As the world’s most famous freerider, the founder of a successful snowboard company and a tireless environmental campaigner, Jeremy Jones needs little introduction. He’s a man who has seen as much as anybody in over two decades of mountain exploration, so in the face of this most uncertain of winters we could think of no wiser head to speak to about how the pandemic might affect our riding habits – and what the future holds for splitboard design.
“Please, get outside; it is good for mental health; mental health is good for physical health.”
It’s been a wild year. Here in the UK we’ve had two full lockdowns and we’re still dealing with various restrictions; what’s the picture where you are?
Fortunately I’m in a rural area [Tahoe]. We were really concerned about the resorts shutting down, but then the governor specifically encouraged people to get outdoors and even listed snowboarding. They were like, “Go to the beach, go for a hike, go snowboarding and skiing!” So there’s no shaming anymore; they’ve finally accepted that this is an essential service. I don’t think I’ve ever had a political leader come out so clearly and say “Please, get outside; it is good for mental health; mental health is good for physical health.”
And you’re less likely to catch the virus being outside, too.
Exactly. I remember going on bike rides back in the spring and going six feet off the trail when you see someone coming the other way. But we’ve learned a lot; you’re not getting it passing someone on the trail. So thankfully we’ve been able to do all our socialising through activities outdoors and have kept the indoor dinner parties at bay.
“It’s scrappy, it’s technical, but we’re out there riding every day”
So are the lifts open in Tahoe?
Yeah, the lifts are open. It’s scrappy, it’s technical, but we’re out there riding every day. We’ve got just enough snow to get in the backcountry.