Nice guys finish first… The Chris Frost Interview
I met Chris Frost in person for the first time this fall at the Rome “The Shred Remains” premiere in PC. We were both kind of on the outside looking in for a bit because the long time Rome Rockies rep had left the company. So we talked about SLC and Rome and that sort of thing before we eventually were able to get backstage at the theater and do some more schmoozing with the team. Chris is a quiet guy, but it’s one of those determined quiets not one of those “I’m too cool for you” type of quiets. After I got to know him a bit better I figured he was a filmer/photographer/local rep/ shred companies dream rider. First off he’s solid, ridiculously solid, and he has a certain fast but technical style of riding that is reminiscent of guys like Jed Anderson or Brandon Hobush. Second he’s always down to do what you need. If you put a camera in his face hes down to get you a shot you’re happy with. When Rome brought him to SIA in January he worked his ass off at their booth explaining all the new tech to the buyers and media. All in all hes just a super nice, hard working guy, BUT in a cut-throat industry is that a key to success or is it true that “nice guys finish last”? Well I sat down to talk with Chris about that, coming up in the game, his summer plans , and a few other random things… enjoy!
Ok Chris these all start the same name, age, and where you are from…
Chris: I’m Christopher Dylan Frost, I’m 21, and I’m from Northfield Minnesota.
So now you are living in Salt Lake correct?
Chris: Yeah, I mean I would say I live in Salt Lake but right now for the summer I’m living at Hood.
Is this your first full summer at Hood?
Chris: Yep. Well I’ve come out and car camped the last two Mays and just got the spring pass but… uh this is my first time coming out here and working and living for the whole summer.
Are you stoked on that?
Chris: Yes so stoked! I’ve been wanting to do this since 9th grade so it’s finally a reality and it almost doesn’t seem real.
That’s cool but you’ve had lots of things become real these last couple of years?
Chris: Yeah definitely. I’ve already seen quite a few Salt Lake people out here.
So when you are in Salt Lake where do you ride and what do you do for work?
Chris: I occasionally ride at The Canyons and Park City but my home mountain is definitely Brighton for sure because I work on the Brighton Park Crew.
How long have you worked on the park crew?
Chris: This season was actually my first season on the park crew but before that I worked as an instructor at Brighton.
How different is it to work on the park crew vs. being an instructor?
Chris: Oh it’s like ten times more riding time and actually being able to have influence on the features I’m riding is awesome. You know I do miss teaching people that are really stoked on snowboarding but at the same time you know there’s a lot of people that their parents just drop them off on a nice pow day because the parents want to go ride. Then they are all crying the whole day and stuff. Lessons like that were not enough to keep me going back, well I guess I would have gone back if I didn’t get the Park Crew job in fact I know I would have but I really wanted the park crew job to get in a ton of riding and being with people who would push me. I’ve progressed a lot more riding with all the park crew dudes because there are so many different riding styles and they are all trying to progress themselves. I feel like riding with people that have tricks you don’t or people that hit things in a different creative way and you’re like “Ah! I didn’t even think of hitting it that way” where compared with the ski schoolers most of them don’t even want to ride in the park at all.
There’s some heavy names coming and going on that park crew…
Chris: Yeah definitely a lot of the guys from there have turned pro, or they’re strong ams. A lot of the dudes on it now are on their way up, Treyson (Allen), Sam ( Wittke), Everest (Arnold), Parker Worthen, Chris Cloud, and obviously myself. I’m trying to get there. Yeah just a cool crew of guys and everybody slays it.
Who is the best guy on the crew that no one knows who they are?
Chris: Hmmm you mean someone that doesn’t show up in edits?
Well just like one of the park crew guys that doesn’t have any backers that might not be so well known.
Chris: Well Treyson and Sam are pretty underrated but I gotta say Jeff McGrath because he’s such a sick rider AND skateboarder. Also even though Willis Grigsby isn’t on the Park Crew he still deserves a shout out because he KILLS it and is a SUPER nice dude and no one has any idea who he is!
I think Treyson is up in Hood right now too right?
Chris: Yeah Treyson, Everest, and Sam are all here. They are digging at Windells so you’ll probably see them in Windells edits.
Would that be the ultimate goal for the summer time? For you to get a job at Windells or HCSC?
Chris: Absolutely. I almost had a job digging for Windells this year. Basically Chase Weaver, the head digger, he said if there was space he’d give me a job but there was only one space this season for someone new and Treyson has been waiting for a couple of seasons so they gave him the space which is totally understandable and I’m glad he got it. I’m hoping I’ll be the one to get in next year. That’s definitely the goal and I’ve been trying super hard.
So who do you ride for?
Oh that’s sick
Chris: Yeah I’m excited on that and then maybe Stance I’m not really sure. They sent me a little care package but I don’t know if they were just being nice or if they were like “let’s see where it goes from here”.
Their snowboard socks are super sick…
Chris: Yeah they gave me two pair of snow socks, a couple pair of skate socks, and then some street-wear socks.
Yeah I dig their stuff they have a good vibe going on…
Chris: Yeah or sure. So yeah I dunno.. I met them out at SIA and was asking them if they were looking for riders and showed them my footage and they seemed pretty stoked and they sent me the socks but I haven’t heard anything from them since then. So I dunno if you can put that as a sponsor or not.
Haha maybe we’ll put it in there and see if it forces them into action or something.
Chris: Yeah that’d be cool Haha…
So how did you get hooked up with Rome?
Chris: I got hooked up with Rome by winning the Pre-Jib (contest) at The Canyons in 2010.
You took a trip with them to Colorado this year how was that?
Chris: Oh it was awesome. I Actually took two trips with them. I took one that was the Rome “Party Crashers” where a college group won a video contest online showing who partied the hardest and why Rome should come to them. So this college from California won and I got to be part of that going out there and just hanging out, snowboarding with them, and being in the edit they made. That was a lot of fun and my first ever all expense paid trip with any kind of snowboarding stuff through sponsors. That was really cool and it felt awesome to get that experience. Then I went out to SIA which was also paid for by them and it was less snowboarding but I got to meet all the owners of Rome and the people that make Rome what it is, the designers of product, the owners, pretty much anybody and everybody that aren’t the pros. So that was really cool and a good way to get my foot in the door you know beyond just being a rep rider and moving towards a real Am. So that was super beneficial to me and my potential career and just the family vibe you know with everybody there having fun and being there for the same reason. Yeah you know I’d like to now go on some trips that are just for snowboarding and filming. That’s the ultimate goal but I got to work my way up to that.
They’ll be at Hood too I’m sure…
Chris: Yeah they are.. I don’t know if you know Ron (Faverty) and Justin (Cafiero)…
Yeah I’ve met Ron a couple times in person but we’ve done stuff over the Internets and I’ve met and talked with Justin a few times as well. They are both cool guys, Rome has some good people behind it.
Chris: Yeah definitely. That’s another reason I’m so stoked on the company and backing them. Not only do I like their product which gave me the initial want to ride for them but then as I’ve been getting more and more into the company and meeting the people behind it and seeing how cool they are.. I dunno it’s just fun to be with a group of people that love snowboarding and are nice you know.
Well since you’ve been in the game for a few years let me ask you this… Were you surprised at how much volatility there is within the industry with people coming and going in companies or is that something you were already aware of and used to?
Chris: Um…. no I wouldn’t say it was something I was used to. I’ve just been trying to establish myself and I don’t even feel like I have a full grasp on like how the industry works and stuff. So anything I’ve been experiencing has just been kind of like go with the flow you know… like OK I guess that’s how this works or that works. It was definitely a shock when DI left Rome because he was the one that got me set up with Rome. I liked their product so much and knew the pre-jib was coming to town and I was only riding for Salty Peaks at that point and the Salty’s TM Andrew Schummer went with me and talked to DI and DI was like well yeah OK we will check him out during the contest and that was the one I won. So then DI started hooking me up but when he left I didn’t know if my sponsorship was through DI or if the company was backing me. So I didn’t even know if I was still sponsored by them so I sought out the new rep Seth and I was like “Hey I was riding for DI and love the company and want to keep riding for you guys and see what happens.” So he kept me on but now Seth is gone too, but he strongly facilitated getting me on the am team. He had my back from day one in talking with the higher ups in the company. He supported me as a rider and as a person too which was one of his trademarks. He said there’s a lot of people that can ride but then there’s a lot of people who can ride and are nice people too.
Were you surprised that how much of a big deal that is? I don’t think a lot of young guys understand that it doesn’t matter if you’re super sick if you’re an asshole because there’s a hundred guys behind you that are super sick and not assholes.
Chris: Yeah it is a little surprising to me in both senses because I do see a lot of people that I view as asshole people that are getting everything handed to them. Then I see other people like Sam or Treyson who are some of the nicest coolest guys ever and they kill it and no one knows about them. So I guess there is surprise in both directions of it. For me trying to network myself and being a nice person is getting me somewhere and its kind of surprising because I feel like it kind of put me on the fast track you know. Then at the same time I’m surprised that other people I feel like may not deserve it because of their attitude are getting tons of stuff and then there’s plenty of guys that are nice that aren’t getting much so it goes in both directions.
So you mentioned Andrew Schummer, you filmed with him for this season’s Salty’s Team Video and you got last part. What did you think of that?
Chris: Yeah I was so stoked. The whole season I was just seeing other guys that I was riding with and stuff and I didn’t know I was going to get last part. I was just focusing and helping other get their shots but not thinking, “Oh yeah I’ve got this trick and this trick and this so maybe I’ll get last part”. I was more just focused on like after getting one trick having another trick that I wanted to try. So just focusing on that and having fun and all of a sudden Andy told me one day “Oh yeah you got the ender part” and I was like “No way!”. It was the first time I had ever spent the whole season filming with anybody or a film crew or anything. So yeah it really felt like my hard work paid off and it was really good. That helped get more sponsors, I hadn’t filmed a part then all of a sudden I show up and get last part and sponsors are more willing to back me at that point.
So what about this year filming wise?
Chris: Um not nearly as much as I wanted to. I did do some filming but compared to last year there was way less snow in the valley. Last year I didn’t really have to think about traveling. The snow on the rails was there and we could just go whenever. This year it became more about having a travel budget so it wasn’t as readily available. Then work and dealing with Schummer who became more focused on skateboarding. When we did have snow I’d call him and we couldn’t hookup.
So who did you film with?
Chris: Mostly Drew Eflin do you know him?
Just on the pretendernet
Chris: Well Drew was the one I actually went out and filmed with because I couldn’t get up with Andrew.
Yeah it was such a mild winter the skate crews never stopped filming.
Chris: Yeah totally understandable. It just would have been optimal for me to know that earlier so I could find someone else, and even when he could film my work was hard to get around.
Haha low man on the Brighton totem pole.
Chris: Yeah absolutely. I was more the guy that was supposed to be covering shifts and stuff instead of asking for time off being the newest guy on the crew.
So you mentioned that you got hooked up with Rome through the pre-jib but you don’t really do a lot of contests do you?
Chris: Yeah it’s hard to say… I mean if one of my sponsors who is really helping me out says “Hey we want you to ride in this contest” then it’s like alright you know you help me so I’ll help you, but in a perfect world if I could choose I’d choose not to compete. I dunno I don’t feel like I’m snowboarding for myself when I’m competing. I feel like it’s snowboarding against people, I want to be snowboarding with my friends. Watching them try a sick trick and motivating them to try versus seeing somebody try a trick and then being more fearful and be like “aw man I got to try harder, hike faster, try to get as many tricks in a possible, and be super consistent.” It’s stressful to me and just not as fun for me to be against people compared to be filming and you have your homies back versus hoping people aren’t landing stuff so you can get your tricks in. I just don’t like the nature of competing.
What about some of the bigger but chill contests like Hot Dogs and Handrails for example. It’s more like a party that happens to have a contest at it….
Chris: Yeah.. I actually almost got in this past season but it was too late. Dye was trying to facilitate me getting out there but it was only like a week before and they were like “oh hey we forgot .. did you get an invite or anything?” Maybe this season I can get there.
It’s a good contest to go to, especially since it’s so early it’s really the only thing going on so the whole industry is paying attention.
Chris: Exactly. Just being in the edit is cool not even worrying about placing in the contest but if I can get one big trick in the edit for Hot Dogs and Handrails that’s great exposure.
So how long will you be in Hood? Until mid-August or so?
Chris: Actually maybe until September. The Hood season is until August but Niki, my girlfriend, is working at a restaurant on the hill and they want her to stay until September and I’m not sure actually when my job will end but they said if it ends early I can maybe pick up in another department for a month or so. It’s kind of up in the air at the moment we don’t really know when we’ll be leaving but it sounds like we will be getting back to Salt Lake in late September or early October.
So you mentioned Niki your girl she rides too right?
Chris: Yeah she’s a snowboarder and I’ve been teaching her some park but she hasn’t been snowboarding nearly as long as me though. She started when she was 18 I want to say. She’s been progressing quite a bit and she’s an instructor at Brighton now. I got her a Rome kit so she’s rocking Rome too and she’s having fun trying to progress and she’d even like to be on the park crew at some point.
Does it help having a girl that rides when you have to be like “Hey I’m going to be gone for two weeks” and all that type of stuff?
Chris: Yeah Niki was hugely helpful last year, I mean she’s always been helpful, but that first year when I was working on that part she’d make food and coffee before I went out to hit rails. She was bending her plans and arrangements around me going out to film rails.
I think it’s hard for a lot of dudes with regular girls because like of course your girl doesn’t want you to leave on film trips or whatever but it’s even harder because they think it’s all fun. A girl that doesn’t ride wouldn’t understand the amount of work that goes into it as well. They just think you’re going off to have fun with your friends.
Chris: Absolutely she’s been super supportive. Like I wanted to move out to Hood for the summer and having a girl that wants to come out with me and do the same thing makes it way easier. Last year we came out and bought the spring pass and we stayed 11 nights in my car with no showers or anything just hanging out. I mean how many girls would be down for that. It just makes it way easier to do what I want to do and even when she can’t go along she understands what I’m trying to do with making a career out of this so yeah she has been awesome.
Well damn that is a pretty good place to stop I think
Why don’t you give us those final shout outs and thank yous…
Chris: Obviously all my sponsors who have helped me and had my back with cash flow to take trips and product to keep me from spending money on gear. My parents for having my back and encouraging me to follow my dreams and follow my heart. Even when I’m not making a ton of money my dad’s like “are you saving money?” and I’m like “no” he understands to me money doesn’t equate happiness. If I have money to get by, pay my rent, and buy food so I can ride all the time then that’s a rich lifestyle to me versus having a lot of money and being miserable at my job for most of the day. My parents have been super supportive in that sense and my girl like I was saying she helped me get out the door on time for rail missions and was down for me to take trips to go and hang out with a bunch of rowdy snowboarders you know. All my friends on the Brighton park crew and Mouse for giving me the job it has made a huge difference in my progression. I could thank people for days, thanks to everyone that’s helped me!
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