Adam Haynes Interview

Adam Haynes Interview

Posted on May 15, 2012 by in INTERVIEWS, SNOWBOARDING

We recently caught up with Oregon’s favorite local… Adam Haynes. His riding skills are insane, and his illustration/artwork can be seen on everything from Nike ads to GNU snowboards. He’s one of the most talented guys around and I think it’s safe to say every man and woman I know has a crush on him.

Congrats on winning the golden ducktape in the LBS this year. You must be pretty stoked on winning that event. You got injured right before though right?
Yep, I dislocated my shoulder about a week before while taking an avy course out in the Central Oregon backcountry. I got a little anxious after a long day of digging pits and dropped into a chute that started off pow and ended up solid blue ice. I looped out backwards and landed hard, popping the shoulder out. I was hurting pretty bad for a while, and I was on the fence about running the race at all. The danger of course, is popping it out again and running the risk of having long term issues with the shoulder. As my arm is my livelihood, it seemed prudent to sit this one out. But, it was feeling pretty good once I got up to Baker, so I decided to run it and just make it a goal to stay on my feet. That seemed to be a good strategy this year, and I couldn’t be more stoked and surprised about how it turned out.

That’s crazy considering you won it! You’ve also done great at the Dirksen Derby in the past. Any specific training you do to prep for these specialty events?
Not really. I try to do some carving, but I figure riding a lot is the best training. I haven’t done anything that compares to how you feel at the finish line of the LBS, it’s hard to prepare for that level of leg burn. The splitboard part of the Dirksen Derby is another story though. When October rolls around, I’ll start a rigorous regimine of field stripping my splitboard 10x nightly, in the dark. Gotta shave those seconds off!

In the dark? Practice makes perfect. Have you done any fun backcountry excursions this year?

I just had a fantastic trip to the Olympic peninsula for a few days of pillow dropping and hut camping with Temple Cummins and Matt Gatsby. That was quite a treat. Their zone there is world class. I’ve been exploring some of the mountains around Bend as well, getting the overnight setup all dialed. Spring is looking good so far, I’m looking forward to a few more trips to eastern Oregon to hunt for late season pow.

What about noboarding? I’ve seen a few pictures of you dropping stuff I wouldn’t even be doing with bindings on.
I love the noboarding! Jake Price got me into it last season. We went out around Bend for a day or two, and then I tagged along on a trip up to BC for the GT Memorial with him. After that I was hooked, but it’s got to be the right conditions for the noboard to shine. Interior BC seems to have the recipe — blower pow and lots of it. I haven’t gotten too crazy on it, no big cliff drops or airs, but it doesn’t take much to have a good time on it. I like to keep it in the car and take it out before the lifts open on deep pow days, it helps curb the ridiculous first chair panic at Bachelor.

So I was drinking a beer the other day and I realized your illustration was on the label. How long have you been doing illustration/design?
About twelve years now. I started off making tee graphics for Adidas, and moved to Bend seven years ago to freelance and live closer to the mountain. It can be hard to find much work locally, but we’ve definitely got our share of brewpubs.

I know you do a few board graphics for Gnu every year as well. Tell me about the process for those as far as concepting ideas, execution, etc?
I’m actually working on three boards right now. The B-Pro and Billygoat are both pro models, so I usually start off exchanging ideas with Temple Cummins and Barrett Christy to determine content, color and direction. Once I’ve got a handle on things, I start sketching at 1/4 scale to determine composition and overall look. Then we move on to color, and final artwork. Execution depends on the style of artwork. Barrett’s board is done in an airbrushed style, so it’s mostly painted on the computer. Temple’s board is a large ink wash drawing that I’ll paint by hand, then scan into the computer for final color. The style and medium differ from year to year, we try to change it up so things don’t get stale.

2011 Altered Genetics graphic for GNU – Medium: Ink, Illustrator


I can’t wait to see those… you seem to have the perfect balance of snowboarding vs. being creative with your art/illustrations. Do those two things ever compete with each other?

Ha! Is that what it looks like? I’m always on the hunt for good balance, but it can be elusive. Snowboarding and art are in constant competition with each other. Of course, there is a little overlap, but I usually have to be in my studio to work. I was just having a little personal struggle this morning. Deadlines are looming, but there’s a few inches of new pow today, what does a guy do? It all comes down to priorities. I’ve found that working as much as I can when the snow isn’t that great helps a lot. But mostly I try to do a few hours of shredding in the morning, and come back and work for the rest of the day and into the evening.

What comes first if you have a project deadline looming, but there’s 3 feet of power at Mt. Bachelor?
If there’s 3 feet of pow at Bachelor, the project will win out, at least in the morning. That’s because Mt. B is flat, and three feet of pow means you won’t be going anywhere fast until there’s some tracks!

Haha… good answer. What kind of projects are you working on recurrently?
Board graphics, a goggle strap for Smith, a book cover, some paintings, and a character illustration for Tekken.

Any big snowboard/splitboard or noboard trips planned coming up?
Big Hoodoo camping trip this weekend! And I’m heading to BC next week for an a little wandering.

For more from Adam Haynes check out his website.

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