Kyle! Brother! Welcome to the family. Tell the kind folks at home a little bit about yourself.
What’s up! Thanks for the support, I’m stoked to be a part of the fam! Well, right now I’m in New Zealand for the winter, trying to get my snowboard on as much as possible and filling my camera up with as many beautiful landscapes as possible! (There is no shortage here!)
Important question - what came first? Skate or snow?
I finally got into snowboarding in 2013 so skateboarding came first – I was about 14/15 and had been playing football from childhood up till then. I saw a dude (who shortly after became my best friend) skating home from a session one day and thought “that looks COOL! I gotta try it!” Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was learning how to push mongo and pop shit ollies…
So what was it that got you hooked on snowboarding in particular?
This is one of these questions that never has the same or easy answer… When I started it was super frustrating, constantly catching an edge or bruising my tailbone from falling, haha! Once I got the hang of it I couldn’t get enough of the weightless feeling of carving through fresh pow or flying off jumps. I love the freedom of the sport – no matter where you are, if there’s snow, there’s something cool you can do on a snowboard!
What was it about Navarah that made you wanna jump on board?
I’ve actually been following you guys on instagram for a good few years now. I always enjoy your content and the vibe of the brand and thought it would be cool to be involved somehow!
After riding different mountains and parks, what's been your favourite so far?
So far I’ve been lucky enough to ride in Austria, Canada, NZ and Scotland (of course!). I gotta say Cardrona for the parks. The guys on the Park Crew here build and shape these immaculate features and get out there loads during the day to make sure they stay in great shape. I haven’t ridden anything that compares to how smooth their freestyle set up is! It makes sense that all the heavy hitters come here for spring shred!
My favourite mountain for freeriding is a slightly harder call. Zell am See in Austria was dope, lots of fresh pow and steeps to smash… But then, there’s Sun Peaks – So much terrain (a couple of the runs are 5 miles long…) and so many awesome tree runs and fresh champagne powder! I’m heading back there this November and I’m pretty excited about it!
You mentioned before you also started gymnastics! Any tips for boarders keen to get in some moves?
Do it as soon as possible. Gymnastics literally changed my riding, confidence & aerial awareness. Without gymnastics I’d still be landing on my neck when trying to flip or rotate, haha!
What made you wanna take the jump to Canada, and then NZ?
After my first times on snowboarding trips (both times to Austria), the indoor slope that I taught at, along with the classic Scottish winter, wasn’t cutting it for me. I looked into how I could get on good snow for most of the year and the ‘season life’ ticked the boxes. Snowboarding is the reason I’ve visited both NZ and Canada, so I’m thankful that my passion & career choice are taking me around the world!
Pretty safe to say you have some mad photography skills! When did you start taking it more seriously?
Probably around 2014. I always enjoyed taking photos but it took me a while to figure out there was more than pointing a Coolpix and pressing a button! I’m working on something sweet as that’s under wraps right now…but it’ll be worth the wait!
"Once I got the hang of it I couldn’t get enough of the weightless feeling of carving through fresh pow or flying off jumps. I love the freedom of the sport – no matter where you are, if there’s snow, there’s something cool you can do on a snowboard!"
Do you have a favourite style of shooting?
I’m compelled to say ‘landscape or astro’ because NZ presents so many opportunities for those. Even in Wanaka town centre I can look up on a clear night and the Milky Way is poppin’! Recently I’ve dabbled with more abstract or ‘artsy’ type photos and they’re always fun.
Is there anything you miss about home?
Aside from the obvious family hangs? I miss decently priced fresh fruit/vegetables. It’s like $7 for an avocado in NZ and something crazy like $6 for 3 decent apples in Canada, haha! There you go, a glimpse into the produce isles of New World & Canadian Superstore!
When would you say you are at your happiest?
If I’m doing something with my camera or snow/skate board then it’s all good. I also smile like crazy whenever I get to bounce around on a trampoline. Their used to be a sick trampoline facility in Wanaka that closed down over their summer, so I gotta drive to Site in Queenstown to get that fix!
How important is community related to your passions?
Essential. Whether it’s a good crew to go ride, skate or photo with, or homies that are connected, it makes the whole thing way more enjoyable and super fun! I’d say the best days I’ve had weren’t anything to do with stomping a new ‘big’ trick, but more so having casual fun shred laps with the crew all day (& then getting that après…)
Do you have any boarding heroes/idols?
I actually have 2 in particular for snowboarding – Danny Davis for the ‘rad dude that rips’ vibe and Marcus Kleveland for the most insane tech riding. I was lucky enough to meet both dudes last year at Cardrona! Mind blowing shit.
Whats on your playlist right now when you're out on the mountain?
That Bacall/Malo remix of Toto’s ‘Africa’ is pretty dope
So what's next for you?
I’ll be working hard on exciting photo/video things in the next few months then heading off on a month long road trip around the north and south islands of NZ. After season here in NZ it’s back off to Canada to finalise my snowboard trainer stats, land some triples and drown in some more amazing powder. Then Japan is on the list after another season in NZ. There’s no sign of summer anywhere…
Check out Kyle's freelance photography website here
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