Working at EVO, what do you feel is the holistic impact of riding bindings that are made right here in Washington by snowboarders?
This part is huge for me… I live and bleed in this industry… I work down at evo gear tuning ski’s and boards all day. I ride Lib/GNU snowboards and karakoram bindings that are made in Washington. Why do I want my snowboard or bindings made in a place I can’t work or be proud to promote? By supporting companies that are truly made local I feel like you are giving back to the people that are truly passionate in the sport.
What do you enjoy most about working in the outdoor industry?
Getting out and using the gear… basically living what im promoting… and the girls that enjoy this industry are sexy.
So, you’ve been in the snowboard industry for a long time, how did you get involved with Karakoram?
Are you calling me old…I heard there was some experimental tech split stuff being made out in the mt si base camp and I wanted to be part of it. I ran into the karakoram owners Bryce and Tyler at an evo event and ended up coming and helping them assemble bindings… the rest was magic
It’s taken a while, but splitboards are now regarded as a legitimate mountain travel and shredding tool by the mainstream snow industry. As an industry professional, what do you think we still need to do to catch up to the skiers?
I feel like it’s a pretty level playing field now that we have a split board for every riding style and bindings that tie it all together. I see things getting lighter and stiffer as we progress.
What does splitboard product evolution mean to you, and how has binding / interface design impacted your own mountain and snowboarding experience?
I started riding splits when you took a skill saw to a solid, drilled 30 holes, and epoxied everything up… my first bindings were on the old voile plates, then some homemade welded rides, then voile, then sparks, and now Karakoram… so having a binding that works right when your deep in the mountains is key. The evolution of the split board has become closer and closer to a solid snowboard… the karakoram bindings are making this possible.
What part of the process of human powered big mountain riding excites you the most?
The putting down fresh tracks after a long ascent, painting the mountain with my board… I used to try and go up fast but I realized that I was missing out on my surroundings. Now I really try and take it all in on the climb and then try to be creative with the canvas the snow laid down over the ground.
Ever been to Alaska?
I’m still exploring my home, Washington… but really if you want to send me some money to go to AK just make the check out to Kinsey Forrest Smith
Let’s face it: Splitboarding is hard work! How does your own riding style shift when dropping with a pack full of gear, and with wobbly legs after having climbed thousands of feet?
I have a new riding style for heavy pack days… I just tomahawk down the hill… The extra load allows you to do nice consistent flips all the way down