Ready? Okay. JED ANDERSON IS FUCKING BACK! There. I said it. It's a secret that I've been privileged to know about since the beginning of the 2017/2018 season, when Jed formally signed with adidas. From there, they hatched a plan to film a full part and release it in January of 2019. And that's exactly why we are here, right now.
For his entire career—which, oddly enough, has been almost his entire life—Jed Anderson has always been a few steps ahead of everyone else. He's an innovator, a trendsetter, and arguably the best street rider who has ever lived. That's why a few years back, when he got dropped by his main sponsor, it was a cataclysmic shock to the snowboard community. But I would soon learn that Jed wasn't really that fazed by it. He just kinda…moved on. You see, Jed has other interests in his life outside of snowboarding that he is influenced by, so when professional snowboarding came to an abrupt halt, he just kept on pressing on.
Jed is one of the most interesting people that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's calculated, collected and he has fine-tuned the art of knowing exactly, precisely what he is stimulated by. And you can see that in everything he does, from his snowboarding to his skateboarding to his art. In many ways, at 27 years old, Jed has it more figured out than most twice his age. But in the process of this top-secret endeavor, it seems that Jed has learned a lot about himself. He's growing, maturing, and it shows in his riding, because the kid is better than ever. This isn't Jed's second chance. This is his second introduction. He's kept a lot of secrets over the last two years of his life and in this interview, he lets it all out. I'll say it again. Jed Anderson is fucking back, and I for one, couldn't be more excited about that. This is the Jed Anderson interview…again. —T. Bird
Is it true that you just walked away from professional snowboarding?
In a way I guess. It just didn't make sense to do it anymore. I didn't have sponsors and I couldn't find sponsors. I had to use the money I had made from snowboarding for rent and food etc. I didn't have a job, so I wasn't going to spend money to go on trips and film.
It's hard to justify going on snowboard trips to film when you're not being paid to do so.
Yeah, exactly. I wasn't getting free product, and I don't have a car. I mean, I could've probably made it work. I could've probably went on a trip or two, but it's hard to justify it. Also, I want to have the motivation to try scary shit, but it's hard to have that when you don't have support to do that. It's a lot of risk.
What was your initial reaction when you got dropped?
Well, it was really only one sponsor, because my two main sponsors for the majority of my snowboarding career prior to when I stopped were Salomon and Nike, and Nike just stopped the program altogether, so that was super chill. There was no bad blood or anything. I was still with Salomon for another two years after that ended, I think. My reaction to that, I guess, was…surprised. But I don't want to play a victim or anything like that, but it was kind of unexpected.
[Justin Meyer]: Maybe go more into how that all went down. Because from where I see it, you're snowboarding, you're filming, you're still putting out a part, and then it was like, "Okay, well, that's the end between us."
Well yeah, it pretty much happened like that. I think my contract was coming up and I was kind of hitting them up to…
[Meyer]: So wait, this is right after Crazy Loco drops, right?
It would've been the year after Crazy Loco. I would've been filming for Videogracias. So it would've been in the middle of that winter or so. Midwinter to spring time. Somewhere around there.
I think that's what caught the snowboard world by surprise. If you hadn't been producing video parts, then people would've just assumed that you fell off.
Yeah, and I never wanted to be like that. Because there are snowboarders that are just milking it because they built a name for themselves and I never wanted to do that. So yeah, it caught me by surprise because it wasn't like I stopped producing footage. I still had photos running in magazines. I think I might've even had a cover that year.
You had a cover with Crazy Loco.
Yeah. So there's that. But it wasn't like Crazy Loco dropped and then that happened. I've had time to think about it to try to see both sides of it and like I said, I don't want to play a victim. I know I'm not the best or most professional in the regard of social media or having big stickers on my board all the time, so I totally understand that aspect of it. I can look back and I understand their perspective. If there's some kid who is constantly posting, "Buy this board, buy this board, buy this board!" which a lot of kids do, that's their deal, but I was never like that and I never wanted to be like that. The way that I grew up and the people that I look up to, social media wasn't really a thing. I always liked that I didn't know that much about them. I was kind of using that as a blueprint I guess, because those are the people that inspired me.
[Meyer]: That's not what they wanted. That's not what snowboarding wants right now. Peoples' contracts are like " We need you to post 3-4 videos a month tagging the product" and that just doesn't seem genuine to your values.
Well, it doesn't seem genuine to anyone's. I really like when you want to see stuff from people and you're not overly stimulated. It loses its flavor a lot of the time when you see it too much. But that's the thing where it's like, with snowboarding, you have a video part every year and there's additional web clips and edits and it's pretty consistent and my sponsors are posting stuff of me so it's just me—personally—not posting stuff. To me, it doesn't feel like I'd be genuine in stuff that they wanted me to post. And I'm not hating on that at all either, because people have fucking bills to pay. I totally understand that, but I don't know, for whatever reason, I never wanted to do that. It's never been in any of my contracts, so it was weird that it was a big deal to them, because I fulfilled everything that was outlined in my contract. I met all my incentives, filmed video parts, did everything that it said to do, which I felt was on par with where snowboarding was at.
I think the fact that you're not posting every little detail about your personal life on social media is also what fueled the fire behind all the rumors about what happened when you stopped snowboarding.
I don't even know about a lot of that shit because I'm removed from it and even when I was involved in it, I still had a pretty small group of friends who snowboarded. That's not on purpose or anything. I'm lucky enough to have made friends when I was first starting to film that are still filming, like Louif [Paradis] and [Jake] Kuzyk, and they weren't wondering what happened to me, so I wasn't hearing it from anyone. Maybe here and there, like I'd see a random comment online or something, but I don't really know much about that.
Some of the stuff I heard was "Jed likes skateboarding more than snowboarding and that's why he quit," and it really snowballed out of control. I knew it wasn't necessarily true, but it was interesting, because you're not readily available in a platform to respond to those rumors.
Yeah, and that's not a lie either. Like I've said, I definitely like things about skateboarding more than snowboarding, but that's fine, I think. They are both very different, and have been apart of my life for a super long time.
One is your job, one is your passion.
I'm passionate about both but skating has always just been fun. theres never been an obligation to do it… It's never been my "job," so in a way, I do like it more, because there's no pressure and I don't have to view it in that regard. If I'm going to film something on a snowboard, I'm taking it more seriously and with skating, there's not that aspect to it, so of course in a lot of ways, skateboarding more enjoyable. they're enjoyable in different ways. I find a lot of fulfilment with snowboarding and filming because it feels like i have a purpose…Its not quite as casual, and i like to take it a bit more serious…it makes more sense to me to take it serious because I feel likeI have an oppritunity to push snowboarding and my self. I treat one more like a job when I'm filming…and with skating, I don't have to worry about that. Still with snowboarding, even though I'm taking it more serious, it doesn't mean its not fun. When I say I'm taking it serious I mean that I care about what I'm producing and how I'm going to stack up. skateboarding Is more casual. But that would never be a reason for me to stop snowboarding. I live in winter, I live in Canada, I can't skateboard all the time. Maybe when I was really young I would want to be a pro skateboarder but it's not anything in the last six or seven years that I've considered seriously. I never wanted that to be a job or a profession.
How many years have you been a professional snowboarder at this point?
What I would consider was probably when I got on Salomon and Nike. I mean, I was "sponsored" when I was younger. I had contracts and I was paid. I don't know numbers or anything like that, but when I was young, I was getting a little bit of money and traveling a little bit when I was on Forum. I was just a little kid. I guess since I was 15 or 16.
When you got dropped, were you nervous?
I wasn't nervous in maybe the way you would think. I've always lived with people and not paid crazy rent or anything like that. I was lucky enough to have travel budget when i was snowboarding, and I didn't really have many expenses, so I wasn't like, "Oh fuck, I need to find a job right now." I was like, "Oh, maybe something will happen." I mean, I was mad and confused a bit, but I thought I'd be able to figure something else out.
What was the trouble in finding new sponsors? Was it that companies didn't have money?
I think that was a huge part of it. I think companies were just focusing on who they had.
[Meyer]: That's another rumor too, like Jed just wants too much money, he's greedy. I think a lot of people don't know that it wasn't like you're out there asking for a ridiculous amount of money, you were just trying to continue to do it.
I mean, there was definitely a number that I wasn't trying to go below.
That could be tied to the Nike legacy, too. People assume that if you rode for Nike then you won't even consider a deal that doesn't include a huge dollar amount attached to it.
With that, they just took care of us really well. I wasn't naïve to that. I knew that was a special thing. That's why when that ended, I was like, "Well, that's tight that I was a part of that." But, like I said, I don't want to play the victim and be like, "I was just trying to keep it going," because I was still trying to make a fucking living, but I didn't want to take a step backwards. I wasn't like, "I just need enough money to film another video part." I worked really hard to get to this point and I wasn't going to start working backwards. I'd rather just stop.
Well, you know your worth.
Yeah, I think I know my worth and if I can't meet eye-to-eye with someone on that, then I would just rather stop. That was kind of my mentality with it. I worked this hard to get to here and it's been awesome and I'm proud of what I did, but I don't want to work backwards and milk it. The other aspect was that it was kind of exciting, like a new chapter of my life.
Totally. You have so much other shit going on besides snowboarding. Art, music, skateboarding or whatever it may be, so it feels like if it were to have ended, you would have a pretty good shot at being successful doing something else because you have options.
Yeah…i would hope so at least. I mean, that was my mentality. Like I said, I had saved up some money so I had some wiggle room to try to fuck around and feel out my options, whether that be school or whatever. I was like, "Okay whatever, this sucks, but maybe it's a good time anyway. A good opportunity to see what the real world is like."
Have you ever had a regular job?
No, not really. And I realize how fucked that is and how privileged that is. It's insanely privileged. There have been times where I've felt guilty about that…watching friends work jobs they hate and I'm just like…chilling. But at the same time, it's not like I don't understand how lucky I've been, and I try to remind myself of that.
[Meyer]: I wouldn't call it privileged. You made it for yourself off of this raw natural talent that you have, not just on your snowboard but the way you go about it. What you bring to it wasn't given to you.
It wasn't given to me but I had a family that helped me a lot to get that ball rolling and I know a lot of kids don't have that support or the funds to do that. So even having a family that was willing to help me in such a massive way is a privallige, I guess the age where you try to find your first job was the age that I started getting paid to snowboard…So I didn't have to go find the traditional first job…I guess People trip on that.
If it all did come to an end and you called it a career, what do you think you would do?
School. For sure. I thought about it after I finished high school, but I wasn't in the right headspace where I would've had the proper outlook on it and the motivation to do it. I was talking with Louif about Laurent [Nicolas-Paquin] and how he's becoming a mechanic and he's the best dude in the class. Laurent at twenty years old wouldn't have been the best kid in the class because he wouldn't want to be there. I think I still will go back to school when it's the right time. Now, at my age, being in my mid-to-later twenties, I actually have the focus and I would want to be there, rather than just doing it because I'm supposed to.
It's interesting you say that because right now, you seem more focused than ever, filming this part that's going to come out in January.
Yeah, and like I said, I don't want to take a step back and it's the same with video parts, too. I don't want to come out with something that's not as good as my older stuff, so it has to be at least as good, hopefully better. If I came out with something worse, that takes away from everything I just said about knowing my self-worth.
Did you experience any reaction firsthand after it all went down? Were kids hitting you up on Instagram?
I still get Instagram messages all the time. Kids hit me up, like, "When are you dropping a new snowboard part?" or "What happened?" Stuff like that. It would be weird to say all this shit that we're talking about to a random kid, though…Or maybe I just didn't want to take the time to explain it every time i got a comment…
Do you ever reply?
I mean, I'm sure I have. When I see it, I don't even really think about it. People comment on my photos all the time and say stuff about snowboarding, too, but now, I'm hyped on it because I know I'm going to be able to have something for them. It used to be kind of annoying.
Because you didn't really have an answer?
Well, not that I didn't have an answer, but I didn't think I was going to snowboard professionally again, either, so I was getting all these messages that would say, "Fucking snowboard," or on my story if I was skating, people would be like, "Go snowboarding." But at that point in time, I wasn't planning on snowboarding anymore. It was just fucking annoying, honestly. I know they didn't mean to be annoying, but it's like a backhanded compliment. Like, thanks, but I don't know what you want from me.
One of the rumors was that you quit snowboarding to try and become a pro skater.
[Meyer]: And what fed into that is when you dropped that Thrasher part.
well that was over a year of just skating with my friends and the shop here called blue tile lounge. I definitely wanted to film a decent part, but I'm not dumb. Kids are fucked up at skating and they're young. Like I said before, I never wanted to treat skating that way. I've been lucky enough to have some companies give me boards here and there and that was as far as I wanted to go. If I can skate and not have to pay for wheels, trucks and skateboards, that's perfect. With snowboarding it's different, because I feel like I can be someone who is near the top and in skating, I know I could never be that. If I'm going to consider myself a professional—and I don't even like the term "professional snowboarder"—then I want it to make sense. With this part, I haven't snowboarded for a couple years, and I want it to be on par with everything that has been going on in snowboarding the last few years and everything that I've done in the past. As for skateboarding, I work really hard at it and I'm proud of myself for that, but I know that I'm not at that caliber. I don't think that it's possible for me to ever achieve that, which I'm totally fine with. I just enjoy it. I love skateboarding.
[Meyer]: Maybe that's why you enjoy it, because it's more of a challenge.
[Meyer]: Snowboarding is not a challenge for you.
I wouldn't say that it's not a challenge. Ive spent so much damn time snowboarding and working to get to where i am. I would maybe say that it comes a little more naturally for me. I think snowboarding is also just easier in general. That's what I'm saying about being a professional snowboarder, it just feels more natural, but it's still hard for me if I'm pushing myself and not just floating along. Snowboarding is challenging if you challenge yourself. To keep up, you have to. Shit moves quick. There are a lot of good people now, whereas maybe five years ago, when you looked at street snowboarding, people were still good but not like they are now.
Do you feel like you need that to keep progressing?
Yeah, I think that's some of the motivation, but I also want to compete with myself. I always want to make something better than what I previously made. I always try to do that. That's what I admire about Louif and Jake so much. You can tell that's what they're trying to do, you can see it.
Were you proud of Jake when he got Landline. ender?
Yeah, for sure. I love his snowboarding. They're two people who I think have a very similar outlook on it.
Let's get into how this interview came to be. How did the whole adidas thing start?
When I got off of Nike, I talked to them a little bit but nothing ever serious. When I got kicked off Salomon, I hit up Evan and was like, "Is there any possibility of making something happen?" We talked about it back and forth via email for a couple weeks, and it just fizzled out. That was nothing against them. It was the same thing I'd heard from most people I talked to. A lot of people were like, "We just gotta focus on who we have," which I understand. But then around this time last year, Evan called me and was like, "Hey I think we might be able to work something out" and it happened really fast. He hit me up with this idea to film something and he was like, "Are you down?" and I was like, "Yeah."
So was it their idea to keep it super under wraps?
Yeah, and I kind of wanted to, as well.
I think this is going to be really good for snowboarding. Shit like this doesn't happen all the time. It seems like everyone knows everything because our world is constant content and nothing is kept secret anymore.
Dude, it's fucking crazy.
[Meyer]: What trips me out is how from the last trick you filmed in Visitors up until your first time strapping in to film for this part, you didn't fucking snowboard.
That's what I was going to say. It's kind of crazy on adidas's part, honestly. It's awesome that they had this much faith in me because honestly, when I went on that first trip, I was like, "I might not be able to snowboard that well."
[Meyer]: There was actually probably a lot of dust on your snowboard.
When Evan brought it up to me in a serious way, I'm not going to lie, I was like, "Fuck." I didn't think I was going to snowboard anymore. I got more excited after I knew I was going on that first trip. I was like, "Fuck, this is sick, but do I want to start this whole thing again? I kind of just got out of it."
Were you nervous?
I was just nervous that I wasn't going to know how to snowboard like I used to. I was pretty sure I was going to know how, but i was certain. In the past, when I was filming parts, it's not different or bizarre for me to just go straight into a trip the next year. It never felt that weird, so I thought it was just going to feel like that but way longer. I was like, "I'm pretty sure I know how to do this, I did it for a long ass time," but I was definitely nervous about it.
[Meyer]: I don't know anyone else who films video parts who doesn't need at least a few days to rip around a resort or warm up on something. You're the only person I know that, would be like, "Yeah I didn't even snowboard this summer." You don't strap in at a resort once, it's just straight to the spot. With this part, you had all that dead time. The first time you were strapping in was at fucking elbow kinks.
It was probably pretty stupid on my behalf to do it like that. I don't even really enjoy going snowboarding at resorts a lot of the time though, to be honest. They are almost scarier to me because they are all icy and rutted…I do at certain places, but I'm so much more motivated at a spot. I'm like, clip hungry, so I just want to go get clips. There's not even a resort that close to me, either. So it would be quite the process to make that happen prior to a trip anyways…
At the same time, it must've been pretty cool to realize there are companies that had that faith in you.
For sure. That made me more motivated, too, because they're expecting something from me. Hopefully by the time this interview comes out, I came through. I'm happy with how it's been going, but there's a month and a bit left and I'm not really sure if its going to be at where i want it to. It's Alex [Sherman] and Evan and they're my friends so it's a little different. They thought it would be cool and they backed my snowboarding and that's sick. It's for sure motivating.
Is any part of you going into this almost with a bit of an axe to grind? Something to prove?
Yeah, for sure. the fact that I haven't had a part come out in a while…I've said this a hundred times, but I don't want to put out something that isn't as good as what I've put out before. I just want it to be good for that reason. It would be whack if I was coming back into snowboarding with two new sponsors introducing me and I didn't have a good part. I feel like I have to prove my place on those brands.
Who is your board sponsor now?
How did that all come about?
Well, pretty much all last year, I was going on trips with Wiz [Alex Sherman], and he was like, "We're pretty much the same size," so I was just riding his boards. I rode Nitro boards, he had a Ride board, I rode a Public board. I think when I started to get clips I was like, "Fuck, it would be pretty sick to have a snowboard sponsor." I was trying to think of who would even make sense for me to snowboard for. To me, Ride was the only one I could really think of. I am friends with a bunch of people on the team already, and i like the image they have. Wiz ended up talking to Tanner, and he was like, "That would be sick, maybe we could work it out." He sent me a couple boards to try just to see if I liked them and we ended up working it out. I'm trying to wrap my own head around it because it just kind of fucking happened really quick as well. Also, Dillon rode for ride. Since I stopped snowboarding for those couple years I saw dillon pretty often. He became friends with a lot of my friends who didn't snowboard so we shared a lot of similar homies. I didn't even really know him too well when i was still snowboarding a lot, so we became friends through a totally different circumstance. So to ride for ride and get to hang with him, it made me really excited.
When professional snowboarding ended for you a couple years ago, in your eyes, it was done for you. You were prepared to move on to the next chapter. Now, it seems like snowboarding reintroduced itself into your life and now this is the next chapter of your snowboarding career. Is that how you're looking at it?
It's also the next chapter of my life a little bit, too, because I always appreciated snowboarding, but I think I appreciate it more now. I was definitely at a point where I was like, " Im running out of funds…I'm going to need to get a fucking job." So now, it's like damn, if I can survive doing this, it's way better than having to work a job. I always thought that, and I always understood that, but I had never been at a point where it was a real thing. I guess I just have a newfound appreciation for it now.
[Meyer]: It almost made it new for you again.
Exactly. With Salomon dropping me and that being the nail in the coffin, I think it was fucking whack of them, but it was positive for me at the same time. It was like when I was a little kid and I couldn't ride for Forum anymore, it was devastating. That was how it felt this time but in a different way. Getting off Forum changed my outlook, and I discovered my style of snowboarding. I was able to have that time to figure some shit out. With this, having those couple years, it was the same thing, but in a more adult way, I guess. I'm understanding the big picture more. When you're in snowboarding and you're filming part after part after part, you don't really have a moment to step back and look at what's happening in your life. It can be such a routine. Also, with these companies supporting me now…They are supporting me for who I am and they are backing me for the way I present my self. I don't have to fake the funk or do shit that makes me feel weird. So I'm in a better spot now.
It can burn people out.
For sure. It can get a little stale. But I had those two years and then when I was thinking about getting back into it, I was able to see the privilege because I was removed from it. I don't know. I guess it just made me appreciate a lot about it. I don't know anything else in my life that I can do on a high level that's on par with what the best people are doing.
I think anyone can relate to that whether it's snowboarding or if you're a certified public accountant. If you think you're really fucking good at it, it's hard to justify doing anything else or learning to do something else.
Yeah. And so being given an opportunity to do it again and be able to survive off of it, it makes perfect sense, and it makes me really happy.
What's next for Jed Anderson in the coming two, three, five years? What do you want to accomplish?
As far as snowboarding goes, I just want to keep filming and traveling….and continue to push my self…Try to come up with new ideas to keep things relevant and exciting. Otherwise, I just want to keep growing and learning. I have a lot to learn, and a lot of growing to do, so hopefully over these next years I can become closer to the person I want to be.