VIEWFINDERS | HAYDEN RENSCH
I was dwelling on which Canadian snowboarder has gotten the most video clips. Louif Paradis, Jed Andersen, Jake Kuzyk? Then it dawned...
Photographer Jarrod Au has been a contributor to King Snow since it’s early years. With a passion for skate/snow culture, he was born in Winnipeg, raised in Calgary, and lived in whistler for 12 years before calling Vancouver home.
As a sponsored rider and professional snowboard coach for over a decade, he was always able to shoot with friends and those around him.
Today, Jarrod is raising a family and getting behind the lens every chance he gets. We asked Jarrod to dig up 7 photos that stick out from his years of framing and capturing the moment.
“To the creatives, photographers and film-makers out there. If you have the drive and can get out the door, that is literally 90% of making good photographs that may or may not make people feel some kinda way.”
– Jarrod Au
Jake Kuzyk, Crippler, Mt. Seymour | 2019
I went up to “The Birthplace of Modern Snowboarding” for the Vans Hi-Standard event last year and had no expectations for what or who to shoot. I was out to enjoy the sun and watch some boarders board. I was rocking my Sony a7ii with a vintage Zeiss 85mm f1.4 planar t* lens. I also used a 4 Stop Tiffen ND filter, because as you can see it was a classic Seymour spring scorcher. All the dudes were killing that day, it was quite the show I tell-ya-what. Standing out, as he usually does, was Jake Kuzyk.
That day I remember thinking how far he has come in the last decade and how rad it is to see his skills progress. He was doing these Crippler tails pretty much blindfolded, making them look so easy. I really like this frame and its one of those photos that the more you look at it the sicker it gets. Jake is the best.
Jess Kimura, Whistler | 2007
This is a 35mm film photo from circa 2007 and one of my earliest using off camera flash. These were optical slaves triggered by a flash mounted on the hot-shoe of the camera. There was very little room for error and of course no way to check your exposure like in today’s instant-digital-feedback-loop. What makes this photo special isn’t the lighting or the medium, it’s the subject. In this photo is Jess Kimura dropping into hit a backyard box at the legendary “Art Barn” house in Whistler. The Artbarn housed some legends: Dave Rouleau of Gnarcore fame, Chris Rasman, Colin D Watt, a handful of others, you get the idea. Also pictured here L-R is Aaron “P-NUT” Johnson, Jody Wachniak, Ben Bilocq, Colton Showers, Kevin Griffin, Logan Haubrich and the back of Andrew Geeves. What adds to this photo is also present at this session was: Mark Sollors, Matt Belzile, Eman Anderson, Gillian Andrewshenko and probably some that I’m forgetting.
This photo encapsulates a time when a bunch of shredders were in a place at a time to do one thing, shred. Nobody knew how far anyone else would take it or who would stay in the game. Nobody was getting paid (a lot) or jet-setting around the globe chasing snow and podiums. Almost none of these people had iPhone, snowmobiles, trucks or were nominated for any riders-poll awards. Social media wasn’t there for you to check the latest feeds or compare yourself to everyone else. It was a nice time. Put your phone down and lace-up.
Brian McClatchy, Whistler | 2010
Brian McClatchy is a legend. He is naturally talented at both snowboarding and skateboarding. One of those people who is good at anything he tries to do in life. This photo was published as a full-page in “Blunter” magazine. The Stepchild catalog with a “Big Brother” mag feel. No holds barred. They published funny shit that no straight company would dare. They also ran hammers of their team like this huge ollie Brian did in 2010. This cliff is called “Domanski’s” named after rider Matt Domanski. Who jumped it first the 90’s. I think he backflipped it or something crazy. It was Brian’s only day riding that year because he had moved from Whistler to Vancouver, he snuck on the gondola also which makes this photo that much more dope. It is huge and Brian hit it twice that day.
Ben Poechman, Handplant, Whistler | 2018
I was on a trip to Pemberton with my pregnant wife for a little Christmas getaway. Time was limited because she was basically bedridden and from being sick all day/month with the pregnancy. I had been texting a bunch of riders and nobody was really down to shoot except Ben Poechman. He was amped. So, we met up at the Whistler Skatepark just as the sun was setting. I said, “What you gonna do?” he was like “Probably try a hand-plant.” I set up two strobes and one smaller flash with a red gel to accent the graffiti and Ben’s board. After a couple of plants over the spine and few on the QP, he nailed this Frontside Invert perfectly. We were only there for about an hour. I went home and held my wife’s hair back, bringing her Miss Vicki’s chips and Raisin Bran cereal as per her request.
Madison Ellsworth, Wall-Jam, Whistler | 2011
My friend and legendary, filmmaker, Hayden Rensch called me on my iPhone 3G to shoot this wall with Logan Short and Madison Ellsworth in 2011. Logan was doing a sick Lip-Slide Wallride 270 out type thing and Mad’s was trying this insane corner jam. Madison nailed this one and to this day it is one of my favourite photographs that I’ve captured. The sheer energy he needed to boost up there was insane. If you have ever been to this spot you know it’s huge. I’m still waiting for someone to go back and do something hectic to one-up this.
Logan Haubrich, Whistler | 2010
The ultra-talented Logan Haubrich, back in “The DC Days”, when Logan, Jody Wachniack, Andrew Geeves and a few others, were all riding DC shit. When Quiksilver had major budgets. Heck, even I was getting fully kitted each year. I remember this one morning when Logan was like, “I wanna go do this stair to roof ride ollie to roof thing.” And I was like, “Okay… sounds good? Let’s go.” I think the homie Trout was filming and it was maybe for an 8Mile movie?
So, we roll up to this spot, just up the street from Logan’s place in Whistler and I remember thinking “wait… what?”. Just the ride down from the top, with 3 drops and a sketchy ollie to a roof, then to stomp flat. It all seemed (and was) kinda sketchy. By the time he got to the ollie he was cooking so fast I thought he was gonna gap to flat. It was super hectic but somehow he made it work and landed like a cat. The photo turned out and then we went and rode Blackcomb all day.
E-Man & Kirk Bereska, Blackcomb Mountain | 2011
in 2002 I lived at this shred house in Whistler called “6666 Dirt”. The house number was actually 6666. A classic Whistler shred house with shit everywhere – bongs, beer cans, people living in the closet, couch, campers, floors etc. Some notable roommates were Graydon Kavanagh one of the first Stepchild pros. Brian McClatchy also of Stepchild fame and of course his childhood friend “E-Man” Anderson. Shown here going, likely switch backside 7 or 9 off the big jump in the black park in around 2011. Additionally, he is being followed by another legendary roommate of the Q6 Dirt, Kirk “skier juice” Bereska. Who, at the time, was the only guy following dudes off jumps with expensive cameras. He would be holding a $10,000 Panasonic with Century fisheye on “borrow” from Sean Johnson at Stepchild. Additionally, this photo is more legendary, because the filmer on the jump is Rob Lemay. Who’s now a photographer for the one and only King Snow Mag.