Freeskier Interviews the COC Coaches

Freeskier Interviews the COC Coaches

Camp isn’t anything without coaches, and as a public service to our readers I sat down with the superstars at Camp of Champions this week to go over their involvement with the camp, their history and other assorted and random questions.

Chris Turpin

Turpin, you are destroying the COC lane this summer. You’ve got one of the deepest bags of tricks around, you are injury free and you’re even working on some never before seen tricks. What is keeping you from dominating the comp circuit?

Well for one I don’t want to stand beside some 16 year old snot nose kid in some start gate, who’s telling me he’s getting jacked by his sponsors . An two that costs money and I’m not sure where that’s coming from yet.

Name an essential album that everyone needs to own.
Live- throwing copper

What the hell is that double switch flip you’re working on in the pipe?
My next paycheck. On my way of showing all those kids that us old guys have a few tricks in our sleeves.

Rumor has it you were drilling for dinosaur juice to make some cake a few months ago, what the hell is that like? Granted it makes you bank, but it has got to be one of the most grueling jobs on earth.
Good old fashion hard Canadian laber. That is now corrupted by excons and drug addictecs. I guess im a sucker for hard work.

Ask yourself a question, answer it.
Is getting old in the ski industry a bad thing?
Yes, right now it is.

What is the one downside to living at Whistler in the summer?
Having my American friends want to go out every night . while being sick of going out here.


Give some background information, son!
Shark’s scare me, I’m addicted to orange juice, pizza is my favorite meal, I don’t like killing insect’s, and I think art should be a necessity in the rapidly decaying public educational system’s.

COC wraps up tomorrow, if you were to assign one word to the emotions going through your head related to this topic what would it be.

Where you headed next?
Back home to Mt. Hood, and the beautifull great Northwest.

Favorite place to give it here at Whistler?
The dance floor at Maxx fish, which is no longer(son of a bitch)

You work and live with these other guys (Joe, Luke, Steele,Chris T), which one of them is currently pissing you off?
Honestly those misfit’s are the sweetest group of hooligan’s I’ve had the distinct pleasure of co-existing with.

Which one of them is a dynamo in the kichen?
Well Luke can barbeque some bovine, Turpin’s a wizard with Perogie’s, Steele’s got some home cooking down, and Schuster now’s how to turn on a micro-wave.

Steele Spence

Steele, last night you sharpied my left arm with the word “ONWARD� in decorate script. Please inform our readers what the hell that mean?
Onward, onward is all about pushing on- with the party, with life, it doesn’t matter. This concept was brought to us by Mr. Luke Van Vallin and Mr. Austin Ramaly a few years ago at COC. Unless you’re in it to win it, willing to go the extra mile for the sake of partying, you cant rock ONWARD!

How many years have you been coaching at COC?
2 years. This is my 11th summer in Whistler. I started coming to mogul camp- World Mogul to be exact, when I was 13. Every year I’ve upped my park… now I feel it’s at a peak.

Joe Schuster

How did you get started with COC? Did you start off as a camper and make your way up the corporate ladder?

Actually I wasn’t a camper, I got to come here to ride and help out where I was needed and then this spring Matt called me up and asked if I wanted to coach and obviously I was stoked but I was never a camper.

Name one thing in skiing right now that you’re not down on.
People being cocky, I totally understand being stoked on something that you did or whatever but just don’t take it over board.

Favorite item in the COC lane right now?
Double line, there is a 40ft to a 50ft jump line that is super fun to link tricks together. Defiantly my favorite.

You’re the guy to know when it comes to lunch. Somehow you managed to make a grilled quesadilla on the glacier out of simple lunchmeats and condiments. How in the hell did you manage that?
Well we got the idea from a couple of the other snowboard coach when they made quesadilla on the grill up at the horseman hut. The digger crew brought up a BBQ the other day and they have been letting up poach it. Usually I go with turkey, cheese, red pepper, onion, avacodo, and salsa.

What is the worst part about living at Whistler for a month?
Weather, last week was super nice and sunny which was awesome but if its raining and foggy its pretty depressing.

Dr. Luke Van Valin

Luke, you are a highly influential member of the freeskiing community, one would say that you are currently the mouthpiece of skiing due to your extensive experience MC’ing events. How do you practice for your MC gigs? Do you use notecards and practice before a high profile event like The Honda Ski Tour?
That’s a negative, I got a ton of practice back in high school, my teachers sometimes used to get so fed up with my timely outbursts in class that they would sit down and let me lecture the class on whatever I deamed appropriate.

Speaking of The Ski Tour, what was your favorite stop this season?
Definitely Squaw Valley, We had an unbelievable villa, the sun was out, Dumont was killing it, and I had gotten to know most of the people involved with the event by that time so there was some great comradery I was consistently involved in.

Dr. Van Valin, what medical school did you attend?
I have no Professional education, its been all hands on experience.

Luke, you’ve just returned from The Dumont’s infamous 21’st birthday party in Vegas. Give me a little inside information on what went down up there. I’ve seen some of the photos, they’re rather adult in nature.
Indeed.. Well, believe it or not it was the sort of occasion that was so insane that it’s nearly impossible for someone even as articulate as myself to put into words. I will say that pool partys at the Palms hotel remind me of Spring break in Cancun minus the stomach flu and plus about 300 lbs of silicone.

I guess we should ask some questions about what you’re doing up here at COC. How did you get started with the camp?
Through 4FRNT man, it’s the best hook up ever.

You’re known for your motivational speeches and enthusiasm, do you find that your campers feed off this energy to excel?
Most of the time they do, occasionally I’ll have a kid who has made a decision to not listen to me or to just not have fun.. when that happens I just let them do their own thing.

If I was to buy you a series of shots at the bar, what would you prefer I purchase?
Good, You? I mean, Yes please! Wait, did you say SoCo and lime?

Matt Sterbenz

Mr. 4FRNT himself, I’m honored. Let me first up say, I’m stoked on what you guys are doing here at COC. It’s really rad that campers can get on any gear they want and session the lane. What does 4FRNT have in store for next year?
Well Dave what can I say, life’s good. COC is a legit program for all of us here and we get mad pumped to do it every year. As for the FRNT HQ, we’re up to all kinds of stuff. We got plans way off the radar that are in development and others just below the surface. We got a lifted am team led by some upcoming stars we’re super pumped on while the pro team remains as active as possible with their segs and skis. Come fall, you’ll see a huge college student initiative to get more students on snow and off campus. We got a whole new site dropping as well that will lead our 4FRNT brethren to the good land once again with increased interaction with our team and our designers.

How did you get started with COC? Rumor has it you’re on your 10th year? Has anyone given you any aluminum gifts?
COC started for me back in the day when I was a parking lot attendent at Squaw and one day I asked Kreitler and Anderson if I could check it out. At the time, ski camp was just starting to be conceived but they were asking skiers to come and help dig and slip as the pipe was all hand dug and skiers rock the slip program like no other. After a few years diggin, I got interested in coaching and its been gravy ever since. Sure lots of pride goes into digging and sessioning new features but the next day you roll up all stoked and its all melted and swiss cheese’d. Coaching give you a chance to make a impact on a kid for the rest of their life. As for aluminum gifts go, we were joking about al the broken camper ski poles that line the bottom of our on-snow demo box. I guess those will be some indirect tokens of appreciation.

You’ve got your own ski company, you’re head coach at the largest ski camp on earth, you’re up here at whistler living the dream. Life has got to be pretty cake, I mean running a ski company is easy right?
So easy. Its almost like winning the lottery. You fill in some circles, pay a few bucks to enter and the rest just falls into place. Its also super lucrative when it only snows in the NW.

So, Tanner was up a couple weeks ago throwing doubles over the largest jump COC offers. Rumor has it you put your game face on and made it rain out there. Reports claimed that your landings were so thunderous that the glacier migrated a couple of feet. Are you the most elder member of the freesking community to join the double-flip community?
Damn Dave, droppin old dude status on me. Go to hell. But seriously, I’m stoked on the session with those guys. We knew T was going to upstage the intensity and Dr. V and I made a pact to get dubs this summer so one sunny day, it all came together. It as intense and super gratifying. I was giving out hugs when the sesh was over. Since then, my confidence in just about everything else has been lifted and I’m super amped how my knee is recovering and all that.

If Luke Van Valin was actually a doctor, what kind of a doctor would he be?
He would pioneer a whole science that would heal strictly from motivational one liners. I guess that would make him a linguistologist.

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