Just missing Brandon’s crew earlier this year up in Alaska, we had wondered how their time up in Valdez went after we left town. Bad weather for riding was rolling in and the window to film looked pretty small. We hoped he got some goods, but we heard they had a lot of down days waiting out the wind and weather systems. Figuring we were going to have to wait until the clips were shown in the fall with whatever project he has cooking up, Brandon gave us all a sneak peak and now we know… they scored. Dropping his first ever AK line on Youtube yesterday, we thought we would call Mr. Davis up and ask him how it all went. – Mark Clavin
So when did you decide to go up and get your feet wet in AK this year?
Haha, we decided like March 20th. My filmer [Ryan Finder] and I committed and drove up a week later. We knew Spencer was going but just wasn’t for sure about a seat in a helicopter.
Best run you’ve ever had?
Yes. At the time, it was. I remember saying that at the bottom. I guess the guide at the bottom was asking if that was alright after he dropped me off at the top. When he found out it was going to be my first run in AK, he was concerned because he thought I had more experience.. I’m glad I didn’t know he was questioning the whole thing until after. If I knew he was tripping, I would have been really tripping.
Best run at the time…so you have some better runs you are saving for your project?
Yeah, haha, not much better, but it was so fun. Got a few more clips coming later.
You waited literal weeks for a weather window and this chance, yeah?
Yeah, so long. We were there for awhile. Had to leave for a sponsor shoot right when it got good and missed a few days.
Did you know the line before you went up?
Dude, no. So they had been boarding for four days and I got there for the tail end of the window. Judd [Henkes] said he saved a line picked out for me, but they didn’t show any photos or anything…so we just flew out there and they pointed it out above all those cliffs. They made it sound so casual. But it was not.
And was it nerve-wracking or relief when you finally got dropped on top of your first line?
It was pretty chill. It was a pretty straight-forward run. U couldn’t see more than 60 feet ahead and couldn’t see the cliff edge to the left. Stale [Sandbech] was giving me some nervous energy at the top, haha. It was pretty funny being up on top and just going, “Oh, this is real. People pay people to do this? This is crazy. Seems pretty reckless.”
What board were you riding?
I was on the Ride Snowboards new Deep Fake in a 159 cm. It’s more of a traditional shape, an extra camber snowboard–ideal board for steep, high-speed runs.
How did it feel to look back and see the line?
That is when I got super psyched. I was riding it not knowing. Kind of blacked out going into survival mode. When I got to a spot at the bottom, I started hoping it looked sick, like Did I push any snow over the edge? So I got really psyched when I saw all the snow falling over the edge.
What’s the pricing to do something like that?
Haha, just for myself? If I was just paying for my seat, I would guess that run costs $500-600, but that is just my portion of just one run.
How many runs did you get in that day?
I ended up doing like six runs.
And how many seats?
Like eight people.
How were the conditions?
The conditions were pretty all time for me. The snow was super buttoned up [like the snow pack was solid]. Slough wasn’t running super fast, so it was nice to go and learn on the steeper shit. It was a good time to go up and dabble.
Thoughts on Valdez? How long were you there?
I was in town for three-and-a-half weeks. Valdez is such a weird place. It’s where fisherman and the rich, helicopter-skiing industry collide–and diehard OG snowboarders that just are out there doing the gnarliest stuff just for fun. And everyone just drinks on the down days.
How many days did you actually fly?
One-and-a-half days. But some of the other guys that didn’t have to leave for a quick second got six days.
Was it all worth it?
Yeah, super worth it. I am broke now, but I am happy. I have a nice memory to ponder upon.