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Well wasted time, an interview with Kevin Sansalone

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I’m not sure exactly when I first heard of Kevin Sansalone, but it would have been around 15 years ago when I was growing up in Alaska, riding for a snowboard dealer who’s primary brand was Option. That shop sponsorship was my means to accessing Option pro-forms, and at start of every season a new Kevin Sansalone pro model would appear in the mail. At that point in time Kevin was holding down banger-filled parts in Alterna Action films like The Struggle and Still Struggling, movies that can still hold their own against the onslaught of modern videos. Since then, he’s expanded his role to encompass pretty much every aspect of the snowboard industry, juggling between riding, producing, and starting new ventures. Last week Kevin sat down with SBG to fill us in on life and his latest flick “Time Well Wasted.”

Kevin Sansalone
Photo Credit: Sandbox Films "Time Well Wasted"

Name: Kevin Sansalone
Age: 32
Years Riding: 20
Home: Whistler and North Vancouver BC, Canada
Sponsors: At my age I have seen the full cycle of sponsorship: first I was getting flow, then I turned pro with signature series stuff and now I’m back to flow again. Sandbox/Skids, Etnies, Thirty Two, Dragon, RDS, Shark Energy Drinks, Predator Helmets, Whistler/Blackcomb
Music: All kinds of music for every occasion

SBG: I seem to always run into you at SIA, and nowhere else; so when I think Kevin Sansalone, it’s all in one-year SIA snapshots, from Alterna films to Skids 1 and 2 to Never Trust…, and then to Sandbox projects for the past three years. What’s that journey been like for you, balancing between traveling, riding, filming, producing, etc?
Kevin: That’s the key to life – balance. Sometimes it gets way too crazy and you lose control of everything but then you just have to refocus. Business or school, or whatever it is you have to balance work and play. I guess my work is mostly my play as well, so that’s why it seems I can still keep doing it all and not go totally insane.

Kevin Sansalone Juggling
Kevin, Juggling life. Photo Credit: Sandbox Films "Time Well Wasted"

SBG: As part of that walk, you’ve faded into the background a bit, moved more into a behind-the-scenes role, while seeking out some great new talent for your films. What’s your relationship with the kids you’re bringing into the fold, are you mentoring them to become the next bad-ass Canadian crew?
Kevin: The new guys in our crew are amazing. They really are a funny and very different crew. We have old guys and we have young guys it’s a really good mix. They are bad ass enough, they don’t need any help from me, if anything I’m trying to chill them out most of the time. But I guess I still have my moments too. I got kicked out of my own movie premiere in Seattle last week; I guess we go out of hand, but it was all good because Mike Ranquet was there. I think I was showing off for my mentor.

SBG: Was there a point in the last year when you suddenly realized just how great Time Well Wasted was going to be?
Kevin: It wasn’t actually until the very end when we even thought we had a movie. We had a lot of snow this year but no sun, so we didn’t have too much footage until the spring rolled around. It was kinda scary for the riders but they pulled it off at the end with some really nice bangers

Kevin boosting
Photo Credit: Sandbox Films "Time Well Wasted"

SBG: What inspired the intro, how long were you all cooped up in the warehouse?
Kevin: We saw a similar concept on a director’s real, so we kinda stole it and took it to the next level. We were in the warehouse for a freaking month. It was a real challenge for us to shoot in a studio setting as compared to the outdoor elements we deal with everyday.

SBG: Watching your videos always makes me feel like I’m hanging out and riding with the crew I grew up with in Alaska. Is there something about the North (Canada, Alaska, and I guess the scanners too) that grows those types of people?
Kevin: Maybe it’s like we just have the winter stuff in our blood. Like if you go to Norway or scando countries there is just snow in the blood you know. So maybe we just seem to be really comfortable out in the elements and look and feel at home so it’s kind of an inviting feeling to the movie.

SBG: We like to dig a little deeper, you know, ask questions other than what’s your favorite color. Climate change seems to be all the rage in the snow industry right now, it almost feels like a fad. Do you think there’s an actual commitment to environmentally friendly policies building in our industry, or is it all a marketing cash-in?
Kevin: I think it’s a little of both, but the bottom line is we have a cash-incentivized obligation to be environmentally conscious and to make an effort to protect the environment. Does that even make sense? We’ll have no business if there is no snow, so let’s get into the fad so we can cash in. Ok now I’m really talking in circles. Let’s just do our honest best for the planet and hope it keeps snowing; how’s that?

Kevin BC Powder
Photo Credit: Sandbox Films "Time Well Wasted"

SBG: So what’s your favorite color?
Kevin: Black – I know its not even a color

First words that come to mind:
Hardingham: Maniac
US Customs: Look out
Contest: Done with that
Interviews: Too long

SBG: Your pro-models have always been at the top of the pack in terms of look and style. How involved are you in your board design process, and what inspires your graphics?
Kevin: I am just an involved kind of person. If it has my name on it or reflects me in any way I want in on the whole process. It was great making boards and graphics a really cool part of our industry for sure. I now have started my own company, no name yet but it’s gonna be really small and you can only get them from me right now, cool hey. Maybe gonna be called Whitegold. whooooooo

SBG: This winter we’ll be adding tools on our site targeted to new or future snowboarders. What made you decide to take up snowboarding, and how did you learn?
Kevin: I was going into high school and me and my friends wanted to start something to be social and to have stuff to do on weekends so we were going to start skiing. But then we heard the mountain was going to let snowboards so we thought we would try it out. That was 1987, haha.

SBG: After a wreck, what motivates you to get up and try it again?
Kevin: That’s just how it is. If you want to move forward you got to get back up and try again.

Kevin Droping
Photo Credit: Sandbox Films "Time Well Wasted"

SBG: Thanks for your time, and for yet another excellent video Kevin,
Kevin: Thank you

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