Ben Bilocq // Japan Spot // Whistler Photo // Mike Jones
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CHANGE IS IN THE AIR.
JP WALKER SIMON CHAMBERLAIN MARKKU KOSKI MARIE-FRANCE ROY CHRIS BRADSHAW JON KOOLEY NIMA JALALI DANNY LARSEN SCOTT STEVENS JOE SEXTON CHRIS GRENIER JOHNNY MILLER STALE SANDBECH TYLER FLANAGAN BEN BILOCQ
Editor: Pat Burns Photo Director: Oli Gagnon Editorial Director: Etienne Gilbert Advertising sales: Etienne Tremblay Creative Direction: Claudia Renaud, Claudia Simon, Ralph Samson Contributing Photographers: Ashley Barker, Renaud Gagnon, Ryan Gertken, Mike Jones, Dan Mathieu, Crispin Canon, Brian Hockenstein, Bob Plumb, Sean Hoglins, Colin Adair, Mike Azevedo, Dom Gauthier, Jonas Michilot Contributing Writers: Eric Greene, LNP, DCP, Jason Dubois, Nic Sauvé, Max Baillargeon, Giom Morisset, Louif Paradis, Will Lavigne, FX, Andrew Geeve, Alex Cantin, Jeff Pearlman, Pat Trottier, Esthera Preda, Jan Snarski Slash magazine(ISSN 1913-8385) is published 3 times a year. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the autor. All rights reserved on entirecontent. Slash magazine welcomes edittorial submissions; however, return postage must accompagny all unsolicited manuscripts, art, or photographic materials if they are to be return. Hébergement: Gc media Imprimé au Canada: ISSN 1913-8385 Impression: Litho Chic Slash Magazine 425, Gérard-Moriset, suite 8 Québec, Qc, Canada, G1S 4V5 www.slashmagazine.ca email@example.com
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Darrell Mathes // BS 720 Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Utah
CONTENTVOLUME 3.2 12 Intro: Seek out good in the bad 24 Mikey Rencz and Kale Stephens interview 36 Keep the Balance in your snowboarding 40 Jake Kuzyk interview 46 Photo Gallery 56 The Story behind the Red Ledge 64 Photographer check out: Jonas Michilot 66 Do’s and Don’ts: Annie Boulanger and Matt Belzile 70 Art check out: Hugues Lauzier 72 Music with Congress 74 Compagny check out: Bob le chef slash snowboardmag // 11
Seek out good in the bad by T. Bird Recently, we’ve fallen on hard times. Without picking at the scab too much, it’s evident that snowboarding’s golden age has passed. Companies are hacking their budgets with machetes, rather than scalpels. Shops around the world are hoping to stay afloat as the economic swell threatens to capsize them. Non-endemics are drooling at the idea of the cool kids finally sitting at their table, very well aware that now is the time for them to sink their teeth into our sport. I won’t lie. It’s pretty bad. Fortunately, we can turn it around. Seek out good in the bad. It’s as simple as that. Granted, it’s about as cliché as most any generic old adage uttered by your elders; however, it’s true. We all started riding for the same reasons–because the act of standing sideways and sliding on snow invoked positive emotions that were normally absent from our daily lives. And we must remember that now more than ever. I was up at Mt. Baker a few seasons back. I had been on the road for months at that point and I was starting to get burnt out. E-mails cluttered my inbox, unanswered phone calls filled my voicemail, and my incessant travel schedule had worn me down to the bone. My mind was clouded with all of these laborious tasks that awaited me upon my return when all of a sudden, it started dumping. Flakes the size of quarters stuck to my windshield as I flicked on the defroster. Almost immediately, those prior problems were gone–vanished into the thick fog that enveloped the valley below. At the base lodge, I hurriedly tied my boots, every so often glancing out the window to see the snow piling up outside. What followed was one of the deepest days I have ever ridden. From first chair to my final run, I was tits-deep, and not once did I think of anything other than how much god-damned fun I was having. On that day, snowboarding saved my sanity and breathed life back into my winter. The point of the story is that we have something that most people don’t. We have an out; an opportunity to disconnect ourselves from the harsh realities that unfortunately exist around us. This current crisis will end, but as soon as it does, another one will rear its ugly head. And this applies to more than just the present state of the economy. In most any situation, whether personal or public, we’ve got a way to escape. Go snowboarding. Ride your snowboard as much as you can. Ride it on anything, whether it be a slushy patch of snow behind your house or your home hill on a pow day. Watch every single new video that finds its way into your possession. Read every snowboarding publication you can get your hands on. Buy that new board you want. If the opportunity to go snowboarding just isn’t there, think back to your best day of all time–that one day when optimism trumped your troubles. Immerse yourself in what you love to do and give back to the one thing that gives us all so much to look forward to come winter. We can save snowboarding, and we must, because at one point or another, I’m pretty sure it has saved you.
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David Aubry // Slash Photo // Crispin Canon Spot // Europe
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“THAT’S IT, THAT’S MORE” TRAVIS RICE IN HIS SIGNATURE JACKET AND BIBS THE NATURAL SELECTION, SNOWMOBILES, ENORMOUS BACK COUNTRY KICKERS AND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO RULE THE WORLD. SHOT IN HD AND NOMINATED FOR SHOW OF THE YEAR. ALL ON THE TODCAST. QUIKSILVER.COM/SNOW
THE BACK COUNTRY IS OUR PARK
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Mikey Rencz & Kale Stephens Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Squamish
When I was 15, I met this kid at the Canadian Nationals in Whistler named Kale. He had real burly style and some serious red eyes. Over the years we became good bros, shred pros, and started a company called AIRHOLE. A few years later I met this little shrimp named Mikey. He was 10 years old and could do 720’s. I knew he had talent. For these guys, snowboarding isn’t something they do on the weekend to unwind after their office jobs–it’s their life. Without it, I don’t know if they could survive, kinda like Kale without cheese and Mikey without his Squamish tuxedo…just not gonna happen. If there’s one thing I’ve come to know about these two is that they both give ‘er shit on a snowboard and don’t give a shit about yer’ job. They’re just boardin’.
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Kale Stephens // Method Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Whistler
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Mikey Rencz // Bs720 Photo // Scott Serfas Spot // Whistler
Do you remember when you guys first met each other? MR: I remember the first time I saw Kale at a contest in Calgary. He hopped a fence and the security at the hill was tryin’ to kick him out or something. His mom got pissed at them, haha. I think the first time we actually met might have been in Japan? I would see him around ‘cause I knew who he was, but the first time we actually met was probably at the superpipe camps up at Brohm Ridge. I can’t remember for sure. KS: yeah up on Brohm at superpipe was the the first time I remember meeting Mikey. I watched him in The Search for Mountain Jim when he was like 11 or 12 and I remember thinking, “Damn, this kid is going to be a problem!” When did you start hanging out? KS: Up at superpipe camp back in 98-99. Mikey was a pre-teen/teeny bopper but he was still hitting the big jumps with the older folks. He became one of the boys at a very young age. MR: Yeah I would hit the superpipe camps every summer. It was wicked to shred with all the dudes up there. All the pro shreds would be up there and me and my homeys from Alberta would go for a week or two and just love it. The last summer that it existed I was up there for the whole time. I forget how long that was, but pretty long…no showers. What was it like riding the backcountry with Kale after growing up looking up to him and watching him in the movies? MR: It was pretty crazy for sure. I got to see all the zones that I would grow up watching in the videos, and just seeing cliffs and shit, and people being like, “Oh yea Kale did so and so trick off that.” He is definitely a unique dude and he is super entertaining all the time.
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Mikey Rencz // Fs180 Photo // Scott Serfas Spot // Whistler
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Kale Stephens // Indy Photo // Scott Serfas Spot // Whistler
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Kale Stephens // Fs360 tree bonk Photo // Scott serfas Spot // Whistler
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Mikey and Kale are both hilarious, unique guys. If you were ever to meet Mikey for the first time he would probably crack a joke that you wouldn’t understand at all but that would have everyone laughing anyway. If you were to meet Kale, you could possibly end up car pooling with his entire family, be invited to sleep on his couch that night, and no one would think it was weird at all. These are two of the best backcountry snowboarders Canada has ever seen and they are two of the funniest guys I have ever met. –J Bone
Mickey Rencz // Method Photo // Chris Owen Spot // Northstar
Kale, when we lived at 8 Mile you partied and slept over quite often. Why? KS: ‘Cause I always ended up hammered in Whistler and I couldn’t drive back to Squatamala. It was the best place to be shit-canned with good company... and they would never kick me out, haha. You both used to be Whistler locals now you’re full time Squampton residents… MR: Yeah I lived in Whistler for like 9 years or so. It was just easy to make the move to Squamish cause it is too expensive to buy houses up in Whistler. It is just kind of an easy transition. Whistler gets kind of old after a while too. Got to get out of there, but still be close. KS: I bought a house there in 2006. It’s a half hour to Whistler or Vancouver. You can’t beat it! We usually snowmobile anyway and it’s pretty much the same distance from Whistler to our main sled spots. And yeah, living in Whistler gets old.
Who do you guys live with in Squamish? KS: My girlfriend Billie Jo, my grandma Muriel and my mom shows up for months at a time to shred Whistler. MR: It’s just me and my girlfriend in the summer, then she heads to school for the winter, and the dudes move in, haha. Benji and Eero live with me in the wintertime, and the 8 mile filmer (Trout) has just moved in as well. Should be wicked. Kale, what does your grandma think of your lifestyle? KS: She approves of it from time to time, but she’s usually horrified. Can’t really blame her… MR: Haha she told me that people in BC only smoke weed and snowboard. She doesn’t like it. How did Airhole start and how is it going now? KS: Browner (Chris Brown) and I figured it would be way better to have a hole in our bandanas with some nice fleece lining, so i went and registered
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Kale Stephens // Cab540 Photo // Scott Serfas Spot // Whistler
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Riding with your homeys is the best, so we’ve just tried to keep that together by hiring a filmer for the website. We can all do something together. It’s coming along pretty well. Peep it: 8milelife.com! - Mikey Rencz
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Mikey Rencz // Shiffty ollie to rock ride Photo // Blotto Spot // Whistler
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the company name & busted out grandma’s sewing machine and we got to work. After Karl Fuhre posted a ghetto AIRHOLE commercial on his IS eyewear blog, we got blasted with orders but we had no production. Max Jenke at Endeavor Snowboards was quick to realize our potential and helped us bring it to life. MR: It’s crazy to see what Browner and Kale have actually done with it. To watch it come to life and see the product on shelves is sick. I remember the first Airholes and they were all ghetto, but wicked. I can’t believe you guys pulled it off, haha! Mikey, what’s the deal with 8 Mile? MR: It was our spot in Whistler. People wanted to see some more of that shit so we just kept the name going and try to keep all the homeys together shredding all the time and having fun. Riding with your homeys is the best, so we’ve just tried to keep that together by hiring a filmer for the website. We can all do something together. It’s coming along pretty well. Peep it: 8milelife.com! KS: It was my spot to let loose after a night of maniac-ing in Whistler. Now it’s the same crew that use to hang there, still in full force documenting our wicked times on and off the mountain. What do you guys think your gonna be doing ten years from now? KS: I’m sure I’ll still be shredding, sledding, skating, traveling, and maybe teaching my offspring to do the same. Whatever I’m doing it’s gonna be very, very exciting. Probably flying around in the AIRHOLE helicopter killing it. Yeah! MR: Haha, I have no idea. It’s trippin’ me out thinking about it. As far as a career, I don’t know. Still shredding man, haha!
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BRING THE BALANCE By Etienne Gilbert Last issue we talked about progression. We approached it in a very unconventional way. Now snowboarding has definitely evolved in many ways since his early days. Our understanding of the mechanics and the possibilities a snowboard holds has also progressed. We go faster, higher, longer, flip more, spin more, with more control, confidence, knowledge, and techniques then ever before. The boards, the boots, the bindings, the outerwear, the parks, the movies…everything has evolved. On the other hand, one thing that remains more or least unchanged is the human body. For sure we can train more efficiently and the knowledge of the body and the way it reacts to snowboarding is greater than before but the effect remains the same and as the limits keep being pushed further and further, the consequences become greater to a certain degree every year.
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Over the years I have learned to believe that any physical activities you do over and over again for a long time can become very demanding on the body and will become harmful to a certain degree. It seems that somehow a certain balance is needed. Obviously someone’s balance in his life will be different from the next person’s balance in his life. Now, snowboarding is definitely not the more natural sport out there. Let’s face it; our feet are strapped into a fixed stance for a wide variety of movement over an extended period of time. Our upper body is always twisted and loaded, never aligned with our lower body. One side of the body is pulling while the other is pushing. Snowboarding is a physiotherapist’s worst nightmare or best financial friend.
Alex Cantin // Nosepress Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // SLC
INTO YOUR SNOWBOARD When I first started snowboarding I was young and strong, I was proud of eating shit and getting back up. Fighting through pain became part of the routine. Especially when snowboarding becomes your job. When something hurts you ride it off, until you can’t go anymore. Well last spring all those years of following this mentality caught up with me. I hit the wall so to speak. I literally could not walk for 2 months due to a back problem and could not ride at all for 8. So let’s just say that I’ve now moved on from my pro snowboarding career to pursue the next phase of my life.
I would always go to the physiotherapist when something was wrong with my body and did what I thought was enough to get me back on track. Everybody is different obviously, and people hold their stress in different parts of their body and have different posture habits and physiology, but wear and tear is wear and tear. Any professional athlete that retires has some sort of physical scar from their career. But lets get back on track here for a second. What I’m trying to get across is that if you are snowboarding, you need to understand a few
I always thought I was aware of my body. I would go to the gym, play hockey, tennis, and bike all summer to make sure I would be in good shape for the following winter. I had a pretty good diet according to my knowledge.
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“Muscle memory goes a long way… Muscle imbalance can really mess you up… And prevention is the mother of all solution… ”
things that could save you from hitting the wall and make you learn the hard way. Muscle memory goes a long way. Muscle imbalance can really mess you up, and prevention is the mother of all solutions. We tend to overlook prevention. I guess, in a society where the treatment of the symptoms is a billion dollar industry, the true interest for prevention is getting lost. But that’s another story. Everything becomes habit. Habit can be hard, take a lot of energy and time to be changed, especially when it comes down to the body. Your state of mind can change drastically in a heartbeat but your body can’t. It takes time to build muscle memory good or bad, balanced or imbalanced… Not everybody realizes the connection between the health of all organs in the body. I mean, we know theoretically that we make one with our body yet people are surprised to realize that ankle problem can result in a neck problem. A neck problem can result in a lower back problem. An emotional problem can result in diseases. A bad diet can result in cancer. The list goes on and on and on. So muscle memory can be applied to a specific movement, but also naturally sinks in our body by our day-to-day posture habits, sleeping habits, working habits, and so on. What I mean is that training your muscle and your brain to do a trick is one thing but to train your whole body to go down the hill, run after run, day after day, year after year, 80% of the time in one direction will without a doubt create a muscle imbalance in your muscle memory, in your body function and posture, which could mean trouble down the line once your body decides that it’s add enough of working with a crooked frame. I think it is very important for kids to start riding both ways right from the start. Make it so “switch riding” is out of our vocabulary. Make it so even when freeriding, one snowboarder feels just as confident going through tree runs, chutes, cliffs, pillows one way or the other. I think that if one is trained to do this kind of stuff from the first year they are on a snowboard the better they will be in the long run and the more balance their body will have. Nowadays, with the new generation of banana and rocker shapes, this kind of riding is starting to make even more sense.
gym with a knowledgeable trainer year round could really prevent the worst. Snowboarders don’t like to be called athletes for some reason and tend to think that the gym is for Olympic contenders only. I say believe what ever you want but don’t let it bother you, hold you back or keep you from doing what could really benefit you in the present–and in the long run. I’m sure lots of people are probably thinking to themselves, “I feel great, a little sore here and there but that’s normal! I never had any major injury! I’m all healed up! I’m really flexible! I’m a pretty balanced person!” etc. That’s who I was before I finally hit the wall. I could have prevented it. I thought I knew but I only knew what I thought was good enough. I tend to approach my writing with a wide perspective. Ultimately, balance goes much deeper than just balanced muscle memory. Ultimate health comes down to what you put in your body (food, drugs, positive thoughts, negative thoughts, books you read, movies you watch…etc) and what you put out (toxins from exercising, thoughts you think and share–positive and negative, words you speak, articles you write, songs you sing…etc) It’s really up to you to decide what you feed yourself and what you feed the world around you. We wont get into this any more today but if you bring balance to one area of your life and you notice the benefits, you tend to carry this attitude into other areas of your life. Treat your body like a temple, and remember that being in good shape, does not automatically means being healthy. Don’t ever take it for granted. Make a habit of doing the right thing for it at all levels. Explore what “the right balance” really means for you. You’ll be happy you did eventually.
I also think it is important for someone that snowboards 150 to 200 day a year or so to do some exercise or other physical activity that works the body in some sort of opposite way to compensate and bring back balance in their muscle and body. Working in the
Peter Line // Backside air Photo // Ryan Gertken Spot // Snoqualmie
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Barker Ashley Photo //
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Jake Kuzyk the interview Jake Kuzyk // Noseblunt Photo // Ashley barker Spot // Calgary
Every minute I’ve spent with Jake, he’s been super hyped on something and just generally happy. So happy, in fact, that too serious of a cynic would most likely hate the dude. I don’t hate Jake though, he’s far too refreshing to be around. If you ever get the chance to spend some time with Jake, enjoy it. -Lance Hakker
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So Jake, I was a little unsure if I had enough material on you for an interview, so I talked to your boy Haydan (Rencsh). He brought up possibly your most interesting trait. He said, and I quote, «For a pretty good looking dude, he gets no chicks.» What’s up with that? Damn. Right outta the gate huh? Let’s just say I’m not the most confident with the ladies, I’m working on it though. I spent too much time skateboarding and snowboarding when I was younger, not enough time flirting with girls in school, I guess. Well when you stayed at my family’s house those few times, my mom called you “the clean one.” That’s gotta count for something. Yeah, you can thank my parents for that one. I like to think they raised me to be a decent human. Who knows? Yeah, I’d say you’re decent. Remember that skate edit you sent me like a year before we put you on Ashbury? I think your skate stuff was as good as your snowboard stuff. What’s the skate scene like in Winnipeg? It’s really fun skating out here. I actually started skating before I snowboarded. And I’ve tried to film a skate part most summers; it’s really fun and challenging. Everyone in Winnipeg who skates films pretty much. I don’t think there is another city in Canada with as many local videos coming out as here. Our crew is called Wreck-Creation, or Wreck Posse. Best dudes to skate with. We all are pretty passionate about it. You’re trying to film a skate part right now, right? Yeah well it’s pretty cold here now (late November) but for the second half of the summer when the glacier camps ended, I filmed a lot. I sprained my foot in September though, when I was staying with you guys in Cali, at the beach, so I haven’t really skated much in the last 2 months…sucks. How is that foot feeling? Foot is getting better, it feels 100 years old in the morning, but it’s usually fine by noon. Would you mind recounting how that injury came about? Ha, dang another embarrassing moment in my life. Well, it was the last day of the trip and a bunch of us went to the beach. Laurent (Nicolas Paquin) and Louif (Paradis) for some reason had a skim board. I took a shot at it. I was getting bummed because I couldn’t do it, or skim it, or whatever you’d call that. On my third go I rolled my foot and sat on it. Somehow I think it was the most painful thing of my life. Then you had to go to the Costa Mesa skatepark and watch, and random kids had to bum you out more. Oh man, that was so brutal, in all my beach gear. I felt like some surfer kook just lurking at the skatepark with a bumming foot. Jed and I saw Leo Romero’s twin though, Elijah Berle. That dude is so shredding! I know you and Laurent skate a lot in the summer together. Who normally wins S-K-A-T-E? To be honest, while sounding like an idiot, me. But the last few games in California Laurent won mostly. He’s got me beat these days with all his wacky wild double flip moves. He could beat me every time I’m sure but he doesn’t like doing those Chris Cole moves on people. What is the one trick you got that you know will get him a letter every time? Let it be known that Laurent is 100% sicker then me on a skateboard, by the way. Frontside bigspin, haha! He’s getting close though, I’m worried. Yeah, I saw you giving him pointers in front of Desiree’s cabin. You blew it! I know, I’m bad for that. I like to enjoy stuff with people. It’s a bad trait sometimes when it comes to snowboarding. Haha! I just want my friends to be stoked. Leaking spots and stuff, not good. Now that your foot is getting better and resorts are opening up, have you had a chance to snowboard much? Yeah man, I just go back from a trip to Whistler. I scoped the forecast, they were opening early and there was no snow here. I wanted to warm up before filming started, so I wouldn’t be trying moves and not know how to carve. So much snow, I had three 50cm days in a row. I think it was one of my most fun week snowboarding ever. Wow, yeah I hear they’re breaking records or something up there. We rode Seymour too, which was amazing but that place sucks. Kids won’t want to go there. Yeah we’ve had the most snowfall in November since the resort opened like 60 years ago. They broke it on the 19th, too. Take that! I bet you guys haven’t had any pow days at Bear yet. Whatever. You sprained your foot skim boarding. Okay, let’s build that ego up now. Too soon, Lance. So you filmed with Sandbox last year, how was that? It was really good. Last winter was amazing. Went into the season super motivated, worked two jobs and saved up 7 grand of my own cash for travel. They were nice enough to give me last part. I’m super grateful towards Kev and Clay. You guys even let me come on a Videograss trip!
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Jake Kuzyk // Fs360 nosebonk Photo // Evan Chandler Spot // Seymour
Saved your own money to travel? Did getting last part motivate some people to help you out some more this year? Yeah this year will be easier. I didn’t have to work as much this summer to save up. A little bit of travel budget was given to me this time around so I’m hyped! I just want to hit the streets already. I filmed a few moves on my Whistler trip. Stacking already? Usually the first thing you film all year never makes it in, but you gotta start somewhere. I’m pretty hyped on this new clip though, so fingers crossed. All your rails last year were super big. Was that some sort of vision you had for your part going into the season? I really strive to have continuity within my snowboarding, not to say I’ve achieved that, but I’m working on it. Big rails are just more exciting to watch I feel. And I mean, if you get pretty good at a certain move, then you might as well work hard to do it on the biggest rail you’re capable of. And with the risk of sounding like a un-sick shredder, I don’t have all the tech moves that Jed (Anderson),
Louif, Laurent and those guys got, so I gotta try to make up for it somehow. I also noticed you were being followed by a helicopter during some of your shots. Did you ever consider beaming the heli while you jumped? No, I was more worried about not falling into that bottomless pit of a jump, or getting my dome sliced off by the blade or something. Let it be known, I’m not exactly hyped on heli angles, but maybe I’m just trying to keep it too «real». Were the blades super loud while you were jumping? You kinda just space out on ‘em, but, yeah, I think they were. Who was all on the Videograss trip to Calgary that you went on? The trip
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Jake Kuzyk // Ollie to 50-50 Photo // Bob Plumb Spot // Calgary
was Darrell Mathes, Mikey LeBlanc, and Justin Bennee with Bob Plumb shooting photos and Jan Snarski and Sean McCormick getting the video clips. Unbelievable. I was bugging Jan (my roommate at the time) all winter to sneak me onto a trip with one of the crews. I didn’t think it would be the only trip of the year that Mikey went on! Mikey is easily the funniest person I’ve ever met. It was interesting to see those dudes function in the streets. It was March so rails were almost done and they were looking to drop hammers. I think Jan lied to get me there; I’m glad he did though. Those dudes have been my favorite boarders since I was like 13. The first trick I tried on that trip was the ollie over the fence to ledge smash. I was so nervous and snowboarding like a complete fool.
What was it like switching up crews and doing something completely different with mostly strangers? A little awkward at first. I felt like the odd man out. But those dudes are chill, so it went super smooth for the most part. Those dudes were looking for a lot of street gaps. Basically, they weren’t trying to hit rails, so I wasn’t super helpful with the spot searching. But, I mean check that Bennee cover. Legit! I was tripping when they wanted to roost into the side of that truck. I seriously didn’t think it was even an option, haha! Did you try that one out for yourself? Hell no. That shit was crazy. Real talk. Well I think we’ve covered everything here. Maybe we can get you on another VG trip this season. Take care of yourself Jacuzzi. Thanks, Lance.
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Jake Kuzyk // Switch fs180 tailpress Photo // Brian Hockenstei Spot // Northern BC
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Illustration Mattel // Ifound
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Greg Desjardins // Gap to tailpress Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Quebec
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Devun Walsh // Fs540 Photo // Colin Adair Spot // Whistler
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Chris Grenier // Switch Backlip Photo // Mike Azevedo Spot // New Hampshire
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Chris Carr // 50-50 Photo // Mike Azevedo Spot // New Hampshire
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Photo // Renaud Gagnon
he Red Ledge
Québec City is well known for its incredible amount of rails, and people from all over the world travel to the old province just to have the chance to hit some of those famous spots. The Red Ledge is one of those spots that we’ve been seeing in magazines and videos for years now. Most people are saying it’s played out, but I think that’s bullshit. There’s no such thing as a played out spot. There’s always room for new tricks. It’s like in skateboarding, every time I see somebody in a new movie or a picture of someone doing something new on a famous spot, I get stoked. I think people that say spots are played out are just scared and can’t come up with new shit. We need to keep those spots alive in order to keep the progression going. The Red Ledge is located outside of downtown Québec City, right next to the Mont-Morency waterfalls. In the same park there is another ledge that we call the Green Ledge, which is a smaller version of the Red Ledge. Also right across from the Green Ledge, there’s a flat rail to cement bank. I think this park is one of the sickest spots in Québec because if you want you can session two or three different setups in one day without ever getting kicked out, and afterwards you can go get a poutine at the local restaurant right in the parking lot. But like any good spot this one has his downsides too. When you plan to go hit the Red Ledge, you better wake up early and bring your shovels because you’re in for a whole lot of shoveling. This ledge is right in the middle of an empty field by the big river, so the wind just blows all the snow in there and usually, it’s completely buried. And when I say buried I mean you don’t even see it. I don’t remember going there once without having to spend two hours shoveling and chipping ice off the stairs. Then you have to deal with the slanted top factor that makes it super hard to lock on. Usually you get on it and it spits you right away to the outside. You really need to commit to the inside of the stairs in order to make it to the kink, which is pretty much the biggest challenge about this ledge. Back in the days when people started to hit it, this ledge was pretty rough. Over the years it’s been sessioned so much that it got really smooth and fast. So nowadays, by the time you get down those forty stairs to the kink, you’re hauling ass. And then…Boom! You hit a wall. When you look at it from the top, the kink looks super gnarly and it feels like there is no way you can ever make it through it. All in all, this ledge is recognized all over the world and I hope people keep going to it to raise the bar. So stop sitting around, grow a pair, and go for it.
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Phil Paré // Backside Noseslide Photo // Renaud Gagnon Spot // Quebec
« I think people that say spots are played out are just scared and cant come up with new shit. We need to keep those spots alive in order to keep the progression going. »
-Oli Gagnon slash snowboardmag // 57
he Red Ledge
When I first looked at Etienne Gilbert’s and Mat Laroche’s 5050s video shots on the Red Ledge in 2002, I just thought “This ledge looks really good!” Back in those days every Québec street rail was just being discovered and who was doing the rail all the way to the end first was a hero. Etienne Gilbert, Mat Laroche, Phil Paré and I were chasing new rails everyday all day, and in this Red Ledge we saw a real opportunity to get some pictures published in the magazines and good video shots. The year after, Gilbert was out west and Mat was working on some graphic design projects, so Phil and I were pumped to go there and burn the shots of our friends from the previous year. With countless efforts in the crazy cold weather, we finally got the boardslide and lipslide and raised the bar on the Red Ledge. For me, it ended up being a 2 page spread in SBC and a full page in Snowboarder (the first time we ever saw the ledge in magazines). I was so stoked on our achievement and remember thinking this was the physical limit of this spot. Looking over what happened on this ledge in the years after, I realized that our tricks were now buried deep in the graveyard. Today I’m always happy to witness evolution of snowboarding and see what the kids have achieved on this big piece of concrete.
I remember the first time I went there with Guillaume Brochu in 2003. It was so cold (around -30) bluebird, and crazy wind that froze you to the bone. It was looking so big, 40 stairs with the beasty kink at the end. After digging out the stairs for hours (because it was full of snow and ice) we finally started hitting the ledge. I was going for the first boardslide attempt and Guillaume was going for the frontside lipslide. After probably more than 2 hours of hitting the ledge, Guillaume started thinking that it was maybe not the right time or temperature to get our shots on this big boy. I remember our filmer back then was Frits and he was wearing a sleeping bag over his body because of the crazy low temperature. So Guillaume stopped trying and I was thinking, “Is this really possible?” I really wanted to get it so I asked him to push me a few more times. I finally landed it 6 or 7 tries after. Frits was so happy that session was over because of the cold. But G bro was like, “No way, you guys stay here pushing and filming until I nail that bitch.” I started pushing him again and he got his front lip 5 minutes after. It was a great session. We walked away with our shots and went straight to the restaurant in the parking lot to eat some poutine.
TRICKS DONE SO FAR BS 50-50: Mat Laroche BS 50-50 BS 180 out: Etienne Gilbert FS 50-50 BS 180 out: Jeremy Cloutier FS 50-50 FS 360 out: Will Lavigne FS 50-50 BS 360 out: Jason Dubois 50-50 from top flat: Greg Desjardins Nose slide: Phil Pare, Sylvain Beauchene Boardslide: Nick Houle, Louif Paradis, Alex Cantin, Max Baillargeon Boardslide to fakie: Robbie Sell Boardslide to switch 50-50: Louif Paradis Boardslide to 50-50: Louif Paradis Lipslide: Guillaume Brochu FS tailpress: Jason Dubois BS tailpress: Phil Jacques Blunt: LNP FS boardslide: Louif Paradis, FS boardslide to fakie: Jordan Mendenhall BS lipslide to fakie: Chris Dufficy
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BS lipslide: Austin Smith FS 180 fakie 50-50: Louif Paradis & Nick Sauve FS 180 fakie 50-50 switch FS 180 out: Jeremy Cloutier Hardway Switch FS 180 BS 50-50 BS 180 out: Yan Devau BS 180 fakie 50-50 switch frontside 180 out: Cale Zima BS 180 fakie 50-50: Joe Sexton Nollie lipslide to fakie: Simon Chamberlain Nollie tailpress FS 180 out: Max Legendre Backside 270 boardslide: Will Lavigne Switch FS 50-50: Etienne Gilbert Switch BS 50-50: Etienne Gilbert, Will lavigne Switch BS 50-50 BS 180 out: Reno Belisle Switch boardslide: Dan Migno & Jon Kooley Switch Nose slide: Keegan Valaika Switch lipslide: Nick Houle Switch FS boardslide: Kael Hill Switch BS lipslide to fakie: Keegan Valaika Switch FS 180 tailpress: Jason Dubois Switch fs 270 frontboard to fakie: Keegan Valaika
Guillaume Brochu // Lipside Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Quebec
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Etienne Gilbert // Switch Backside 50-50 Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Quebec
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he Red Ledge
The red ledge has always been a crazy spot. Everybody always wanted to go there because it’s a giant red super slick cement ledge. Good for video and even better for photos. The story behind my cover is that one day we went there with Louif, Dan Migno, Oli Gagnon and Will Demers. Louif wanted to go back to the ledge because he front boarded it and wanted to do it better and get a photo. It was a rainy spring day, and we shoveled the stairs for more than an hour, dealing with ice and slush. We started to warm up, I didn’t have any trick in mind when we started to hit it, so I was kinda pissed off. I tried a couple of tricks that didn’t work out. It’s always scary the first time you go sideways on this monster since you never know if it still slides well. So I tried a couple of noseslides to get in the mood. The ledge itself is not perfect; it’s actually kinda crooked and will throw you outside, so it’s super scary because if you wanna land your trick you have to commit to it on the inside by putting your body inside the staircase. The stairs aren’t too crazy but there is still a bunch, so shit can happen. After a couple of blunts that threw me outside, I finally locked into one. But the game isn’t over until you hit the kink at mach 10, so everything went good, I got the kink, landed and rode away. A couple of weeks later I saw Oli’ s pic on the cover of SLASH and it was my first cover ever!
Louis-Felix Paradis // Frontside Boardslide Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Quebec
Personnally, I think a lot of tricks have been done on the Red Ledge, but there are still a lot more to do. To name a few, I don’t think a legit nosepress has been done and there are still two of the four 270’s that haven’t been done yet. Also, the flat part at the top hasn’t been used very often. I haven’t seen too many nollie or fakie tricks either. That’s what’s cool about a spot with a history like that, it adds some challenge. It’s easy to frontside boardslide a new rail somewhere, but try to add something on the Red Ledge! I’m sure the next generation won’t have too much difficulty though. And I bet someone will backside 360 into it sometime in the next year.
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KEEGAN VALAIKA : I think the first time I saw the red ledge was in one of the first people movies. I remember Austin Smith back-lipped it and his part was really good that year. Anyways, the red ledge was all over the people movie that year and I just remember being obsessed with that shit. It reminded me of a famous skate spot like el toro or something. It’s just so recognizable with the red paint and huge donkey you know? You can’t really see a shot of it and not be like “oh thats the red ledge in Quebec.” The other sick thing about it is there’s a natural down slope into it so you don’t have to use a lame drop in ramp to get speed. I HATE drop in ramps too. They just sketch me out so bad, so that was probably a big reason I was so hyped on it. So, pretty much before I even went there I had this perfect vision of it in my head haha. It was like the perfect spot. We were all in Quebec for a BozWreck 2 trip and the whole time I was just trying to figure out where the hell this ledge was. After like a week of driving around hitting all the typical spots in downtown Quebec I had pretty much lost all hope for finding the Red Ledge. So it was our last day and we were getting ready to drive back down to the airport. In the mean time I checked my stupid facebook and some kid sent me a link to a website with directions to the ledge. I was tripping, like no way did some kid I’ve never met just happen to send me directions on the last day we’re here! Obviously I was like “Yo I got directions we gotta go there before we go home.” The crew was pretty over it at this point and I’d say at least 2/3 of them were like “fuck that.... we’re going home.” So whatever, I just pretty much made them drive me there since it was somewhat on the way to the airport. As if
these guys weren’t already over it enough, we pulled up to the thing and not only were the stairs completely buried with snow, but even the ledge was covered. All you could see was the top flat sticking out and about 5 stairs. Nate made some funny ass comment like, “well... guess your not snowboarding today!” Everyone started laughing and I just grabbed a shovel and got out of the car. I’m sure everybody was so bitter at me by now, but I seriously didn’t care. I was down to be left there as long as I got to shred this thing. Being the homies they are, Cale and Bob ended up helping me shovel the thing for at least 4 hours. When we were finally done I hiked up to hit the thing once or twice and Boznuts got instantly hyped. He was pulling me in for a second and then instead of just whipping me he would let me go and run next to me all the way to the lip. If it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t have landed anything that day. He just got me so hyped that I totally forgot about all the shoveling and bullshit we did to get this thing shreddable. From there on out everything just kinda happened. I remember being like “I think I can switch backlip this?” kinda doubting myself. The only part I was really scared of was the kink. Sure enough it proved itself to be the hardest part and I got bucked really hard a couple of times trying to get through it. One time I might have done a full backflip off the thing before I hit the ground. It was pretty brutal but it all worked out in the end. No doubt, it was definitely one of the funnest days I’ve ever had on a snowboard and hopefully I’ll get to go back there sometime.
« I hate drop in ramps too[...] so that was probably a big reason I was so hyped on it [...] I had this perfect vision of it in my head haha. It was like the perfect spot. »
he Red Ledge
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Keegan Valaika // Switch Backside Lipside Photo // Bob Plumb Spot // Quebec
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JONAS MICHILOT by Oli Gagnon
When and how did you start shooting photos? What got you stoked on it? I’ve always liked shooting photos. I took some photography classes in high school, and they were probably my favorite classes in that dumb place, but I wasn’t too serious about it. My brother used to shoot Polaroids when I was growing up, so that’s what got me excited about Polaroid instant film. After using simple Polaroid cameras, I started learning about other old film cameras, and different photographers. I began experimenting, and learning different techniques with whatever I could get my hands on. Do you always bring a camera on your snowboard trips or when you go snowboarding? When I go out snowboarding on a regular day, I don’t like to lug around a camera with me. I just wanna cruise, and not worry about forgetting my camera somewhere (which has happened). But I bring cameras on every snowboard trip I go on, usually a few too many. But it’s better to be safe than sorry (as far as bringing enough film and stuff). I usually over pack cameras, and under pack socks and underwear... What kind of camera do you use? Give us a full breakdown. Hmmm, I’ll try my best... I mainly use medium format, and Polaroid sheet film. But sometimes I use this Russian 35mm camera for cheaper developing prices. For Polaroids, I have an SX70 land camera, and a bunch of different rangefinder land cameras. As far as medium format goes, I’ve got a Bronica sq-ai, Holga, Pinholga, Horseman 985, Mamiya RZ-67, and a load of antique cameras that I don’t find myself using all the time. A few months ago, I started learning about large format photography (which I’ve always wanted to try), so I finally ventured into 4x5 cameras. I have a Toyo 45A, and it’s so much fun to shoot a negative that big, and crisp. Which one do you find yourself using the most and why? Or, which one is your favorite? I’d have to say the Mamiya RZ67, because I have a bunch of lenses, film backs, and a Polaroid back for it. And it doesn’t take a long time to focus and snap off a photo. The Holga is always a good point and shoot camera. I have been using my 4x5 camera a lot, too. It takes a lot of patience and time, but you can take the exact picture you want.
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What is your favorite subject to photograph? I like shooting interesting people that I meet while traveling. Ones who have stories to tell, like homeless characters, or old people. Landscapes are probably the hardest thing to shoot, but they’re another one of my favorite things to take pictures of.
Do you think photography is something you would like to push to the next level when you are over snowboarding? Well, I’m hoping that I can snowboard for a bit longer. But, I’m definitely going to keep learning about film and cameras and trying new things with it. I don’t know about being a snowboard photographer, but that would be way better than being another commercial photographer taking pictures of food or electronic equipment in throwaway pamphlets.
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Photo // Oli Gagnon
DOs & DON’Ts After you win a contest: Do: Drink the champagne. Don’t: Leave without your money. It’s your birthday, you are already too drunk and your best friend buys you a shot: Do: Tell him you love him. Don’t: Puke. You just hurt yourself and looks like you’ll be on the sideline for at least a couple of weeks: Do: Fly to Mexico. Don’t: Check the snow forecast.
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You are about to hit the biggest jump of your life: Do: Grab your board. Don’t: Die. You have been shooting for 5 days in a row and the weather looks like shit for the next week Do: Nothing. Don’t: Do it. On a bluebird day with 3 feet of pow… Do: Bring your girlfriend! Don’t: Forget your goggles.
On the first day of the season: Do: Remember your stance. Don’t: Forget your pass. On the last run of the day… Do: Call “2 more runs” and skip the last. Don’t: Hit a tree. In the off-season: Do: Forget about last season. Don’t: Get injured.
Annie Boulanger // Method Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Pemberton
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DOs & DON’Ts After you win a contest: Do: Claim hard and talk shit about how you’re better than all the other riders and how you schooled them. Don’t: Go to the bar. That 10% rule is BS and all the other riders will be there and remember you’re way better than all of them! It’s your birthday, you are already too drunk and your best friend buys you a shot: Do: Take it and worry about it later. You’re already going to feel shitty the next day. One shot won’t make that much of a difference. Don’t: Throw it over your shoulder or ditch it on the floor. At least give to someone. You just hurt yourself and looks like you’ll be on the sideline for at least a couple of weeks:
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Do: Ride as soon as you feel a little better. You might hurt it again and it’ll take way longer to heal but at least you get to hang out on the couch, right? Don’t: Do whatever will help speed up the healing process. That’s just straight up crazy! On the first day of the season: Do: Sleep in. You now have all season to shred. What’s the hurry? Don’t: Answer your phone. Your friends will call you mad early and be super eager to ride for some reason... On the last run of the day… Do: Claim last run. Don’t: Be conservative. This is the last run of the day! Try your hardest trick! Go out with a bang! Don’t hurt yourself though.
In the off-season: Do: Work 3 jobs. Gotta make that money! Don’t: Enjoy summer. It’s the worst! The sun’s always out, you’re always at the lake having a good time and partying...boring. And skateboarding is too hard. You are about to hit the biggest jump of your life: Do : Just drop in and know the speed. Don’t: Be a sketch. On a bluebird day with 3 feet of pow… Do: Ride the park! No one’s going to be in there! It’s all yours! Don’t: Go sledding. You’ll get stuck everywhere and the sled zones will be way too busy.
Matt Belzile // Bs720 Photo // Russel Dalby Spot // Whistler
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HUGUES LAUZIER by Oli Gagnon
What brought you to be a tattoo artist and how long has it been that you tattoo people? The thought of being a tattoo artist had never crossed my mind before one particular event. One day I met a guy who was a tattoo artist and then two weeks later I ran into him on the street and he told me he was selling his tattoo equipment. I had just received money to go to university and I borrowed what I was missing in order to buy all his stuff. This was nine years ago. Do you also paint a lot? What do you like to do the most? I paint as much as I can but it’s never enough. I don’t really have any particular themes or topics but it is obvious that tattoo illustration influence me a lot. What inspires you ? How would you describe your style ? Pretty much everything inspires me! Especially the tattoo artists with who I work and the ones I met in the last years. Some people say that my style is “neo-traditional”…I guess that’s what it is! You live in Vancouver. What brought you there? I was on a roadtrip for almost a year. On my way back I stopped in Vancouver to visit a good friend and I ended up never leaving. It’s been four years. I must say that there is much more concrete to skate here than in Québec! Have you always snowboarded and skated? It has been 23 years that I ride a snowboard and a skateboard. If you had to choose between riding your skateboard or doing tattoos what would be your pick? Dude, there is no question. Skateboarding for sure! Where can we see more of your work and how can we get a tattoo by you? I work at Craftsman Tattoo Parlor in Vancouver and my website is: www.tearinthebucket.com Craftsman Tattoo Parlor 27 west Pender 604-331-0341 70 // slash snowboardmag
by Oli Gagnon
Can you guys tell us a little more about everybody’s background? Danny is from Winfield, he likes candy. Hoops is from the forest, he likes bicycles. Mattsky is from North Delta, he likes “asshole” shoes. John is from the GVRD, he likes nothing at all. What made you start this new project? Mattsky and I worked together in a shitty, cold and depressing warehouse attaching plastic bar codes to juice bottles all day long for about a year. The only thing that got us through that mind-numbing day job was that we could listen to whatever music we wanted on the stereo.We would often listen to bands like The Jesus Lizard and Karp and talk about how cool it would be to start a fucking hateful, noisy rock band. So here we are. What is Congress all about? Congress is all about: G.T.’s, Docker’s Breakfast, Black Sabbath, Chips, Eastbound and Down, Root Brewskies, and the power and the glory and the majesty of the speed of sound. Anything recorded yet? How can we get it? Yeah, for sure. We recorded a six-song demo over two days in June with our good friend Bobby Froese. If people want it, they can grab one at one of our shows or check it out at myspace.com/congressband
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What do you guys think of the music scene in Vancouver? Well, I think that there are definitely some pretty sweet bands and some pretty crappy bands too. We’re bummed that the Cobalt got shut down. Bands in Vancouver need more places to play rather than less. Are you guys planning a tour soon? What’s in the near future for you? As of this moment, we have no tour plans. Maybe around spring/summertime, though. Currently, we are writing songs and hoping to make a record during the winter and release it sometime shortly thereafter. Anything you wanna tell the snowboarding public? Though some members of Congress prefer skateboarding and others are just plain lazy fucking musicians, we wish you many inches of fresh powder to rip upon this season. John
BOB LE CHEF by Pat Burns
Because it is chic to be Anar… Rediscover cooking with Bob le Chef! Share your recipes and your personal tips. Anything goes! It’s l’Anarchie Culinaire ! For a few years now you’ve hosted a unique cooking show online called, “L’Anarchie Culinaire Selon Bob.” Could you tell us more about it? It’s a show I started for fun with Alexis Brault and his wife and queen of the skirtboarder Mathilde Pigeon five years ago. I just wanted to show to my friends a way to cook and save money in order to be able to enjoy their nights even more (laughing). Five years later, we have made over 100 clips showing how to cook easy-to-do and affordable recipes. Often times, some of the best things we do in life are a result of doing something experimental. What brought you and Alexis to create the character of Bob le Chef ? In fact, there is no BLC. It’s actually just me. It’s more or less the way I live everyday minus the cannabis cookies. There is often skateboarding in your show and the photos in your book (available in all good libraries and on cyberpresse.ca,) were taken by photographer and editor of Exposé skateboard magazine, Dan Mathieu. You seem to find a link between skateboarding and cooking; what is it? If you eat well and spend less money on food, you have more time and energy to skate. Moreover, being able to cook is definitely a plus with girls. The proof; I’m married!
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If you eat well and spend less money on food, you have more time and energy to skate. Moreover, being able to cook is definitely a plus with girls.
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photo Oli Gagnon
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