Photo Courtesy Vestal
The West Coast Invitational is finally here and let me remind you that it’s not the same old event that your grandkids went to. Since the Olympics everyone’s arguably burnt out on watching halfpipe (and Shaun White) so Mammoth took notice and dropped the old bag replacing it with the Eddie Wall Ride Invitational. Elaborate pun-master and professional snowboarder, Eddie Wall will be hosting this jam style event that features a ton of creative (and scray) wall ride features at high noon on Broadway, May 1. Eddie is always full of great ideas so to get to the bottom of this new competition we at The Sheet hit him up via Gmail while he was in Dubai last week.
So Eddie, You’re in Dubai. What are you doing over there? Any layovers because of the volcano?
Yeah, actually I just landed and got to my hotel room. We are filming a bunch of video updates for BQNT.com and also Video Hyper Shred (www.videohypershred.com), which is a video blog that Pierre Wikberg and I just launched. We wanted to do a story about the indoor snowboarding resort Ski Dubai. Normally we would have had our flight canceled if we booked with any other airline, but we actually had a direct flight on Emirates Air. They fly over the polar ice caps…so no ash up there.
Please tell me you’ve checked out the chip selection there? They have ketchup flavored Pringles.
That’s actually the only reason we came. The ketchup flavor chips ! Haahah. They actually do have some pretty crazy food over here for sure!
Have you been over to the Gold Souks? It’s like being in Aladdin, you can get some sweet fake Rolex’s over there too.
I think that is where we went the last time we were here in 2007. It’s kinda like the traditional part of Dubai where there are all these old shops and stuff, but then there are street vendors selling tons of fake stuff too. But those fake rolex always break in a day or two anyways.
One of the sweet things about Dubai is you can skateboard just about anywhere without getting kicked out. The only draw back is that you get the worst case of swamp ass.
I’ve heard that before. But to tell you the truth I really wouldn’t want to mess around with skating unless I had a skate guide telling us the legit spots, they are very serious here when it comes to rules and the last thing I want to do is get thrown into a sketchy prison for grinding a random ledge. A British couple was arrested last week for kissing in a public restaurant, they’re in prison for a month.
You’ve been to Ski Dubai before. Have they yelled at you to put the chairlift bar down? Because I can’t stand that.
Ha! Yes! So funny. In Mammoth there are lifts that are 100ft in the air that don’t even have lift bars, and here they yell at you soooo bad for not putting the bars down, and your about 10 ft of the ground. So crazy. I just want to send them to Chair 23 in Mammoth so bad!
You’re originally from Pennsylvania, how does the snowboarding compare in Dubai to back east? Besides everyone wearing one-pieces.
Ha, it’s actually pretty similar to how it was when I grew up: small, flat, short,and not many features, but still tons of fun. It’s just really crazy walking from outside where it’s 120 degrees F to inside Ski Dubai where it’s 20 degrees F…. Such a trip, huge extremes.
Tell me about your new project Video Hyper Shred? It sounds really extreme.
Pierre Wikberg (Robot Food and DC MTN LAB movies) and I decided to team up and start a video website. It’s just like filming for a regular video, but instead of waiting until the end of the year to show all our footy we just show it everyday! Check it out at www.videohypershred.com. We are on Facebook and Twitter as well. We are really excited to start a new way of filming!
So speaking of that; DVD sales, especially for snowboard and ski movies are way down. How do you plan on making any loot giving away free footage?
Right now we are not making any loot at all. Ha. We just want a way for kids to see our footy and get amped to go riding. DVD sales are way down and it doesn’t make as much sense anymore to wait all the way until September to show a trick that you did 9 months ago. Eventually the way to help cover costs, is if we generate enough “site views,” we can sell some ad space on the site, be it to a snowboard company or even someone out of the industry who is stoked on the site.
I’ve seen a couple of your edits on VHS, you’re kinda like a cooler Pat Parnell. Any plans for an extreme sports talk show?
Thanks, ha, I love Pat Parnell, that guy is comedy. We get along great every time I see him over at FuelTV. I actually hosted a few shows for Fuel awhile back, it’s pretty fun. I do enjoy hosting TV shows and things like that, maybe there is a future in it down the road, but for now I want to keep shredding.
Have you been filming much for the new Mammoth movie?
I have gone out a few days with Weaver, but traveling always makes it hard. The great thing about this year is that I will be able to give all my footage that I am getting with Pierre and give it for the Mammoth video. Not to mention May is coming up quickly and Pierre will be heading home to Sweden so I would like to get a lot of spring footage in Mammoth.
Do you get to choose your own music for your edits? Have you considered Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass?” That song is so underrated.
Hahaha, yeah, we choose all the music, it’s fun because most of the edits are short , so we can just throw some random songs in there. We will deff use “walking on broken glass”!!! Haha
I guess we should talk a little about the West Coast Invitational, are you gonna top your bar tab record of $1800 this year? I’m sure Hyde Lounge will take of that.
Oh man, yeah those were fun times a few years back. I don’t know what the situation will be this year, we’ll have to see! Hahaha! But we are having a riders dinner at Sushi Rei and the Hyde Afterparty so I am sure things could get out of control!
What’s up with the after party? Will their be any more competitions at Hyde? Maybe that involve walls?
I actually wanted to save some sort of prize for the after party, instead of “Best Trick” on the hill, it would be “Best Drunk” at the bar! We’re working on it so we still may be able to line up something like that up! Maybe we could make it so you get disqualified if you puke in the bar or break anything.
So this is the first year for the Eddie Wall Ride event, how did this brainchild come about?
I have been riding for Mammoth for quite a few years now and Oren [Tanzer] and I have always talked about doing something. We have done photo shoots and stuff like that but I always thought it would be cool to do some sort of jam or contest but could never really think of a good idea. Finally one day I was thinking that there have been a bunch of slope contests and rail contests but never a contest with tons of wall ride variations, so I talked to Oren and with the ‘pun’ of my last name we created The Eddie Wall Ride Invitational.
It is very punny. You have some serious prizes for this event. How did you score a bunch iPads?
I just ran into the Apple Store in Irvine the day they were released, grabbed three boxes and bolted for the front door, I got all the way to my truck outrunning about 10 security guards! I got to my truck door when one fast little guy tackled me. They knocked me out and took all the iPads back. So after that, I contacted my sponsors and discussed the contest with them and asked if they would like to sponsor it by giving away some prizes and we ended up with a lot of cool stuff. iPads for the top three given by BOND, WEEKEND, and ACTIVE. We also have three engraved Vestal Watches, cash for 1st prize from Mammoth and Redbull, bar tabs at Sushi Rei, Scullcandy headphones, and even some other stuff. I am really excited and stoked on all the sponsors who came through!
Is their a lot of pressure to win your own comp? I guess you could rig it, or Magoon-proof it.
I actually didn’t invite any other riders. I really want an iPad and I figured this would be a good way to get them for free seeing as how stealing them didn’t work. Nah, I am not competing. I will be riding in it of course! I just want to hit stuff and get some shots, etc… But I didn’t want to compete in a contest that I am throwing. If I did compete, and for some reason won the contest, that would be pretty lame. You know? I guess winning a contest that I came up with would just be wack.
Can anyone start their own invitational? I was thinking about starting an Annual Colin Wolf Beer Pong Invitational?
If I can then anyone can! Ha! I’m stoked it all worked out and is shaping from an idea into something pretty big ! But I think you should definitely have the Colin Wolf Beer Pong Invitational as long as you invite me!
I hear your selling your house over by Volcom Bros? Moving away from Mammoth? I always pictured you as more of a ski in ski out kinda guy.
Yeah, its true. It actually just sold. I will still spend a ton of time in Mammoth. But the reality is that I have owned a place in Mammoth for almost 10 years and I am only there a few weeks out of the year, In the summer I live in southern Cali because of skating and surfing, and in the winter I just end up traveling the whole year for rails and powder, so I actually don’t end up in Mammoth too often. I have a condo there as well so hopefully I can hang on to that. But either way it will still be my “home’ mountain and the place that I will always call home for snowboarding.
Well Eddie, thanks for your time. Do I win a free iPad for this interview?
Thanks a lot too! Stoked to talk! I wish I could give you an iPad, but I don’t have one either so its all good…. I’ll leave u with a good quote to live life by…. “I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.”