Ten Questions: JP Walker

JP was in town for some rest and relaxation amid globetrotting and buying cool stuff. We caught up with him over lunch at Hill Street in O’Side, and our Photo Editor, Nick Hamilton, got four cups of water spilled on his crotch!

evan: What was your most memorable trip this past winter?

JP: The first trip I took to Helsinki, way early in the season, that was pretty cool. It was weird because you go to someplace like that, out in the middle of nowhere and you don’t expect to see anybody—but pretty much every snowboarder that does handrails was there. One day we were in some other town in the middle of nowhere, we roll up on this handrail and the Defective guys are filming—they got Finland pretty locked down—so we saw them and hung out and talked for a minute. Then we went back to Helsinki and hooked up with Devun Walsh and Chris Dufficy—all the Wildcats had just got into town to go do rails. That was a pretty cool trip because I’ve never been out there before.

What’s up for summer?

Just had a surf vacation down in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a week. I’ll be going up to Whistler for a couple days to do some filming. From there I’m going to Switzerland for a Forum Youngblood thing, then after that I’m gonna’ have another break, maybe come back down here and surf a bit more. Then I’m headed to New Zealand for a month to film and snowboard; I’ll bring my surf stuff too.

How do you think people will react when you don’t have a part this year?

I did the same thing another year. I didn’t hear anything negative about it from anyone, but maybe it’s that they didn’t want to tell me something negative. Hopefully it’ll just get ’em stoked when this Forum movie gets put together and all the footage comes out—it’ll be that much more anticipated. Hopefully it’s going to help change snowboarding a little bit because people expect a pro snowboarder to have a video part every year. That’s cool, but it’s hard to have a really good part every year. I’ve had seven or eight opening or closing parts and it’s gnarly to do that every year—especially these days. Snowboarders needs to realize that it’s unrealistic to film a progressive video part every year. I think almost every pro snowboarder would agree.

And you set the bar so high for yourself—it must be hard to go out and one up that year after year.

For sure. It’s scary too. Every thing that you film—if it’s worthy to film, is pretty much death on a handrail. If it’s a jump, it’s just super huge.

You’re almost a legend—you could make a good living going out shooting stills, on the mellow tip.

Yeah I could definitely get on the mellow tip—but there’s stuff I still want to do in snowboarding. I still have ideas for new tricks.

What about a JP only video?

It was talked about, and this year started out working towards that goal because I figured I was getting to the point where I needed to do something other than just another video part. I was also getting sick of just aiming for a video part because I’ve done so many of ’em, I wanted to do something different. So I started filming with that in mind and it turned into…well, Forum wanted to make another video and it wasn’t really going to work if I did my own video. We decided to team up and make another Forum video, and I think it’s going to be sick.

How’s working with Kearns?

It’s dope—I’ve known him forever. I got really tight with him when Forum filmed Resistance and we started going up to Canada a lot. I’d go out with Devun, Dufficy and Kearns—that was my crew. I’d do a bunch of rails early in the year, then go up there for the rest of the winter. I stuck around for the whole production and editing of Resistance and he was a big part of that—it was right around the same time I started getting into surfing and he’s down for that too. We like a lot of the same things and he’s a good guy to travel with.

Favorite spots to ride at?

If I want to go ridde handrails and have fun I’d say at the rail garden in Salt Lake. It’s perfect for learning stuff. They’re street rails but without the consequences.

If I want to go somewhere and try and film rails it’d be Minnesota or Finland, somewhere like that. Those places are stacked with rails, and both are pretty easy going as far as cops and security is concerned.

If I want to go ride pow, or go ride a mountain it’d probably be Brighton. I know that place super good—I can just go there and cruise with all my friends. That or Bear Mountain, Summit, somewhere like that with a sick park—you can hit like fifty rails in a row and just practice all day.

If I want to film backcountry it’d be Whistler.

Any AM’s coming up that your hyped on right now?

I’m stoked on Aaron Bittner. He’s sick. The kid is super good, and he’s a good guy to have around—he’s very positive. He’s a cool kid, I like his style, and he’s sick at handrails, for sure!

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I don’t ever see myself getting away from snowboarding. I’m stoked on snowboarding and I don’t want to say “okay I’m done with snowboarding, forget about it. I always want to be involved with it—I’ve gotten everything I have from this sport you know? So hopefully I’ll stay involved in this industry, somehow.