The Derrek Lever interview
Derrek Lever is honestly one of my favorite people to watch on a snowboard. His riding manages to be incredibly loose, consistent, and well executed at the same time. His demeanor is similar. He’s laid-back, continuously sarcastic, and he knows how to deliver his witty remarks. At this point, he’s easily pinned as a rail kid, but growing up riding Stevens Pass gave him talent beyond a rail line or stairset. I should also mention that he’s got one hell of a method. Be on the lookout for this ginger.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Edmonds, a few minutes outside of Seattle, WA.
How did you end up with Rome?
I did a Rome pre-jib at Ski Bowl and I think I won. I met Jeff Rudinski, and he said he could probably get me hooked up with a Rome board. I had gotten No Correct Way earlier that season, so I was so fuckin’ hyped. A couple months later I got a 150 Artifact in the mail and I’ve been with them ever since.
How did you end up at Windells?
Ha, same thing. I went and hit a spot with Jeff Rudinski down at Meadows, with a few other friends. One of the people there was Ryan Falk, who ran the kitchen when it wasn’t full of skiers. We all hung out and Ryan asked me if I wanted a job for the summer. I still didn’t believe that he ran the kitchen, then a few months later I got a phone call asking if I would come work for him and I was down. Those two guys have helped me tremendously. If either of you see this, I owe you a beer.
You were the one person on the old Windells kitchen crew that was able to come back and work at camp, and you came back as a digger. How did that happen?
I don’t know. In all reality I think the mass firing of the kitchen crew was a pretty quick decision. So after some time went by, and tempers settled, I feel like Tim (Windell) was okay with having me back. I’m so grateful he did though. I really didn’t think I would be allowed back.
Chase (Weaver) is the one that offered me the job, he had been a good friend of mine through Windells in the past and he was cool enough to give me a chance. That guy is the best boss you could ever have. Seriously, he’s the coolest dude and has the most relentless work ethic. I guess I owe him a beer too.
Is digging the manliest job at camp?
Well, it definitely isn’t the counselors. Digging is without a doubt the manliest job at camp.
What would it take for you to be a counselor?
Some absurd amount of money.
One time you told me you were the smartest and toughest person at Windells. I’m not sure about that, but you are the most jaded 21 year-old I’ve ever met. How come?
Haha, I actually remember that conversation; I thought you’d sense the sarcasm. I think it’s pretty obvious that I wasn’t, and am still far from the smartest or toughest person at Windells camp. I think the only place I can honestly make that statement is a kindergarten classroom or something, that is, assuming the teacher isn’t in the room.
How did the Amageddon Van Tour idea come about?
Ron (Faverty) and the guys at the office dreamt it up. I’m real happy they did, because those are some of my fondest moments in my short life so far.
You guys got $200 a day to spend on whatever you wanted, give us the breakdown of how it was typically spent?
Pretty much just beer and food. I think we got a hotel once and some other dumb shit. But the vast majority was spent on beer and food.
How much weed did you buy with that money?
Ha, let’s just say fiscal responsibility went out the fucking window on this trip.
Which stop on the trip was the most fun?
I really liked being in Colorado. I would say Stevens Pass was the best, but I’m from there so it was a little less significant.
You have a great girlfriend, Ms. Mary Rand, but I’d imagine there might have been some young, dumb things interested in a van full of sponsored boarders. How’d you resist, and did anyone get down with anything questionable?
Yes, I do. But no, I wasn’t really fighting girls off. I just hung out and stayed out of trouble. But I think Riley may have hooked up with something questionable in Colorado.
With the amount of beer that was consumed on the tour, and a van full of dudes, I’m certain there was a lot of farting that went on, who has the worst ones?
Tell us about the weirdest shit that happened during the trip.
The Mexican lady we picked up was a pretty crazy experience. We were so reluctant to give her a ride in the first place, then we finally decided to just do it. Shortly after we get on the freeway she starts telling us about how she came to Colorado for spring break, got black out drunk, rolled her car ten times, and woke up in jail. She didn’t have a scratch on her or a license or ID so she had to stay for ten days and we found her at the shittiest gas station in Skudtown, right after she got released. I swear she was like 3 feet tall.
I’m impressed, you guys managed to actually get a decent amount of clips, I thought you might have just partied the whole time. How did you get motivated?
Yeah, we managed to do okay. We weren’t the best at getting motivated, or making decisions at all for that matter. But we all just wanted to board and have fun, and knew it was an awesome experience to be with friends finishing up the season however we wanted to. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Speaking of partying, why does this season’s Artifact say “sorry for partying” on the base? I thought that was just something that drunk college girls said after they made the walk of shame back to their sorority.
Haha, you’re definitely right. But nevertheless, Rome SDS is apologizing in advance for the fucked up shit they will undoubtedly do while partying in years to come.
Let’s switch gears to Keep the Change, is Holy Smokes finally done?
Yes it’s done now. It should be shipping to stores as we speak and it premiered with Enlighten in Burlington last Friday, I believe.
Tell us about filming with that crew.
I was lucky enough to meet up with Rob Balding, Spencer Schubert, Blake Geis and Harry Hagan at the beginning of the season in Denver. Rob just gave me a call and said I should hit a few spots with them. I just happened to be in Summit County when they were driving to Denver so it worked out perfect. I got a couple shots with them, and Rob just said I should keep filming for the movie.
After more filming, and spending time with everyone, I couldn’t be happier with a project. Everyone that’s involved with the movie is doing such a good job in my eyes, and are all just awesome people.
It seems as though Keep the Change is, in a way, the Videograss farm team, what do you think it would take to make the jump to the Videograss crew?
I’m not sure about either of the answers for this. But I would say just film the best shit you can and see what happens. Obviously, any of us would be honored to film with VG but I’m so hyped on what Rob, Colton, Harry and Skylar do, and I love filming with all of ‘em. I’m incredibly grateful to be in the situation I’m in with KTC. So I’m not complaining, I think all of us just need to work hard and continue to love snowboarding and more good shit will come our way.
Who’s got the best part in Holy Smokes?
I don’t even know. Everyone was on their shit this year, you’re gonna have to wait and see. But in my opinion, look out for Mark Wilson and Johnny O’Connor.
Say anything you want before we wrap this up, sponsors, shout outs, hate comments, whatever.
Thanks Taylor for doing this interview. Thanks to Rome SDS, Arnette, Hobo Shredwear, and Stevens Pass Snowboard Shop.
Order Keep The Change’s new video Holy Smokes in association with Videograss at www.kidsknowDIST.com or go to your local shop and get them to order it in there. Thanks!
If you haven’t seen it yet, or just want to watch it again, check out the video of what went down on the Amageddon trip: