Wednesday, December 10 2014

CHAIRLIFT INTERVIEW WITH DARRELL MATHES

In the few short weeks that Brighton has been open, it has been the place to be; and that’s not just by chance. From well-known Brighton lines to spots that are yet untapped, the best of the best are up there having about as much fun as you can on a snowboard. I was able to catch a chair with one of the best guys in the industry, Darrell Mathes, to talk about everything from filming plans to running a company. When Mathes, speaks, it’s best just to listen.


What’s going on Mathes? How’s it going?

I’m doing good. I’m just psyched to be up here at Brighton for preseason. It’s nice to be able to ride with a good friend of mine, Joe Sexton and I’m staying with Meyers, so yeah, just stoked to be up here!

 

You guys have been up here for the last week or so, right?

Yeah, we came the day after Thanksgiving, so this is our fifth or sixth day.

 

How long are you in town for?

I think we’re going to stay until Thursday. We’re hoping by then maybe we can get on a trip, so that’s what we’re hoping for.

 

What are your early winter plans?

I’m going to do Videograss again this year, which I’m really looking forward to. Probably go on a few rail trips, then hopefully switch over to the backcountry. So, I know Jake Welch is filming with Videograss this year, so I’m looking forward to doing some jumping with him and Sam Taxwood… Danimals even. I think this year we’re going to probably see more jumping than in the past for Videograss.

 

That sounds pretty sick to me… Just those few names make a pretty heavy crew.

Yeah, it’s fun man. I really haven’t had the opportunity to snowboard with Jake or Sam… or Danimals especially in the backcountry. I think, especially if all four of us can get together, it’s going to be a good dynamic of good riders. I think we’re going to be able to feed off each other and I think you’re going to see some really cool shit.

 

Yeah, I’m very excited about that, can’t wait to see it.

Definitely.

 

How are things going with Howl?

Howl is good. Busy, but its awesome man. I’m really excited about next year’s gloves. I’m actually rocking some right now.

 

I was going to say, I didn’t recognize those from past lineups…

These are Danny Larsen’s. He has his own mitt this year, it has all of his art on it so we’re super psyched on it. So yeah, we’ve been getting good response. I’m just super thankful to have an awesome team and all my friends supporting it and backing it. From a rider standpoint, that means a lot to me, more than anything else, getting a good response from them. So I’m super stoked and loyal to that.

 

Yeah, getting more of these rider owned and operated brands is a good thing. It’s super cool to see more people doing it.

I agree. I think right now, there are some people in our industry that shouldn’t be in there, and they’re running it and doing a poor job. So as of now, I definitely like to support these rider/owner-driven types of brands and it seems like it’s going really well, so I’m psyched to see the near future and see what happens.

 

Do you find it surprising at all that so many people are accepting it so immediately and just jumping on it, like ‘This is sick, I want this’?

Darrell: Yeah, cause I think there’s uh, cause our industry, I think personally, that our industry is getting a little bit smaller, so the people that are still in it, those are the true core snowboarders. They see what is cool, and they are going to back it one hundred percent because there still are these companies that are just not run very well and they’re not making very good products. I think kids are finally realizing that these companies aren’t trying to make the best products, so they just need to eventually just get out of our industry and move on and do something else.

 

It seems to me that people are starting to realize that these smaller brands actually care about snowboarding and they’re pouring their heart and soul into this, whereas for some of the bigger brands, it’s only about the bottom line; and that’s all that matters to them.

That’s exactly what it is. For me it’s always getting feedback, you know. I’m totally against hearing ‘Hey dude, this glove fucking sucks’ or ‘This fucking seam is breaking’ or ‘We should do this kind of glove’. [Editor’s Note: Darrell hates when his product lets someone down, but loves hearing any and all kind of feedback]I think it’s very important to get that kind of feedback. You know? I’ve been on other brands and I never helped once, or did anything for them and it really bummed me out. So, still being a professional snowboard and running a company, I understand the mindset of what other riders are going through, so I think that helps. .

 

How hands on are you personally when it comes to that kind of feedback? What happens when somebody says that kind of stuff to you?

I’m psyched man, cause I can take fuckin’ shit you know. I can take it if it’s something they don’t like. I can accept it, and it actually makes me work harder to make sure that we’re building the best product for the riders and you gotta learn from your mistakes; that’s 101, you know?

 

For sure, and as you’re growing, that’s a necessary part of it. I feel like you have put out some sick products so far. As you can see, Daniel is rocking his Howl’s over there.

That’s sick.

 

What made you decide gloves in the first place?

Um, for me, I’ve never been psyched on any glove brands out there and I kind of just had this vision that there is definitely a type of style of gloves that need to be made. The other thing is that I knew a lot of my friends that didn’t have glove sponsors and they didn’t like the gloves they were wearing. So I just knew that snowboarding needed a core snowboard glove brand that makes gloves that people like. So that was kind of the first step, and we did it.

 

[Referring to next year’s Danny Larsen mitt Darrell is wearing] So do those zip off, or is that a little pocket or what?

It’s just a zip, so you can let the fingers breathe a little bit.

 

I like that!

I kind of have sweaty hands too, and I’m more of a mitt guy so I like to get some air on these hands.

 

Yeah, I thought it was supposed to be sunny today so I busted my old spring gloves.

We need to get you some Howl gloves too man.

 

Hell yeah, that’d be sick. That Danny Larsen art is so cool. So how’d that come about, getting him on board?

Danny, he has always inspired me and he is an amazing artist, an amazing human being. He has been filming for VG for the last couple of years and we went out to Oslo and he showed us around. I’m just a big fan of his art and I just asked him, you know, if he would be down to use his art on a snowboard glove. Two weeks later he sent me this, and I was just like thumbs up! So psyched.

 

I really like that, it’s a good look. So clean.

Yeah. So, Nick Dirks has one as well and it has his tattoo of his sketches, and it looks so sick.

 

His art is so good, I’m sure it looks incredible on a glove.

Yeah, so we’ve got Danny’s and Nick Dirk’s. So we’re pretty pumped man.

[We unload from Crest] 

Alright, let’s wrap it up real quick. Any shout outs?

Definitely shout out to Brighton for letting us snowboard here for the last two weeks. Also, Milo and Arkade. You guys are killing it. Just stoked to be able to snowboard and have fun.

-- Intreview by Mark Seguin.

 

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