Just hanging out in his snowboard pants and flip flops. Obviously. Photo: Souney
As far as most snowboarders today are concerned, snowboarding has no past. And it doesn’t need to. Right now, riding with your friends and doing your thing is the best snowboarding has ever been. Ever. But allow me to dwell on the past for a minute, because it is when I first came across Shayne Pospisil. It was the late 90s and Okemo, VT was the place to be. With one of the best pipes and parks in Vermont, it was home to tons of riders who were all sure to be big the next big thing, including some Jersey imports such as Shayne. Of course, a few years later, most of the riders who we all thought were going to change the world had faded away. But Shayne got out when the getting was good, moved to Mammoth, and now turns up from time to time to win big money purses, hit enormous jumps, and of course, aw the ladies with his “pretty Jersey face.”
YoBeat: How is your summer going?
Shayne: Summer’s been great. I went home to New Jersey. Drove across country with my girlfriend, and that went pretty good. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve just been hanging out there for the past month pretty much. My buddy Nate Farell got married so I went to his bachelor party down in Jersey and went up to Vermont for the wedding. Pretty much just been kicking it there, skating and surfing and just hanging out pretty much. Icame out to Whistler last week, was there for a little bit over a week, just did a Send It With Session. That just ended and then we drove down from Whistler to Mt. Hood with Scotty “the Body” from Dakine and Johnnie Paxson. Now I am staying at Scotty’s house for the next week or two.
YoBeat: What’s the weirdest thing at The Body’s house?
Shayne: The Bonfire ad with him in it on the wall is pretty funny. I think he is jumping into a pool or something with all his gear on. Josh Sherman is in the ad, it’s all framed. That’s probably the funniest thing I’ve seen so far.
YoBeat: Nate Farrell’s bachelor party, any highlights?
Shayne: Hmm, I don’t know if I can talk about it. They came to Jersey and on Tuesday nights they have this thing, Beat the Clock. It’s 25-cent beers starting at 7 and it goes up a quarter every hour. I brought him and all his friends to that and they had a great time. There are a million girls there and ten different tiki bars outside and those guys got black out drunk. Then we went to Atlantic City the next day, but can’t really talk about that too much…
YoBeat: Right, what happens in Atlantic City…
Shayne: Stays there!
Summertime slasher. Photo Mike Yoshida
YoBeat: What was it like growing up in Jersey?
Shayne: Growing up in Jersey is awesome. I was just telling my friend today that if I didn’t grow up there, I’d love to just stay out west all summer and drive up to Mt. Hood and drive up to Whistler and stuff. But it’s just too good there in the summer. I live 5 minutes from the beach; I can ride my bike to every one of my friend’s houses, my girlfriend’s house, and the bar. Everything’s so close, the towns are super little and it’s good time. You get good waves in the winter, pretty decent waves in the summer. Tons of people on the beach. Golf. Party.
YoBeat: How does one really get serious about snowboarding growing up in New Jersey?
Shayne: It’s not easy, that’s for sure. I started getting serious because my parents always went to Vermont when we were younger. I skied and I eventually started snowboarding. We basically just went up to Vermont every weekend from when I was ten to 16, and then in high school I heard about Okemo Mountain School and I started going there Sophomore, Junior, Senior year. I went to OMS and pretty much just fell in love with snowboarding and wanted to do it forever. That’s when I met like Kevin Pearce, this kid Alex Soroken and a bunch of people I got to ride with all the time. I got to start competing and learn from there.
YoBeat: Were you there when Danny Kass got kicked out of OMS?
Shayne: No, a year later. Lane and Danny all got kicked out and then me and Kevin came to school. I remember looking at the OMS pamphlet and seeing a picture of Lane Knaack in there with goggles on and he had a huge nugget of chronic right in his goggles. It was right in the catalog. Every time I looked at it I would just crack up, like they don’t even know.
YoBeat: Did you do anything bad while you were in school?
Shayne: Nah, I was pretty mellow. I didn’t even really go to school when I was there. I would snowboard until like 3 o’clock and then go to school for like an hour every day. It was a pretty mellow program there. It worked out, I am probably not as smart as I should be, but I can snowboard good.
YoBeat: What’s you’re favorite Bruce Springsteen song?
Shayne: Favorite Bruce song? I like Born to Run. Instant classic.
YoBeat: Have you ever seen him in concert?
Shayne: Yep! Last summer I went with my mom and dad and my dad’s friend, it was awesome.
YoBeat: Do you feel like a better New Jerseyite now?
Shayne: Yeah, my dad was happy. He and my mom were yelling at me that I’d never been to a Bruce concert. Like, “it’s the best thing ever! You have to come!” I eventually went with them, it was a good time.
Another day in the sun. Photo: Souney
YoBeat: As someone from New Jersey, what’s the one characteristic that is a must have for someone from Jersey?
Shayne: Not being afraid to say what’s on your mind. It seems like everyone from Jersey is kind of like that. I grew up riding with Danny Kass and he got me on Gnu when I was little. I just traveled with him all the time with Gnu and it’s pretty funny being able to do that. He was kind of like an older brother, beating on me the whole time. Throwing me in the shower and turning it on with all my clothes on.
YoBeat: Have you seen his show on Fuel? What do you think?
Shayne: It just seems like they spit beer on everyone’s faces the whole time. Besides that it’s all right. They came to Jersey actually last summer. Danny wasn’t there but Dingo and Sketchy and all those guys were in the RV. They came down to my house, hung out, went to the boardwalk. I tried to bring them surfing and they all almost drowned. Lucas Magoon almost got sucked out into the ocean and we almost had to save him. They could do some work on that show, that’s for sure. But I’ve seen worse.
YoBeat: What do you think about what has become of Grenade? You’ve been there since the early days..
Shayne: The good old days in Mammoth when you’d walk across the street and get as much product as you wanted. Now it’s like, I had to stop riding for them just because I couldn’t get product so I ride for Dakine now. I don’t even know. I’ve heard a lot of questions about Grenade, what’s going on. I know Lane Knaack and (Kyle) Clancy are all not too stoked on Grenade at all. I know Danny is doing good, but I don’t know about Grenade.
YoBeat: Any thoughts on their foray into Moto and MMA?
Shayne: That’s what happens when you sell out to someone else, I guess.
Slam Dunk. Photo: Zimmerman
YoBeat: While we are on other sports, how long have you been surfing?
Shayne: Longer than I’ve been snowboarding. Probably since I was like 10. That’s probably why I have such a good competitive edge because I grew up surfing and competing. I started snowboarding, doing both surfing and snowboarding contests and eventually just kinda realized I wanted to snowboard instead. I definitely love surfing, but snowboarding is my first true love.
YoBeat: What’s the difference between surf and snowboard contests?
Shayne: In surfing the waves are just never there. It’s hard to get good waves, especially coming from New Jersey. The waves are just shitty and it’s not the fun stuff. I always did good at a lot of the contests, and they have a lot of contest at my home break in Manasquan. I won pretty much every contest they had there for like 6 years in a row. Then I lost and I quit.
YoBeat: So you’re a sore loser.
Shayne: I was in surfing back then, for sure! But I love it and I still surf every day now. I was surfing a bunch when I was home and I actually talked to Curtis Cezik and I think we’re gonna go out to the coast in Oregon and go surf too.
YoBeat: It’s cold.
Shayne: I’m used to it. I surf in December in New Jersey.
Winning is awesome. Photo: Zimmerman
YoBeat: Well since we’ve established you are a sore loser, it’s good you win sometimes, like that Red Bull contest in New York. How much did you win for that?
Shayne: $50,000 right now. It’s in my Shane Posposil Corporation. We’ll see how much I get taxed at the end of the year. Hopefully they don’t get me too bad.
YoBeat: I heard rumor that everyone wanted to split the money for that contest, but then obviously you didn’t when you won. Any truth?
Shayne: I started that before the comp even started. At practice everyone was like, this sucks and I was like, dude lets just all split the money and have an awesome time in New York while we’re here. Jenner, from Red Bull and the rest of the guys running the contest just didn’t want to hear it. I mentioned it to a bunch of the riders, we all talked about it, but it never got brought up when the main guys running the contest came to talk about it. It worked out for me though.
In the money! Photo: Zimmerman
YoBeat: Have you been filming at all, or do you just mainly compete?
Shayne: I’ve been competing mainly. I’m trying to film. I filmed a little bit with the Mammoth movie last year, with Greg Weaver as the filmer and he had a pretty good crew there. It’s just hard to be in Mammoth for more than a few days in the middle of the winter. Next year with the Olympics and all that going on, I’m probably just going to focus on a few big contests and hopefully film. I’m trying to film with this kid Johnnie Paxson from Oregon and hopefully we can film with a bunch of kids to film with and a good movie company. Right now it’s up in the air.
YoBeat: No goal to go to the Olympics?
Shayne: I wish, but I was at the halfpipe for like an hour today and saw Louie Vito doing like double flips. Actually I saw three kids doing double flips right off the bat. I was like, oh man, good thing I’m not going for the Olympics. I’d be killing myself right now. I love halfpipe still, it’s one of my favorite things to do, it’s just the progression is so intense. If I had grown up focusing on halfpipe a little more I think I’d be into it. But I never joined the US team and never wanted to be that guy who’s just a halfpipe guy. Training, hiking the halfpipe all day and not being able to go hit a rail or hit some jumps.
YoBeat: What’s your personal favorite thing to ride?
Shayne: Powder days in Mammoth. No hiking, take the lift, traverse over and get freshies and ride with your friends. Definitely my favorite.
YoBeat: Is it embarrassing riding for a company called Head?
Shayne: Um, yep. A little bit. It’s funny cause Scotty is all, if I became Team Manager, the first thing I would do is change the name! But it’s a European company, Germany-based. I’m pretty much the only pro rider from the US, so I don’t mind it. They’re all good people over there.
YoBeat: I’m sure Head means something different in German.
Shayne: Yeah, I’m sure it does. They used to have the “I love Head” boards and I tried to push for that again. They probably sold a shitload of boards back then because they were funny. But they’re not into it anymore.
Big jumps. No, super jumps. Photo: Zimmerman
YoBeat: What do you think snowboarding needs right now?
Shayne: With the Olympics, it will blow up the whole snowboarding thing again this year. But the economy just sucks right now. No one wants to change anything right now because they have no money to do it. But it would be nice if they brought back some of the big events again. The big air contests and stuff. I know Billabong canceled its quarterpipe contest but is doing a big air contest again, which is pretty cool. It would be cool if they did, like the X Games, how they do the mega ramp with the big jump and the quarterpipe, more events like that. Maybe some more stuff in the US. In New York that was cool. They had a contest there and people were blown away and that was like the crappiest jump ever.
YoBeat: Who do you ride with usually?
Shayne: Greg Bokencamp, Nate Farrell, Cody Rosenthal, Peter Benchetler. I used to ride with Blauvelt a bunch, Lago, Mason, all those Frends kids. Jack Mitrani, I love riding with Lago and Jack, we had a couple trips last year that were really funny.
YoBeat: But you’re not an official member of the Frends crew?
Shayne: I think I’m like a secondary member maybe. Those guys have their tight little group and they are always together. They all ride for Burton, they want Lago to ride for Burton. But I don’t think that’s happening.
Send it! Photo: Yoshida
YoBeat: Requisite sponsor plug? Anyone you’d like to thank?
Shayne: Head Snowboards. Billabong, Andrew Marriner and everyone over there. Smith, Corey Smith working for smith still, he’s the man. Dakine, Scotty’s been doing a good job. I ride for this little candle and incense company over in Jersey, Ted Shreds. Pretty cool guys, they make coconut scented wax and candles. They help me sleep at night and not smell in the car. Also Val Surf, surf shop down in LA. Brandon is the owner/team manager guy down there, so thanks to him too.
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