When I was a teenager, if you had told me that in some far off future, on a warm sunny, Southern California day I would sit across a table from JP Walker and Jeremy Jones and eat sandwiches, I wouldn’t have believed it. Growing up a too-far two hours away from the closest mountain, these two were instrumental in my early impressions of snowboarding. I tore out posters of the Forum 8 to put in my locker. I watched Mack Dawg films on repeat and burned tricks associated with places, angles, and song melodies into memory. I read Question Authority and poured over The Don’s responses. And, to this day, I really, really like sandwiches. So, last week, when two of the most influential riders in the canon of modern snowboarding swung through the SNOWBOARDER office, the grom that still resides inside my psyche pulled up a chair and sat wide-eyed, listening as these individuals very humbly talked about the old days, the good days, the current days: how to avoid getting busted at spots and what riders they’re currently stoked on; ways they spend their afternoons and where they’ve been skating lately. Combined, these two friends share a depth of experience, knowledge and hard-earned authority that has not only shaped where snowboarding is today, but continues to affect things each passing winter. Naturally, JP and Jeremy were happy to share a sprinkling of their thoughts in top three format for this edition of Front 3. Enjoy. – Mary Walsh
3 places to eat in Salt Lake:
– The Spot.
– Roots Cafe.
I’d probably say exactly the same thing, I’d say The Spot first though.
3 backcountry spots to board when the snow’s good:
– Tony Grove’s. One of my favorites of all time.
– Whistler backcountry.
– Hiking Brighton backcounty.
– The Tahoe stuff used to be really good.
Mine’s going to be the same:
– That’s the only two places I ride powder now, I feel like. Has it gotten down to that low trying to find powder that those are only two places I would really ride it? (pauses) You know what’s fun? Trout Lake. It’s just sick tree runs.
3 best trips while filming for Mack Dawg:
My brain doesn’t even go back that far. (laughs)
– Probably one of the first Minnesota street trips we did. “Minnesota has got a city, they’ve got snow, let’s go there.” The year before Shakedown in 2002, filming for Pulse.
– Probably that Chicago trip–that was 2000 or 2001.
– A random Tahoe trip where I stayed at Mack Dawg’s house. Maybe like ’99 or something, riding snowmobiles around for Technincal Difficulties.
– Brighton backcountry, the first time ever me and JP went out with Dawger and Peter. We went to The Cooler and they had that weird windlip and hit some cliffs. That was just a day but it was all time. JP: That was like ’96.
– Minnesota. The first year in Minnesota, whatever that ends up being because that was the start of the fifteen-year run filming every year.
– And the other one’s Utah again, in Ogden. We saw a dead heroin addict on the street. [to JP] Do you remember that? We were trippin’. We logged a bunch of clips and didn’t get home until 6:30 in the morning. Yeah, Right had just dropped and we were talking about Marc Johnson’s part all the time and Dawger was all pissed at it. Those trips were pretty memorable for sure.
3 favorite video parts pre-2005:
– JP’s Simple Pleasures part..his first one. There’s a lot there for me. He’s definitely had better parts in my mind, but that’s my favorite part.
– Roan Rogers and Dale [Rehberg] in The Hard, The Hungry and The Homeless.
– Most of Terje’s footage in Subjekt: Haaksonsen. Those are probably the things that have pushed me the most.
– Jeremy’s part in Shakedown.
– Peter Line ,Stomping Ground.
– Bryan Iguchi, The Hard, The Hungry and The Homeless.
3 favorite videos parts post-2008:
– I have to start with JP again. I don’t even know if I’m going to go with a part though–I don’t know if it’s that I always know he’s going to drop hammers, so I know he’s going to have a good part, or if it’s just the friend thing–no, it’s not—anything JP, post-2008.
– Bode’s part last year [in Heavy Mental].
– Ethan [Deiss’] part from our first streets movie; his snowboarding was so good in it. He started kind of picking up features and I saw the progress so I was attached. I think it was Burton Presents: The Streets. He drove me crazy that whole year, but the part came out good.
– I’m going with anything Jeremy, post-2008.
– Seth [Huot’s] ender in the People movie before Cheers around 2010 [in Nice Try].
– Scott Stevens, Stack Footy.
Scott was definitely on the cusp with mine, too.
3 snowboard fashion trends you wish you’d avoided:
I don’t wish I avoided any of them, they were sick. (laughs) If you can look back on that stuff and laugh, then what’s the point? And some of it comes back. It’ll be sick again, you just have to have a long enough career.
The neck gaiter thing, but that’s current. I have always hated neck gaiters. My wife just discovered them and she’s so mad at me, “You never let me wear them all this time? This is the best thing ever, I’m warm I want to snowboard now.” (laughs)
3 hardships of early street riding:
– Having to sling your buddy in.
– Not knowing if what you’re trying to do is even possible.
– Finding spots because we were so dependent on natural speed. So, natural speed or somehow the spot has a dumpster you can stand up on to get speed.
– Spot locations for sure.
– The buddy pulls…brutal. I wouldn’t even say buddy tows, just straight up pulling [Joni] Malmi. We nicknamed him “The Sloth” after that.
He didn’t know how to finesse it, he fought against it.
We wrote a song about it, he hated us for that. (laughs) We love Malmi, but that sucked.
– Cops have always been the same, they go through phases, if you approach them the right way.
– The boards! They were so stiff. I rode my first Forum board in that intro for Real Snow and I have never been more scared. That was the scariest thing I shot this year, there’s no question. Boards have come a long ways.
You have 3 hours of free time what are 3 things you do:
– Mountain bike.
– Just clean up.
– Yeah, skate.
– Just clean up. Organize my house or something boring, just be a civilian.
3 riders on the come up you’re stoked on:
I’ve been hanging with all these ThirtyTwo guys, so I gotta say them–
– Benny Urban.
– Toni Kerkela.
– Johnny O’Connor.
– And that Kas Lemmens dude is really sick. He snowboarded for five days in a row at Copper with no glasses on and every day his eyes were getting redder and redder. He snowboards inside a lot because he’s form Amsterdam so maybe he’s not used to having things on his face.
– What’s the line of “on the come up”? I’m going to say Jake Welch because he’s on a come up, again.
– Frank April, I’m a fan.
– Toni Kerkela.
3 things you pack when you are on a street trip:
– And my board. Those are the most important things. That’s hard–there’s a lot of things I always bring. That list is about fifteen items long.
– A thermos.
– A shitload of tea, just herbal because I drink bitch tea now.
– I have this little tool to scrape my base with, it’s like a chisel, basically.
3 ways to avoid getting busted at spots:
– Orange vests, those orange vests go a long way these days.
– And, luck.
– Timing is crucial and it gets so overlooked, it’s crazy.
– The way you set up and tear down is also crucial, because if you can clean up and be really clean, and you can set up quietly and in a discreet way so you can last longer, your odds are better. Move in silence almost. Work in sync to what the scene is.
– Wait last minute to fire off the generator, but that goes both ways. Sometimes in neighborhoods you want to maybe not pop the lights, but fire up the generator so people get used to the noise.
And don’t blast a house with lights.
3 best excuses to give cops if you get busted:
– “Really? You can’t snowboard here?” Play dumb.
– “We’re from out of town.”
– “We’re just trying to do our job.”
Jeremy: I dump the excuses. I’ve gone straight to the truth because they’re confused that you told then the truth and then they try to figure out if the truth is even the truth, but they can tell you are telling the truth because you are. Then, all of a sudden they back you. The truth, once we went on that grind, it’s saved us tons of times. “I’m snowboarding, he’s filming, he’s shooting photos, he’s fixing the landing.”
3 things about being on the Forum 8:
– For me, just being selected by Peter–one of my idols at the time. It was just basically a dream come true type thing.
– The affiliation with Mack Dawg, because that was the other part of the dream for me.
– And then having my boy [Jeremy] on with me.
– Team. That was just indescribable, the fact that I was even a part of that. I still trip on that. Did you ever see the Bones Brigade movie where Lance Mountain is like, “I don’t even know why I was on, I wasn’t the good one.” That’s how I felt.
– Mack Dawg affiliation, I’d have to agree with that 100 percent.
– And I think JP’s the one that selected me, so JP convincing Peter.
I didn’t have to convince him. He was like, “We want to put some more guys on.” Well yeah, we have to get Jeremy in.
I still never earned it with Peter, but we’re good. (laughs)