Originally published in the November 2017 issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding, Chandler Hunt's interview is one of eight conducted with up-and-coming riders over the course of a week in Aspen, Colorado in April 2017.
Chandler Hunt is precise. When he gets on a snowboard, he can turn this precision on and make magic happen. Talking with him, you understand he operates with logic and awareness. He can break down and articulate matters in snowboarding or otherwise. Meeting him for the first time, outside of the snowboard world he's establishing himself as a part of, you could be forgiven for mistaking him as a leader of the Young Democrats or Young Republicans Club. We don't know which way his politics lean, but we know he stands with his left foot forward, and he's got a firm tailgrab.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Newport Beach, California, and I moved to Park City, Utah when I was 12, and I've lived there ever since. I like it a lot.
Are you going to try to go to the Olympics?
Yeah, definitely. I might as well try, especially because Red, Brock, Lyon, and I will be competing in all those events. What's cool though is that we don't really have that much pressure like some of the older dudes who are kind of expected, like you kind of have to throw down and make it. But for us, it's just like have fun and you could get lucky.
Even though you say there's not a lot of pressure on you, is there expectation?
Not particularly, to be honest. There are a lot of dudes on the US Team who have a lot more experience, and considering they can only take four, most people would expect the legends like Chas, Eric Willett--even people like Kyle Mack and Brandon Davis, and then we're still kind of the new, so a lot of people might not expect much, but Red has already pretty much proven that anything can happen so...
Do you take it personally when a lot of the announcers in snowboard media say that the US doesn't have a solid slopestyle hopeful--that it's all Canada and Norway?
I think right now they have the upper hand for the older dudes, just because they have obviously McMorris, Max Parrot, Seb Toots, and then Norway has Stale [Sandbech] and all those boys, but I think as far as the younger generation on the come up, America is far ahead. No country has that big of a squad of kids who are already competing in all the World Cup events--some of them doing pretty well, like Red and whatnot. So I think for the future, we have the upper hand I'd say.
Do you like competing?
Yeah, I think it's fun. Sometimes it can get a bit taxing after a long season of traveling, doing contests, bad weather and whatnot, but for the most part, when you're competing with so many of your friends, it just feels like you're riding.
Is it stressful?
It can be, for sure. The stress isn't put on by friends and family, so I'd say 99% of the time, you're creating pressure for yourself that's not there. You might think the sponsors, agent, US Team, or whatever is putting pressure on you but usually that's just you overthinking it. If you can just be content with how you're riding and just say, "I'm just gonna try to have fun", they'll be just as happy as you are at the end of the day.
Who is your favorite snowboarder alive right now?
Watching Nik Baden snowboard is pretty damn awesome because every time he rides he's doing something new and original, just going all out. I think that's pretty cool.
Who are some dudes not in the contest scene that get you psyched?
Street dudes, I always get really hyped on anything that Jed Anderson puts out. That's usually fun to see, and I'm really looking forward to the Vans movie coming out. That should be a heater, I like watching all those dudes ride. Watching Blake Paul snowboard is pretty cool too because he's got a unique style and he seems like he's always having fun. I like the stuff he puts out.
Favorite trick to watch?
Probably a good back rodeo 7, regardless of the grab. For some reason I can never figure it out; the physics of it are just weird to me, but watching someone like Nik Baden or any of those dudes do it. Sebbe De Buck has a super good back rodeo 7 with nose and that's really a sick trick to watch, super smooth and technical still.
You're lapping with all your homies, but you only get one hit, and it's going to be filmed, what do you do?
Probably just a fat back 1, try to go as big as possible, either grab or don't grab, just make it look good and send it as far as I can.
Briefly talk about the importance of being here in Aspen, just before all that stuff gets pretty out of hand.
It's definitely really nice because it kind of lets you just step back and remember why you started snowboarding in the first place and why you still love it, because we get to snowboard with some of our best friends all year round, and like you said, this is the calm before the storm. I have to leave tomorrow to go train in Switzerland, so this is kind of like "enjoy it while it lasts" because it's going to be insane. The photoshoots, the video shoots--where you can just have fun and ride with your buddies--it's pretty special for sure.