words: Brendan Hart
Firstborn children are susceptible to acquiring a type of parasite known as the Younger Brother, a sickly species to which I belong. We live in and off the shadows of our older siblings. We grow in the dark, which has many advantages. Being the brother of somebody as universally liked as Ian Hart has always predisposed people in my favor. “You’re Ian’s brother?” they ask, stoked, some of their colorful regard for him splashing upon me. It’s truly a privilege to be related to and associated with Ian, despite having been the long-time recipient of brotherly beatings, ruthless wedgies, and edifying purple-nurples.
Ian’s talents are not limited to torquing underwear and twisting nipples. He can also work wonders on a snowboard with a style that I've always tried to emulate, but whose smoothness I've never come close to copying. This winter Ian joined the ranks of the 686 crew, filming for their new movie. This meant that his presence at our house was even more phantom-like than usual, a missing bag of chips the only sign that he had visited. Although he would give me generic descriptions of his travels, I never knew exactly what strange adventures he had while filming. Ian's birthday passed this week and for his present, which is just as much a gift to me, I wanted to feature him on this week's column and hear about some more of the specifics of his winter escapades on the road. So here's what my big bro, and one of my all-time favorite snowboarders, had to say.
A seminal video of Ian hammering through an extra clean spin cycle at Loon a few seasons back.
In the past you've filmed for Keep the Change's Holy Smokes and Homage and Quiksilver's Take it Easy. How has filming with 686 differed from those endeavors?
Ian: This past year filming with the 686 crew was pretty awesome. Definitely had some good times chasing the snow around the country. It was a little different because the trips had smaller crews than I'm used to, so it was easier to decide on spots that everyone wanted to hit which was cool and less stressful trying to get shots.
Did you already know everyone on the 686 crew prior to heading out on trips? Who are some of the new friends you made this season?
Ian: I knew a handful of people beforehand, like Riley Nickerson, John Murphy, and Austin Young from filming, and being out at Mt. Hood previous summers. I was hyped to meet Ryan Tarbell this season, watching him ride in person is next level. Everything he does is proper as shit, he's a G! Cam Pierce was cool to watch ride in person, too, he's gnarly! Always enjoyed his Forum video parts.
Pat McCarthy had one of my favorite parts in In Color. He's a seriously skilled snowboarder. What's he like as a team manager?
Ian: He's the man. He's always hyped to shred, rain or shine and he friggin' rips. Pat's super laid-back, but at the same time he's on top of things when it comes to getting things done and coordinating trips and what not. We got to cruise around together this year out at Seven Springs, PA for Superpark 19. It was all time… He had all the tranny finders dialed, so it was pretty fun following him around.
How did the heavy snow in the East affect your filming plans this winter? Were you bummed or stoked that things were kept pretty local?
Ian: It worked out pretty well, because I love being able to go out and film and then go home right after, hangout in my own house and maybe ride Loon Mountain for a couple days, then go back out to the streets to try and get more shots. The farthest I went westward I think was probably Ohio haha. Other than that it was pretty much around New England. The one thing I wish I could've done was to get out to the Northwest to ride some powder and hit jumps, but unfortunately mother nature wasn't too cooperative on the West Coast this year, at least until mid spring I heard.
You slept in a hallway in Woodstock, New Hampshire this season when you weren't traveling. What was that like? Are you planning to upgrade to a closet or perhaps an actual bedroom next winter?
Ian: The Jack O' Lantern golf resort in Woodstock was all-time this year. It didn't really bother me too much, it was probably worst for my buddy Armando who shared the upstairs because I snore unbearably loud. We had some rippin' good times there, though. It was a solid crew of dudes. We always had visitors dropping in, too. A couple of them made the pilgrimage back to the East Coast for the Holidays and such; including Big Mike Gonsalves, David Daisy, and also Riley Nickerson came through for a week before Superpark.
What was the sketchiest/weirdest place that you stayed at this winter?
Ian: I wouldn't necessarily say it was the "weirdest" place, because it was a pretty nice airbnb up in Quebec, but there weren't enough places to sleep for a few days so I had to take a baby mattress out of a crib that was in Cam's room and sleep on that hahaha, that was interesting.
Do trips get you excited or stress you out? What type of mindset do you try to have before hitting the road?
Ian: I love going on trips, it can be frustrating at times, but you just have to look at it with an open mind and be optimistic about things, ya know? That's part of the game if you want to go out and film, nothing is ever going to work out perfectly, or exactly how you imagined it, at least from my experiences haha. Its all worth it though because the feeling you get when you finally get your trick is indescribable.
What was your best trip this winter? What made it so good?
Ian: My favorite trip was when we stayed in Western Mass for the last bit of snow on the ground. (filming wise) It consisted of a pretty all-star line up : Riley Nickerson, Ryan Tarbell, Marcus Rand, Ian Post, Annie Mac, and Mark Reznikov. It wasn't the most productive trip due to snow melting so fast, but we still got some stuff done when we thought we were going to walk away with nothing.
What was your worst trip? What made it so bad?
Ian: I'm not going to say worst trip, but most frustrating was probably our trip to Ohio. I drove with Ian Post and Annie Mac from Vermont and Riley flew in two days later after getting shafted by the airlines a couple times, but he finally made it. We missed the snow by a couple days I think, but it was still awesome to go see some of the spots in Ohio that I've watched in video parts. It's always a really cool feeling to see a spot in person, that you've watched over and over in movies.
What's the story behind Maui Jim? Will he have any cameos in your video part?
Ian: I'm not really sure about my video part, but I’ll tell you how Maui got his start. The lifts were closed at Loon due to high winds during mid-December so we decided to "travel light," meaning that Cole Martin, Cole St. Martin and myself went to the liquor store and each got this shitty vodka called Light Traveler. We got pretty wrecked and I found a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that were at CSM's condo and also a do-rag that was lying around, and those guys just started calling me Maui Jim from there on out, that was two winters ago I think.