Last year in late spring, I got to break away from the scene with Derek Dennison and Jace Foster to head up to Ogden for a day of fun-inthe- sun urban snowboarding. No serious filmers breathing down the riders’ necks, a no vibe setting, not a cloud in the sky or one bit of hassle from the men in blue left the day completely open to bullshit and smiles.

We spent our day building one of the biggest drop-in ramps ever built. Piled up high, we set our ramp up on about 6 loading crates packed in with snow and supported by various 2×4’s. The ramp was balanced on top of an old wooden bank covered in snow, giving us just enough speed to get sideways on the giant, old Ogden cement wall. As the snow melted away from the late spring storm, we took turns making the climb to the top and dropping in for a go at it. The afternoon came and we had to leave. Foster had to be at work in an hour, and we still had a bit of a drive, but as we packed up the car, I realized I had some great shots of two kids who definitely still know how to make it happen on their own terms.

Derek Dennison
DOB: 04.29.?? – “Keep the ladies guessing”
Sponsors: TechNine, Nomis, 686, Celsius, Smith, Neff and Technique

SLUG: How long have you been riding the old shred stick?
Dennison: Oh man … it’s been about 13 years now.
SLUG: I heard you got to design a board for TechNine this year, tell me about it.
Dennison: Yeah, somehow I weaseled my way into that! It’s a pretty mellow, basic design. I wanted to keep it simple: good flex, good shape, good sizes … what more can I say? I like it.
SLUG: What does a day off mean to you?
Dennison: It usually means one of two things: 1) a travel day with no shredding (sometimes that’s nice to heal up the body for a day) or b) a day away from the camera, up at Brighton, shredding with the boys!
SLUG: Anything crazy happen last year when you were out filming? Dennison: Well, I did fall off of a pretty good-sized bridge about 30 ft straight down to flat, bare, frozen asphalt … that didn’t feel too good. I got real lucky and escaped with only a bruised heel, but that could have been the dreaded “season ender” really easily.

Jace Foster
DOB: 09.22.88
Sponsors: Forum, Special Blend, Nixon, Spy Optics, Ogio, DVS and Technique

SLUG: How long have you been riding?
Foster: Six years.
SLUG: What’s the hardest part of being an amateur snowboarder?
Foster: You gotta still work to pay the bills. Lately I’ve been working three jobs and trying to snowboard as much as I can. My motto is basically that I can sleep when I’m dead.
SLUG: Do you prep yourself before dropping in to hit something?
Foster: Not really… just focus and get a good beat in my head.
SLUG: Like music?
Foster: No, I don’t listen to music when I ride, I just get a good beat going in my head and go with it.
SLUG: Anything crazy happen to you last year while filming?
Foster: I broke two ribs. It sucked because you really can’t do anything for it except rest.
SLUG: So you’re one of the few Mexican riders getting any recognition right now in a predominantly white sport. Were there any boundaries you had to overcome and does that have any significance for you?
Foster: I obviously didn’t grow up in a really wealthy family. I was actually really poor, and I had to start work when I was 13 just to have money because I didn’t have a dad in my life. So growing up having the drive and determination but having to work for what you want, you get a good work ethic. Being from a different race, not that it happens all the time, there are people who discriminate. You definitely got to turn some heads with your riding. Another person that comes to mind is Stevie Bell, he’s black and proved that you can make it happen despite all the shit. I get shit like people saying, “Oh Jace, he’s just trying to be like Marco (MFM),” so stereotyping works both ways and is definitely an issue in snowboarding. I guess the significance for me is if you’re hating on me enough to realize what I’m trying to do, and you’re trying to put me down, then obviously I’m doing something right.