Laura Hadar grew up in a trailer park with four siblings outside of Aspen Colorado. She scored a sponsorship from Oakley at 16-years-old, only three years after she started boarding. Today she’s a pro snowboarder, SLUG staff writer and recent judge of SLUG Mag’s Lumber Jack Jam. Laura just returned from China and to document her trip she opted to interview herself. It’s a bit untraditional, but hell SLUG Magazine isn’t traditional either. Here is her story, on her own terms.
SLUG: Why did you go to China?
Hadar: I ride for Oakley and our team manger, Liesl Holtz, put together a trip with a couple of the girls on the team. There were four riders, a skier, a writer for Future Snowboard Magazine, a photographer and of course our guide J3–of the original “Vail Days” of the early 90s. I’m leaving everyone nameless incase I end up telling you incriminating stories about the trip.
Hadar: I’m a pro snowboarder, so in search of something new. We went to get footage for the movies we’re filming, and to get photos in magazines.
SLUG: So you went to film for the chick flick shred movie? What did you expect?
Hadar: Yeah, the Runway movie. I pretty much broke my leg off the day before the trip trying to do this really crazy maneuver on my snowboard, so I was pretty much out. I came to China knowing that I couldn’t snowboard for at least a week; I just expected a vacation where I could observe and absorb.
SLUG: What was your first impression?
Hadar: Well, right when I landed I noticed that there were more places to smoke–that got me excited. Other than that, the toilets in the floor, where you just squat over a hole in the ground—put a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘pop a squat’ for me. And because of the range of tone people talk with there, they all sort of sound like they’re pissed half of the time when they’re just talking.
SLUG: What was the food like?
Hadar: The food was 80orrible and 20urprisingly good, like the beef BBQ soup. There’s no such thing as kung pow chicken or moo gi pan. They have chicken feet, bugs that look like cockroaches, pastry looking things that are filled with fish guts or cow stomach lining. Most of the stuff was either fishy, raw or had the weirdest texture to it. I would never say, ‘oh man, you have to go to China and eat their food, it’s so good.’
SLUG: What was the craziest experience you had in China?
Hadar: Everyone was getting wilder than they had in awhile, myself included. Highlights were our media duo getting ‘happy ending’ massages at the hotel, after a night of partying. They said that the girls were super into them and that they wanted to come back to America with them, but the boys didn’t know about the rule of bargaining in China so they paid the girls full price. Let’s just say that the girls had a good night, and by all means, the boys did too. That same night a twenty-year-old girl who’d never been drunk before, got wasted and told us things like ‘I deserve to be a slut!!!’ After another day of not getting to snowboard I decided that it would be a good idea to jump into a koi pond with all of my clothes on. I hesitated for a second, but the writer wanted to see me in action so he pushed me into the water. There was a lot of drinking, smoking, dry humping and freestyle karaoke—over all, it was drunk chaos.
SLUG: What was the snowboarding like? Isn’t that what you said you were there for?
Hadar: Yeah, but I couldn’t ride because of my knee. From the bottom of the hill you could tell that every resort was small like east-coast hills with one or two lifts maybe. The biggest resort we went to had a long gondola that looked like it just served a long piece of man-made ice. They did have some parks, but most could hardly be called acceptable at any ski resort in the developed countries. They had a contest when we were at that resort that I helped judge. There were about 65 people ranging in age and ability level. It was cool to watch people who couldn’t even ride the pipe, or really hit the jumps to go for it right after kids who were doing legit nines and big sevens.
SLUG: So from China you went to Japan right?
Hadar: Yeah, it was crazy to go from a world that is so underdeveloped to a place where every car has G.P.S and everyone seems to be pretty well-off.
SLUG: What else went on in Japan?
Hadar: We eventually ended up in Nesiko, Japan. It was a small little ski town, with all the amenities of a modern society and heated toilet seats to boot! We were there to snowboard, and by that time my knee was feeling a lot better, so I was excited to get in some pow pow.
Hadar: Yeah it was fun. It was some of the best powder in the world, the floaty shit. I did my first big line there. Totally dropped over the edge, just blind, you have no idea what is going on over the edge. The shit was crazy.
SLUG: Didn’t you run into the Roxy Chica’s in your hotel or something?
Hadar: Yeah its funny, you go half way across the world, to get some original footage and then we walk down to breakfast and the whole fricken Roxy team is there chillin’.
SLUG: Last question. Why are all your photos all artsy and crazy? What are people supposed to get from these?
Hadar: I guess my whole thing with these photos is that I didn’t want to be that person with their digital camera just taking photos of everything. I guess I was definitely trying to get my artsy on. I used a YASHICA T4 Super, with E-6 cross-processed film. Supposedly it’s the same camera Terry Richardson uses for a lot of his portraits. I love that guy. He’s crazy.
Checkout Laura Hadar in the new Runway film that drops fall of 07. Who knows, it might even feature some incriminating footage from China.