by Justin Phipps,
A snowboarder’s snowboarder and one of the most influential persons in the game. He’s been called ‘The Eye’ and currently holds the title of Creative Director at SNOWBOARDER Mag. I just refer to him as Pat and he calls me Phipps (which is cool). I’d write a better forward but I’ve been missing a ton of school and homework the past week. Pat and I visited at The Launch 2014 last week at Seven Springs, PA.
JP: Since we’re at The Launch and there is some parental input and stuff, what’s like the most awsm freak attack a parent has put on you or SNOWBOARDER Magazine staff member?
Pat: We’ve never really had a freak attack. We have a lot of awesome parents! Todd Macklewicz would come, Ginger Krugmire would always come. We’ve had a lot of great parents come to The Launch and one of the best is Johan Malkowski, he’s the sales manager for Capita, C3, and Union, and he’s always there to help out and cheer the kids and get ski patrol when we need it. Overall on the parents side, I haven’t, there really hasn’t been a down side to it.
JP: Do you ever get a little bummed on Super Parents or get concerned when you witness kids getting a little roughed up mentally n stuff?
Pat: Well, listen… as a writer I try to read into the subtext of stuff and basically your first two questions are talking about parents. So as opposed to answering that question, I pose the question to you, ‘Do YOU get bummed out at super parents??’
JP: (Nodding), a little bit, yeah.
JP: Are you going to be giving any handplant teaching sessions while we’re here? I understand you’ve got some handplant game and I’ve sorta learned Miller Flips, is that a good building block?
Pat: Well, when the knees go, all you have is the elbows, and that’s why I handplant. I find it easy and it keeps me young. I won’t be giving any lessons because they’re too easy to be taught.
JP: Who’s the one person in snowboarding we can least afford to be without and why?
Pat: (Pause) ..I would say Terry Kidwell. Um, because..he was the guy who set the path for not just the rest of us through the long tale of DNA and the history of the fabric of snowboarding. Terry Kidwell was the most influential on the most influential people. So HE inspired the people that inspired the future generations, so without somebody like Terry Kidwell, who unfortunately hasn’t had the rightful place bestowed upon him, and our sport has taken for granted all he has done for it thirty years ago. So unfortunately, while we see his legacy everyday, we don’t see him acknowledged for it.
JP: The Launch had been at Bear for the past two seasons and the move to 7 Springs was at least weather related in part. How did, and at what point were you like, man we gotta make a move and maybe share some of your thoughts during that time.
Pat: I (pause).., with Bear Mountain actually when talking about people, and as far as places go Bear Mountain is crucial to the lifeblood of our sport as far as how forward thinking and how supportive they are of snowboarding and how healthy their approach to snowboarding is, as far as thinking outside the box, and doing their diligence to keeping the bar moving higher and moving forward. The fact of the matter is, you know, that accounts for all different ability levels of snowboarding. SNOWBOARDER has a great relationship with Bear Mountain, they’re like..family. It’s weird, it’s like my home resort but I only get to go ride there two or three days a year. Yet, it is, it’s like my home mountain at this point.
The builders there (Bear Mountain) are people who had their hand in shaping all of SNOWBOARDER Mag’s events, The Launch, before that Superpark, and Ms. Superpark. As far as the growth of Superpark, they were crucial to the growth of that build. And, we have a great working relationship. I wanna do events there because they always go off, they always go above and beyond for us, for them it becomes something more personal when we work together because we have such respect for each other in such a close relationship. So it’s great.
The move (to 7 Springs), it was 100% weather related, on both sides. The weather wasn’t great in soCal this season, it’s trying all over particularly Tahoe, but certainly southern California as well. And well, 7 Springs it’s like Bear Mountain of the mid-Atlantic. These guys are some of the best park builders in the world and this year they happened to get handed a great deck of cards, lotta snow, cold temps, they didn’t have a thaw, and I’ve worked 7 Springs, they’ve had covers, multiple covers, they’ve built multiple cover features for SNOWBOARDER magazine. We worked with 7 Springs and it turned out to be an awesome opportunity with the weather this year.
JP: What is the worst thing about the internet as it relates to snowboarding?
Pat: Worst thing about the internet as it relates to snowboarding, is…(pause). There is.. the disposable aspect and the over saturation of media has affected resilience. You know, just how much an edit has ability to breathe. Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago when somebody put out a video you watched that video, five people in a room, twice before riding, twice after. I mean, that created a community around a common experience. Now its all individual and now there’s so much of it that, you know, whatever happens today is gonna be forgotten because of what happens tomorrow. Our society has bestowed upon media ‘different and new’ and its taken precedence over ‘good and great’.
JP: What is jibbing’s equivalent of a method?
Pat: I guess, either a press, or a front board?
JP: If you were commissioned construct the second coming of the Forum 8, who are some of the riders that would be at the top of your wish list?
Pat: I’d have Hans and Nils Mindnich. I did it, well with the SNOWBOARDER movie,
I would get the Mindiches, Ayumu Hirano, I would get Ben Ferguson, I’d get Sam Taxwood, Spencer Schubert, Zach Hale. It would be pretty much the riders we got (pause), Blake Paul, the guys we got for the SNOWBOARDER movie coming out this fall. That’s pretty much my closest opportunity I had for putting together a ‘Forum 8’. And that’s where its at. I apologize if there’s anybody I didn’t get.. Garrett Warnick. He’d be in.
JP: Any questions that maybe I should have asked you that I need to cover but didn’t?
Pat: Um…no. No. Hey that was cool!
Pat: Thank you.
savedByTheGnar presents episode 4.1, the most important 38 second Breck parks goPro edit ever produced the weekend of March 15/16, ever. Featuring Justin Phipps, a bunch of sun, a bunch of cool features, some snow and clouds, Ryan Collins, Gunnar Bertas, a kid in a funny hat hitting a box, and the sounds of punk rock legends Agent Orange.
Supported in part by Rome Snowboards, Von Zipper, and savedByTheGnar.
by Justin Phipps,
February brought the SIA on snow to Copper Mountain this winter. I got to hang with and make new friends this year. One, Matt Stillman from the Rome/SDS is totally in charge of all the cool internet stuff they do and I was really excited to visit with him again recently for this interview.
JP: So tell me what happened now? You went to the same college as Sully (Dan Sullivan) and next thing you know your head of Rome social media, is that about right?
Matt: Ha ha, that’s about right, maybe a little bit of an over simplification! I knew Justin (Cafiero), the guy who had the position before me so I think that helped a little but Sully and I going to the same school definitely helped a little bit too.
JP: Okay! So Cafiero held this position for awhile too and it was sort of his online thing and was that hard knowing you were the next guy?
Matt: Yeah, it was definitely a little weird cause he was like, so visible, you’d see and hear from him all the time. And stepping into those shoes, there were definitely some big ones to fill. So it was, I definitely thought about that during the time I was applying for the position.
JP: There’s a lot of Internet tough guys huh? How is it like when you know people are just trying to use the social media for their own selfish interests or personal gain?
Matt: Yeah, yeah that’s a daily battle! You know we have a term in the social media realm called ‘self marketing’ where everybody is in it for that reason. So it kinda comes down to walking a fine line of trying to promote things that are good for snowboarding at large or directly tied into the (Rome) brand. We try to really not make things as personal as possible. That’s just one of the daily challenges of life on the internet I suppose.
JP: Okay. So, to you, What exactly is an Internet troll?
Matt: (laughing) An internet troll is like a prankster. Somebody who’s just looking to cause trouble on the internet. I think they’re hilarious. We don’t really get trolled all that often on the Rome account. A lot of people when they reach out to us, they’re usually looking at trying to get something for free or they want us to help promote their stuff. I get a good kick out of trolls!!
JP: Okay. You’re making a life out of online media. And there’s a lot of mental labor going on. Do you get worn out reading feed and stuff all day? Does it kind of all look he same, and what do you try to do so it’s fresh for Rome enthusiasts?
Matt: Sure. You know sometimes I get a little, you know spending the day online and looking at Twitter or Facebook can get a little repetitive. I think in terms of trying to keep it fresh it’s more of keeping a diverse lineup of riders and content that is sort of relevant to what you’ve done in the last three weeks. So using that as a template to show what you can do as far as delivering new content or showing life through a different lens. We’ve seen so many trips and stories that have been played and played at this point that you want to find something novel or interesting, as you say.
JP: what’s the worst thing about the Internet as it relates to snowboarding?
Matt: Oooh, that’s a good one!! The worst thing about the internet as it relates to snowboarding, is probably.. people’s really crappy goPro footage. That really bums me out. I’m all about people filming and having a great time, but when there’s a goPro edit that’s just, like, really shaky… I mean I think people should have fun and when your riding that’s great but people are just claiming things too hard! Trying to get you to repost their stuff, that’s my least favorite.
JP: Okay, that’s actually kinda funny.
Matt: Ha, what do you think about the whole goPro movement?
JP: uuh, well I don’t like it very much, I guess I think people are spending too much time at it.
Matt: Yeah, they do! I mean I actually like mixing in a little filming kind of as a secondary thing. But, I understand the appeal of it. There are some really cool shots that come out of it that’s for sure.
JP: Yeah. Did SIA bring on additional responsibilities for you and how do you use that SIA platform in a way that was maybe different than other industry outlets?
Matt: Sure. Yeah, SIA definitely brought on some different responsibilities for me in terms of coordinating with different reps to get the actual items to the show. And then there was the three days prior to the show where we were actually setting up that booth, physically moving it into place was pretty gnarly. But, time well spent, it was really cool to see it all come together. I guess for us it’s a more personally involved thing as far as how it’s maybe different than other industries. Everyone who was involved with the production of the SIA booth genuinely needed to be there especially when it came to the creative control and how it was all put together.
JP: So with a number of spring events planned like The Launch, Superpark 18, and Ms. Superpark, I mean they’re not necessarily made for Internet events but how would you go about bringing them to the light for the Rome community?
Matt: Sure.. Well for the most part those events will have a live streaming component. For us we’ll definitely try to highlight our riders who are involved in those events. It’s really a cut and dry sort of plan because really all the brands are more or less doing the same thing. So it’s really more just trying to keep pace, you know this is what all the brands will really be doing to promote their riders. But, you know, our angle, well we’ll try to provide more insight to those riders who are attending those events. I personally think the interview components and blog updates are big, I think those do pretty well, so I’d personally to try and get some media going in that regard.
JP: I’ve heard the summer is a hard time for the snow industry cause people are kinda starved for content n stuff. So do you have a plan for keeping people engaged?
Matt: That is a great question. I am curious to see what that amounts to having not going through a full year’s cycle of it yet. My gut feeling is that it’s more about the products and the reviews become a little more involved, because I know a lot of media outlets kind of get that going over the summer. The summer camp angle becomes pretty big. Also, we’ll be releasing our new video series Find Snowboarding over the summer. It’s not going to fill up the entire summer but it’s going to work with the calendar a little bit.
JP: Well is there anything I haven’t asked you that maybe you wanted to discuss?
Matt: Oh I don’t know maybe just the fact that you’re the man and this interview was awesome, you had some really great questions!!
JP: Thanks, well that’s just about it then.
- Ergonomic Frame Design
- 100% UV Protection
- Extended Peripheral Vision
- Dual Adjustable Strap
- Helmet Compatible
- Microfiber Goggle Bag Included
- Thermo-Polyurethane Injection Molded Frame
- Dual Cylindrical Polycarbonate Lens
- Anti-Fog & Hard Coated Lens
- Polar Fleece Lined, Triple Density Facefoam
- Lens color: Orange
Liking the Authentic mitt from Rome Snowboards. It’s just a great basic accessory. Soft materials for flexibility and comfort. It only comes in one color way, but that’s ok because the colors are neutral with a grayish denim on the top and the palm says authentic ‘Rome SDS Quality’ in white gel. Look good even on a small budget at $54.99.
Design Specs (from romeSnowboards.com)
- 1.1 Flexible Insulation: 1oz microfleece on the back of the hand, 1oz microfleece on the palm side.
- Hipora 3000mm waterproof insert
- 270gram micro fleece lining
- Knitted cuff with removable leashes
- SynSuede palm with silicone grip
Usually I’m a mitten wearer, but I like this glove because I know I can give anyone a 1-5 finger salute, and also shakas. There are three color ways for this glove and you’re looking at the Rasta edition. It’s a really great light weight all weather glove and I’m giving it a high recommendation.
Design Specs (from romeSnowboards.com)
- 2.1 Flexible Insulation: 2oz poly insulation on the back of the hand, 1oz poly insulation on the palm side.
- Hipora 3000mm waterproof insert
- 270gram micro fleece lining
- Durable nylon shell with knitted cuff
- SynLeather Palm