Snowboard Legend Jamie Lynn

Onboard met Jamie Lynn for an interview and if you read it very carefully you can win a CD from his band Kandi Coded that he signed himself! In the mid 90s, a young American snowboarder gave the word style a whole new meaning. Jamie Lynn embodied snowboarding in its purest form, concentrating only on the important aspects: simply riding clean with a timeless fluidity. Even today, every method air is still compared against his, which when he pulled one always looked like someone had hit the slow-mo button as he crossed up his body into that celebrated tweak. His parts in classics like the early TB videos or Stomping Grounds are legendary. He was never that fussed about contests and liked interviews even less. He’d rather back out and paint. However, although when we met him for this interview at ISPO he’d already done quite a bit of talking, was suffering from bad jet lag and scheduled to play with his band Kandi Coded in half an hour, there was no sign of stress. Jamie seemed to be completely at ease with himself and the world as he told us about his ‘comeback’, why cats are his idols and who could be the next Jamie Lynn.

Onboard: You grew up on an island off Seattle living in teepees with your hippie family. How did you end up on a snowboard?
Jamie Lynn: I was very much into skateboarding at that time and when the first pictures of snowboarders turned up, I thought if this is anything like what we do when we have skateboards on our feet, than we are gonna have a good time. I was 12 years old and putting grip tape on the skateboards in the back of the shop. They paid me 10 dollars a day as a shop grom so I asked them instead of getting paid if I could borrow a snowboard for the weekend and after that I didn’t want to do anything else anymore.

OB: Your method airs and cab 9s were the art of state in the 90s but after all these parts in big snowboard movies like Upping The Ante, Stomping Grounds and The Garden, you suddenly disappeared from the snowboard scene. What had happened?
JL: It was time for me to pull away from snowboarding and to focus on something new. I got married and I thought I was gonna start this wonderful family but this turned into something that was more of a disillusion. I experienced marriage and I experienced divorce, something that I never thought that would happen.

OB: You started riding again for Volcom in 2004, had a part in Escramble and did trips to Japan and Canada with guys like Terje Haakonsen and Bryan Iguchi. What made you come back?
JL: Once my life kind of fell apart (with the divorce) I was left with either feeling shit for the rest of my life or knowing that I have these other things in my life that make me feel so much joy. It was calling me back. It made me realise that what I truly liked to do was riding powder with my friends.

OB: What role did Volcom play in getting you back on board?
JL: When I was still riding for Volcom in the 90s, there was this 17-year-old kid from Mammoth, Billy Anderson. He travelled a lot with Terje, Bryan (Iguchi) and me and was looking up to us. Now he is 31 and team manager at Volcom. When he got this job, he thought how good it would be to get back to the people who gave him some inspiration back then. So he called me up and said: “Hey, we would like to bring you back on board. No pressure, no responsibility other than doing what you love to do, and we are going to be supporting that.” He really stoked the fire that was just smouldering inside me for a while.

OB: How much do you go riding these days?
JL: When the snow is good, I ride. When the snow is bad, I play music or do artwork. I found myself with so much free time on my hands that I just felt like a bum sitting on the couch doing nothing, so I picked up the guitar, picked up the paint brush, picked up the skateboard, to get off the couch. It’s hard for me to sit still, mentally and physically: my mind is always going to places. OB: You are doing artwork for companies like Lib Tech and Dragon, organising your own exhibitions and writing songs for your band Kandi Coded. Where do you get all the inspiration for your work?
JL: Inspiration can come from many things – you can draw inspiration just from looking at the front door. A lot of it came from travel: all the hours I spent on the planes, travelling in cars or on buses. I take a lot of pictures, not with a camera but with my eyes. I archive these images, and when I get back from a trip, I have this sketchbook I draw in to be able to recreate certain images or certain ideas that I gathered while travelling. And also just having my three cats around. I draw a lot of cats.

OB: Why?
JL: They make so beautiful models. They just sit there being lazy, looking cute and they are always posing for you. There is a certain calm and coolness to a cat. Nothing really matters to them, maybe get fed every once in a while some food and water. That laid-back kind of easy fluid motion of mind and body is something I try to emulate.

OB: Your riding always seems so smooth and easy-going. Is there a young rider that could be the next Jamie Lynn?
JL: Everybody is an individual person but there are individuals that share similar qualities and I think Frederik Austbo might be a bit like me. He is very humble and lets the riding do the talking. I really appreciate his style.

OB: What would you say is your main profession these days? Are you an artist, a snowboarder, a musician or just a bit of everything?
JL: I’m a professional human. Living my life, I’m very fortunate and very lucky to be able to get so many wonderful opportunities, and to not take advantage of it would be a shame. It would be not living life to its fullest extent. Art, music, snowboarding and skateboarding are all vehicles of self-expression: to be a true individual, to be able to express myself, that is what keeps me going.

Interview by Melanie Schönthier

If you read the interview carefully you can surely answers this question: Who was responsible for getting Jamie back on the Volcom team?
Send your answer to thecrew@onboardmag.com until the 22nd December and have a nice new album to listen to during the holidays!

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