Jake Blauvelt

Jake Blauvelt
Naturally — Snowboarding's king of natural style, Jake Blauvelt, talks to Huck about his new film, Naturally.

Jake Blauvelt’s super-clean style is a breath of fresh air from the high octane, trick-a-minute, X-Games-style snowboarding that can feel hard to relate to. He takes a fresh approach to his craft, looking at the mountain and trying to work with it, rather than endlessly chasing the next big air. His refreshing style and authenticity has won him huge respect within the industry and many see him as the pro’s pro-snowboarder.

Jake is in London to promote his new film, Naturally; a perfect title for a guy who loves to ride clean, working with the natural world around him. The two-year project took him to Japan, Sweden and France, but the majority of the film was shot in British Columbia. Huck sat down with Jake to talk nature, creativity and coping with injury.

Naturally
“We wanted to document how snowboarding is for everybody in the film. Going out in the mountains, and instead of changing the mountains and building a jump or whatnot. It’s more about getting creative with the mountains and working with the terrain that’s in front of you, instead of changing it. It’s more about exploration and responding to what nature provides. It’s organic and feel good fun. It’s not go huge, go for broke, daredevil style. It was much more of an organic development.”

Creativity
“I love the crisp feel of winter. But when I realised snowboarding was a creative outlet for me, that’s when it really clicked. I love the creativity that snowboarding allows, as well as the exploration. But I figured that out much later on. In the early days it was just about being up in the mountains in winter with my friends. That’s what lured me to it.”

Soccer
“I love playing soccer, I always have. I had to chose between soccer and snowboarding when I was in High School. I’m glad I stuck with snowboarding. It’s definitely less competitive than soccer. I think I had a better chance at snowboarding, for sure. Europeans always find it really funny when Americans have a passion for soccer but I’m one of the few I guess.”

Parents
“I’m so blessed to have grown up in Vermont. It was a struggle to get lift tickets and a snowboard but my Mum and Dad made it happen. It’s amazing where I’ve been able to travel and the sights I’ve been able to see as a result of snowboarding. It’s such a blessing. It’s brought me a lot, I’m really fortunate.”

Injury
“I dislocated my shoulder and had to go straight into surgery. It was a 9 month recovery. During that time I realised a lot about my mental state at the time. My head was everywhere. Obviously, I was able to get my body strong and really get fit. But at the same time I got into yoga through my recovery process which helped my mental state a lot. You have to make sure that your mind and body are one. Before my injury I felt that my mind and body were very separate, afterwards I felt like they were one. I think all with all top athletes, their mind and body are working as one.”

Staying Healthy
“The only part of snowboarding that feels like a job is when I have to stay healthy and in shape. But I love staying healthy… I love eating good food. I don’t like to go the gym but it’s part of doing what I love to do. I treat it like my job is to stay healthy and that way I get to do what I love, which is snowboarding. When you’re feeling fit and healthy it just radiates to everything in your life. It makes you feel like a better, stronger person.”

The Future
“I’d like to take a step back from filming super hard and be able to give back a little bit to snowboarding. I want to spend a year focussing on giving back to the sport that has given me so much. My fiancé and I are starting a Mountain Life project, it’s a non-profit organisation which provides funding for kids and young adults to participate in mountain-based education programmes. Kids love snowboarding and being in the mountains but they don’t have the financial support to take it to that next level.”

Naturally premiered in East London on 9 October 2013 at London Fields Brewery. It will be available on iTunes at the end of October.
See more from Jake on the Oakley UK site

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