THE MARTYN VACHON INTERVIEW


I’ve been a big fan of Marty since day 1. I love his approach to snowboarding. He follows the ancient recipe: snowboard because you love it, be a good person, work hard, collaborate with like-minded people, film, organically gain respect from the snowboard community. And whether or not you make a career of it? Who cares! Because snowboarding is the best. There ain’t no disingenuous social media influencer-type characteristics with Marty. (Sadly all too common in snowboarding these days.) And there are no shortcuts to the ancient recipe, it has stood the test of time for a reason. Because it holds weight, it’s valued, it’s peer-reviewed. And for Marty, he’s paid his dues, filmed the parts and has captured the support of the community. Making his mark ending Mt Mtn’s SUBCITY in 2019 with a rookie-of-the-year type part, the one you dream of in the back of your high school classroom. Unfortunately, right when this kid drops his best work the unforeseeable happened, a global pandemic. Harsh timing, but we all know he’s got plenty more in the tank. I’m really excited to watch whatever he decides to film in the coming years, this kid is the package deal.

By Jody Wachniak


From the pages of the mag Issue 13.1 [o] Evan Chandler-Soanes

What have you been up to?

Not too much. You know, working with Adam Franks. Got a dog, which is new. Trying to keep busy. It’s been a little bit of a rougher year, so…

Yeah, but a dog is a big thing. I feel like you can’t just skip past that.

Ended up getting a five-month-old puppy. A Husky German-Shepherd mix. Named it Cashen after Cashen Hit on Seymour. 

No way! You named your dog after Dave Cashen and the hit?

Yeah, it’s a great hit. If you ever get to Seymour, hit Cashen.

Do you ever cruise Seymour and bump into Devun Walsh?

No, dude! It’s actually like seeing a white whale. I figured it would be a lot more common. But I’ve only seen him once. I was on the chair, and he was riding something. But no, I’ve never spoken to him.

One day, one day… You said that you were working with Adam Franks, the sickest snowboarder from Seymour. Is he the boss?  

He’s the boss. I mean, Adam Franks, of Franks’ Home Detailing. He’s super hyped on making his small business a big business, and I joined the team. It’s been good, two boarders, just cleaning homes.

What’s the go-to cleaning home thing? Like, do you clean in moss? 

Moss. A lot of moss, a lot of algae. All that kind of bullshit. It’s a lot of power washing, a lot of just scrubbing. It’s not fun fucking work, I’ll tell you that. But it pays all right, and it’s a good friend, you know what I mean?

I’m a sucker for work where you can see the result in real time.

Dude, yeah. For sure.

What’s the one thing that works so well that most people don’t use? Is it just soap and hot water?

Just fucking water. It’s so surprising. You have a nice brush, like a horsehair brush. And then it just filters through it. And you just scrub the fucking windows. This one customer asked me if I was using detergent, and I was like, “No, dude, just water.” He didn’t believe me. And it was like, watch.

Okay, water does wonders people!

Yeah. And it’s good for the environment.


Nosepress, Calgary, AB [o] Liam Glass

All right. Party Marty, where did you grow up?

I grew up in Oshawa, Ontario. 

When did you start filming? 

I started filming with my brother, actually, before then, my brother was good friends with Colter [Heard], who’s now my friend, my closest friend, who loves to film us. I started snowboarding with some skiers, and I wasn’t totally immersed in the culture.

I like that. True redneck boarder.

Yeah, I mean, fuck, it kind of sucks because I wish I was that type of kid who knew everything. I didn’t know what was cool at first. I definitely just started snowboarding because it was fun. And then I was hanging out with these skier kids. Eventually, my brother was like, “Yo, you’re getting pretty good at snowboarding. You should say ‘what up’ to Colter and those people.” Which is funny because now they’re my closest friends. But at the time, these guys were filming street and shit. I don’t know. They’re too cool. Colter started Pocket Figures, which was the era before Mt. Mtn.

What movies did you grow up on? 

One of the first notable movies that I was watching was these kids, right around my age. Cole Navin, Parker Szumowski, and Bar Dadon, made Root 9. Have you watched it?

I have. I watched it when I had Parker on the podcast. That was a movie that was like, “Damn, this is fucking dope.”

Yeah dude! At that age? It was a good movie. Still, I watched it recently with my family, and I was like this still holds weight.

Yeah, dude shits’ legit.

Fuck, Cole’s Double Backflip to his neck, and he’s just like “I think I’m good! I think I’m good!” I was like, “Dude, I want to do that!” I want to do a Double Backflip in the streets. And then I obviously went through the whole VG phase, Keep the Change phase. But yeah, I miss full-length videos. I would go on all the sites, Vimeo, YouTube, Yobeat, Snowboarder Mag, Transworld, make the rounds and see what’s new, the phone and apps and stuff are kind of a replacement to that. Because at one point, I stopped doing that, going on the laptop every day and checking all of those websites. 

The Holy Grail would be watching a teaser, and then the real Holy Grail would be when it came out, and you would watch the whole thing on your TV, and you would re-watch it. Now we got slammed with so much content from every single angle. It’s really special when you decide to set aside some time and watch something full length. Do you feel like you’re holding onto something that’s inevitably sinking to the bottom of the ocean, and if you hold on to it, you’re just a sinking ship, too? Is there a way to bring these things back to life? Or do you think they’re going to go full circle?

I think that it will. I think that a lot of things are coming full circle. So I think there is a possibility that people are going to enjoy more full-length videos. It’s definitely different now because the more that you watch something, the more boring it gets. Snowboarding videos are definitely formatted, and shit hasn’t changed all that much. As long as people are interested in watching the video, and sitting down and watching the entire video, that has to happen… some people have stuck to a recipe, right? So it’s the same video that you’ve seen already. But it’s new, but it has the 8mm, and it has the whatever. That needs to stop, I think. I think the creativity of the filmmaker needs to grow a little bit. Not all. Some people got it.


Martyn Vachon, front teeth and all [o] Crispin Cannon

I agree 

But anyway, I think it will come back. I have faith. I like full-length videos. And I don’t care, like you were saying. Am I bummed that when I grew up there were these big fucking movies and these professional snowboarders that seemed to make money or whatever? Honestly, as a kid, I specifically remember sitting in bed and thinking, Fuck, I probably won’t make any money doing this. But I don’t generally care. And I knew that I will find another way to make money, but I’ll find time to snowboard, or at least do whatever the fuck I want to do. But I’m not necessarily bummed that it’s not the same as it was when I was a kid, everything changes, but I still love creating a project. I’m not going to complain about what I do because I wouldn’t do it if… I guess what I’m saying is that I hate when people complain about their situation. I mean, don’t do it. In some cases, you can’t change. You have a circumstance that you’re stuck with. But in the position of being a snowboarder, you’re going to complain because you don’t have the budget, or you don’t have this or that? I mean, you’re snowboarding. The fact that you can snowboard, you have the opportunity and the privilege to go fucking do that, I mean Jesus Christ. Have fun and do it, and maybe make money at it, if that works out for you, but don’t fucking complain about it. But that’s my two cents.

I agree. The last thing I want to hear is somebody complain. Because I’m out there with people who have put in 20 years of work, who’ve gotten little to nothing, you know what I mean? They’re still working on the sidelines. Sometimes you go out with filmers and photographers or anybody. Team managers. And hear them complaining about their jobs. It’s really tough because sometimes, when those filmers, photographers, team managers, anyone in the industry takes a few steps away, one of the veterans chimes in and goes, “This guy is complaining? I make half the amount, if not less, than this guy, and I’m about to do a Cab-9 over this road gap. I’m not complaining at all. I love that I’m about to do this, and if he isn’t enjoying the process as well, I think it’s time that he moves on.”

Yeah, it would be sick if I could get paid to do this, but fuck, I just hate the fact that if you’re going to continue to choose to put yourself into what you think is so shitty, that you have to pay for your career.

Well, you’re in an interesting position right now, too, because you really did film your first breakout part.

I feel like a lot of the things that get us to the places we need to get, or many processes to reach the end result, kind of technically suck. I don’t think a lot of people would want to be in a small truck for 48 hours straight driving across Canada. That sucks. But, if you have good friends, it’s fun. I mean, if you suck, no one’s going to want to have you in the truck. That’s going to make that drive shitty. But if you have good friends, then okay, fuck yeah, let’s go drive across the country to shoot some stupid snowboarding on steel.

Nailed it, dude. I agree.

We call it the trenches, when you’re jibbing around with your friends but yeah, you’re in a place that can be hard and can be really tough on you mentally, as well. Before, you could be an introvert and make it. And I guess, when I was younger, I definitely did grow up in an age when I figured, okay, you make a fuck-off part. And then someone will see it, and you’ll make it. You’ll somehow get an email, and then you’ll somehow just… it’ll just work out. It’ll be fine. But it didn’t quite end up that way. The more I grew up, the more I understood. You have to be really good at working with a team. Playing well with who you’re working with. As well as the other side, too, which is the industry side, which I can’t… All the shaking hands, you know? I don’t know. I love making friends, but I hate… 

Forced relationships?

Yeah! I don’t want to force this person to like me. I hate that. So it’s so hard to email someone and be like, “Hey, let’s be friends, can you help me out? Let’s work together.” 

“Let’s collaborate!”

Want to give me some money, and I’ll make you some video?


Treejam to Mute, Mount Seymour, BC [o] Brad Heppner

If it were 2005 right now, and you just filmed your best part with Mt. Mtn., what most likely would have happened, similar to what happened to Jed Anderson, what happened to Jake Kuzyk, what happened to Mark Sollors, the biggest Canadians. The industry goes, “OK, Marty’s the best kid in Canada. Next year, Marty’s filming for Videograss.” Game-changing opportunity. Do you know what I mean? Those opportunities now, especially with COVID, have been so limited.

Dwindling.

And then boom, you’re stuck in the trenches again with your boy Dmo [Derek Molinski].

I’ll be in the trenches with Dmo any day though.

Oh, me too.

But, yeah. It’s different now. I just want an opportunity. I don’t need the money, I don’t need the budget, I just want one opportunity to show what I can do. Just give me a chance, and then if it works out, great. I figure if I get that, the money will follow. If that were to happen. It would happen. But those opportunities, I find, are dwindling, especially as a Canadian. It’s pretty tough. In my opinion, if you’re a kid who wants to snowboard and wants to become a professional snowboarder and make money at it, and be in those videos if that’s exactly what you want to do… You don’t really care about moving to Whistler with your friends or something, and you can just disassociate like that, do that! You know? 

100 per cent! Get out of here, go to America. [Laughs

Go there, for sure. If I were to go back, I wouldn’t say I’d do that. Because then I wouldn’t have had my life in Whistler with my friends. Those are memories I couldn’t necessarily put away. But it does suck that Canada does have this weird barrier. But I bet every other country does, too.

Oh dude, South America, you’re a backcountry rider? Japan? Australia? It’s always been tough. And as much as Canadians get frustrated about America being the hub. I always say it on the podcast if that’s the Hollywood of snowboarding, you’re trying to make it in another Hollywood in Canada where the population is 10 times smaller. So, of course, Canada’s budget is going to be at least five times smaller.

Yeah, so last spring Teddy Q, from Sims, called me and said that they’re making a two-year movie. He said that he wanted me to be a part of it if I was interested. I remember just being out of it. That’s literally the phone call that you’re waiting for since you’re a kid, right?

Yeah!

I was just like, “This is it! This is fucking it!” I was hyped, shaking almost. As if, okay, it took me a while. I still wanted to be sure it was the right transition. Saying goodbye to Capita and making sure that I leave in a good way. I was like, fuck yeah, COVID will clear up by the winter. That was my fucking motto. I’ll just find a plane ticket and I’ll go. It’ll work out.

Yup.

But yeah, every single curveball known to fucking man hit me. I ended up not being able to go to the States and film and be part of the process of actually making the movie. Luckily, I was able to get some in a very short amount of time in Canada to film with Colter and homies so that I could send the footage to Sims and be part of the movie. But it’s just not at all the same. I wanted a part.

You want to ride away from the next Cab-270 and have Keegan Valaika in the landing. 

Yeah! See? You know what I mean. I want to be part of a project that wasn’t created by me and my friends, that was bigger than me, bigger than anything that I had ever seen or been a part of, so that opportunity came, but it just didn’t work out. I just needed a stack. And I wanted to get a specific trick on a specific rail called Sunalta. You know that, right?

I do.

I was like, “Boot up. I got to get this; I can’t leave without getting this.” Didn’t quite work out the way that I expected it to. And I knocked my two front teeth out. So that was immediately like four grand.


50-50, Vancouver, BC [o] Evan Chandler-Soanes

Dear lord. Then you went to the Scotiabank double-rail?

Yeah. It was fucking terrifying, actually. It was right after I smoked my teeth. Pretty sure that was the next spot I went to.

Yo. You did the double slide without teeth?

Yeah. Any of the clips I got street boarding this year were without teeth. Actually, no, one clip I had teeth. [laughs]

You got any footage coming out?

Yeah, got for Sims and I know that Colter is coming out with a video.

OK, quick. Any plugs? 

Union’s a big one. Their budget that they gracefully gave me paid for these two, well, four, pearly whites.

No way, Union hooking up some Chiclets?

I don’t think they even know. It was just supposed to go to the budget. But this is the budget this year. My new fucking pearly white teeth. Shout out to Salmon Arms, went pro for Salomon this year. 

Shout-outs to Horn!

Mom couldn’t be more proud. I’m pro. I made it. Big bucks. Other than that, Ashbury.

Hear the full story on the Air Time Podcast


Printed in the mag, Issue 13.1

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