When some snowboarders leave their sponsors it only creates a small ripple in the snowboard pond. But when Snowboarder Magazine's two-time Rider of the Year, Travis Rice's 'Flight' co-star, and all-around backcountry slayer, John Jackson changes snowboard teams it's big news. Even if the move is from Forum to Burton, two companies under what seems to be the same roof.
"This was an opportunity for John to grow his snowboarding, and there are nothing but good vibes between him, the brand, and the team," says Forum team manager Kevin Keller of Jackson's decision to move to Burton. To find out the real reasons behind John J's move, and his feelings about it, we went to directly to the man himself.
ESPN: What prompted the change from Forum to Burton?
John Jackson: I feel Burton holds more opportunity for the direction I want to take my snowboarding. Forum is awesome -- I love those guys. It's always been nothing but good times, but they are focusing more on the park generation while I'm trying to spend more time in a heli. I want to promote backcountry riding and big mountain freestyle. Burton will give me the ability to push my riding to new levels.
Burton and Forum are essentially the same company -- does it feel like a big transition?
It does and it doesn't. We're all the same fam and I'm still working with a lot of the same people. It's sad leaving the film crew I'm used to being with, but at the same time I'm going to a new crew who, for the most part, have been my homies for just as long. In the end, we all see each other out there.
Now that you are on the Big B does that mean you will be filming just for their team videos or will you have multiple parts?
I'll film for their movie for sure but I'll work with Brain Farm when they start shooting another film. I have a new project I've pitched to Red Bull as well that hopefully will be in the works this April or so. It's all exciting. I'm stoked because there are a lot of doors opening where I feel like I can do the best with my snowboarding.
The last time we spoke you had mentioned you ride by yourself a lot. Are there dudes on the Burton team you are excited to shred with?
Hell yeah, I'm pumped to ride with all the Burton shred heads! The only reason I rode by myself was because most of my crew was hurt at several points during the season. It's way more fun to ride with your buddies. But when you're solo you can do exactly what you want. Early season when no one is around sometimes you gotta do the soul shred. You go out late in the day and just lap out, see how much you can take, how quick you can hike, how far you can go without stopping because it's just you. That's fun.
In the press release Burton says you will play a big role in product development, then aligns you with products that are already in the line. Are you going to be creating signature products?
Man, I'm just stoked to be on Burton products again. I used to ride B back in the day. I don't know about signature products but I'm really excited to give product feedback and help develop. I went out to the factory in VT last weekend and we talked about a lot of different technologies and combinations and off the wall ideas with everything.
Their product is so on point already it's ridiculous. I was able to build a board myself in the factory and it was insane, I have such huge respect for the technology inside what's under your feet. It's a good experience because you really understand how everything is put together and can figure out what may help or what you want to try. Ideas are flowing.
What does this change mean for this coming season, are you having to shift gears at all?
Not really. I'm still just doing what I love: chasing snow and shredding. I've got several projects in mind that I plan on working on and I'm being supported so it couldn't be better.