Originally published in the latest volume of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, Jill has since been linking up with the Snooze Global crew (go check Snooze’s latest edit featuring Perkins, “Hot Mix”, here) and filming all winter. Check out what she had to say below!
Jill Perkins grew up in Southern California, just north of Los Angeles and east of Malibu, an area where an affinity for being on boards is often part in parcel with growing up. But after a stint skating when she was a kid, Jill shelved her goofy stance during high school, finally picking up a snowboard when she was eighteen. This is important to note, because there are few individuals who have turned heads so quickly after first strapping in. The following winter, the Ventura County native packed up and moved to Utah, where she snagged a part-time gig working at PF Chang’s in order to support her full-time boarding habit. Once there, Jill’s prowess progressed quickly, garnering her notoriety due to an abundance of natural talent and focused drive, enabling her to fill her winters with DFDs instead of MSG.
In the past five seasons, she has amassed an ever-growing library of clips in videos from Jetpack, DAKINE, High Cascade, Too Hard, and more, most recently filming with Desiree Melancon and The United Slopes of America. All the while, Jill’s aptitude for skating, a direct influence on her capacity for kinks and down rails, has further cemented her as a staple within the ranks of up-and-coming riders. In her own estimate, though, she hasn’t accomplished anything substantial yet, despite going from unknown to ace in so few seasons. Heading into the upcoming winter, it’s this outlook that will ensure Jill is steadily climbing, whether heading up stairs to drop into city steel, or ascending ridges to pilfer powder lines, because there’s no telling how high this rising rider will go. Keep up with Jill on her Instagram here!—Mary Walsh
Last year you spent most of the season filming for The United Slopes of America. How was that?
It was super fun. Marc [O’Malley], Desiree [Melancon], Nirv [Ortanez], and everybody we met up with, they’re amazing. I learned so much. Before last year, I maybe had hit two street spots, not knowing what I was doing. And I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I came out of United Slopes with so much more confidence and knowledge. I owe it to Desiree, for sure.
What’s one memorable experience from the year?
Oh my god. There are so many it’s so hard for me to decide. We were at Eagle Point in Southern Utah, staying with the Fava boys, Vinnie, Pat and Joey. One day, we snowboarded until about 5pm, toured the whole resort and ended up at the restaurant, which you can snowboard to. So, we’re drinking, having a good time. I swear we’re in the restaurant for three or four hours. It’s Nirvana, Desiree, Marc, and I. Marc goes to the truck to plug in the cameras and Nirvana, Desiree and I are still hanging out. Finally, we pay our tab and are walking up the access road to the truck and all of a sudden we see someone walking toward us. It’s Mark and his face is pale white. He’s like, “Red [Justin Keniston’s dog] shit. Everywhere. Red shit.” And we’re like, “Red’s a dog—she’s gonna shit.” And he’s like, “No. Red shit literally everywhere. On Louis [Nirvana’s dog]. On the ceiling. On the seats.” We still don’t think it’s going to be that bad, even though Mark looks traumatized. So, we go up there and open the doors and I have never seen anything like it—it’s the gnarliest. It’s on the ceiling. It is on Louis. How does that even happen? Just shit everywhere. So I’m elbow deep in the back seat trying to get the crap off the vinyl. We were gagging. We had all of these paper towels that were now brown and nowhere to put them. We didn’t have a bag. The car smelled. All season, we’d be like, “Remember that spot?” or “Remember that day at Brighton?” and then someone would say, “Remember when Red shit?” It was just unbelievable.
So, you were in a Justin Bieber music video?
That’s a fun fact. I’m barely in it, skateboarding on a mini ramp. What is it…“What Do You Mean?” That song.
How did that come about?
So, Buzz Holbrook is from kind of where I’m from and we were both back in LA and he hit me up, like, “You want to make a quick hundred bucks? I’m doing this music video and they want more skaters. They want a girl.” And I said okay. But let me tell you, it was not worth it. They paid me $100. I was there from 6pm to 6am with no food. Justin Bieber should be buying me at least some kind of food. $100 for twelve hours is so ridiculous.
Check out the 4:06 mark for Jill skating by.
Your summer at Hood got cut short this year. What happened?
I dislocated my shoulder filming with Mia [Lambson] at Brighton on this weird pow day last season. I don’t even remember what happened, it just kind of whiplashed backwards and came out. I kind of fought it and put off surgery for a solid three months and decided I was just going to get it strong and coach [at Mt. Hood], and I’d be fine for winter. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. I went out to camp and I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even stick my hand out my car window when I was moving without my shoulder popping out. It was the first time ever that I wasn’t strong enough on my own to fix it and that was really crazy for me. And so on June 7th I got surgery, moved back to Utah and have been doing physical therapy. Since that experience, my perspective has completely changed. It’s allowed me to take the time to digest everything that I’ve done in the past. It’s given me time to sit down with my sponsors, work out plans and communicate better. It’s really helping me with my patience and I think helping me in the long run.
Lastly, Jamie Thomas comments on your Instagram all the time. That’s a pretty heavy fan.
Follow Jill on Instagram here!
I met him when I was working at camp. I was sticking around at Windells [after camp ended] for a DAKINE thing and the Zumiez Best Foot Forward competition was in town so they hit up camp to see if they could come stay and skate. Jamie [Weller] asked me if I wouldn’t mind staying and letting them into BOB [Windells’ indoor skatepark] because no one else was on campus. To be completely honest, I did not know who Jamie Thomas was. That’s just how my life goes, hahaha. So, of course I looked him up, and this guy’s like an OG. I should probably know him. We skated around for a little bit and hung out. I babysat Jamie Thomas for a weekend and now we’re fans of each other on Instagram.