Name: Justin Phipps
Hometown: Arvada, CO
Resides: Arvada, CO
Sponsors: Rome, VonZipper, Airhole Facemasks, and DVS Snow
So 2002, that makes you how old? What grade are you in?
That makes me 12. I’m in 7th grade, just started middle school.
Is it challenging balancing school and snowboarding?
Yeah, it is sometimes because you have to get the best grades possible so you can to get out of school as much as you can, and not get in trouble for it at the same time. I don’t always have the best grades…
Did you miss a lot of school last year during the season?
Yeah… I missed like 15-20 days, altogether. I went out to Mammoth for PBRJ Finals and the Launch for two days too.
Was that your first time goin’ to the east coast?
Yeah, it was a lot of fun, slushy too.
Do you anticipate going to school full-time forever or are you going to be home schooled?
I’m hoping I’ll end up getting to go to online school later so I can snowboard every day. I’m getting to do that for half a semester this year.
Unlike most kids your age, you ride a bit of everything... There is backcountry stuff, in the park a lot, in the streets a lot. If you could focus on one area of riding, what would it be?Street rails, definitely. I love being in the street.
What snowboarders do you look up to?
I look up to a lot of my friends for snowboarding. One of my favorite snowboarders in Jonah Owen. I got to ride with him during the On Snow Demo at SIA. Stale [Sandbech] a lot too; he just has one of the sickest styles.
Speaking of Jonah, how did you get hooked up riding for Rome?
One of my Dad’s friends, Brad, works for Rome and VonZipper; he liked my riding a lot. He started hooking me up with a lot of their stuff. Then I met the team managers for Rome and VonZipper over at SIA On Snow. We got each other’s contact and they just started sending me a bunch of stuff.
What was the first time like, getting stuff in the mail?
I got a box from VonZipper; it was a bunch of sweatshirts and a few pairs of goggles. It was pretty exciting, because I knew it was probably going to be a lot different than just working with Brad. I knew I’d probably be getting a lot more stuff and getting to help the company out a lot more.
Your most recent season edit that came out two weeks ago, it seems like it made it on every big snowboard site. How does it feel that so many people are watching your footage?
It’s pretty exciting. It’s a big confidence builder for my riding. That is what kind of helped me get to street and backcountry, ‘cause any park is going to get over played at some point. It’s exciting knowing that I have a lot of people who like my riding.
Seems like a very mature answer for you to say people are going to get bored of the park footage. Where do you get these ideas?
Well, I just started watching a lot more parts and videos and stuff. I noticed that all of the parts were park footage and it was beginning to be really boring. I watched a lot of the movies that were coming out, like Foreword, that had all street and backcountry. I just thought I should get into that too.
Since so many people have their eyes on you, is there some added pressure on you this year to do bigger and better things?
Yeah, because I knew last year I wasn’t at the level I should have been at. I figured this year, I just have to learn a lot more tricks. Like, the double, that was new. The street spots were new, the 270s and spinning onto features, and getting lines for the jumps too. Two years ago, three years ago, I had a lot of zeaches, so I knew I was going to have to fix that too. That was a little bit embarrassing.
What do you do besides snowboard and skateboard for fun?
I play baseball and football. My football season just ended last Saturday. I play baseball in the spring a lot. Just playing football with my brother and stuff.
Do like to play video games, or are you outside all the time?
I play video games a little bit, but usually I’m outside a lot.
What trends do you not like in snowboarding and which would you like to see grow?
I really don’t like the gangster, baggy style. I just don’t like it at all. I like camouflage…
What about riding?
I don’t know if there is a kind of riding that I hate. I want style to be a bigger factor in snowboarding. Triples are sick, but I’d like to see those die down a bit and people just start tweaking out a lot more, rails, grabs…. I think that would be sickest. Style is the main part of snowboarding, instead of triples and doubles and huge tricks…
Any shout outs?
Yeah. I want to give a shout out to a lot of my friends, like Gunnar and Ryan. I ride with them a lot. They keep me pumped. Shout out to my friend Chris Corning, he’s a big factor in my snowboarding. All my filmers and editors. Stephen with VonZipper and all my friends at Rome. Also, Brad Gobdel for all the support and introductions he's made for me.