Push.ca, Living Legends Series

The idea behind Living Legends is a simple one, we want to honor and document the careers of professional skateboarders and snowboarders that have made a significant impact on their sports but remain in the game. underexposed agency ltd. produced a 8 part web series profiling some of Canada’s most influential snowboarders and skaters.

underexposed agency Ltd. enjoyed this project to is fullest and want to thank all the parties and people involved that helped made it possible.

Martin Gallant goes by the nickname “The Godfather”. There is speculation as to whether this moniker was self-proclaimed, or given to him by the French Canadian snowboarders that he has paved the way for over the years. Gallant’s age, as he puts it, “is classified information.” What we do know is that he was amongst the first wave of snowboarders to pioneer the journey from Quebec to Whistler, BC in and around 1990. As far back as he, or anyone else can remember, Martin has marched to the beat of his own rhythm section, and he couldn’t care less what others think about it. He does what he has to do to stay true to himself and get as much time on his snowboard as possible.

[words by: Peter Andersen]

 

“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” comes to mind when trying to describe Shin Campos. He has always let his riding do the talking…well, more like yelling and screaming, but the message has always remained the same: ‘I live to snowboard each and every chance I get’. Pro since 1993, his approach to the sport has always been methodical and calculated. He keeps his emotions in check and channels all his energy into making his snowboard do what he wants it to do, and it always seems to listen intently, not unlike any audience that is lucky enough to hear Shin share his stories of everything snowboarding.

[words by: Peter Andersen]

 

“I embrace the essence of forwardness,” veteran Montreal ripper Barry Walsh says about turning 40-years-old. “I can’t stop representing the movement that I fell in love with.” Born and raised in the suburb of Verdun, he went for his first roll in ’79 and has remained a true bespectacled skateboarding purist ever since. His name is symbolically (or perhaps literally) etched into the Big O’s history-laden transitions, and anyone from the old school will testify that Barry has carved his path in the most underground and organic way possible. Not necessarily from breakthrough video parts, but by making his presence known on a down-to-earth level. Aside from his powerful and fundamentally sound vert skills, his personality and street savvy wisdom resonates well with everyone he meets. As Ottawa’s Richard Sarrazin says: “I’ve met a lot of skaters, but Barry has an aura around him. He knows how to talk to people and he knows how to respect them.”

[words by Frank Daniello]

 

A conundrum wrapped up in an oxymoron and labeled a paradigm. That’s Kale Stephens. His aggressive riding style and ‘throw caution to the wind’ attitude tear through any contemporary idea of what snowboarding is all about. In a day and age where smooth style defines a rider, Kale has earned respect from the best in the business because he gets it done. The man has been rewriting shredding since he first linked turns at age ten in Collingwood, Ontario. Now 33, the idea of retiring hasn’t even crossed his mind.

Born in Newport Beach, California, he and his mom moved to Collingwood when he was just two years old. Living a stone’s throw away from Blue Mountain he started snowboarding at ten, made a name for himself in the u-ditch, outgrew Ontario and moved to Whistler at 18. In 2006 he left the hustle and bustle of Whistler to settle down in Squamish, just 45 minutes south of Whistler on highway 99. Living the dream in the Garibaldi Highlands, Kale still gets on his board as often as possible and oversees the Airhole empire that he and fellow pro-shred Chris Brown masterminded four years ago. A Wildcats alumni, Kale spearheaded the ‘sno-moboarding’ movement that has overtaken the snowboarding landscape. Always on the prowl for new terrain, imaginative lines and ways to make photographers and filmers second guess his antics, Kale continues to make onlookers cringe and turn away in dismay, until, of course, he stomps something first try and rides straight to après.

[words by: Peter Andersen]

 

Kevin Sansalone is the ultimate blue-collar snowboarder. The man never stops. He’s up first, home last and is multitasking on at least four major projects at the same time but always gets it done. A founding member of the Seymour Kids crew, Kevin has shaped North Vancouver snowboarding as we know it, dabbled in pro mountain biking and started a snowboard video empire in the process. Hell, he even recently started a snowboard company, Whitegold, utilizing all the product development skills he honed as a part of the Option Snowboards pro team.

Kevin was born a stone’s throw away from Mount Seymour, in North Vancouver, BC, and was sliding sideways on it by age 14 when snowboarding was first introduced to the masses. Snowboarding occupied all of his thoughts and energy for years to come as he moved up the ranks from shop rat for Deep Cove Snowboards to pro snowboarder for Santa Cruz and eventually Option. While with Option, Kevin had no less than nine pro models and was intensely involved with design and production methods on all of them, learning a ton about snowboard manufacturing in the process. When he wasn’t in the factory figuring out the perfect epoxy mixture, Kevin was on the hill progressing his riding, not to mention snowboarding as a whole. As a virtual unknown he won the Westbeach Classic in 1998, solidifying himself as a legitimate pro. One of the first to master the backside rodeo, he threw it down switch to earn himself X Games gold in big air in 1999, beating out Peter Line and Kevin Jones in the process. He kept his winning streak alive by taking the Westbeach Classic big air again in 2000.

[words by: Peter Andersen]

 

When Dennis Bannock straps in to a snowboard you can expect aggressive and powerful riding all the while keeping his steez tight and smooth. At 6’4″ he’s a lanky son of a bitch, but doesn’t let his appendages get away from him, he is just always in control. When he un-straps, he’s loud, he’s outspoken and he has no reservations about telling you what’s on his mind, but at the same time, he wears his heart on his sleeve and will give you the shirt off his back if necessary, even if it’s -20C.

[words by: Peter Andersen]

 

“I always knew he was going to come back. It’s not even a come back, I think he just took a year off to let everyone else catch up. Duff’s the king.” – Sean Kearns
Duff is the king, no question. They don’t come much better than him, period. A grin from ear to ear is permanently attached to his face and the personality, outlook and attitude that goes along with it is entrenched in his being, it’s just his nature. His laugh and positive attitude have saved many a crew on overcast days in the backcountry from spiraling out of control into bitterness. Not only can he see the positive in everything and everyone, he has an uncanny ability to see lines, jumps and angles to shoot from that made him an absolute favorite for any photographer or filmer to work with.

Born and raised on the mean streets of Kamloops, BC, Chris linked his first turns at the local shred haven, Todd Mountain, soon to become Sun Peaks. Soon after he met Sean Johnson and at the tender age of 15, Chris would spend many a winter snowboard trip with him in North Vancouver. In the midst of the Whiskey madness, Chris kept his focus and positivity squarely set on snowboarding and soon he was turning heads in the industry. After being named to the legendary ‘Forum 8′ squad, it was obvious a successful pro career was on the horizon and with Chris’ work ethic, attitude, and raw talent, it seemed nothing was going to stand in his way.

In 1999, after a couple knee surgeries – rather common speed bumps on any pro snowboarder’s career path these days – Chris was back on track and as healthy as ever. Then that spring Chris found himself in a struggle for his life after hitting the back of his head and neck on a tree at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. After being unconscious for three days he awoke to an empty hospital room and the realization that something was very, very wrong. “You will never ride again,” the doctor’s words reverberated through him like an earthquake. For a year and a half Chris worked in and around the snowboard industry and, against the wishes of his doctors, could only snowboard recreationally, all the while never losing his trademark smile, laugh and spark. At the beginning of the 2001 season Chris felt great and had no symptoms of his previous concussions so he went to his neurologist to get the low down. After numerous tests he was given the green light to snowboard again with a helmet and mouth guard at all times. In true Duff fashion, back on snow with the Forum crew that never left his side, Chris filmed his best snowboard part to date for True Life.

Chris continued to snowboard and produce groundbreaking video parts for a decade or so before turning his attention to the next chapter in his life. Now, stronger than ever with the determination and positivity to back it up, Chris is doing everything he can to become a firefighter. Knowing Chris and his penchant for life, I can’t think of a better next step for the eternally smiling ‘Duffman’ that has done so much for snowboarding and it’s community. Chris Dufficy is indeed, a Living Legend.

[words by: Peter Andersen]

 

“I thought he was this gnarly, crazy dude because I only knew him through his RDS/FSU/2002 video part,” Darkstar Skateboards pro Ryan Decenzo remembers about first meeting Vancouver’s Paul Machnau. “I was intimidated, but he’s actually a really nice guy. Paul would always lead the skate sesh and if he wanted to do something, it would be done. Handled. He’s just on-point, and I’ve learned so much from him.”

1984 was the first time skateboarding became a blip on Paul’s radar back in his hometown of Cranbrook, BC. Many moons later, fresh out of high school, he relocated to Kelowna to expand his skate-horizons, picking up Island Snow as a shop sponsor. Paul paid close attention to how the business was run, and in 1997 he decided to move back home and open Boarder’s Choice with his college fund. He ran the shop very successfully for three years before selling it to further pursue what would become an eventful skate-career that continues to this day.

[words by Frank Daniello]

 

Media outlet: Push.ca

Publisher: Matt Houghton

Executive Producer: underexposed agency Ltd.

Director: Lenny Rubenovitch

Co-Directors: Brian Hockenstein, Jan Schuster & Dave Ehrenreich

Producer: Lenny Rubenovitch

Editing: Dave Ehrenreich, Jan Schuster & Lenny Rubenovitch

Camera: Garry Pendygrasse, Ryan Sliziak, Jérémie Bouchard, Mike Martinet, Dave Ehrenreich, Benny Stoddard, Brian Hockenstein, Jan Schuster & Lenny Rubenovitch

Research: Matt Forsythe, John Swystun, Dave Ehrenreich & Lenny Rubenovitch

Motion graphics: Mathieu Gibeault

See individual video credits for additional credit info.

 

VIMEO LIVING LEGENDS ALBUM