MOST TOP FLIGHT SHREDDERS AVOID BONE-THREATENING HOBBIES LIKE SNOWBOARDING. ARE YOU EVEN REMOTELY CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING INJURED?
“Ha ha! I think if I were worried about getting hurt, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t think anybody goes into a sport thinking about the injury. It’s all about having a good time, so no, that’s not something I worry about.”
**CHER’S OLD FLAME, SONNY BONO, MIGHT TAKE ISSUE WITH THIS. IF HE COULD, THAT IS. **
“He didn’t get killed skiing, he got killed running into a tree! So the lesson there isn’t ‘Don’t ski’, but ‘Don’t ski into trees.’”/o:p
SO WHAT’S THE WORST INJURY YOU’VE EVER HAD?
“Well, it was from snowboarding… a shoulder injury. I don’t think I broke any bones but my whole shoulder was black and blue. I didn’t have any health insurance at the time and unfortunately I didn’t have any money either, so I was like, ‘Well, my shoulder still sort of works, so I’ll just ride it out and see if it heals on its own.’ Which it eventually did. Thankfully!”/o:p
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
“I didn’t start until I was 25 because I couldn’t afford it! Lift tickets and equipment are pretty expensive. But growing up in Colorado, I was surrounded by mountains and snowboarding is popular there, so I finally put together a little bit of cash and my buddy – the same one who got me started playing guitar – said, ‘Hey let’s give it a try.’ So we picked up some boards and boots and went up to the mountain. We didn’t take any lessons or anything, we just figured it out on our own. And the rest is history!”/o:p
WITH SO MUCH AT STAKE, WHAT’S THE PAYOFF?
“It’s a huge adrenaline rush, feeling the velocity pick up with this board strapped to your feet while you hurtle down the mountain. You need to lock into a sort of graceful rhythm, using gravity to your advantage, leaning into turns and reacting quickly to moguls, jumps and other people on the slopes. It’s a great time hanging out with your friends, too, and giving each other a ton of shit while you do it!”/o:p
BE HONEST: ARE YOU ACTUALLY ANY GOOD?
“I’m somewhere between intermediate and advanced. I’ll do jumps and I can bomb down the mountain pretty fast. I go down a lot of double black diamonds and stuff like that. I still work on front flips, my switch-stance, 180s and jumps and grabs. I wouldn’t call it insane stuff, but I do like to do a lot of tree runs, which takes a little bit of skill, getting back to the whole Sonny Bono thing… ha ha!”/o:p
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM SNOWBOARDING TRIP?
“I’d love to take a helicopter up to some mountains that aren’t tracked up or part of a resort. That’d be my dream trip. I’d also really like to get up to Whistler, near Vancouver, which has always been one of my dream spots. I’d love to get down to Chile, too. They have some amazing snowboarding down there as well.”
ON A SCALE OF ONE-TO-10, JUST HOW METAL IS SNOWBOARDING?
“Eleven! It’s an extreme sport and typically the sort of people who dig snowboarding also dig metal. Snowboarding fits metal very well – it’s dangerous and it’s extreme. Both are physical and require a real passion and commitment that you don’t see elsewhere. Snowboarders are always taking what other people are doing and making it more extreme and that’s what metal is all about. To me, the two are a natural fit.”
CHRIS BRODERICK’S NEW BAND, ACT OF DEFIANCE, HAVE SIGNED TO METAL BLADE AND ARE WORKING ON THEIR DEBUT ALBUM/o:p
While you’re best going to the experts for the safest and more badass equipment recommendations, the highly rated crew at Blue Tomato have a ton of decent stuff for good value. Check out www.blue-tomato.com
The indoor slopes at Hemel Hempstead’s Snow Centre facility are an ace place to get your L plates on boards and skis alike. Head to www.thesnowcentre.com
Want to mix your new hobby with some phat beats? Austria’s Snowbombing festival serves up a feast of amazing slopes and stunning scenery, plus some of dance music’s biggest names. Er, if that’s your bag… Visit www.snowbombing.com/o:p