Jonas Michilot is a gypsy. Not in that hipster, pre-fab manufactured way -- as in, he's an honest-to-god gypsy. He travels form place to place without plans, quickly befriending locals and embracing the bizarre so that he and his friends can embark on true adventures. After winning the West Coast Invitational and a few other heavy rail contest a few years ago Jonas was slated to be The Next Big Thing, but he chose to step back and focus on filming and having fun instead. Why? Because Jonas knows that a head and heart full of memories far outweighs a room full of trophies.
Hey man, what are you up to?
Just hanging out reading, being a nerd.
Reading's cool. That's not being a nerd.
It's weird doing an interview with you because we're friends, so I can't just insult you the whole time.
Yeah, what's this even for?
ESPN. I know you're a jock so it just made sense.
[Laughs] Yeah. Sports Center.
I just recently asked a kid what his favorite snowboard trip was this year and he said Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri. Is that weird for you to hear considering you grew up in the Midwest?
[Laughs] That's sick -- yeah there is always a ton of people here now. We go to spots and there will be a crew there and we can't go film. It's funny for sure. It's been awesome, though, having a bunch of friends in town, showing them around.
What have you been getting into this winter?
Um, just hanging out with friends, doing a little bit of boarding. I also just went on a month long trip to sort of get away from boarding for a little while.
Where did you go?
San Francisco, then took a train up to Portland and just hung out and went skateboarding. We basically just lived the summer life for three weeks, and then hoped right back into winter in Minnesota.
Have you been filming?
Yeah, and then when I'm beat up I have just been going out and shooting photos.
What are you filming for?
Videograss, then trying to film some extra stuff for the "Givin'" movie.
Nice. I heard Academy is giving you and your brother Jordan a shared pro model board.
Yeah! They let us design a board and do the whole layout. It's going to be some photos of mine, some drawings that Jordan and I did, and then a short story about our first time snowboarding. It's got a nice beautiful meaning to it.
How was that trip you took to Peru?
That was the best trip of my life. I went with Jarad Hadi and we didn't have any plans or know what we were doing. We bought our tickets and left five days later. It's actually awesome because we are going to try and make a book out of the photos I took and some of Jarad's writing.
I heard Jarad brought home a Peruvian girlfriend?
[Laughs] Yeah, that's true.
Did you guys snowboard at all?
Yeah we went down to Chile -- it was really fun. We met so many cool people. It's not like super competitive and they don't really know everything about the snowboard scene like kids up here. It was super laid back and mellow.
It seems that your snowboarding imitates life and that you have chosen a more creative path. Did you make a conscious decision to pull out of the spotlight?
I definitely made a conscious choice to step away from the contest thing. I didn't really want to have that kind of hype or attention. It's cool that you can make quick money doing competitions, but it just wasn't really my thing. I like filming and snowboarding with the people I want to surround myself with. It just works out better for me.