Jason “Jay” Gretzinger Within The Meccas of Backcountry

Before winter is in full effect in the Northern Hemisphere, Flow Snowboarding took the opportunity to interview Flow Team Athlete Jason Jay Gretzinger of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. If we waited until the snow was flying, Gretzinger typically unplugs from the matrix, loads up his snowmobile and ventures off into the BC backcountry. If you ever wanted to venture off the resort and see the kind of riding a snowmobile could take you to… cruise along with Jay Gretzinger.

You are originally from Edmonton, Alberta…. How long have you been living in Nelson, BC? Do you ever see yourself living elsewhere?

Yes, the good old flat lands. Edmonton is a rad place if you like to jib, but the backcountry was calling. I first moved to Whistler and spent two years there. I realized it was too crowded and sent it into the sticks. I have been in Nelson for two and a half years now. The only other place I could see myself living would be Revelstoke or Pemberton, BC. The meccas of backcountry terrain.

Describe what like in Nelson, BC in the winters and summers.

Nelson is rad, very easy going small town mentality. The hippies here keep things natural. Probably like some small towns in Colorado, from what I have heard. The winter is awesome here. We get that blower interior powder and when you go out sledding/touring you only run into maybe five people at most in the zone. Not 60+ like in Whistler. This makes for a bit more technical navigating out there because you are usually the one breaking trail and finding your way through the trees. But I love that shit. Summertime is full of festivals, lakes and partying. It’s good.

What do you consider your home mountain to be?

The powder highway, I would say. All the mountain ranges between Nelson and Revelstoke are amazing. However, I did buy my first season pass for a resort in the past four years. The spot is Whitewater. Absinthe Films does shooting there every year. Pretty cool spot. Small, but lots of touring access.

Did you ski before you starting riding?

Never. Snowboarding from the start…

Where was the first place you started snowboarding? How old were you?

Edmonton on a hill called Rabbit Hill. Point it and your at the bottom in 30 seconds. Haha… But we sure had a sick park. I am now 27 years old. I know not that old, but this industry makes that feel old sometimes.

Who were our influences growing up snowboarding?

John Jackson was and still is the shit. He rides the mountain like he owns it. Jeremy Jones, but not his street riding more his backcountry stuff. I absolutely loved the Robot Food Videos as well. David Benedeck was the man! Was so disappointed when they stopped making those videos.

What is your current ride setup? Does your setup differ from park to powder riding?

The Rush ABT 158 and Black Out ABT 159 for snowboards. The Rush for pow in the trees, pillows and fluffy jumps. The Black Out for high speed chutes, lines and bigger cheese wedge style jumps. The new Hybrid Strap binding has got me hooked. Love the Toe strap, feels like your more sucked into the binding. It helps a lot for technical tree/ pillow riding. Boots… I rock the Talon Focus, a very waterproof and solid boot. Crucial for overnight missions. 

You mentioned you just got a new sled? What did you pick up?

Yes just picked up a 2012 Summit X Skidoo 800 163 track. It has been well overdue, as my old sled has lasted me five years and was holding me back from getting into places I wanted to get into. Can’t wait for the snow now.

Any words of wisdom for anyone looking to get into snowmobiling and trekking into the backcountry?

Take an avy course. I would suggest AST level 2. Weather patterns are getting more drastic making for bad avalanche conditions. I would also suggest going out with someone with experience to show you the ropes. With sledding there are a lot of variables that can go sideways fast. Leaving you stranded sometimes 50+ km out. Not to scare anyone looking to go out, you just have to think about your environment a bit more then if you were riding a resort.

Where is the furthest you have traveled to snowboard?

Thompson Pass, Alaska for the Tailgate Alaska event. Made for a good time surrounded by some pretty awesome terrain.

Where is one place you love traveling to, not pertaining to snowboarding?

Well to be honest my summer is a pretty full on with work, so I can ride in the winter. Traveling around home, camping in the bush and exploring the backcountry would be where I love to travel to.

What are some of your other summer activities?

I also skate and longboard when I can.

What was your favorite memory from last winter?

A cabin mission off the Duffy Lake area north of Pemberton, BC. We call it the Zen Zone. It is this unreal bowl with big lines, cliffs and Mini Golf sections. That’s all I can tell you. 

Where are you looking forward to riding this upcoming season?

Well there is still so much to explore just in my back door. As I said from Nelson to Revelstoke holds world class terrain for backcountry. Theres a lot out there and I’ve only scratched the surface. If you’ve heard of the Campo’s brothers and have seen some of there footage. Well that’s the kind of riding Im talking about. Outside of the interior of BC I would like to check out more around Pemeberton and north up the coast to Bella Coola. If you’ve seen Sherpa’s Cinema’s “ Into The Mind” you’ll know the terrain Im talking about.

What are you focusing on, or your goals for this winter season?

To push my limits on big mountain riding. I feel that Big mountain riding is the be all end all of snowboarding. You play your cards wrong out there and you may not come out of it alive. I now sounds crazy but for an adrenaline junkie that’s what you strive for. I want to do it for myself. My own accomplishment. Even if no one is there taking pictures or filming I still want to step it up cause I think it’s the shit!

Do you ride with music or an mp3 player? If yes, what are you normally listening to?

Not usually, it’s not the best habit in the backcountry because you want to always be aware of whats going on around you. I jam to a variety of tunes but on the resort I would jam to electronic instrumental type of music of various types.

You were involved in a film with Nuulife Cinema that was up this week for the Whistler Blackcomb Coldfront weekly battle… Tell us a bit more about working with Nuulife Cinema on this last film? Where can people catch the film?

I was! Well most of the footage in that video came from throughout the season. I’ve been filming with the Nuulife boys for 5 or 6 years now. They’re an awesome crew to work with. They are in it for the love of it. John Swystun and David Craig go balls out all season just working for the shot on a shoe string budget. I;ve been working lately more with David Craig as he is the one with the sled and the sledneck skills. If you can oicture a redneck sledneck that would be David Craig. He’ll be the one breaking the trail then getting stuck and loosing his mind. Always entertaining.

Filming with Nuulife last season was awesome. We did a cabin missions into the Zen Zone that I referred to earlier and got some great shots and had a good ol redneck time. They also came out to my zone out in Nelson and I got to show them some of my favorite spot. Also did some exploring out in Revelstoke. That was a tough time because we had no guide and were using google earth to figure out where to go. Wiley Tesseo and Gord Emery were also on the crew and are amazing backcountry shredders.

WILDLIFE – full movie from NuuLife Cinema on Vimeo.

Here’s a link to Nuulife Cinema’s movie from last season called “Wildlife.” Their video from this year hasn’t come out yet but should be dropping anytime now. I’ll keep you posted!

Are you working again this winter with the Nuulife Cinema crew?

Yes I’ll probably be working with those boys from as long as I board. Those guys are my bros.

How did you start working with Flow Snowboarding?

My man Ricky Hunt also known as Ricky Styles hooked me up with my first Flow set up. At the time I rode for Freeride Boardshop out of Penticton, BC and he was the Flow rep. Rob Burnett owner of the shop said I should try the gear out and the rep was looking for a guy to get on the program. So I tried the gear out and was hooked from the first day.

Within the season of riding the gear I won 3 local contests. And I know the gear was a big part of that. Flow bindings for a rail jam format kill it because you are in and out so fast, you can lap the competition.

Any advice to pass onto any of the kids looking to progress their riding, and perhaps one day get sponsored?

Do it for yourself first. Don’t compromise what you love about the sport because someone else says you should do it. Now that doesn’t mean be a rebel and get your hate on, still take advice… but do what you love to do. Things will come to you when you are in your element.

That’s when you’ll ride the best and progress your skills. Good habits like eating well, exercise, and working hard will always get you ahead of the game. Also something I’ve learned through many injuries, is heal right. Give yourself the time and follow through with proper physio so you don’t develop chronic injuries that will definitely affect your future riding abilities. Longevity is key.

Are you involved in any projects, events or organizations that you would like to call attention to?

So far just Nuulife Cinemas project. Protect Our Winters is a great organization I got to be a part of a few years ago with a shot from Tailgate Alaska in the calendar.

Any final words for the Flow customers or followers?

I think what’s really important right now in the whole world of snowboarding is sticking to the roots. Follow the companies, videos and friends that do it for what’s real not just to impress the rest of the scene. The industry is going through tough times and the ones who are going to shine are the ones who are in it for the right reasons. I know Flow is one of those companies.

Are any of you gals and guys slednecks as well as snowboarders? What powdery goodness have your snowmobiles taken you? Flow Snowboarding would love to see your shots from the backcountry. Connect with us at Flow Snowboarding via Social Media and hashtag #FlowSnowboarding.

Kickstarter for Definition: Snowboarding a Film by Matt Devino

Definition: Snowboarding is a feature length documentary about what snowboarding means to those who live it. Filmmaker Matt Devino is currently running a Kickstarter to get the project off the ground. This documentary film project explores the definition of snowboarding from the perspective of those who live it.

The film has been a passion project of Devino’s for the past year, working on it without any funding of any kind. The goal of Definition: Snowboarding is to show the public just how amazing Snowboarding is, hopefully inspiring people to go snowboarding for the first time, and reinvigorating people who already ride to get out there and ride their boards.

Devino has been interviewing some of Snowboarding’s biggest names for the film, filming snowboarding footage exclusively for the film, and now it’s time to raise funds to complete the film. Devino need funds for things such as travel to locations to film exciting new Snowboarding footage exclusively for the film, and paying for camera crew and editor time. This round of funding is looking exclusively for production funds so Devino can get out there and film some amazing footage for the film this winter. Definition: Snowboarding will be an in-depth look into all of the genres of snowboarding through the eyes of those who live it.

“We plan to create a film with the support of core snowboarding that will welcome the general public into our lives,” said Devino, “…and to share the complete picture of riding rather that just the homogenized competitive X Games style of riding most people associate with snowboarding. Ultimately, we want to inspire new people to go snowboarding for the first time, and reinvigorate current riders to get out there and enjoy their boards more often and continue to live the dream.”

Definition: Snowboarding is two year project to be released in the Fall of 2015. It will include dozens of interviews and document all aspects of riding and the lifestyle that encompasses it. Interviews will be shot over the course of 2014, and exclusive riding footage will be shot during the winter of 2014/2015.

For more information on the film Definition: Snowboarding please visit:
www.definitionsnowboarding.com
www.facebook.com/definitionsnowboarding

For more information on filmmaker Matt Devino please visit:
www.mattdevino.com
www.twitter.com/matt_devo
www.facebook.com/mattdevino1

Flow Snowboarding is excited about how this film is coming together. It speaks the common thread within snowboarding that ties us all together. Let us know what you think of the film trailer on Social media.

Flow Snowboarding
www.facebook.com/flow
www.twitter.com/flowsnowboardn
www.instagram.com/flowsnowboardn

Come join us at Flow Snowboarding
www.flow.com

Sitting Down With Celia Miller

Flow Snowboarding had a chance to sit down with Celia Miller over her busy summer. We talked about her path as a professional snowboarder; from her East Coast roots as a child, to her life now living in Colorado. We also had a chance to ask Miller about her travels last winter and her European road trip this summer with her good friend Sarka Pancochova.

Where did you originally grow up?

I was born in Maryland and grew up in West Virginia before moving to Connecticut in high school.

Where do you currently live?

I live in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Did you grow up skiing first or have you always been snowboarding?

I went skiing once when I was like 10 but other than that I started with snowboarding at my local resort in Connecticut.

What’s your current board, boots and bindings preference?

Right now I am on the Flow Jewel and Minx bindings. I love how versatile the Jewel is for riding park or riding pow if it dumps. And the Minx bindings are so simple and comfortable. Everyone is always jealous of my bindings. And I like the Deelite Coiler Boot. It is light weight and comfortable.

What would you consider your home mountain to be?

Breckenridge always feels like home. I love Colorado and don’t see myself leaving anytime soon.

Other than snowboarding, what other kind of sports or hobbies do you participate in?

I love surfing.. well I guess its a love/hate relationship. Its such a challenge for me and it takes me back to learning to snowboard. I want to just jump in the water and master it but it is not easy. I also have been taking up rock climbing but i have some fears there that definitely limit me so its humbling for sure.

What was your favorite memory from last winter?

I had a couple great powder days at Vail last year. I wasn’t filming or shooting so it was just one of those personal days that kept me smiling for a while.

Anywhere you are looking forward to riding next year?

I would really like to spend some time in Wyoming and Montana this year. I have been talking with Sarka about some southern hemisphere trips as well.

Via Instagram we saw you went on a European trip this summer, travelling with Sarka and Courtney. Where did you all travel through and how was that trip?

The three of us wanted to go on a trip that was a real Euro vacation. Since Sarka was nursing a knee injury it was easier for us to fly there. She showed us around her country and we drove to Austria and Croatia and basically just worked on our tans. Austria is one of my favorite places in the world and never fails to impress me. And Croatia was so pretty with such clear water.

Where was your favorite place to travel to not related to snowboarding?

I went to Nicaragua this spring for a month to surf. It was super low key there but there are amazing breaks. I got totally absorbed in the beach life and can’t wait to go back.

Where was the furthest you’ve ever traveled in order to snowboard?

I flew to Argentina for a 4 day promo in the city of  Buenos Aries where we hit a scaffolding jump in a park. That was an interesting trip.

What are your favorite Apres Ski activities?

Coffee… Nothing better then sitting at a cafe drinking a cappuccino after a day of shredding.

Any advice you would like to give to all the aspiring younger snowboarders out there?

Just have fun! If your not enjoying it then your not doing it right.

Anything else you’d like to say to the Flow support or customers?

Flow rules. If you ride the gear then you know why its so good! I’m stoked to be part of the family and ride gear that makes snowboarding what it should be. Awesome!

Looks like Celia Miller and Sarka Pancochova might be planning one more trip to the southern hemisphere before winter switches poles again. Are any of you  planning on heading to South America, Australia or New Zealand before their winter (our summer) ends? Please connect with us at Flow Snowboarding via Social Media and hashtag #FlowSnowboarding to let us know. Share your photos and message us.

Flow Tailgate Alaska 2013 Edit

To get you through these summer months, lets have a throwback to Flow Tailgate Alaska 2013. Watch Flow’s Mike Basich, Tim Humphreys, Shin Biyajima, and Jason Gretzinger they make the Mission up to the 49th State for Flow Tailgate Alaska. This video was filmed & edited by Wojtek Targosz of Grow Up Productions.

FLOW TAILGATE ALASKA 2013 EDIT from FLOW SNOWBOARDING on Vimeo.

Flow Tailgate AK is a World Freeride Festival that takes place deep in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska. It consists of Snow Science Classes, Man Games, Parties, Snowmobiling, Heli Boarding, Backcountry Lines for days and not to mention THE best Powder and Mountains in the world.

Have any of you had the dream fulfilled of riding in Alaska? We’d love to hear about it, or better yet… post your pictures. Connect with us at Flow Snowboarding via Social Media and hashtag #FlowSnowboarding.

SPEED RIDING UP AT FLOWS TAILGATE ALASKA…

I tell you what… if I ever ski again, it will only be speed riding with my boy Pryce.

Notice at 3:15 he flies over Jason Gretzinger, as Jas is about to hit his massive near death gap…

FLOWS TAILGATE ALASKA PT 3…

Flow's Tailgate Alaska 2012

TGAK 2012

 

Flow Basecamp View

Basecamp view from Gully 3

 

Flow Snowboarding Sarka Pancochova & Celia Miller

Sarka Pancochova & Celia Miller

 Down days are perfect for sightseeing the town of Valdez or there is plenty of other interesting things to do up at basecamp.  But Thank Goodness we only had 2 down days out of 12!

Flow Down Days

"Good Morning Tailgaters" Opie is a character, that's all I can say.

Mornings look for this dude making announcements about whats going on at camp like snow science clinics, man games or  I suggest make your own adventure as everyone that knows what’s up does.  That’s what’s up…

Flow's Micah Hoogeveen

Micah on a down day just down the road from Tailgate at the pillows, Micah knows what's up.

 

Flow Shooting Range

Gentlemen take your pick...

 Down days you could skeet shoot with Joey Weber’s shotgun or a partake in a little target practice with a hand cannon… 50 cal hand gun that is.  AK resident Chris True brought all the Big Guns for this show…

Flow Axe throwing event

Axe Throwing?

Axe throwing go’s down all the time, but during down days you can’t just walk past the set up without throwing it… nice double exposure from my i-Phone as Brett chucks the axe.

Glacier tour

Or on a down day you could go for a Glacier Tour, Flows Donnie Denton, EVO’s Joseph Nataro and Flows Kevin Addy at Worthington Glacier

Camp One Love

At night once all the old washed up good for nothing campers go to sleep you might get board, remember you can always walk across the street to Camp One Love for a good time.  Named that after the Bob Marley One Love Flag perched above their camp, it’s where all local kids from the city of Valdez set up basecamp.  Each year they get creative with their set up, this year was no different; they had a snow-cave built next to their fire pit.  Quite a good time and definitely a must if staying up at the Pass.  Respect the Locals!!

Only in AK

Only in AK

This 18 yr old kid (Jens) was more worried about scratching his Dads Suburban then getting his sled out and back into the rig.  Yes that is a 145 track snowmobile inside there…  Only in AK

Flow boys on their way out

Mornings you gotta get going and get out, here some of the boys take off, eh…

Jason Gretzinger Flows Tailgate Alaska 2012

Jason Gretzinger Flows Tailgate Alaska 2012

 

Scotty Lago Flows Tailgate Alaska

Scotty Lago Flows Tailgate Alaska

 

Mike Basich at Flows Tailgate Alaska

Mike Basich at Flows Tailgate Alaska

 

More to come soon…