Not too long ago, pro snowboarders had more responsibilities than you may think. Riders who were paid premium wages for their talents on hill, were also expected to uphold the sought-after lifestyles of pros, which often included ridiculous antics. Eddie Wall has seen it all and been through a bevy of insane times throughout his travels. This is evidence from the DC Mountain Lab glory days.
Words/Photos: Eddie Wall
Imagine a perfect snowboarding paradise. A mansion filled with all your favorite food, drinks, movies, video games and toys. Guns to shoot, cars and trucks to drive, a mini snow cat, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and lockers full of new snowboarding gear. Just outside the front door is a private snowboard park with all your favorite features including jumps, rails and a tow rope. Have any specific rail or feature you want, not problem, it will be built and ready to ride in a few hours or the following morning. If it snows a few feet you just take pow laps with a couple friends. This place did exist for a brief period of time in the early 2000's and it was called the DC MTN LAB.
CAR JUMP – Photo: Johnny McCormick
This was one of the scariest days of snowboarding in my life. We flew to New Zealand to film a few remaining tricks for the DC MTN LAB 1.5 video. We had filmed a bunch of smaller stunts with the rally car on snow when Ken Block began to consider hitting the last jump in the park. We first thought about him following me off the jump which we realized was to dangerous in the case that I fell or even butt checked he would land on me. I ended up taking off the jump next to the car, only 3 feet away from the driver side door. The scariest part was how loud it was when the car slammed down next to me in the landing. Any small mistakes on either of our sides could have resulted in fatality. No joke. This will always be one of my favorite photos taken during my career.
MYSPACE TOM – Photo: Pierre Wikberg
Every once in awhile there would be a party at the DC MTN LAB and it wasn't rare to bump into a celebrity there. Before Zuckerburg and a little thing called Facebook, the big social media site that everyone was obsessed with was MySpace. Every single person who joined became friends with one guy automatically, the creator AKA: MySpace Tom. Myspace Tom was pretty much one of the most famous people in world for a hot internet minute. Somehow he ended up coming to the MT LAB for a party, somehow we all met him and somehow we ended up doing a human pyramid in the garage with him. Ken Block on top, Iikka Backstrom and Lauri Heiskari in the middle and Todd Richards, myself and none other then MySpace Tom throwing up a shocka on the bottom right. MySpace has since drifted off into the distant background of social media platforms but at least we captured this absolutely random photo with the creator.
80's TEAM – Photo – It was on my camera.
The DC MTN LAB was extremely fun, but it was also serious work. We would travel there for short periods of time to film large amounts of footage. It wasn't rare to be filming from 6am until 10pm at night for days on end. I know snowboarding is fun, but riding full force trying to get A+ shots for over 12 hours a day, for a week straight is physically and mentally exhausting. I would always remember flying out of there almost unable to walk. This photo was taken on one of the final days of filming for the last DC MTN LAB movie. We were at a shoot in Northstar with Bjorn Lienes, Rene Rene, Aaron Bittner, Todd Richards, Chaz Gouldemond, Torstien Horgmo, Iikka Backstrom, Lauri Heiskari and myself. Some of these guys are still riding for DC, others have moved on to different teams, and others have retired from the pro ranks. Regardless of where we are now, I can say we are all grateful for that short moment in time where we were fortunate enough to experience a true snowboarding paradise together. Huge thanks to Ken Block for making it happen.