Some snowboarders seem eager to put it all on the line to impress the masses with banger video parts every fall. Johnnie Paxson is one of these animals. Yes, he's dabbled in male modeling. Yes, he is coming back from a knee injury. And, yes, he did just part ways with Rome in order to be one of two professionals to represent Gigi Rüf's new company Slash. But those are all details.
Paxson is a beast when he straps in, unleashing something primal, fierce, and really quite the opposite of his kind demeanor. He's on the verge of a full recovery and is motivated to best his already well-documented radness. We thought we should share some of that sparkle with you.
What's going on, my friend?
I'm just sitting at my house, playing with my dog, and playing with some fire.
Wait, what? Is this an issue? Do we need to get you some help?
[Laughs] No, there's a stump that's growing into my fence and I didn't know how to get it out, so I just lit it on fire.
What else is going on besides lighting stuff on fire?
I'm just going to rehab all summer. I'm pretty hyped to have Nike close by. I'm going in there for physical training twice a week. Pretty soon we'll bump it up to three times and get started with a trainer. One weakness I've had in the past has been getting injured and then jumping the gun and riding too soon. This time I'm taking my time and doing it right.
They put cadaver parts in your knee. What if those dead people were afraid of the snow?
[Laughs] Um, it's really weird talking about it. I hope they weren't old snowboarders because their ligaments probably aren't too good then. I guess we will just have to wait and see how they take to the snow.
You are known for going big in the streets and the mountains. Have you ever thought about moving to Bear and just filming park edits?
I have thought about that -- not necessarily moving to Bear, but when I get back on snow I want to snowboard as much as possible. When you're in a car driving around looking for spots you just don't get to be on your snowboard as much, which kind of sucks. If I just went to the resort and rode every day, I think it would be easier to get back on top of my game.
You don't get bummed when you're putting your body on the line in the name of progressive riding, and some other pro is taking the same park run over and over again and getting the same amount of exposure?
[Laughs] Not at all. They're just having fun snowboarding, and that's the way it should be. Everyone grew up park riding, so that's where progression started for a lot of people. I can see the attraction -- it's easy and it's super fun.
How did you end up signing with Gigi Rüf's company Slash?
I don't know, I've looked up to Gigi for a long time. He's always been one of my favorite riders. I got on Nike and we got to hang out and ride together. He asked me to be a part of it, and there was no way I could turn it down. If Gigi ask you to be a part of his board company, you can't really say no.
It's just you two right now. Are you guys looking to add any riders?
Yeah, we're looking into some ams right now. We will definitely add some riders in the future. Right now we are just super focused on building the best boards possible and getting everything situated.
What's on your filming plate?
I started filming for Nike and Absinthe, and then I hurt myself. Nike told me they were holding off on their project tell next year, so next season I will be filming for the Nike video. I'm not sure if I will be completely dedicated to that project or work on Nike and Absinthe. I love filming with the Absinthe guys, so we will just have to see what happens.
I feel like it wouldn't be an interview with you if I didn't ask about the modeling. Are you still doing that?
I'm trying. I have an agent in New York, but I haven't been doing anything lately. I would have to be able to dedicate more time to it if I really wanted to get more jobs. Right now I am just focusing on different things. Hopefully something will come up. It's a cool experience and I am stoked to have got the few jobs I have. I thought about moving to New York or LA for the summer. It's interesting, though -- definitely a lot different than snowboarding.