Interview by Jim Borchardt
What's up Jake. How was your ski season this past year in Utah?
Yoo jim! I had a great season this year, definitely the most fun I've had in my past 3 years out there. Lots of urban in the city, park laps at Brighton and Park City, and a good bit of filming and a little traveling so I cant complain!
What was the most memorable urban spot you hit this past year?
Oh man, I hit the most urban of my life this year so there were a lot. I'd say maybe when I was hitting a rail in PC this year on the outrun I almost hit a raccoon haha. And at a different spot landed switch and almost ran into a guy on a bike.
Can I look forward to seeing you in any flicks this year? I was really stoked on your shots in TSP's "Act Natural" last year.
Thanks! Yeah i was bummed when I found out TSP wasn't making another movie. It was always a blast working with all those guys, but when it comes down to it, everyone still needs to make a living, so Jonny, Justin, Shane, and Andy are now killing it elsewhere in the film world. As far as this year went, I did some shooting with 4bi9 and should hopefully have some shots in their upcoming film, which is gonna be insane!
I wasn't aware. That's a shame. Their movie last year was one of my favorites. So stoked to hear that you filmed with 4bi9 though. They have a big following and I have a lot of respect for what that whole crew does.
Have you made any plans for next season?
Yeah I'm definitely stoked to have linked up with them. AJ, Napes, Mcleod, and Tom Arnell are all really good filmers and are always a blast to be around. That goes for the rest of the crew as well. In terms of plans for next season, hopefully try and get some more filming done with them and just try and stack as many shots as possible. Other than, that we will see where the snow takes me.
Yeah. As you probably know, Jeffrey Wenzel will be making Bloom edits for our Utah based riders next year so I'm sure you guys will pump out some good content too! I'm really glad to have people who are already friends work together next year such as you and Jwenz. Its harder to work with people who you haven't developed a relationship with yet.
What inspires and motivates you to ski?
If I had to narrow down what two things get me the most hyped to get out on the hill, in the streets, etc. - I would probably say watching others ski, and music. Whether its my friends who I'm skiing with everyday, or watching an edit or a movie or whatever, it always gets me going to go and get after it. Since the very beginning of when I started getting into park skiing, I've been getting all the ski movies. I think my collection consists of over 60+ ski movies last time I counted haha. So whether watching a dope trick in an edit or a segment it always gets me hyped. Music is also a huge factor for me, I ski with music everyday and try and listen to all different kinds of music just to see how it flows when I'm skiing, and it's nice to change it up and get a different flow while riding based on what track is going through my headphones.
Which movies and skiers were the most influential to you as a skier growing up and why?
Hmm. I would say the two movies that truly blew my mind were Shanghai Six and Long Story Short. Vanular, Downey, Rainville. God damn those were a good two years for skiing haha. As of more recently, I enjoy watching guys like Hornbeck, Walker, and Delorme on a day to day basis. The flow they have and the finesse of their riding that accentuates the taps or butters is just the illest shit out.
I agree. The riders you mentioned all seem to be pretty creative skiers. I know you have competed over the past couple years so I was hoping you could share your experience with that. What's your take on competitions?
Meh. I think comps are the kind of thing that are more for some people than others. I grew up competing moguls then got more into slope comps during highschool. I had some decent finishes in a few but I never really got the drive to keep doing them and get into that circuit. I got more enjoyment and satisfaction out of filming. I'll still do a few comps every year just because I feel like it keep the mind and nerves healthy being in that kind of environment, but I don't really see myself pursuing comps too much, at least for now.
I particularly value filming more too. Its more of a creative outlet than competing in my opinion. Edits are a really powerful marketing tool as well.
How's your summer been? Have you skied at all?
Its been a blast man, just kickin it at home in Lake Placid. Unfortunately haven't made it on snow, but next week, I'll be helping my good friend Justin Perry coach a camp at the water ramps which are 5 minutes from my house, so that will be nice to get some new tricks in before the season. Other than that just been workin landscaping, chillin on the lake with friends and playing a bunch of music, so no complaints!
Music eh? What instrument(s) do you play? And what inspires you as a musician?
Yessir! I've been playing bass for about 6 years now and playing guitar for about 3. Its honestly a pretty addicting hobby, if thats what you wanna call it, and can be rewarding, therapeutic, and satisfying. In terms of what inspires me, I guess I would have to say other musicians or any kind of feeling I might have at the time. Some of my favorite musicians include John Frusciante and Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and the classic blues guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Hendrix, Duane Allman, etc. Whenever I'm not skiing, in my free time, I would say I'm playing an instrument.
That's awesome man. It sounds like your pretty passionate about it. Have you ever recorded anything?
Yeah I would say so. I grew up going to music festivals with my parents, and more specifically my dad plays guitar, dobro, and banjo, so I can give him credit for getting me into music. As far as recording goes, I haven't really done too much with it yet. Maybe at some point once I start creating more of my own material, I will wanna go into that whole realm more. Actually, my dad and sister are in a band together with some friends called Big Slyde (look them up on Facebook!) and I have been playing a bit with them this summer, so If I do end up recording anything in the near future, I imagine it may be with them.
That's cool man especially that your playing is within the context of your family. Music is such a creative outlet and I think it can help anyone develop a sense of spontaneity and ingenuity, which I think can transfer nicely over to other creative outlets such as skiing.
What do you see yourself doing 10 years in the future? What are you long term goals?
I am honestly not sure! In terms of school, I am currently going to Westminster College In SLC for the fall semester and take the spring off. I haven't taken any summer classes yet but Imagine I might be starting that unless I wanna be in school for the rest of my life haha. But I don't have too many long terms plans at this point, just kind of going with the flow for now and will let things happen naturally as they come. But for now, if I can stay productive with skiing then I am content!
Living in the moment eh? I've got a friend that never makes plans and he always ends up on the craziest adventures that my friends and I are all very jealous of. I guess you could say there are tradeoffs between planning and being spontaneous. I guess it really comes down to what you want from life.
Well it seems skiing has been going well for you every year. I'm always stoked to watch the newest edit of you and I am eager to see what comes from you next year. You've been filming with multiple production companies too, which I am stoked on. I honestly think that edits/media are a much more effective marketing tool in comparison to competition. I was hoping you could talk a little bit about what its like to work with filmers. Do you find there's pressure to get shots and/or is it usually a relaxing enjoyable experience?
Yeah its weird though, I wouldn't say that I am SUPER spontaneous, but more of just kind of letting the natural order of things around me happen, and it seems to work well for me so I figure I'll keep it rollin.
Working with filmers is always something I have enjoyed. I have never really been around a filmer that I didn't like too much or one that was super bossy or trying to tell me what to do. A lot of them, I think ,understand how the dynamic between skier and filmer works best, so usually its a relaxed environment, unless the feature is kind of scary then its usually a little less relaxed haha. But the most pressure I find is the pressure i put on myself. Most people who hit urban would agree with me I bet. You don't wanna keep the filmers/the rest of the crew just chillin around the spot if its just you trying to get the last shot or whatever, so its mainly pressure put on myself to try and get a shot as quickly as possible, which isn't always the case, but thats just part of the game.
It sounds like its pretty effortless to film most of the time, but it is interesting to be in a situation where there is a lot of pressure to get shots. I was just reading about how people can crack under pressure, which I think you could relate to. In summary, the article stated that in high pressure contexts, we question abilities we have already mastered causing a drop in performance. In other words, if you were at a really important competition such as X Games, its possible that you will under perform because the pressure of at such an event causes you to question your abilities and tricks you've already mastered.
Anyways, it has been nice talking to you and I'm excited once again to see what comes from you next season. I am also equally as eager to see the content you create with our other Utah based athletes and filmers next year. Have a good rest of your summer and keep pluggin away on the guitar dude!
Anything else you would like to say?
Yeah dude! Stoked to get back out to utah in a few weeks and see all the homies. Id just like to thank my parents and sponsors for supporting me! Real stoked for next season too gonna be a hell of a year!