Interview & photos by Jeff Schmuck
So this was your first year as a coach at summer camp and at Camp of Champions specifically. How'd that all come about?
Well after last summer when fall came around I hit up Sterbenz and told him I really wanted to be a coach this summer and he said, ‘you got it.’ And since then it's pretty much been the funnest time of my life.
You were a 'Coach In Training' last summer here too right?
Yeah, so I kind of knew that it was coming, and then after I followed up with Sterbenz it all came together real nicely.
Is it challenging coaching for your first time or does it sort of come naturally?
Coaching is really, really, really fun, but definitely a job. When I came here I had the mindset that it wasn't going to be as hard as I thought it would be, but as it turns out, it's definitely a job. We work from pretty much 7am to 6pm every day and although it can be a bit grueling at times, it's fun in its purest form and it's definitely the best job I've ever had in my life. The whole crew here at Camp of Champions is amazing, from the coaches to the diggers to the staff. And the campers keep you smiling all day long.
You had a pretty killer season from the sounds and looks of things, and it was definitely the first year that you started making some noise so to speak. Tell everyone about it.
Yeah I had a lot of fun this winter, which really was the highlight of my year for me. Skiing is all about just having fun, and that's why I do it. So my goal going into this past winter was to simply have as much fun as possible, and that resulted in me being able to travel a fair bit and do some things I've always hoped I could do. I go to go over to Norway where I hung out at Jon's event for a little bit while doing the Sweet Rumble big air, which was really fun, and I'd never been to Europe before so I was pretty psyched. And then as soon as I got back from that I started filming with Warren Miller in Keystone and got a bunch of shots, so make sure you check out the new movie, it's going to be sick.
It must be such an honor to be in a Warren Miller flick, because his films were really the original ski movies, and I think a lot of us will never forget going to them with our families growing up. And now for you to be up there on the silver screen must feel pretty amazing.
Big time. Plus I hadn't really done a lot of filming prior to that, so when I got the call I just said 'wow.'
Did you film with anyone else this winter?
No, not really actually. I was just traveling around and having fun and I was lucky enough to score the opportunity with them. So next year I'll be shooting full-time with them and hopefully get a bunch of shots in some epic locations.
What other plans do you have for next year?
Well on top of filming with those guys as much as I can I want to ski as much backcountry as I possibly can, and I live in Tahoe so that definitely helps. I love the park but backcountry is more my thing and I want to start putting down some creative tricks out there in the mountains and a more natural environment.
You're pretty young and your career in skiing is just starting to flourish, so amongst your peers, who do you look to as inspiration and perhaps think, that's the path I want to follow?
I really look up to the whole Nimbus crew. What those guys are doing is exactly what I want to do in skiing. Sean Pettit, who's one of my good friends, also really inspires me. He's already done great things in the sport and is still so young, so I'd love to be able to do what he's done and is doing. And Anthony Boronowski is another one. All those guys are just doing their own thing in the backcountry and pow, and that just seems so much more free, which is what truly represents skiing to me.
This past year was pretty much the first year when you started to emerge on the scene and turns some heads, and as anyone who knows you knows, you did it on your own through hard work and without anyone handing you anything. So being that there's a lot of kids out there as young as you are, what advice would you give to them to follow in the footsteps that you've been treading?
Well first have as much as you can, because like I was saying earlier, that's what skiing is all about, and you should never lose sight of that. It's all about having fun, not about being famous or making as much money as you can. And be yourself. Don't conform to others want you to do or be. That’s what I did, and good things started happening for me and will hopefully continue to happen, but no matter what I’ll always be having fun skiing.
Any thank-you's you'd like to dish out?
Definitely Matt Sterbenz at 4FRNT. I owe him a lot in terms of how my career is going. My parents of course, for giving me everything I've ever needed. Chad Buckridge, even though he's no longer with Spyder, he's definitely helped me out a lot and is one of my favorite people in the industry. And most definitely Jimbo Morgan at Electric and Skullcandy for being the man, plus my all my friends and the crew I ride with back in Tahoe for always keeping me stoked.