Pioneer spirit

Jeremy Jones has been a bright star on the snowboarding scene for more than 20 years. As a true pioneer of the sport, leading the way with a new way of accessing the mountains with snowboards and working with mother nature, today he’s more relevant than ever.

Thirteen years after he founded Protect Our Winters, the ten-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year is more aware than ever of his advocacy role and our collective responsibility to make our voices heard, be it through merely turning out to vote in elections or making major lifestyle choices. The sitting President denies that the climate is changing due to human activity, but like most people sliding on snow in some way, to Jeremy, it’s clear that something terrible is happening.

— Seeing the effects of climate change on the mountains, the communities and the snow is heartbreaking. I see it everywhere I go and it makes me consider my impact and drives me to do everything I can to slow it down. For example, I do a lot more snowboarding within driving distance to my house. I still love to travel, and before Covid I would try and pick one trip a year, where I could go for a longer period because I know that I would probably not go back.

All sports are subject to peaks and troughs of interest, when at one moment it is the thing to do. For Jeremey though the love for snowboarding has been there all his life, a constant, his greatest passion, which he feels lucky to call his profession.

— As a kid I loved all kinds of sports, but when I first started snowboarding I had a one-track mind and from that moment on it’s all I wanted to do. I am not totally sure why, but I think it was the combination of the freedom that comes with riding down a mountain and being able to feel that I am really interacting with nature.

The passion is still as strong as ever, but what sets Jeremy apart from the crowd is his willingness to evolve and create his style of big mountain snowboarding, which has gone from the margins to the center of attention. These days, even the park riders want to explore remote regions, go winter camping and open up new terrain. But Jeremy’s been out there a long time, leading the way, and it’s where he wants to be.

— The vast openness and freedom the mountains provide are like nothing else in the world. Societal rules are replaced with nature’s rules, and nature’s rules are a lot more natural to me. To be able to go where you want, do what you want, to have open space, a place to breathe and beat to your own drum. The mountains ground me and set me free at the same time. They are my power source.

Photos by: Andrew Miller