Few people boast the riding resume that The Don lays claim to. Not only was JP Walker’s presence integral to the development of snowboarding in the urban environ, but in addition to two decades of hammer video parts, essential roles in important contests, membership in the legendary Forum 8 as well as Mack Dawg’s film crew, JP has continually upped the ante of his riding, year after year since the mid-nineties, a feat that doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. To distill his accomplishments into only a few sentences doesn’t do JP justice–his canon of accolades is lengthy and speaks volumes, so when the opportunity arose to re-release his very first video part in the 1995 Sallad Productions movie, Something Goin’ On, we were more than hyped to provide a platform for this Salt Lake local to provide insight in just how different snowboarding was twenty years ago. Come October 1st, JP’s twentieth video part–this time in ThirtyTwo’s team movie, 2032–will be released. And while the segment in Something Goin’ On may be devoid of the jibbing that JP helped to establish, the early makings of The Don’s style are readily apparent in his rookie offering. With that, we’ll shut up and let JP do the talking.
words: JP Walker
Filming a video part in the early 90’s was quite different than it is today. Almost no one had video cameras and if they did, it was the family’s home camcorder that you loaded a full-size VHS into. Editing was done tape-to-tape, usually on a rented beta deck. This was pre-vx1000 days to put it in perspective for all the video gurus. High 8 was considered high-end. Some production companies were shooting film, but we are talking MDP and Standard Films-level productions. Luckily, I met a kid from Ogden, Utah named Dallas Casey who had a high 8 camera and he had already made one local shred video under the name Sallad Productions. I simply crossed paths with him at Brighton and he asked if I wanted to film for his flick. That was it. No need to track down sponsor cash or figure out what crew was going where or stressing about figuring out song rights. Just some laps around the mountain and some days hiking the backcountry.
It wasn’t like today, where you take a flight to northern Ontario to start filming on a few inches of snow in November. I did some days at Brighton and some hiking around Powder Mountain and then finished up hiking around Grizzly Gulch and Flagstaff. You would film a clip, but never watch it to see if it looked good for fear of creating a glitch in the low quality tape over the top of your shot. You never got an early cut of your raw footy to see how you were sitting. No teaser or Instagram leaks. No sitting in on the edit and deciding what is going to be you ender. You just rode hard and you had to be your own judge of what you thought felt good and was considered a make.
I had no expectations. Few people were making snowboard videos back then and even less were making money off them. I rode for Standard Snowboards (no relation to the production company), GMC gloves, and a local snowboard shop. Free boards seemed like the pinnacle of achievement and I was completely content. Late in the summer, I got word from Dallas that he was actually editing the movie and it was going to premiere. A small group of people met in a high school classroom to watch the video. They mostly consisted of the riders and their close friends and family. It was a great feeling to see my shots put together and cut to music, a feeling that I’ve been chasing ever since to this very day 20 years later.