Originally published in the 30th Anniversary Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, Mountain GOATS celebrates the most influential snowboarders of the last thirty years (1987-2017), otherwise known as the Greatest Of All Time list. With over 70 men and women riding into the ranks of the Mountain GOATS, check back as we release their bios and celebrated accolades over the course of the next few weeks!
Mountain Goat: Jamie Lynn
When Jamie Lynn stuck a Cab five off a fifty-foot cliff in Norway in 1995 without even the slightest imperfection, the gloves--quite literally--came off. James Michael Lynn came up in Washington state's snowboarding scene at the tail end of the Mount Baker Hardcore's heyday. While the rest of us were busy preparing for the imminent arrival of the Olympics, figuring out how to spin-to-win or jib-bonking every obstacle in sight, Jamie was cutting his teeth on the contours of the Cascades. No parks, no pipes, no gloves...no matter--Jamie learned to read terrain and let his style put on the show.
As inauspicious as his shots in MDP's Pocahontas and the Glacier local vid Baked were, when the FLF shooters came up to stack for their mid-season release Roadkill, Jamie got his big break and he didn't disappoint. Appearances in Alive We Ride, The Hard, The Hungry, and The Homeless, Upping the Ante, Project 6, RPM, and Volcom's esteemed The Garden soon followed. In the realm of spinning, Jamie's "off the toes" frontside rotations were revolutionary. His ability to set an edge and lead with the shoulders made 900 degree spins not only doable, but downright dope. Then there was the signature low-crouch stomp that left no doubt as to Lynn's intention to land clean and keep the flow going down the fall line. Above all else, Jamie's method was his true masterpiece. With his board leading his body at a precise, perpendicular angle and effortlessly grabbed in the right spot, just a hair beyond the front foot, his silhouette constantly left bystanders in awe. It was style incarnate.
When Jamie got his own Lib Tech signature model in the mid-90s, he brought his unique self-expression to the topsheet by creating his own graphics, a first for any pro rider. Inspired by hippie ideals, feline fascination, alien lore, and surf culture, Lynn's paintings evoked many of the same emotions as his riding. Then he picked up a guitar and began channeling his creativity into six-strings, forming the band Kandi Coded with Nirvana's Bleach producer Jack Endino. As for the gloveless lore, the reason why countless kids followed Jamie's lead and risked frozen digits was, according Jamie's first girlfriend Circe Wallace, a total fluke. "No gloves? [That wasn't] because he was making a statement, but because he forgot them." Ironically, this lapse by Lynn added to the legend and led to countless unforgettable images.