Words: Danny Burrows
Few riders have had greater influence on snowboarding’s aesthetic and evolution than Jamie Lynn. His fingerprint is unique, bold and without question influential even to this day.
Growing up in the Pacific North West and working in the local skate shop it was only a matter of time before the young punk Jamie picked up a snowboard and applied the skills and fearlessness he’d honed on concrete to snow. It was a Burton Backhill, propped in the corner of the shop that he traded for a wage packet, which was the key to this porcelain Pandora’s box.
Now strapped to his deck, Jamie was able to realize tricks and airtime that he could only have imagined on a skate and set about his local hill, Mt Hood, with such zeal that he soon came to the attention of a other local skaters and pro snowboarders, notably Mike Ranquet and his buddy Chris Roach. Mike had already seen Jamie skate, noting his grit and attention to style, but on seeing him poke out stylish methods he was sure that he was witnessing a snowboard messiah in the making. Jamie was soon hanging with Ranquet and his buddies, a partnership that most certainly played a hand in his development.
Lynn was soon under contract to a clutch of trump sponsors, including LibTech (with whom he still has a pro-model), Dragon and Vans, which suited Jamie’s love of skateboarding. For Jamie, sponsorship was and still is more than just money: it’s a relationship; a shared belief and patronage in sliding sideways. In this vein, although he was offered more cash elsewhere, he and his sponsors have stuck together to this date.
Jamie’ purist approach also extended to where he applied his riding, giving contests the cold shoulder while exerting his prowess on the silver screen, including for the crème de la crème of movie outfits at the time, Standard’s Totally Board series.
At the time TB3 was released, freestyle tricks were mainly the reserve of parks, yet Jamie’s vision was to take them to the mountain proper. During the filming of TB3 he upstaged the dudes he was riding with by busting out the hugest cab 5, which would still be an object of pride to contemporary pros. It was Jamie’s honing of Cab tricks, corks and frontside spins off the toes that were among his most distinguishing signatures and went a long way to eliminating the whirly-bird from snowboarding.
21 years have passed since Jamie received his first pro model and yet he is still as much a part of snowboarding as he was in his heyday. He still rides, is sponsored and his legacy of style and trickery lives on still in the riding of every new generation of rippers. So next time you tuck into a spin or get extra pop off your toes, be sure to doff your cap to the architect of modern snowboarding: Jamie Lynn.