Tyler Lepore Lifetime Interview


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Tyler Lepore Lifetime Interview

  1. 1. Snowshred 37
  2. 2. no 2. snowshred Tyler Lepore Randy Torcom: Text Joel Fraser: Photos Having been a manufacturer’s team manager for professional snowboarders for eight years, there’s something blissful about the pure honesty and simplicity in which Tyler Lepore approaches his snowboarding career. It’s one I’ve gained an utmost appreciation for. While other riders fade in and out as quickly as the trends that we all attach ourselves to in this business, Tyler has stayed true to himself and what he believes is the essence of snowboard- ing. Although he might not have a name as high profile as Shaun White, never the less, his humble approach coupled with his as his ability to creatively mock the things in this business that we all find ourselves questioning is what separates Tyler from an ever growing sea of nameless snowboarders. 38
  3. 3. Randy: What are your views on the current state to get caught up in thinking that everything sucks. of the war in Iraq? Randy: What are some of your views on Corpo- Tyler: I don’t know much about the Iraq war other than rate America? Major corporations like Wal-Mart what my roommate tells me. I don’t listen to the radio & McDonald’s… and I don’t have cable or even a TV. I know that we shouldn’t be there and it’s just a war for fossil fuels. I Tyler: It’s hard for me to do my job in this industry know that George Bush is fucked and I know that if we without giving in a bit. I mean, you can only take it so didn’t have him as a president we probably wouldn’t far (boycotting) before you wouldn’t have any clothes even be at war. on your back. You have to draw the line. For me drawing the line means I don’t eat at any fast food Randy: Why don’t you like to watch TV or read restaurants. I don’t shop at Walgreen’s or Wal-Mart. I the newspaper? try to support local businesses, especially in my own neighborhood. If there is a part I need and it’s going to Tyler: I’ve been starting to listen to CBC (independent cost a little more, I would rather give my business to news radio station) a bit more in the morning. I like the local guy. He’s been on the corner for twenty-five watching TV sometimes because it’s nice, you can turn years and he’s a hard working dude. your brain off. I would rather read or do something more productive than watch television. As far as news Randy: Why do you practice these types of goes, anything you see on TV is going to be totally consumer habits? biased and watered down anyway. I’m bummed when I hear about war shit. To hear about people dying, that Tyler: Wal-Mart is so strategic about where they place affects me. It’s just such a crazy downer and it’s easy their businesses. They’re whole goal is to move 39
  4. 4. no 2. snowshred into a small community and shut down any competing play football and frat boys. I hate how they’re always small business. That’s fucked! Nothing about that is pushing so-called “cool” products. It just doesn’t have good. As far as the fast food thing goes, it’s a health anything but titties, pussy, air brushed fuckin’ chicks, thing. Nothing you’re going to get at any fast food and bullshit contraptions. restaurant is going to be good for you regardless of how they try to market it to you. I mean, you get a Randy: How do you like to spend your spare time salad at McDonald’s and it still has tons of bullshit in it. when you’re not snowboarding? Randy: Last Fall I asked you if you were Tyler: I like to mix up how I spend my spare time.. Like interested in going to a photo shoot that Maxim yesterday I went on a bike ride with my friend Sam. We Magazine had invited you on. You expressed a drove up Seymour Canyon on this crazy trail that Sam moral conflict with magazines like Maxim. Can found. It’s like this thirty kilometer bike ride back to you reflect on that? Seymour Dam. It was so fun! It was the best bike ride I’ve ever been on! It’s always changing though. For the Tyler: With the content that Maxim has, it’s only a last two weeks I’ve been drawing tons. For awhile I specific type of person that they’re targeting. Even if was constantly working on my motorcycle. Sometimes they we’re like “We’re gonna have this photo shoot and it’s all about home renos. I just want to do something it’s going to be really cool and we’re going to do all this that I like to do, all the time. Sometimes I like to stay awesome shit.” It’s only going to be awesome for inside and read a book. Sometimes I just want to get them. It’s not going to be awesome for me. You know on my motorbike and ride until I’m super tired and fall like, “Here put these rollerblades on. They’re super asleep in a ditch or something. hot.” They just don’t get it. I hate the airbrushed girls on the cover. I hate how it appeals to meatheads that Randy: It sounds like you’re not interested in 40
  5. 5. getting caught up in a normal routine? and Terje. He has the sickest style. J.P. Tomich rides really well too. I like watching TJ Schneider ride. He’s Tyler: I have a semi routine. I like to get up fairly early. like the modern day Jamie Lynn. Those are dudes that I like to have coffee. I don’t drink very much. I have to when I watch them snowboard, I’m jealous. Temple do something physical everyday. Whether it’s walking Cummins is gnarly. He just has this crazy shock system or riding my bike. I need to break a sweat just so I can built into his leg that makes him go over choppy stay sane. I like clean sheets. I like to make my bed. I powder faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. like designer furniture. I fuckin’ love bicycles. I like anything that’s good. A lot of it is catching up with Randy: What do you think about the fact that friends too, man. Snowboarding really consumes all of over 85% of the ownership of the snowboard my time in the winter so you lose touch with people. I industry is divided between 4 different major don’t have a cell phone so it makes it kind of hard to corporations now? stay in touch. So I usually like to get together with people and say hi. Tyler: It’s scary, right? I wish there were way more independent brands but the cookie has crumbled in Randy: Why don’t you have a cell phone? that direction. It’s fucked, but you can’t do anything about it. In a way, a lot of ski companies have helped Tyler: When I have one, I get lazy. I start using it all the out snowboarding because they’ve helped brands time. Even when I know I shouldn’t be. When I buy a survive. But at the same time, they’re also fucking it….. phone, I’ll get the cheapest plan and then I get crazy I wish every snowboarder owned his own snowboard bills! Its like, do I even need it? It’s just this form of company and it was like, “Yeah, I ride for Jim laziness. It’s just like you’ll talk to someone and you’ll Snowboards”. “Who’s the owner?” “Jim is! He’s been be like “Hey, do you want to go out?” and they’ll be like snowboarding since1960!” I think now you just have to “Yeah, totally!” But instead of making a plan right then pick the companies that you want to support the best people will procrastinate. They’ll be like “Well, I’ll call you can. You may have to make some moral sacrifices you in like a half hour when we get there and we’ll see and possibly ride for a company that doesn’t represent what we’re doing”. I like the old school shit! I like your ideal perception of snowboarding. The companies calling people and being like “Wanna meet for coffee? I ride for, I really like. I respect them. There is that point Ok, when do you want to meet?” and then you’ll be where you have to draw the line regardless if you ride there! There’s not this chance to re-neg. It’s like you for fuckin Hooger Booger. make plans and you do them! I don’t get a hold of people as much as I would like but that’s a sacrifice Randy: You’ve been a pro rider for over ten I’m willing to make. But yeah, I still totally wish I had years. How do you manage to keep your one. There are times when I’m in my truck and I’m on enthusiasm for the sport? the side of the road and my truck is broken down, I’ll be thinking “I could really use a cell phone right now”. Tyler: There have been ups and downs with the industry but the main thing is that it’s still fun! There Randy: Who are some of the pro snowboarders are still those times when I’m up there and I just forget who had a major influence on you when you first about everything and I’m just snowboarding. Then at started riding? the end of the day, you have those realizations that fuck man, that’s cool. I just got paid to go snowboard- Tyler: There were the big dudes like Noah Salasnek, ing and I wasn’t even thinking about any aspect of it Damien Sanders, Jimmy Halopoff, and I used to be being a job. I went snowboarding! I went through the really hyped on Tom Burt too, even when I was like trees and rode pow! Just taking laps and some flicks. twelve years old. His lines were sick! Then there were Just a normal day. the Road Kill days. That was like Iguchi… All that crazy buttery shit. Jamie Lynn and Chris Roach too. Blaise Randy: What do you think about the obligations Rosenthal was amazing! But I guess when I was that are placed on a pro snowboarder these younger the dudes that really inspired me were Kevin days? Jones, Jason Wordell and John Summers. Tyler: The last couple of years it’s changed a lot. It‘s Randy: With all the pro riders on the scene right like you’re half snowboarder and half model. I travel a now, is there anyone that you can say that is lot now just for lifestyle photo shoots. As fucked up as presently inspiring you? it sounds, there aren’t very many pro snowboarders that are ugly. Why are there no ugly people in Tyler: Now I’m really critical. Now everyone is good snowboarding? He could be the best snowboarder in but 80% of the dudes still have shitty style. I’m like, the world but homeboy has acne on his face so it’s you’re way better than me but you still suck! My like, “Oh, we can’t use him. It’ll be bad for PR.” You’re favorite dude to watch snowboard right now is Curtis marketed now not just as a snowboarder but as a Ciszek. He rides like a cross between Billy Anderson 41
  6. 6. no 2. snowshred Randy: I remember you telling me in it there was buying your entire identity. I think for me, it shows how something that you wanted to learn about people. far I’ve got with snowboarding. I don’t consider myself By exposing yourself you would learn if they were the best snowboarder in the world but I know my going to be that person that was going to freak and strong points. I’ve never been afraid to show people call you out? the things I’m into. As stupid as it sounds, it’s just about being marketable and being a good person. I try Tyler: No one can call you out when you’re naked man. to be really cool to everyone and treat people with What are they going to say? Are they going to call you a respect. There are a lot of kids that are great faggot and say you have a small dick? What’s like the snowboarders that are assholes! You just need to be a worst that could happen? Maybe I’d get beat down at hard worker. You get paid to snowboard so keep Vegas? But that didn’t happen. In fact, no one said shit to snowboarding. Go take some photos. Go on an me! I did it to show people that I don’t fuckin care what editorial trip. Snowboarding is just a different world anyone says. I did it to be like, fuck it! I’m gonna get now. naked! To be comfortable with my body and my sexuality, that was rad! I remember when I was a kid I was so Randy: What were some of the reasons you posed self-conscious because I was small. I was so nervous nude for your personal zine and distributed it to go skinny-dipping. Even when I would fuck my amongst all of your snowboarding peers? girlfriend, I would stand up afterwards and feel uncomfortable. I didn’t like that feeling. I did for my Tyler: Being frustrated with the snowboard industry own personal satisfaction and growth. I did it to make because people are afraid to do be who they really are. To people laugh. If you get it because you think you know show people that it’s easy to not be a follower. You don’t me, then that’s rad. If you don’t get it and you think I’m have to die your hair eight different colors and look like a complete psychopath then perfect, you were my Corny the Clown. I could have had tattoos all over my body target as well. You’re the close minded idiot. That’s the and some face paint with like a nose piercing. People guy that’s self-conscious about everything. He’s gonna would be like “Oh yeah, that’s Tyler. I guess he’s on to be the dude that is always looking over his shoulder. I some new trend” But instead, all I had to do was get naked just want nothing to do with those people. and take some funny ass photos. I just wanted to fuck with people. 40