On Deck: Jared Elston—The Possible 2018 Rookie of the Year?
Originally published in Vol. 30 of SNOWBOARDER Magazine. We have no idea how the ROTY race will shake out, but read on to get to know a bit more about the rising rider and keep an eye out for more dropping this fall.
I reached out to resident Mt. Bachelor pros Austin Smith and Curtis Ciszek for a quote about their local boy Jared Elston for this On Deck. They’ve watched Jared grow up over the last few years and spent much of last winter riding together. Curtis sent back that little “thinking guy emoji”* and then presumably went fly fishing. Austin, a former SNOWBOARDER Magazine Guest Editor, who appreciates the urgency of print deadlines, promptly responded that “If this were the 2018 snowboard draft picks, Jared would be my number 1 pick. He’s good, but everyone is good these days. He uses his brain to think about tricks he wants to learn and shots he wants to get without copying others. Most importantly, he can talk shit to Curtis and his head isn’t too big. His dad makes sure of that.”
Well, there you have it. At 18 years-old, Elston is an all-terrain talent who’s equally capable in the streets and the backcountry. He’s fast as hell on a banked slalom course, humble, and not afraid to speak his mind.
Name: Jared Mark Elston
Home Mountain: Mt. Bachelor, OR
Board: Nitro Squash 153
Boot: Adidas Tactical ADV
Binding: Nitro Team
Jacket: Adidas Major Stretchin’ It Jacket
Pants: Adidas Major Stretchin’ It Pant
Gloves: Crab Grab Snuggler
Goggles: Electric EGV
Other Sponsors: Drink Water,
Tactics Boardshop, Mt. Bachelor, OR
Let’s start with these 10 questions that are illegal to ask in a real job interview:
What is your religious affiliation? Scared of the unknown.
Are you pregnant? Yes.
What is your political affiliation? Fuck Trump.
What is your race, color or ethnicity? About as white as it gets.
How old are you? 18.
Are you disabled? I’m a shitty driver.
Are you married? May God have mercy on anyone that decides to marry me.
Do you have children or plan to? I don’t think there needs to be a miniature version of me running around this world.
Are you in debt? Not yet.
Do you socially drink or smoke? My parents are going to read this.
You have a pretty unique family. What’s the scoop there?
My family rules. My dad grew up in Australia and he was a pro surfer and my mom was a pro mountain biker. They still rip too. My dad surfs the river wave almost every day, my mom does gnarly bike rides all the time and my brother is a rogue ass skier. We had a snow/skate shop in Montana where I was born and raised before moving to Bend, Oregon. From a young age I would hang out in the shop and just watch snowboard videos and read the magazines and I think that was what sparked the whole snowboarding thing for me.
Bend, Oregon is a pretty incredible place to grow up as a snowboarder. Do you realize this?
Absolutely. This place is so special; not really anywhere like it. It’s definitely starting to get blown out by yuppies which sucks, but the amount of snowboard talent that has came out of this town is insane. We have such a strong community of rippers.
What’s the best and worst part about doing home school?
Best part is I get to snowboard every day but the worst part is I have no clue how to talk to girls.
It seems like doors are starting to open for you here in the snowboard world. Have you had to sleep with anyone to get to where you are today?
A lot of people thought that I was spending nights with Austin in the firetruck but nothing ever happened.
Yeah, how did it feel to get that kickflip on the Äsmo before Austin?
Oh yeah, that felt good. Really burned him on the Gram with that one; not sure how he recovered after that.
What would be your dream winter for this upcoming season?
Damn. Dream winter right now would be to spend December at home at Bachelor, then go to Japan and do the Japan thing. Next would be Switzerland or somewhere in Europe to eat shit on some pow jump, then British Columbia so I can get my sled stuck, Alaska to shit my pants, maybe hit Mammoth to make excuses for why I’m not hitting the 120-footer at Superpark, wrap it up back home for Shorts and Shades, and then Mt. Hood in July for the Rat Race.
So what’s a typical winter day life in your life?
Hit up the boys in the morning, mob to the mountain, get some fire ass content for the Gram, try and convince the fellas to ride longer (usually unsuccessful), get back to town, grub down at the local chicken joint, go home, talk shit on the internet, try and get girls to hot tub with us, don’t, hot tub with 3 other dudes, go to sleep, repeat.
If you had to take attributes from 5 current pro snowboarders to build your favorite snowboarder, who and what would they be?
Ben Ferguson’s style, Nicolas Müller’s flow, Arthur Longo’s talent, Temple Cummins’ speed, Terje Haakonsen’s innovation.
I feel like “how to get sponsored” is a great mystery to so many kids. Any advice on people scratching their heads and begging for free stuff?
You have to snowboard how you want to snowboard, and you have to do it a lot. I thought forever that the only way to make it as a pro was the contest route, but it wasn’t until I stopped doing them that people started to take notice of me. And you really have to love it. I think passion goes a long way with sponsors and they can tell if your passion is genuine or not.
Do you have any plans to get back into contests?
I don’t want to be doing contests at all right now, except for the fun ones like the Big Wave Challenge. I did the “real” contests for a while and they’re usually just such a clusterfuck and not fun so I’m not into it anymore. I think I’d be down to do contests if the format was changed into something more versatile that was run by legit snowboarders and not the FIS. But for now I have so much fun riding my snowboard on natural terrain that it’s all I want to do. Just travel, film, and have as much fun with my friends as possible.
Any words to live by?
Haul ass, eat shit, don’t be an idiot, have fun, and be nice.