Published in Whitelines Magazine Issue 94, January 2011
Far off in the distant lands of British Columbia lives a wise old mystic, who goes by the name of Devun Walsh. We endured the three-day mule trek from the nearest town to reach his remote cave with a sack full of your questions. Here’s what he had to say.
I always seem to grab ‘easy’ grabs like indy or mute when I spin, but I think tail-grab spins look rad. So far, when I’ve tried them I struggle to reach the tail though. Any tips on how to get there when I’m concentrating on spinning? Tom Davies
Tom – I know exactly how you feel, I tend to struggle with that grab too. But when you do get a cab 5tail or back 5 tail there is no better feeling. I find that when I don’t reach the tail it is usually because I panicked mid spin and bailed on the grab. I find if you stay calm and cool it just happens. Think style and smoothness next time. Oh and please no nose grabs unless its switch tail! (i.e.: FS 540 nose for example).
Hey Devun, when are you going to grow a beard? You need one to be a true powder-hound right? ;-) Chris Elliot
Chris – Hahahaha, I guess. I pretty much have one now cause I haven’t shaved in weeks out of laziness!
Hey Devun, What’s the biggest cliff you’ve ever hit? Was it that step-down one in the DC ad from last season? Where was the biggest ever and how did you get the balls to hit it? Kevin Tiller
Kevin – I think the biggest cliff I ever hit was the one from the Forum movie That. I hit it twice over the year and got a few tricks off it but the best thing I did off it was a SWBS 540. That was the banger from my season. The cliff is nick named ‘Mother’ cause it’s so f**kin’ huge! I think it’s probably a 60-footer over rocks and a wind drift gap. It’s in the Whistler backcountry accessible by snowmobile. Not sure where you get the balls to hit jumps like that, but if you hit it once it usually gets you pumped to go again asap!
Do you have a standard safety trick (or tricks) that you always do first off a hit? Brian Brooks, London
Brian – If it’s huge and I need to get something on film, probably FS 360 would be it. I only go safety when the jumps are huge or I really need to get a trick in the bag.
Devun, hey, I know you’ve done your knee before. I blew my ACL near the end of last season and I was wondering if you had any tips for getting back on a board? I’m scared that when I ride it won’t be the same and I’ll be too scared to hit the stuff I did before. How do you beat that fear? Sam Baxter, Wolverhampton
Sammy – I did a lot of physiotherapy to heal it and it did feel a bit stiff but it never hurt. I think I gave it like, 7 months or something like that. As long as it feels good and strong. I find the best way to deal with it is similar to how I drive when I’m hauling a trailer… forget about it! If you try to protect that knee too much you’ll end up hurting something else.
Got a question for Devun?
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Devun Walsh is a genuine snowboarding legend. Hailing from the west coast of Canada, he first rose to fame in the 1990s as a founding member of the Forum team. With his uncanny ability to soak up heavy landings, Devun’s backcountry prowess is un paralleled, throwing down super smooth freestyle tricks in powder. These days he is still charging hard for DC snowboards, in between sharing two decades of accumulated riding wisdom with the Whitelines readers.