Photo JOEL FRASER
The Snowboard Realms is back for its second season, delivering handy bite-sized hunks of snowboarding throughout the winter from across the pond. Its creator TJ Schneider is a pro-snowboarder that needs no introduction State-side, but in the interest of some solid journalism and not wanting to leave any child behind, let’s delve into some details.
The Snowboard Realms is a free to download podcast featuring the riding of TJ and his chums as they tear their local hill a new one and is filmed, edited and posted by the man himself. They are a fascinating look at the secret world of the snowboarder, it’s not all Vegas and showgirls you know. These are real people, with real lives and they hike, party, session, mess around, jib, slam and pick their asses up and do it all over again, just like the rest of us (but with a heap more style.) Don’t misunderstand me here, it’s certainly not a tale of woe about the poor snowboarder and how hard he has to work, it’s fun rolled in awesome and served up with helping of rad but with some real-life stuff in there too. Not to mention some sick riding.
You get the feeling that if you were to meet these guys in a lift line and managed to impress them by saying something witty or showing that you don’t take this thing called snowboarding too seriously, then you’d be welcomed into the fold by this happy-go-lucky brotherhood of shredders. As such, this year the Realms has gone all interactive and is getting you guys involved and one look at the website reveals that the people that are getting involved are dedicated to say the least. It’s a community where shred is paramount with laughing your ass off coming a close second which is something we at Method can easily relate to.
We caught up with TJ to talk about the Realms, Japan, Tattoos and morning boners… among other things.
The Snowboard Realms- how did it come about? Is it in response to something you think is lacking in mainstream snowboarding?
When I started the Realms I was just looking for something to do. I didn’t do research or anything like that to try and fill a gap, I just thought of it as “When I started snowboarding, I would have been stoked to have something like this” so I started making them one night on a whim.
What’s the philosophy behind The Realms?
Make movies, don’t pretend, don’t be fake, have fun and don’t worry about it too much.
What’s going to be different with The Realms this year? And what’s not broken so you won’t be fixing it?
The only difference that I know will happen this year is the quality. Better camera, Final Cut for titles and all that sort of stuff. Also this year I’ve run into some sponsorship issues, so kids will get a little bit of look at what that’s like. I really don’t know what will change and I like it that way, it keeps it fresh and exciting for me. Actually on second thought one of the biggest differences this year will be that we have a community and a website now with fans of the films, and EVERYONE is invited to come be a part of the movies.
Tell us a bit about the behind the scenes aspect of things? How many people are involved and is there a lot of planning or do you shoot things as and when they come up?
I think that a lot of people don’t realise that it’s only me doing everything for The Snowboard Realms. We are not a production company, a design studio or an editing studio with a group of film makers or anything like that. The behind the scenes of The Snowboard Realms is me and only me working my ass off to try and keep up with everything.
How many times do you say “eh?” in a day eh?
I don’t think I say “eh” too often, I say hey a lot more than eh. It’s more on the east coast of Canada that they throw out the “Oh yeah EH! What you talking aBOOT?”
You have a lot of involvement in things Japan-side, what’s your fascination with the place?
Japan is wild. I just love going over there, it’s always a wild crazy time filled with misunderstanding, bright colors and stores that yell at you.
I just love it. I never got the opportunity to travel when I was younger so any chance I get now I jump on it.Â Â Â
You have loads of tattoos, are they way too personal to discuss or can you tell us something about what some of them mean?
My tattoos are sort of all over the place as to their personal meaning. My last couple of tattoos are about:
1. World peace: I drew my left hand making a peace sign a few years ago and about a year ago I decided to get it tattooed just above my left hand. So now I’m always tossing up a peace sign, fighting is stupid.
2. Learning about myself: I was called up and asked if I wanted to get some time in the (tattoo) shop, but I had no idea what I wanted to get, so I just started drawing on my left forearm, I had no idea of what I was going to draw but I just continued until I felt like it was finished. The next morning I went in and said, “trace this”. Â
What’s the best thing aboot Calgary?
I liked Calgary because my friends live there, but I don’t live there anymore, I live in Vancouver now
What’s the worst?
The worst part about Calgary is how dry and dead it is. Dust and dead grass, I couldn’t stand it and that’s why I moved.
Do you eat your boogers?
Not usually, sometimes when it’s cold out some buggers will run into my mouth and I’ll spit them out
What would you change about being a pro-snowboarder?
I’d make it so that my friends that I love snowboarding with could come with me everywhere.
What would you never, ever change about being a pro-snowboarder?
The traveling and pow in japan
Your dog made a cameo appearance in Episode 1 of the second season of The Snowboard Realms. What’s your dog called and how rad is she?
Her name is Kitty she’s pretty rad, yesterday she shit in my car.
Give us a pearl of wisdom
Don’t force things, and it’s okay to make mistakes
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t know… probably when one of my friends who has never had a relationship for more than 2 months gave me relationship advice.
Complete these sentences:
In 10 years time I’ll be… lucky if I’m not dead, and if I’m not I’ll be painting pictures.
I could be on fire and I’d still make sure to… grab my cameras.
The Snowboard Realms is something I do to… try something new and get people involved and out on the hill having a good time.
There’s nothing worse than waking up with… one of those really bad morning boners that hurt because it feels like you’ve had to pee for 6 hours.
It is better to have loved and lost than… who ever made this saying up is an idiot.
Huge thanks to everyone at Method for posting this and supporting the snowboard realms ,
check out the interview HERE with photos