I was doing the Crested Butte Extremes and Shane had just broken his ass, so he was just hanging out. Earlier in that season, around Thanksgiving, he aired the cliffs under Chair 4 at Vail. He hip-checked onto a stump and broke his pelvis. But Shane was there to check out the contest, and he was like, â€œOh man, this is cool. There arenâ€™t all these rules like being confined to this strip or having to go down this gated course.â€ Shortly after that he started competing. He did well and then created the IFSA.
After the first year he competed in Crested Butte, we went out filming with Matchstick out in the Irwin Lodge area. We just sessioned this one little zone and Shane tried to do a double backflip off this pinner cliff. He plugged in pretty hard, and he was going back up to do it again. We were pretty far out there and I told him, â€œI wouldnâ€™t try to do that again â€˜cause you almost broke your neck.â€ He came flying off the same cliff, but this time he was completely naked, and he did this huge spread eagle. None of us knew he was doing that because you couldnâ€™t see him behind the take off and we didnâ€™t have radios or anything like that back then. All of the sudden he just came flying off, naked.
He showed people that youâ€™re out there to have fun; itâ€™s not about being serious. What weâ€™re doing is serious, but he looked at it in a different light than a lot of other people do.
The way I looked at JT Holmes and him is sort of those Looney Toons cartoons where the big dog is walking along and thereâ€™s the little dog saying, â€œWhat are you going to do now?â€ JT was the little dog and Shane was the big dog. Thereâ€™s not much to do when you have down time, and these guys started doing all kinds of crazy stuff. In Bella Coola one time, Shane and JT rented dry suits and went swimming in the river behind the lodge. They decided they were going to swim under the ice from one patch of running water to the next. They were constantly trying to get some sort of adrenaline buzz, doing whatever. It was never-ending.
â€œHE CAME FLYING OFF THE SAME CLIFF, BUT THIS TIME HE WAS COMPLETELY NAKED, AND HE DID THIS HUGE SPREAD EAGLE.â€
When friends pass away doing things like this, it definitely makes you think about what youâ€™re doing at that moment. It affects your decision-making process. Iâ€™m glad my ski season ended when it did. It affects you, man. It takes you a while to get past that. It fucks with your head and it keeps you from trying things you want to do.
Volant gave Shane all the Spatulas, maybe 300-400 pairs of them, when Volant was becoming a boutique brand. And he was selling them all because he didnâ€™t have a contract with the many more. I called him up and I wanted to get a pair for me and a buddy â€˜cause there was nothing like that around, just to try it out and try to convince K2 to do something like that.
Without Shane being in there at K2, we would never have had any of these rockered skis. He was constantly on them about it. He was like, â€œYou gotta try these.â€ So he brought four or five pairs of Spatulas with rental tracks on them to a sales meeting, and made all these guys who normally do ski testing get on them. It was a powder day, and they got the true experience. They werenâ€™t 100-percent sold, but they were sold enough that it is what it is today.
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