For a long time I was in the closet about my fan boy appreciation for Darrell’s riding. I would talk shit about him to all my friends: “Darrell’s such a pretty boy. Is he a celebrity or a snowboarder?” I would ask. Then I would rush home and watch his video parts over and over again until I had them ingrained into my memory. A few years later while skating my local park I ran into Darrell and to my surprise he wasn’t walking around like some spoiled uber pro, he was just skating and smiling like an average dude.
That thanksgiving I came out to my friends and my family about my love of Darrell’s snowboarding, and for the first time in my life I could stand on the rooftop and scream out, “I want to watch Darrell Mathes snowboard!” without fear of judgment or ridicule from my peers.
Since then I have had the opportunity to see Darrell at some events, and talk with him on the phone. One thing is apparently clear: I was being an asshole and judging someone without having the slightest clue of who they are. It’s a sickness that runs rampant in the snowboard industry; we believe everything we digest from snowboard media outlets. The truth is, I couldn’t have been more off point with my close-minded judgments, because Darrell is one of the nicest most genuine people in snowboarding and we would be better off if everyone approached life and snowboarding like Darrell. Cheers, Darrell, you’re one of the good guys.
You just got back from Argentina, what where you doing down there?
A good friend of mine has been living down there for the past year. Originally, I was supposed to go to Saas-Fee and snowboard, but the day I was supposed to leave my flight got canceled because of the volcanic eruption over in Iceland. It was supposed to be a two week thing and I couldn’t get a flight over there, so I just said screw it I will go to Argentina.
Did you ride down there or where you just hanging out?
(Laughs) I was just hanging out man. We traveled around the northern part of Argentina; we just rented a car and drove around… I haven’t been able to shoot a lot lately, I’ve been shooting photography, and I just wanted to get away from everything and have a vacation with a good friend.
Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Oregon; I was born in Eugene and slowly migrated north to Portland.
Did you do a few years in Salt Lake?
(Laughs) No, I always managed not to move to Salt Lake. I’m not the biggest fan, I don’t know if I could live there all year round. I’ve been lucky enough to live with Andy Wright. I’ll stay at his place for three or four months in the winter, then I travel a lot in the summer, so he comes and stays at my place. We kind of swap houses.
You’re from Portland, but it seems like when you were coming up, Mikey Leblanc put you under his wing a little bit. How did that relationship form and what is your friendship like now?
It might be kind of cheesy, but for me he’s like my mentor. Mikey made a lot of the right moves in life. You know, he’s done the business thing really well and made a career, and he enjoys life. He’s just a good-hearted person and really cares about people. I think these days it’s really rare to find people like him that really care about helping others. Since he did that for me I really give him so much respect, and I’m really lucky to have a friend like Mikey, to be honest with you.
He’s kind of weird, did you ever wake up to him dressed up in a garbage bag starring at you?
(Laughs) He hasn’t done anything too creepy like that; he’s definitely done some funny things. He’s pretty much a comedian twenty-four seven and one of the funniest guys I know.
You and Mikey have had a hand in the Videograss projects, what’s your role there?
Just the back end of things making sure things are running properly, and making sure the riders and filmers are getting out there. I put my two cents on the editing at the end of the year, and just really promoting it… Picking out the riders too… I want to make sure when we are making this movie that everyone is psyched on each other and wants to ride with each other. This year was amazing because there was a lot of sweet change ups on the crews that you would never expect, and everyone got along really well.
That’s the most important thing to me, because in the past filming for Mack Dawg and even Love/Hate some of the times, it was just like sometimes the crews would just kind of clash. It just doesn’t work out. You’re just not as hyped. When you’re filming with us, it’s always a fun-ass time. You’re fucking off, but still getting work done.
I heard Nima is coming out of being a full time hipster to film this year, is that true?
(Laughs) Pretty much, I went on a trip with him early in the year and it was awesome to see him back in the streets. He’s funny. I’m psyched he has some cool shots. I think people are going to be pretty impressed.
What are your goals for this coming winter?
I just want to have a good video part. I did some other random projects this last winter and it kind of inhibited my full dedication to a video part. Plus I was going through a shitty-ass breakup, so yeah man I’m just really jonesing to have a really good video part next year.
What’s your summer look like? Are you just going to chase girls around pools or snowboard a little bit?
I’m going to try and snowboard a little bit. We have a Videograss session at High Cascade, so I will be up there for that, and just a lot of skating.
You’ve been loyal to your sponsors and you have been with Vans and Ride for a long time; it’s kind of rare these days. What has kept you loyal to the people you ride for?
I feel like I’m a pretty loyal guy, and I want to work hard for the sponsors that I have. I’ve wanted to ride for Vans and Ride since I was a little kid. They have the coolest riders and I’m like a kid, I’m still super pumped I’m riding for these companies I’m hyped on. They see that, they see that when I get new products I’m like a little kid all over again, it’s like Christmas all over again.
Do you think you still sell snowboards?
I don’t know man, I really have no idea.
You mean you don’t pay attention to your exposure meter?
(Laughs) No not really, I just leave that up to the sponsors, I guess.
You seem to be into other creative endeavors other than just snowboarding. What else floats your boat?
I’ve always been intrigued by photography. I would always just rather look at photos than actually read magazines. (Laughs) If something pops out in a magazine, it’s more than likely the photo and not the actual interview. I’ve always been like that. I remember I would always have like, 600 ripped out photos from skate and snowboard magazines, and just plaster them all over my wall. I think that just slowly evolved into me getting into photography. It allows me to see things in a way that are intriguing to me.
Also, I just started a new accessories line called Masa. The line will be dropping next season.
Photo: Darrell Mathes
Photo: Darell Mathes
What’s your favorite strip club in Portland?
(Laughs) That’s funny, I just went to one the other night called Spyce, and there are some cute girls in there.
Well hopefully this gets you some free lap dances.