, f-king, dung heap, and quickly dubbed “the icehouse.” Central heating had been turned off, and kerosene heaters littered the room. We had an uncomfortable, overage slumber party, with stacks of thin padding and dirty bedding. The sliding glass door was blown out and someone had haphazardly duct-taped clear plastic over the missing area-it whistled in the wind. The dump was filled with five-gallon jugs of highly flammable kerosene. It was the kind of place you die.

Cat-Scratch Fever
Saturday was our first day shredding. Our tour guide Kyle had heard the mountain sucked-the three feet of fresh that lured us from North America was a total farce. Hakuba Iwatake Resort is small and would have been fun with powder. It was brick hard, sticky, and sketchy. We mini-biked around all day and the shit was fun-Devun rode his ’61.
Back at the icehouse, it was Max’s birthday and the dinner posse came back from town with half of 7Eleven’s liquid assets. J-F sprung into the living room donning a pink suit. The French Canadian had sniffed out twenty neatly packaged women’s ski outfits-all went “pretty in pink.” The lower level of the TWS shack housed a makeshift travel agency, and also served as a storage area for a Mercedes and an old-school Honda three-wheeler. Raw gas wafted upstairs and we noticed the French-Canadians were missing. Gary and Jerry the mechanics (J-F and Gaetan) had gone to work on the decrepit Honda. Soon, the roar of an off-road engine came to life, and J-F was riding 100-foot wheelies down the road in his jumpsuit. Gaetan and J-F crashed the thing repeatedly-taillight and trim littered the road.

Off to a club sans the ski suits with two lifted Razor scooters, we immediately got in a standoff with a pack of four-foot ninjas-Dow stressed it big-time. On the way back to the house, Serfas stole a six-foot tall statue and put it in front of our house. What a dipshit! Clyde, a.k.a. Kyle, quickly returned it. Then we crashed a reggae dance party. The Japanese band was super tight with dreads hanging past their asses-roots, rock, and reggae. Paavo handled the dance floor. Dionne didn’t go out, and the crew laid plans on how to jack him-then we forgot.

Dirty Deeds
Sunday morning led us up the summit just out of Hakuba searching for road gaps. An hours woth of motion sickening turns revealed sub-par terrain-it was bleak. Gaetan charged, busting a dirt ride to front flip over a set of rocks. Max, Devun, and Dionne all hit a little booter over a patch of mud that looked pretty cool, I guess. Back at the icehouse there was trouble: it seems Serfas was sending faxes from the travel agency late-night. It didn’t help our cause that three others were caught red-handed trying to get online at 4:00 am.

Fear Of Heights
Monday morning was time to leave our shit-hole and invest in some travel. Hours later we arrived at Heights resort, the Snow Summit of Japan-but a fifth the size and only about two skiers a day. It’s just a small, brick-hard, snowpark run-a bunch of Whistler locals’ worst nightmare. Finnish citizen Paavo was raised on ice, however, and slayed the pipe with huge alley-oop 720 nosegrabs. The real fun came on the C rail-it was a near-perfect half-circle. Paavo took it apart-Devun got nasty, and Dionne got owned. After a long day in the park, a traditional Japanese hotel worked out to the tune of 24 dollars each-what a bargain. The catch? A communal wash area with a giant bathtub. Even more disturbing, the door was locked for a solid hour with three men in it-trippy guys. I opted for a quick shower, solo.

Milk
Tuesday the relentless search for new terrain continued. First off, was an Olympic-style ski-jumping facility that supposedly contained long handrails. There was nothing, but Serfas, ever-enthusiastic for his Chomp On This section, grabbed a little red sled. Three people died bombing this hill the previous season, and Scott was really hauling ass-it was sketchy. Jenke clocked in and bombed it using Scott’s trail for additional speed. Not to be outdone, Serfas went skeleton, (head f-king first) which was really tweaked. For the next fifteen minutes, no one pitched Serfas any shit.

Next, we hiked through a graveyard to access an abandoned ski resort. The place was dead-literally. One of the lift poles had a “no snowboarding” sign prominently displayed, and it all made sense. “I just feel like hiking for a couple hours,” said J-F, and off he, Devun, and Gaetan went-for nothing. A crappy kicker was swiftly built and abandoned quickly. A snow-covered shack with a small gap to a tiny transition was discovered. Dow climbed a telephone pole and strapped himself in with rope to document the heated session. After packing it in, Serfas was found all messed up. He’d hucked and tucked so heavy, he cleared a crappy quarterpipe and landed in a creek bed. Matt actually had to help him out.

Pressing the Panic Button
After another day of entertaining but very marginal snowboarding, it was time to throw in the towel and cut back to Tokyo a day early. Our Manueverline drivers were bribed with a carton of cigarettes, and the roadtrip was on.
At the hotel there was talk of livin’ it up, but everone looked too damn comfortable. I called my lady and fell asleep. Waking up around 9:00 a.m., I hopped an elevator and pressed “Lobby.” As the door opened, Jenke and Paavo had just made it back to the hotel-both looked and smelt like hell-glassy-eyed and stumbling. Fools. The boys had tired of partying in J-F’s room and went clubbing without me. I headed for the airport without a hangover for once-just a mild case of post-alcohol depression and a smile. As I boarded the plane, I had to laugh-only those jerkoffs could pull a sham like that off. A dozen dirty Darryls traveled to Japan, raised Cain for a week, and pulled a feature out. The f-kin’ Wildcats.

the travel agency late-night. It didn’t help our cause that three others were caught red-handed trying to get online at 4:00 am.

Fear Of Heights
Monday morning was time to leave our shit-hole and invest in some travel. Hours later we arrived at Heights resort, the Snow Summit of Japan-but a fifth the size and only about two skiers a day. It’s just a small, brick-hard, snowpark run-a bunch of Whistler locals’ worst nightmare. Finnish citizen Paavo was raised on ice, however, and slayed the pipe with huge alley-oop 720 nosegrabs. The real fun came on the C rail-it was a near-perfect half-circle. Paavo took it apart-Devun got nasty, and Dionne got owned. After a long day in the park, a traditional Japanese hotel worked out to the tune of 24 dollars each-what a bargain. The catch? A communal wash area with a giant bathtub. Even more disturbing, the door was locked for a solid hour with three men in it-trippy guys. I opted for a quick shower, solo.

Milk
Tuesday the relentless search for new terrain continued. First off, was an Olympic-style ski-jumping facility that supposedly contained long handrails. There was nothing, but Serfas, ever-enthusiastic for his Chomp On This section, grabbed a little red sled. Three people died bombing this hill the previous season, and Scott was really hauling ass-it was sketchy. Jenke clocked in and bombed it using Scott’s trail for additional speed. Not to be outdone, Serfas went skeleton, (head f-king first) which was really tweaked. For the next fifteen minutes, no one pitched Serfas any shit.

Next, we hiked through a graveyard to access an abandoned ski resort. The place was dead-literally. One of the lift poles had a “no snowboarding” sign prominently displayed, and it all made sense. “I just feel like hiking for a couple hours,” said J-F, and off he, Devun, and Gaetan went-for nothing. A crappy kicker was swiftly built and abandoned quickly. A snow-covered shack with a small gap to a tiny transition was discovered. Dow climbed a telephone pole and strapped himself in with rope to document the heated session. After packing it in, Serfas was found all messed up. He’d hucked and tucked so heavy, he cleared a crappy quarterpipe and landed in a creek bed. Matt actually had to help him out.

Pressing the Panic Button
After another day of entertaining but very marginal snowboarding, it was time to throw in the towel and cut back to Tokyo a day early. Our Manueverline drivers were bribed with a carton of cigarettes, and the roadtrip was on.
At the hotel there was talk of livin’ it up, but everone looked too damn comfortable. I called my lady and fell asleep. Waking up around 9:00 a.m., I hopped an elevator and pressed “Lobby.” As the door opened, Jenke and Paavo had just made it back to the hotel-both looked and smelt like hell-glassy-eyed and stumbling. Fools. The boys had tired of partying in J-F’s room and went clubbing without me. I headed for the airport without a hangover for once-just a mild case of post-alcohol depression and a smile. As I boarded the plane, I had to laugh-only those jerkoffs could pull a sham like that off. A dozen dirty Darryls traveled to Japan, raised Cain for a week, and pulled a feature out. The f-kin’ Wildcats.