Mark Carter is certainly unique in the world of pro snowboarding. Born and raised on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, Carter learned early that hard work and solid principals breed success. Keeping that ethos has earned him a position as one of the most respected riders in the heaviest scene in snowboarding: Jackson Hole.
Mark Landvik spent his final trip of the winter with Carter in Jackson Hole late April that provided much of the footage seen in both of their their Real Snow Backcountry parts. Here, Lando grills Carter on cowboys, moustaches, and toothpicks … among other things. --Nate Deschenes
Mark Landvik: Are all the males in the Carter family born into this world sporting a toothpick?
Mark Carter: Nope, I'm the only one. Copenhagen is more of the trend around these parts, but I like to keep my grill healthy. When I quit chew, [Bluebird's] Willie McMillon showed me the way of the pick.
When you have a toothpick sponsor I've heard they hook you up with a personal dental hygienist? Is this true?
I actually don't need a dentist anymore because all of my dental work is done with the pick.
When, or if, you choke on a toothpick, is the sponsor liable?
In the past I've had it written into my contract that they would be liable, but at the moment I'm a free agent on the toothpick market.
Is a toothpick to the trachea painful?
In order to prevent pick pain I usually tie the pick to the end of my mustache … for preventative measures.
Are you a cowboy?
Yes, I consider myself a cowboy. I mean, I don't consider myself the cowboy that my dad and bro are, but the cowboy blood definitely runs thick through my veins.
Do you have to have a mustache to be considered a cowboy?
You wouldn't be able to tell one by his mustache, but the hand shake would give it away, for sure.
How is Jackson Hole different than other zones?
Jackson is still the Wild West and we like to keep it that way. We just don't tolerate disrespectful donkeys around here. You have to know how to ride a sled and navigate the mountains or Mother Nature will spank you pretty quick.
Where mostly did you film Real Snow and with who?
I was lucky enough to stay in Jackson Hole all winter, other than a quick trip to Idaho with Smith Optics. I really got to ride with some amazing guys. My main partner in crime was Bryan Iguchi -- it's always inspiring to follow him around the mountains.
I was stoked to have Pat Moore join us for a couple months, too, as we explored new zones and chased T. Rice around. We also had an all-time end to the season out here with Curtis Ciszek, Guch, Seth Huot -- and you. The stars aligned for us and we got good snow late into the season. It was a hell of a way to end the winter.
Any surprises this season?
Being invited to the Real Snow contest was a pretty big surprise for me.
What's life like in Carter Country?
Life in my country is all about hard work and family. Helping my neighbor and keeping things simple. It's about not getting caught up in the material BS of the outside world and just being happy with what you have, not worried about what everyone else has.
We really don't have time to worry about petty problems out here. People here like to do things for themselves and they control their own lives. Life is good in Carter Country.