Interview by Leah Poulton
If you have paid any attention at all to the skiing industry in the last couple years, you will know the name Eric Pollard. Whether it’s his big backcountry style, his ski-inspired artwork, his pro models for Line or his project with Nimbus Independent, Hunting Yeti, Pollard has influenced almost every aspect of the skiing world. He took a quick break from editing Webisode 3 of Hunting Yeti (release June 15) to fill us in on his past, present and future inspirations.
photo: Ike Smith
Your career takes you all over the world… but where do you call home?
Mt Hood, Oregon
Where did you grow up? What was your home mountain?
I grew up in Mt Hood Oregon, my home mountain is Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows
Did you always want to be a pro skier? Did you ever have a backup plan in case you didn’t make it?
I never planned on becoming a pro skier. I thought I was going to go to art school and be a graphic designer. It just fell into place, I was given a lot of great opportunities.
How did you get first involved with the other guys in the Nimbus Independent crew?
I have skied with Ike Smith since I was 8. I went to school with Justin Wiegand. Pep and I met filming for Matchstick Productions when I was 18. Andy and I met and skied together in Oregon when I was about 17. Chris and I met filming for Matchstick Productions when I was 19.
How did the idea for Nimbus and Hunting Yeti come about?
I wanted to start a film company with a small, focused group of skiers. I also wanted the two filmers to be my good friends, Justin and Ike. And lastly, I wanted to change the format of ski movies, and try to relate to skiers in our culture.
What can you tell me about Webisode 3?
Webisode 3 was filmed in April and May of 08 (it will be released on June 15th). It consists of two camping trips to a couple Northwest volcanoes, a park trip to Mammoth and some skiing up at my home resort of Timberline.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened off-camera so far?
Justin Wiegand ended up landing his snowmobile on top of Ike Smith’s at Mt. Saint Helens this May. It was actually super sketchy, but an hour after it happened and the dust had settled we all laughed for a long time.
photo: Justin Wiegand
Which one of you is usually the first to hit something new on the hill?
I end up testing most of the jumps.
Why do you think producers in the industry are going this way (to online distribution)?
Because of the way the Internet makes movies available.
You’re an athlete, an editor and an artist, among other things. What’s your main focus? Do you see your focus changing, say, five years from now?
My focus is changing all the time. It goes from taking notes on shots we need to directing and filming to editing to skiing, to graphics to family. It has to change. I tend to focus on whatever task is at hand.
photo: Justin Wiegand
Describe your dream day.
Perfect snow and weather, good people.
You’re also a solid snowboarder…what made you stick to skiing instead of switching over when snowboarding got popular?
I always kept skiing because I think skiing is more exciting, there are still new tricks to be done, while snowboarding has reached a climax for the most part.
According to Helly Hansen, you “have a knack for surviving situations that would be the end for any normal human.” Can you name one?
I came up short on a road gap when I was 15. Landed on my head on pavement from a ways up, and I’m still here.
Who would you say is the most influential person in your life when it comes to skiing?
That tends to change as well. When I first started skiing it was my friends and the videos I watched. Then a couple local skiers; Josh Frazier and Griffin Cummings really showed me how to move. Now I am most influenced by other sports and my peers.
photo: Ike Smith
Most influential person outside of skiing?
What would you say influences your art?
Traveling, skiing, surfing, photography, culture.
Direct Link --> http://www.rip.tv/video/view/4831
Are you a big partier when you’re on tour/on the road?
I tend to send it when I’m surrounded by people I am more comfortable with.
Who’s the biggest partier in the Nimbus crew?
Do people recognize you in the street or on the hill? If so, does that piss you off?
Not really…If I’m in a ski town, or something like that maybe. It doesn’t piss me off at all. It can be very embarrassing if I’m with my wife or something like that.
Do you ever get up in the morning and think, “I don’t want to ski today?”
Yes, but never when there is good snow.
How did you and Erin meet?
Snowboarding at Hood.
It’s the middle of July and you’re at home, with not an inch of snow in sight. What does a typical summer day consist of?
Graphic work for ads, skis and movie and product related stuff…editing…and whenever possible, surfing.
Direct Link --> http://www.rip.tv/video/view/4833
What’s something you’ve done that you never thought you would?
One thing you want to do before you die?
Get a better grasp on life and the human predicament.
Any advice for skiers who want to be where you are?
Ski a lot. Push yourself. Keep your own style.