Text: Tom Copsey - Photos: Matt Georges
DAY IN THE LIFE: ADAM GENDLE
Adam Gendle – or Gendle as he prefers to be known – has been a well-known face in UK snowboarding for the best part of a decade. One of the first riders to be bred by the snowdomes, he swiftly progressed from the Junior World Cup team to spending seasons overseas and getting regular coverage in the British snowboard media. From early on, filming was always something that attracted his attention and in 2003 Gendle formed Lockdown Projects with wingman Tim Warwood. While the good-humoured movies they produced featured his riding, it was clear that he was moving more behind the scenes and into filming, editing and directing with his fun-focused, British humoured approach to the depiction of snowboarding. His filming and editing talents have been snapped up by many of late, and for the last two seasons Roxy have employed him to film and edit their winter series of podcasts. Onboard stalked Gendle for a day while on location in Saklikent, Turkey, on a Roxy photoshoot to give an insight into 24 hours in his life.
[In the motel. Saklikent, Turkey. 8.00am]
- Gendle, what were you doing at 7.30 in the morning?
I was filming Roxy girls in their pyjamas.
- Why were you doing that?
It’s in my job description to film everything they do, morning and night, and today it was morning. Starting early.
- Is that a normal thing for you, getting up early to film girls?
It’s pretty usual. I’m normally up first and then I’m kinda waiting for them because they take a while, sometimes, but it’s usually early starts.
- And what are we doing next?
It’s the last day in Saklikent, in Turkey, and it’s a sunny day. We’re going to go look at a bomb drop, send Basa Stevolova off it and whoever else wants to have a go. Try and get some more shots and milk them for all they’re worth. They must be pretty tired, it’s the last day. I’m stiff and I haven’t even been riding – they’ve been riding really hard this whole trip.
- Is this a fair representation of what your days usually involve?
It depends because I’ve been on a few trips where it’s competitions so sometimes I’ll be shooting an event. Others like this are a bit more interesting because it’s a travel podcast, really, so it’s more about the story and more about them going somewhere different, having an experience and hanging out as a team, so it’s a bit more fun to shoot.
- What kind of equipment are you working with there?
I use a Sony Z1 camera, which is bombproof: I’ve dropped it loads! And I edit on Final Cut Pro 6 on my MacBook Pro.
- Any nightmares with hard drives, or equipment in general, on the road?
I did run out of tapes and that was a stupid amateur mistake to make! I had no idea that this resort we're at was so remote but luckily we told the guys at the hotel and their dad was coming up from the city so he very kindly picked some up for us. Good old Turks! [Lunchtime. Approx 1.20pm] - Gendle, what have you been up to since we last spoke?
Since we last spoke we’ve been shooting a bomb drop that the girls found yesterday off a very Turkish-looking building. I’ve been filming it. I think it probably looks better on the photo than on film, but it’s still interesting and something different. As the conditions are quite tough here – it’s very sun-baked, heavy snow – we’ve gotta make the most of what we got. It’s the last day and everyone’s tired but we’re ploughing on.
- And you’ve been doing some interviews with the girls as well?
Ah yes, I’ve been interviewing the girls generally about the week, so on the podcast they can talk the viewers through what they’ve been up to during this trip and, basically, all about it: lifestyle, riding, how it’s been, if it’s been successful, if they’ve enjoyed it.
- What’s your interview technique?
This is my second year filming with the girls so I’ve spent so much time with them now that they seem really comfortable around me now. It definitely makes it easier that we're mates and they do seem so relaxed on camera now. I used to have to get naked for them to feel relaxed but luckily I don’t have to do that any more!
- Are all the podcasts the same format or do they change? Is there a set formula or is it dependent on the trip?
They’re all fairly different. A lot of the podcasts this year are going to be ‘rider choices’ so they do what they want. For example, Margot wanted to have it about her love of surfing and have some surf footage in it, so that kind of shows a bit more about her personality. So a lot of the riders get to choose what they want, they’re all quite different. Some of them might be at an event, so the riding might be quite strong there, and then something like this is more about the lifestyle and the travel aspect of what they do during the winter. So they’re all fairly different and hopefully that’s what keeps people interested.
- With what you do, is there a lot of running around involved? Because it’s one camera 9 times out of 10 and you’ve got to cover a lot of different things.
For something like this because it is just one camera I’m trying to get wide shots to show where we are, cut-away shots of Turkishy things, and then trying to cover the riding and get different angles of that too to make it interesting. You are running around a fair bit. It depends what you’re shooting really, because other times if you just get a good spot for a kicker, then you’re set up and you’re away. But you still need to cover the chat and what’s going on: cover the whole thing, really.
- And you know the girls pretty well now so…
I mean generally most of them fancy me so it’s kind of a bit embarrassing sometimes, y’know? When they’re always flirting and I’m trying to concentrate. No, in all seriousness, I know them all pretty well because I did this last year too. I did a lot of trips with them and I got to know them all really well, I think we all got on so well and they kind of trust me now, and are happy to just let me get on with it. They sometimes ask my opinion on certain things they’re riding so that’s kind of cool as well. I like to help out in any way I can, really. I kind of like to be a big brother but I don’t know if they see me like that, but y’know...
The other day the girls were asking your advice on building the kicker. Does that happen often?
Yeah, sometimes. I showed them footage of me riding to make me seem cooler, so they know I can ride a bit now. A lot of them haven’t made many kickers or done much in the backcountry so I try to help the best I can in those situations. If they want me to test a big park kicker I usually just say I have to film, but really I’m just a bit scared.
[On the bus ride down. Approx 6.40pm]
- How’s today been so far, Gendle?
The day was good. We shot the bomb drop in the morning, got some things on there, I tried to get a bit arty with my shots, naat I mean. Had a nice lunch, did a few interviews with the girls about the Turkey trip in general and then we just did a street rail. Margot and Tania hit a street rail, and Lisa hit it as well – hit it with her face (laughs). A few of the girls got a few shots there, managed to get the last few interviews to finish up my day and on the bus home now, all done.
- All in all though, was it a good day for you?
Was it a good day? It was kind of slow moving but I think everyone is so tired. It was the last day, it was hot, everyone’s legs are pretty done I think, so no-one was going mental. It was just get a few more things done, a few extra shots in the bag. Yeah, good day.
- Where are we going now then?
We’re going down to Antalya for the evening. We’ve got a hotel down there, we’re going to go out and get some nice Turkish cuisine, have a few beers. Last night with all the girls, everyone’s feeling a bit stoked on a job well done and that everyone’s getting out safely. We’re going to enjoy ourselves tonight. Turn this Dictaphone on when we get in the room later tonight…
[Sheraton Hotel, Antalya, Turkey. 3.20 am.]
- Gendle. It’s 20 past 3 now. How’s the rest of your day been?
It’s 20 past 3! My day’s been awesome, Tom, it’s been awesome. I’d like to say this is the normal time where I start winding down because the girls have just left.
- After dancing on your bed...
Normally they dance on the bed for a while, and I kind of dance in the background. They need backing dancers for that kind of stuff and I know their moves. I’ve known them for a year or so, so I can kind of make a good shadow dance. So I’m just winding down to go to bed really. It’s pretty late though. I’m a bit pissed (drunk) actually.
- How was dinner?
It got a little emotional there with the speeches and all.
Does that always happen at the end of a trip?
No way does that always happen! We were all emotional but you just let it all out, [laughs]! I think we'd all just been on a wicked adventure and I know it sounds cheesy but we all got to know each other so well and got a lot closer. That’s how a snowboard trip should be. It was amazing!
- Have you packed your bags?
I’m packing them right now. I’m actually just deciding which clothes to throw away because I jumped over a fence trying to impress the girls earlier. I vaulted over it forwards, thus ripping my crotch clean out of my jeans, and the jeans that I was wearing are now unwearable because there’s no crotch so I’m going to leave them here on the balcony and I’ll have to wear my other ones tomorrow.
- It must be hard for a man, like you, with a girlfriend that you love, to hang out with such interesting and talented ladies, and just document them.
The way I’ve described it to a lot of people, when people say “Oooh, you film with the Roxy girls, they’re all hot aren’t they?" well, I think one: they’ve all got boyfriends, all of them. And two: I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend. So the best way to describe it is it’s like winning the lottery when you’re already rich.
- An excellent analogy, Gendle. And on that bombshell may I bid you a fond farewell into the sunset.