Jake Blauvelt has been following his own agenda for a few seasons now, and earned the respect of all his peers for his big mountain freestyle abilities. His movie Naturally is the best example of the flawless, aesthetic style of the Vermont native. The teaser is mouth-watering enough to attest it. We caught up with him just as he was about to come to Europe and visit his Euro-brother in shred, Fredi Kalbermatten. And in case you missed the Naturally teaser, you'll also have the opportunity to catch up on this incredible void in your snowboardistic knowledge...
You had a pretty special winter so far, can you give us an overview of what went down for you these recent months?
The First film trip of the winter was to Hokkaido, Japan. I went there with Eric Jackson to film in the deep light pillows. It's always a nice way to start the season snowshoeing around and hitting mini golf pillows and slashes down there. Then we came back to North America and filmed at Monashee Powder Snowcats with Shayne Pospisil who I grew up with on the east coast. Next was to SIA and ISPO trade shows, and while we were at ISPO the snow started dumping so Eric Jackson and the rest of the crew and I drove to France and linked up with Fredi K. After that I was off to UltraNatural for the week, and then to Eagle Pass Heli in Revelstoke to film deep pillows in the trees. Lastly, I was north of Whistler, BC once again with E-Jack, heliing with Black Tusk. It's been a whirlwind to say the least, but we've been hitting the snow real well, staying healthy for the most part, and stacking hammers!
How has shooting for Naturally been so far?
It's been good. We've been lucky to hit the snow well everywhere we've been, and lately we've been able to shoot Ciniflex in British Columbia, which really gives the film a unique look into the lines we've been riding.
How did you manage to include such a sick crew of riders?
Luckly a lot of riders on the roster share at least one of the same sponsors as me so it's easy in that sense. We've just kinda gone with the flow for the past two winters and seen who is available at the time and tried to make it work. I look up to and respect all the riders that I invite on trips, so it's an honor to shred with them and have them be a part of the flick.
Can you name them and define the best quality for each one of them?
Terje Haakonsen- Flow and natural ability
John Jackson- Huge airs and powerful riding
Eric Jackson- Stomping ability and overall stoke for everything
Nicolas Muller- Unique lines and sick style
Shayne Pospisil- Powder surfing and sick slashes
Fredi Kalbermatten- Swiss precision and stomping bolts
Kazu- sleeping samurai... all around talent on anything in front of him
How hard is it to explore a new direction in snowboarding, like you’re doing in Naturally?
I wouldn't say we're exploring a new direction in snowboarding. It's more bringing it back to it's roots and where it all started. All the first shred films were riders ripping everything the mountain had to offer. They didn't have the perfect parks and pipes, but were just as happy jumping off tiny bumps and cracking methods. That's what we're trying to show in Naturally is the pure essence of snowboarding in the mountains, on whatever they give us. It doesn't feel difficult at all, I'd say the complete opposite. It feels natural. We're just going with the flow of winter and trying to shred as much terrain as the mountains give us.
You also participated in the UltraNatural a few weeks ago, how was this?
It's an amazing event with the craziest crew of riders there, both judges and competitors. I rode like shit, but still had a blast taking cat laps once the event was over. The snow wasn't great, which made it pretty difficult landing off from the features, but all in all it was a good time. It's not my favorite kind of riding, but it's an honor to be invited and one of the only contests I could see myself competing in.
Is this the only kind of contest you can imagine doing for now?
Never say never, but I don't have any desire to do the majority of freestyle contests that go on lately. It seems like style and creativity are often overlooked in the regular contest circuit, but the UltraNatural definitely takes that into consideration. It's always hard to judge style and creativity though... I also like racing like the Banked Slalom and Dirksen Derby. There's no argument there... Your time is your time.
To use the last sentence in the teaser: where you’re gonna go? What you’re going to do next?
Well, we're up here in Norther B.C at Last Frontier Heli waiting for some snow so we can rip some bigger, more AK looking lines, and then we'll be heading to Saas Fee with Fredi K to ride up on the glacier. I've never been to Saas Fee so it should be good to check out a new place.
Check Jake's website for all the updates on Naturally, and to follow his blog!
To check back on all the Miniviews, click this link.