Interview by Jeff Schmuck

Hey Jon, how are you doing?

Not bad. Starting to get back into it after a crazy spring, and I’m about to pack my bags here in Monaco to drive north to the Norwegian glaciers, where I’ll be building a kicker and hitting some gates for 33 days. Can’t wait!

What have you been up to since JOSS?

It’s been the most hectic spring ever with JOSS, Gumball and now Grand Prix week in Monaco, and to top things off the Cannes Film Festival. So besides the lack of sleep and training it’s been good! I need the crazy times to really dig in and find max motivation, but I’m now done with playtime and ready to get serious for a month of early mornings and hard workouts! 

photo: Jeff Schmuck

How was Gumball 3000?

Insane! I knew it would be fun, but it was far crazier and surreal than I could ever imagine. Driving into Amsterdam with 100,000 people screaming on the streets. Together with a Bugatti Veyron being escorted by four police cars for 400km through Canada. People getting caught doing 300km/h and getting their cars impounded, only to call a heli and buy a new car from the air to just pick it up and keep going. Then the finish in Times Square, surreal is the only word to describe it. I’m 100% going to do it again next year, but this time we will go all in with the cars.

photo courtesy of Jon Olsson

For the people out there who don't actually know what Gumball is, fill them in.

120 super cars drive 3,000 miles in seven days, and it’s a different route each year. This year it was London-Amsterdam-Copenhagen-Stockholm-flight to Boston-Quebec-Toronto-New York City. It used to be a race but now it’s more of a road trip…but as with all trips it sucks to get there last.

And how'd you do in it?

They don’t announce any places as they try to keep it kind of legal, but I was the first car to Boston, which felt great! (laughs)

Gumball 3000 - Toronto to New York

You went pretty much straight from JOSS to more ski racing to Gumball. Are you finally getting to enjoy some much-deserved rest now?

Well I did enjoy the time off from skiing, but Monaco and Cannes was not much of a rest period, so now I feel like I should relax after the last few weeks. But I had a great time and disconnected my inbox and blogging for a while, and now I feel like I’m back at full power again! 

And speaking of racing, how'd your season go overall in that area?

It went great. I won the overall Nor Am cup title, which was amazing! I also finished 6th in the US Nationals which I was also kind of happy with, so big steps this winter. However next winter will be the year to try to take it to the next level!

photo courtesy of Jon Olsson

And what's next for you going into the summer and next winter?

June 3rd - July 3rd – Norway for kickers and gates

July 4th - 13th – surfing in Bali

July 14th - July 31st – chill and gym training

Augest 1st - Sept 10th – New Zealand  

September 11th - 22nd – surfing in Maldives

September 23rd - 25th –

..and then the glacier training kicks off! So it will be a hectic one, but it should be fun! 

You just released the fourth and final segment of the JOSS Awards late last week, and within it is the long awaited and highly anticipated video you made with Colby James West at JOSS. Tell us about how that all went down.

Well the past couple years we only released the teams’ videos but nothing from the JOSS Awards, so I thought it would be fun to show the people who didn’t have the chance to be at the awards what it was like, so we threw that together. We need to get better mics for the audience next year though, because the crowd was much louder than on the video. As far as my and Colby’s segment goes, it was just a little fun one we threw together, and we thought it turned out just the way we planned it…pretty funny and pretty gay (laughs). And it was really fun for me to mix it up from my usually pretty serious segments. I’m also stoked to release a lot more shots in Field Productions’ new movie, because I have a lot of shots saved from JOSS.

JOSS Awards part 1

JOSS Awards part 2

JOSS Awards part 3

What was your favorite part about making the video?

Realizing how terrible we were at dancing! (laughs) The idea was to really learn how to dance and impress, but we quickly realized that it would be impossible as I can barley do two steps in a row. And I also liked the "urban…just kidding" part.

JOSS Awards part 4, including Colby James West & Jon Olsson's JOSS Video

And now that the dust has settled and smoke has cleared, how'd you feel JOSS went overall this year?

Most of the things went great, but as with every year you learn a lot and find things to improve. I guess judging is the most important one to look over as there were a lot of strong opinions about that. I still feel like the right team won, but I think we can find ways to make it even better. Perhaps have a few categories instead of just one, etc. Lots of thought will go into this over the summer. My conclusion is that I want this to be a ski event that requires high end skiing to win, but at the same time I want the video to be well made and entertaining. The hard part is finding the perfect balance.

photo: Jeff Schmuck

Did you have one favorite moment from this year in particular?

The step-up session when the first ever unnatural dubs were staring to go down. That session was absolutely insane! That’s way we do it at JOSS! I also really liked hitting the hip, but I discovered that it’s really hard to keep a hip in perfect shape for almost 30 riders.

photo: Jeff Schmuck

Every year at the conclusion of JOSS, people heatedly debate what team should have won and what their favorite edit was. Placing aside, what edit did you personally enjoy the most from this year?

I don’t think I can pick one in particular. I think they all did a great job and killed it! 

I know you're always thinking way ahead and always have new tricks up your sleeve when it comes to JOSS, so that said, do you have any hints or tidbits of info on what's in store for next year’s event?

Lots of ideas, but for me the most important thing will be to get the teams right and work hard on figuring out how the judging should work. I kind of like the idea of having two winners, one "Movie Winner" and one "Tech Movie Winner" where the Movie Winner is based on overall feeling and the Tech Movie Winner is based more on how crazy the skiing will be, because I think that would create a great variety amongst the edits. But the fall is long so I’m sure that I will come up with a lot of ideas.

photo: Jeff Schmuck

What would you like to say to all the kids on NS who were glued to their computer screens for the entire duration of JOSS along with the distribution of the videos?

If I looked at the web stats and saw that we had horrible numbers I would never have the energy to do JOSS. But when I am dead tired and I look at how many people visited the site during the day I always find more motivation, so thanks to all of you for checking in and helping me through the dips in motivation! I’m already stoked for next year, and there will be another Team Newschoolers, because I’m stoked to have you as part of the event!