Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Snowboarding [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Eric Jackson steps out of the shadows


If you cut off the Jackson brothers' hair, would they lose their power like Samson? Let's see how E-Jack rides without his beard.

Half lumberjack half amazing, Eric Jackson seemed to burst out of his shell last winter with one of the most progressive backcountry parts of the year. Stepping to huge gaps and spine-tingling lines, E-Jack smothered any doubts about whether or not he could move past multiple-season injuries and back into the forefront of progression.

Jackson's fierce arrival at the top of the snowboard scene this past year is testament to the vigor of someone who sets his sights on something, sets goals, and then absolutely destroys them to get where he needs to go. With renewed confidence and a new approach to snowboarding E-Jack is setting himself up to be one of the greatest of all time.

We haven't seen his part in Absinthe's new movie 'Resonance' yet, but have no doubt that he crushed it. In anticipation of the event, we decided it was time for an interview.

Eric, my friend, finally we connect!
Yeah buddy, it's been a hectic couple months.

How are things in life of Eric Jackson?
Oh man, things are good. It's nice to be home. I'm sitting on the mantle playing some music with my sister. It feels really good to just chill out. It's so rad to spend some time with the family.

Behold the power of a positive mental attitude.

Is it important for you to have down time?
Yeah, so much of this lifestyle is just go, go, go. You need time to just shut off the brain and be in a home environment. Everybody needs that from time to time.

So can you explain something? You were up in Alaska with your brother John and Travis rice -- so, three of the best snowboarders in the world... what the hell was Ian Walsh doing up there with you?
[Laughs] Ian is just one of the bros, man. I mean, we just like hanging with him and he's all fired up on shredding. We had an extra seat in the heli anyway so it was just like, come shred with us. He did really well. He's a calculated person. I mean, you have to be when you're paddling into a wave like Jaws.

We were also planning on going surfing, so we were like, lets bring Ian up here and have a nice shred session and then get on a boat for four days and surf in Alaska. The last day the waves really turned on and we scored, and it was rad to have Ian because nobody wants to watch us surf, we suck at surfing.

Do your parents ever get bummed that both of their sons risk their lives every time they go to work?
[Laughs] Our parents are real supportive, which is rad. I don't think that goes through their heads at all, I think they know that we are pretty calculated and we aren't going to do anything to over the top crazy. They're pretty hyped to be honest with you.

This your part in "Good Look" last year was just insane. And ever since you've just seemed to be everywhere, killing it. What lit this new fire?
You know, it was a lot of things that really motivated me to be really focused and start riding really hard. The main thing was just getting hurt -- you get hurt and it really puts you in your place. You realize that you love to snowboard and then all of a sudden you can't do it anymore, and you're just itching to get back out there. Unfortunately I got hurt two years in a row and it made me realize I need to reevaluate my approach and switch some things up.

It was just a mental shift that I had, the way I was thinking, and the way I looked at snowboarding in general. I knew that I had the potential to be on the same level as the top snowboarders in the world, but before I was just going out and snowboarding everyday because it's just what I did.

My outlook changed and I started setting goals, knowing what tricks I wanted to do -- I even knew what grabs I wanted to do with each trick, and how I wanted to do them.

After this season you'll never refer to him as "John's little brother" again.

So it was all physical setback? You weren't over snowboarding or the snowboard scene or industry?
No, it was all because I couldn't snowboard. I was really fired up about snowboarding. Both times I got hurt really early in the season and it was heartbreaking. At the beginning I was still getting a lot of support from everyone and that started to change a little bit after getting hurt two years in a row. I was taking pay cuts and on the chopping block for a while, and I really just needed to step it up and stay healthy. I always knew I could snowboard.

Did you work on any other projects besides this web series with your brother?
This was a weird year because I was under the impression Nike was making a movie. They hired filmers and that was the initial plan. We went to Japan and started filming, and then they pulled the plug and things were sort of up in the air, I really wanted to back last season up with another good part, and it was sort of a hard thing to process. Then I went to Travis' Supernatural Contest and had a great time. It was awesome. I ran into Justin Hostynek and he asked me to shoot, so I was super stoked.

It started out really casual. We were just hanging out in B.C. and then he asked me to go to Europe, and then we went back to B.C. I basically just hung out with them all winter and ended up getting a part in the new Absinthe movie. I haven't seen any of my footage, so I don't know how good it is, but I'm pretty sure there are some things I will be stoked on.

So you like to rock the epic lumberjack beard, and John's got the natty dreads -- is there power in the Jackson family hair?
[Laughs] I don't know. The beard started out just being super fun, I just started growing it and ended up keeping it all winter, it just make me feel like a mountain man. Come summer I usually shave it off. I j shaved the beard and left a big old dirty mustache for our trip to Mexico.