THE COVER | ISSUE 9.4 | ANTO CHAMBERLAND

Date: January 19, 2018 Author: Jesse Fox Categories: features
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“So, it started probably eight months before the winter. I was at the fire station having dinner with the boys, like we do. The TV is always playing in the background. There's a show in Quebec, where the main host visits small towns, does activities with the locals and stuff. It was the end of the show and he has this whole town behind him, he’s saying good-bye. And I saw this bridge in the background. So, I started to Google “bridge” with the name of the town. I managed to get more photos of it and tried to scope it. It looked like it could be a really good spot. But when you look at a photo of anything it always looks smaller.

Winter comes, we were in Trois-Rivieres, QC, Frank Bourgeois’ hometown, between Montreal and Quebec. We were there trying to film stuff and couldn't find much, there was no snow. I pretty much set this blind date with a spot from Google. We just drove for hours with a full crew, thinking, Am I wasting everybody's time?

The thing was way bigger than I ever thought it would be. We measured it and it was like 19 feet high. There was no snow and “something” had to be removed from the run-in. We removed that “something.” Then drove back to Trois-Rivieres. Went back a week and a half later, still shit snow, terrible snow. It was the end of the day, sun was going down. Did a couple speed tests and then I really wanted the thing to look like a skate spot, and I wanted to go up the concrete and do an ollie over and land back in the concrete. I thought it was gonna work and I was completely wrong. I completely overshot the thing 22 feet high to flat. It was insane. And somehow managed to absorb everything and roll in a way that I didn't seriously injure myself. But I was out of it, and I was in pain. And couldn't believe I miscalculated it. I was ready to leave, go home and forget it and never come back. But Andy Wright, and the crew of guys just kept me alive. They said we should stay overnight and we should reevaluate how to make it work. They convinced me. It was sick. All I had to do, which was super basic and I wish I thought about it earlier, we covered it with snow and I gave a little bit of kick. That little bit of a take off, on the ollie part, just maybe a six-inch popper. I wanted it to skate style, but had to get more air time, more height and less distance to catch the landing.

Then next morning, everything was so much better. The sun, the light, it felt better. I was in less pain and more confident. Then it all worked out. I ollied over the thing, first try, good speed, and it was insane. It was a really cool moment. Everybody was really excited. It was a great feeling. It was really big, really good air time. It was a really fun feeling. It was so fun that I did it many times. In the moment you forget about all the pain, forget about the struggle, it was incredible to me at the moment. And now when you look at it, and it looks pretty simple. But to me it was an amazing moment. I think the photo turned out amazing, too.” —Anto Chamberland