RIPPING | DON WHEELER


Words: David Brocklebank

AGE | 21 | PLACE | Whistler, BC | SPONSORS | D.O.P.E., Adidas, Marathon Dist., Madness 

What have you been up to lately? You just putting paint on the wall? 

It’s good. Skating as much as possible. Cruising, partying… trying to take a break from partying.

How do we make this good? I should of prepared a bit.

You got more questions lined up? You got anything written down?

No, not really.

Off the top.


FB_Pretz.jpg [o] Jared Au

Off the top. So rumour has it, when you were little you met, Jack The Monkey from MXP the Most Xtreme Primate snowboarding monkey movie?

Yeah, up in Hemlock Resort, Hemlock, BC. Close to Chilliwack, where I used to live. My stepdad at the time, he was managing the resort, all aspects of it, I’d get free rentals from the rental shop and get to go tubing for free and all that. When they were filming the MVP snowboard addition, the monkey was up there and right off the bat my stepdad took me to his van. They had this little jungle built in the back of the van for him and he’s just chilling. They introduced him to me and he shook my hand and stuff, and I actually got to see him board. It was fucking crazy.

You think some of your style comes from Jack giving you some?

Straight up! He blessed me when I touched his hand, so I got something going on there.



Seeing MXP, did that inspire you to get into snowboarding? Were you snowboarding before that?

I snowboarded originally before I ever skated, ’cause my mom was a snowboarder and my stepdad Doug was a snowboarder. My mom got me on the bunny hill, I don’t remember ’cause I was only two years old. So, my mom takes me to the top on the little magic carpet, in her shoes, and she’s planning on holding my hand and walking me down the mountain. Trying to get me to learn how to turn and stuff but I guess I was just going straight. She’s trying to run, while she’s still holding my hands and I was going too fast. She had to let go and I just kept ripping and picking up speed and it was spring and they had the big fence at the bottom. I didn’t hit the fence, it had melted out below it, and apparently it looked like I was just going to pin the fence and I did like a layback Mike Rav ste’ under the fence and stood back up and just cruised right to the lodge and just stayed on my board the whole time. All the patrollers were tripping apparently, and that was the first time I ever snowboarded. I was really into snowboarding, super hyped on it.

And then you got into skiing for a bit?

When I moved to Whistler I wasn’t part of the scene really. My parents met all the OGs at the skate park and I was really into skating more than snowboarding at this point, ‘cause I lived in Chilliwack, BC for a couple years previous and I had no access to snowboarding. So, when I moved up here, I made friends with a bunch of skiers when I was in elementary school, I got a pass and started skiing with these guys, got really into it for a couple years. Started doing some competitions, and this one Big Air competition, I ended up placing like way higher than all these fools, and then I got disqualified ‘cause I went inverted, and at that point I was like, “Fuck this shit I’m over it.” Then I started hanging out with a bunch of boarders again. Brin Alexander gave me my first snowboard and bindings, Kai Ujejski gave me a pair of old girls’ Nike snowboard boots and Quin Dubois blessed me with a couple things, and I got blessed by the homies and started boarding again. It was for the better, 100%.

That was the whole FootyFiend squad pretty much?

Yeah, that was the FootyFiend squad. That was right off the beginning, that was my dream. I wanted to ride for StepChild and I wanted to be part of FootyFiend, and that was crazy how quick that all happened.

Overnight.

Yeah, pretty much. And that was a dream come true when I got my first FootyFiend edit. Then the next year I got connected with StepChild and got my first StepChild board—fucking dream come true. Went from riding a 134 to riding a 147. I had to learn how to ride a real board, but definitely good.


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Why do you ride for D.O.P.E. now?

Motherfuckers are the shit. I’ve looked up to them forever, since I started boarding, and they’re all the homies. They’re all like minded, and they care for one another like everyone should. I like that, it’s a fucking family community vibe, and that’s the main reason. And obviously the boards are the best in the game.

You make your own clothes. What’s the most expensive piece of clothing you’ve sold online?

Paul Higdon, I think he’s from New York, he bought the first piece of clothing I sold on Instagram, it was a hoodie from scratch with some crazy Versace looking material. I didn’t have enough material, and I had an old DGK shirt that said “friends with weed are friends indeed,” so I sewed that on to the back of it. I wore it one day boarding, got a bunch of clips in it and then homie started hitting me up trying to buy it off me. I was like, “Fuck, maybe I’ll do a little online auction or something.” The highest offer was $420 USD—Fuck yeah, lets go! Ended up being almost $600 CAD. That was definitely the most expensive piece I’ve sold online.

You and Brin Alexander were rolling around last winter filming? What did you guys get up to?

Last winter we got really fried and rolled around Whistler some days. We wouldn’t want to go up the mountain ‘cause it’d be blown out, too many lines, or shitty weather so we’d roll around Whistler and board whatever we could. Half the clips that Gradestone showed me I completely forgot about, hitting mailboxes, electrical boxes and shipping containers… whatever.


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Should we fucking seal it up here? Give anyone shout out? Say thank you to anyone?

Yeah, yo. Thank you to my mom, my dad, my grandma, my whole family, my stepdad–rest in peace, for getting me into skateboarding and keeping me hyped on it. Gradestone for being a real-ass friend and all the homies. Brocklebank for keeping me out here grinding, keeping me part of a family crew. Everybody man, Raj, shout out to Raj at Marathon Dist. for hooking up the skateboards and keep me rolling, shit’s expensive and it helps out so much. All the MADNESS shop homies from Hamilton, Ontario. Shoutout Adidas, shout out Sherman, shout out Evan, for being the original plug. Shout out Brandon and Nolan, you’re the fucking shit, thank you again. The list goes on, I can’t thank everyone but those are a lot off the top of my head. If I missed anybody, sorry. 


FB_50-50_FS180.jpg [o] Evan Chandler-Soanes


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