Logan Imlach is often acknowledged as the working man's skier, winner of Level 1's 2010 Superunknown installment, or an intuitive DIY'er that can build just about anything to get the job done. Among these things Logan is a Newschooler. Joining the site in 2003 he has garnered a reputation for speaking his bold and honest opinions. More often then not we have learned a thing or two from them, which have only made Logan's original username 'grandfather' all the more appropriate. I had the chance to bounce some questions off of Logan in hopes of capturing and sharing some more of his refined wisdom.
You've been a member on the site for a long time, how did you discover NS?
I heard about Newschoolers from Tim Durtschi in 2003. I joined then, and got banned twice, including an IP ban that I had to beg Harvey to lift.
Do you remember what you had been banned for on either of those occasions?
(Laughter) One was definitely for spamming tub girl and I don't remember the other.
Lets just swing away from the tub girl thoughts... Shot by Nate Abbott.
You mentioned Tim Durtschi. Did you grow up skiing together; and had you grown up with any other skiers who would inevitably become something larger within the industry?
Yeah when I was younger I skied with Tim Durtschi and Zach Davison who went on to big things. The Tanaka Brothers (Luke and Landis) were there as well, but for the most part I rode with my snowboarder friends Matt Wild and Travis Reid, and Girdwood kids like Jake Rosauer, Kevin Bennet, Shaun Poirot, and Erik Frampton.
Scoping with the crew. Shot by Jeremy Lavender
Newschoolers has always been a platform for meeting people to ride with. How often do you get to meet up and ride with other NS'ers?
Meeting kids that are on NS is pretty common, but it's not as common to meet an active member that you've interacted with. A few months ago I met Bakerpow and was a little starstruck; that dude takes amazing pictures. Plus I thought he'd be waaaaay taller. It's always funny how that shit works out.
You were riding handmade skis in that video. For those who are unaware, can you explain what you're up to?
I was! So after 5 years with Moment I was looking for a new ski sponsor this year. I loved the skis, and I love Casey the owner; but there were some other things that we just didn't line up on and I decided to go out and shop around. I was met by a similar answer by most of the big companies: "We don't have enough cash to pick you up because we need to support our Olympic athletes."
With a chip on my shoulder, I decided "Well fuck you, I'll build my own shit then." Well throughout the process of building them that chip faded away and it became a labor of love. Then when I finally started riding them and getting shots it turned into an unimaginable level of stoke. Like that shit used to be a chunk of wood that you cut and planed and massaged into a fucking ski. How cool is that?
In an older interview with Mikko Hietala (NS Member Mike-O) you stated that you snowboarded for a majority of your childhood. What drove you to switch back to skiing? Do you think you would be in a similar place today if you had kept snowboarding?
I actually didn't switch back to skiing by choice, my dad took away my snowboard after I got a bad grade in middle school. He didn't want to take away my season's pass so he bought me some used boots and some old 155 Elan race skis and told me that I could go to Alyeska if I wanted to, but I couldn't snowboard. After a couple weeks of being on strike I took them out and instantly fell in love. If I would have continued snowboarding I don't think there's a chance in hell I would have made it to a similar level in that world.
Logan's dad knows best. Shot by Logan Imlach.
How long after this affinity did it take for you to switch over to twins?
Not long, I think that all happened at around Christmas time and by spring I was on the OG 1080. Sooo wish I would have kept those. I think eventually I dealt them on NS for the Line 1260s with the ninjas on them and the Reactor bolt pattern.
Bouncing back to your interview with Mikko, we can quote you saying:
"Everyone is all fired up about the Olympics, but at some point we're all going to need to realize that it's happening. There isn't a god damn thing anyone can do to stop it, so we might as well accept it for what it is, and all go about our business. People are going to ski in contests anyways, so why not give them a shot to represent their countries? I don't ski in contests, and they can't make hitting handrails illegal, so I've accepted it and try not to be too emotionally invested in it anymore."
Something you have been very vocal about within the past year is your distaste for the Olympics, which largely contrasts your opinion from three years ago. Now that they have come and gone where do you stand on the matter?
When I gave that answer I didn't fully realize the implications that it was going to have on ski films. Obviously they can't make urban any more illegal than it already is, but they have negatively impacted one thing that I love: ski movies.
I'm not going to lie, I watched pipe, I was fucking bummed watching Torin fall, and then I really didn't watch finals. I didn't watch slope, but I was rooting for Henrik and Devin, and I was stoked for Joss because he seems like a genuinely good dude. I got fucking teary along with the rest of you watching the Sarah piece that they did, and I think that was probably the best exposure that the Olympics provided our sport.
So what did we really get out of it? We didn't get fuck all because every single news outlet focused on Gus and his puppies, Nick and his mass of 14 year old suitors, and the American sweep. Nobody talked about the skiing and how amazing it was, they focused on the bullshit. One of them will end up on Dancing With the Stars, they'll probably make a killing in endorsements on something, and there won't be any huge "trickle down" that people assumed would happen.
Harry Potter glasses only amplify Mr. Imlach's knowledge output. Shot by Zac Heinen.
Do you think we'll see some funding if any of the athletes mentioned land some big movie segments?
It's tough to say. I mean sure, sponsors put up dollars to have their athletes in movies. Bobby having a park shoot with MSP last year didn't change the fact that they couldn't get enough cash together to put out the type of movie that they wanted in a one year period. Wallisch makes bank, and the awesome thing about him is that he helps keep 4bi9 afloat. It gets AJ paid gigs through his video series. That's about the only trickle down I'm even aware of.
You were recently featured in a BBC article along with fellow Level 1 riders Khai Krepela and Sandy Boville. Do you think we'll see more outside exposure like this in the next couple of years? Do you think that slope and pipe in the Olympics were an influence in that article's happening?
Actually they weren't at all. We had thought that as well, but upon speaking with the reporter he had seen Karl's Detroit segment and became intrigued. Through a few connections they ended up with us. That article came out better than I ever could have anticipated, and was really because the dude who wrote it was genuinely interested. As for continued or more exposure, who really knows, there wasn't a ton of buzz around that BBC article and edit, but people are so numb to shit like that because the internet is constantly cycling shit through.
Do we just call this one 'Overcast'? I haven't a clue... Shot by Aiden Lewis.
Speaking of active members, you're definitely one of the more active orange names on the site. Why do you think so many orange names shy away from NS?
For a majority of them I think that they just flat out don't care. But it is funny to see dudes that used to be active, then as soon as their name turns orange or they gain a little credit they stop posting as often to garnish their reputation or something. That's just fucking stupid.
Would you like to see more industry pros speaking their mind to the community?
It would be nice to see people unafraid of speaking their mind and rustling feathers, but it would be pretty naive of me to expect people to bite the hand that feeds them. I guess since I don't have any hands feeding me it's a lot easier for me to get on a soapbox. But then again, maybe my lack of income is due to my own destruction... (Laughs) Fuck it.
From orange to purple, you're fairly active in filming, photography, and writing. With the recent influx of purple names on the site who will be producing all forms media, what advice do you have to offer?
The only advice that I have is cliche but whatever: be true to yourself. Writing is boring when the author isn't in love with what they're writing about. The same goes for filming and photography. Whenever there's love in it, the outcome is always genuine, and that's the best shit to watch/read/listen to/etc.
A media master at work. Shot by Johnny Sellers.
Any final words to the members of Newschoolers?
Work hard for what you want and don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something.
Thanks for your time!
Cover photo by Khai Krepela
'A Moment With Logan Imlach' by Mikko Hietala: https://www.newschoolers.com/readnews/4451.0/A-Moment-With-Logan-Imlach
'The Logan Imlach Q&A' by the NS community: https://www.newschoolers.com/readnews/43380/The-Logan-Imlach-Q-A?c=6&o=2
The Hazards of Urban Skiing' by Aiden Lewis: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26297175
Logan's ski building work: http://skibuilders.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=42533&sid=97b9106157799cb3b596097c12d43cfc