Here to stay: A Jeremy Jones interview

There are only a few people I know who really live with no doubt. They have their answer and they are sticking with it. And that’s Jeremy.” — Pat Moore, Blueprint, Season 2 Ep 2

There’s always been something so definite about Jeremy Jones. You just know that he’s going to deliver a solid video part each year. You expect him to push the boundaries of street snowboarding. And you’d be shocked if you didn’t see his face staring back at you from endless magazine spreads and company catalog pages every winter. Some things are just meant to be.

But as 2014 drew to a close, that certainty got thrown on its head as Jeremy’s future within snowboarding was brought into question for the first time when his long-term sponsor, Burton, did not renew his contract. After close to 20 years of riding professionally the party was threatening to be over for one of snowboarding’s great players.

It seems it can threaten all it wants because as far as Jeremy is concerned, only one person dictates his future, and that is Jeremy. While some might withdraw, accept defeat, and move on, he has forged ahead straight back into the zone, filming for his X Games Real Snow part as well as with Pat Moore and Red Bull Media House for the Blueprint series. Thus proving to us all that the show is far from over with ever-progressive footage that confirms he is still the King of Street. Sure, the recent events have been a hard pill to swallow, but as Pat Moore says, “Once he’s committed in his mind, it’s already done.”

And that’s exactly where he’s at: Committed to the sport and the life that he loves — and in many ways has pioneered — for the long haul. Questions will no doubt surround exactly where he goes from here, but one thing remains indisputable: Jeremy Jones is here to stay.

Jeremy Jones interview
Photo: JP Walker

Let’s dig straight into what is happening right now. Last year, after a great winter and impressive video part, you found yourself in a position where you were looking for a board sponsor. How hard was that for you?
That was difficult for sure. I always worked hard and overproduced as far as my “job” was concerned. It was hard not to take those cuts personally when my performance was on point. I had to move past that and try to understand that Burton must have had their reasons outside of my performance while with the brand. I was told very little, simply that, “Burton is not going to re-sign you.” So it was left pretty wide open for me to speculate. That was extremely destructive for me and my head in a case where I wanted to keep going. So I had to check out of that mindset and just move forward.

Was the writing on the wall, or did this come out of the blue?
A bit of both really. The writing was really clear months prior, but I worked hard to help change the perception that some may have had. The awesome humans at Burton I worked close with had my back 100% — it was a situation that just ran its course I guess.

A pro snowboarder’s fortunes seem to be a precarious thing: one minute you’re hot, then you’re not, then you’re hot again. It’s a story perpetuated by a lot of snowboard media. Take Fredi Kalbermatten or Jake Welch – both incredibly talented snowboarders who lost a lot of sponsor support. Fast forward a few years and we are seeing them everywhere again, but they were snowboarding just as well the last few years while off the radar. Why do you think this is so unique to snowboarding as a sport as compared to, say, surfing or skating?
This is a complicated one. I have had lots of good conversations with some really great minds in snowboarding about this and it seems there isn’t a rock solid answer. The media loves a “story”, as they should. It’s entertainment, whether it be a “comeback” story or a “sponsorless” story or some bull crap drama that has no merit, the snowboard media just needs someone to talk about and say something. It is easy to separate the good journalist from the bottom feeders, however. A good journalist will seek to find the good stories that might actually promote good in snowboarding and not just bull crap… That’s how the Fredi and Jake stuff happened: real stories that were rad and brought to light to motivate and do good for the sport. A bottom feeder will run with whatever comes out of the loose-lipped TM at some industry function — that’s the easiest intel to get and you don’t have to back it up, you can just toss it up on the web the next morning still half drunk and have zero feedback, whether it’s true or not. To answer the question, those stories like Fredi and Jake come out and we see them again because someone doing good for snowboarding digs it back up, ‘cause those dudes should have never had to deal with those lows in the first place. They are kings, and kings never die.

Jeremy’s 2015 X Games Real Snow part

You just turned 39. How much do you think age comes into play in a snowboarder’s career?
Age is funny; it’s an excuse for some to drop you and on the other end an excuse to quit and “move on”. That thought process is changing slowly though. You wouldn’t sign me for the same reason you would sign one of the young street rippers – we have such a different value and such a different relevance. Tony Hawk just dropped a hammer video part a few months back, and the homie is something close to 50! If that doesn’t say keep going, then nothing will. I love this! I love doing it! I’m not gonna let age be my reason one way or another.

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