Lukas and Jesse Huffman talk Snow Craft
When Lukas and Jesse Huffman started their web series Snow Craft, their intention was to peel back the band-aid on snowboarding’s injury-prone, badass history. And while there’s no shortage of info about boarders, they wanted to bring the focus back to the board itself. We talked to the Huffman duo about getting started in snowboarding and important players in its history which you can also see in the first episode of Snow Craft here.
What inspired this project?
Jesse and I started the Snow Craft series because no body else was voicing a narrative about the history of snowboard design. We love snowboarding and have special connections to our actual boards. So, we wanted to create a video series that gave us an opportunity to celebrate the actual products you ride on – and we had a hunch that there was a generation of older snowboarders, like us, who also wanted to see these stories.
What does snowboarding mean to you?
Snowboarding is a large part of who I am. The actual act of snowboarding and the physical experience that provides is a feeling that I’ve been engaging with for over 20 years. So, when I go snowboarding it’s like visiting a place with so much history and comfort. The industry and culture of snowboarding provides a group of people/ideas that I also feel super close to. No matter where I am, if I bump into a fellow snowboarder, we have a shared experience to connect about.
Snowboarding is a relatively recent sport but one with a varied history. What was it like studying it from its genesis onward?
We hunt down characters from snowboarding past and present that we think make radical contributions to the sport. So, our characters at the very genesis of the sport are radical in that they had the leap of imagination to even envision the sport – a sport that didn’t exist before. And then the characters we explore for modern times are at the fringes of the sport, creating boards that did not exist last year. So, the fun thing about the series is seeing how this ‘pioneering spirit’ survived through the entire history of snowboarding.
What made you choose the format of a web series?
The season in it’s entirety allows us to tell a longer form story, but is broken up into individual episodes, which is how the modern/digital audience seems to engage with most narrative media.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from talking with some of snowboarding’s preeminent ‘creators’?
It’s been really nice to hear about the low moments in their careers, as it makes me realize that even the successful pioneers of the sport had struggles. It’s always fun and enlightening to hear about how different people work through their struggles.
What made you choose to work with Winterstick and Mervin Manufacturing in particular?
The Winterstick guys literally invented backcountry snowboarding. The swallow-tail shapes of Winterstick influenced the contemporary board that we cover in the series, so it was mandatory that we go back to this story and uncover the very seed of influence that is all over the Snow Craft series. And Mervin are arguably the most innovative contemporary snowboard designers. They, like Winterstick, are designing boards that fly in the face of convention. So, the Mervin story allows us to bring the pioneering spirit into the present.
For someone who has no clue how to snowboard, what’s a good piece of advice to help get them started?
Take a lesson! No shit, a lesson will save you hours of humiliation and soreness as you try and figure out how to snowboard on your own.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while boarding?
Snowboarding took me around the world for ten years in my early-20s. I was a professional snowboarder, so this is more of a macro-experience. But, I’ve been to almost every snowy location in the world while snowboarding and seen a lot of different places and cultures. That’s crazy when I look back on it now.
How would you describe the overall experience of bringing this project together?
We are way under-budgeted, so it’s very frustrating to get it out to the world. We have to cut costs on all sorts of levels, but it’s one of the projects I put the most energy into over the year. When it finally premiers I always forget all the production complications and just love seeing people react to the series.
What do you hope to accomplish most with this project?
It’s very simple; we hope to pull the curtain back on certain moments and personalities that have brought the sport of snowboarding to where it is today.
Photography by Shem Roose.