interview | Corey Smith
Corey Smith is an artist. Photographer, scultptor, painter and recently also snowboard producer. What? Yeah, right. Since early 2011 Corey founded “Spring Break Snowboards”, quite an unique brand if you want to call it like that. Corey is originally from Portland, but lives now in L.A. and since there hasn’t been new snow in Tahoe (back in January this year) for almost a month, he decided to try something special. Longboard style and inspired by surfing and giving the current state of snowboarding a complete new face: Simplicity. We hit him up and wanted to know more about his work and plans he has got.
ShredOn Magazine: Hey Corey, how are you?
Corey Smith: I’m doing well thank you.
ShredOn Magazine: Tell us a bit what you are up to in these days and where you at right now.
Corey Smith: I’m in Southern California at the COMUNE office editing our upcoming snowboard video.
ShredOn Magazine: As we all know, you dropped this year your own board brand, called “Spring Break Snowboards“. For usual snowboards, they seem to be too big somehow and have a real proper look and shape. What’s the idea behind?
Corey Smith: I was interested in experimenting in with contemporary snowboard design. I wanted to buildsome hand made boards that were really unique. I think the best part about these boards is, it makes deep fresh powder accessible to anyone. Since the boards float so well in powder, you can ride mellow relatively avalanche safe terrain. If you ride a traditional board in deep snow, you can only move on steeper terrain. With these boards you can just hike stuff off the side of the road, you don¹t’ need a helicopter, snowmobile, or even a lift ticket.
ShredOn Magazine: Do art and functionality of the boards have the same importance and influence, when making them? Or do you just consider them a piece of art and that’s it?
Corey Smith: I consider all of the boards, handmade pieces of functional artwork. Some of the boards are purely conceptual like the “Witch Hat” board, which has the spider web swallow tail. I’m developing more shapes, similar the “Beetlejuice” board that are very functional and really fun to ride in powder.
ShredOn Magazine: What inspires you when designing and shaping your boards? I mean, isn’t every board of yours a unique piece?
Corey Smith: Yes, each board is unique. Inspiration comes from vintage surf board shapes, as well as vintage snowboard shapes. Many of the ideas for board shapes come from trial and error and just seeing what works best.
ShredOn Magazine: Wolle Nyvelt and the Äsmo board is basically a different product, but which was made with the same idea, don’t you think? Kind of going back to the roots and trying to snowboard as natural as possible and surfing on snow. Have you tested them?
Corey Smith: No, I haven’t had a chance to try out a powder skate but I would like to one day. They are really cool. I would be afraid to fall off of one in the deep snow and end up spending most of the day hiking out. I think it’s good to remember why we snowboard and just enjoy the simplest parts of it.
ShredOn Magazine: Different topic. Snowboarding is nowadays hyped, like never before, concerning the trick level with ourTriple Corks, the fashion industry and the marketing thing. Is Spring Break Snowboards also an understatement to that situation, in which the sport finds itself right now? What do you think of that situation?
Corey Smith: Yes, Spring Break is more of an art project than anything else. I think the concept of Spring Break is a knee jerk reaction to the blatant crass commercialism that embodies modern snowboarding. Spring Break is simply about turning a board in snow.
ShredOn Magazine: You are also member of a really cool thing, called COMUNE. What’s the deal with that? What is COMUNE and how did you get involved there?
Corey Smith: COMUNE is a clothing company I helped start a few years back. [www.thecomune.com]
ShredOn Magazine: So, what are your plans now for the next season? Where is Spring Break Snowboards going to go in the next years?
Corey Smith: I’d like to live in Tahoe again and film another Spring Break movie. This summer I’d like to build a bunch more boards for all my friends to ride next winter. I’d really like to have some art shows featuring the boards.
ShredOn Magazine: Corey, thanks for your time and for doing this interview man. Any last words maybe?
Corey Smith: Thank you to COMUNE and Kevin Castanheira for making my vision a reality.
ShredOn Magazine: Thank you for sharing that vision. Bye!
check out the COMUNE Spring Break Snowboard edit, to see the boards in action and to get a better idea, of what Corey’s work looks like!
pictures belong all to Spring Break Snowboards or Keilan Shilling!