An Interview with Brendon Hupp on “Hindsight”

An eventful year for Brendon Hupp and Salomon squad as they filmed for “Hindsight”.

An Interview with Brendon Hupp on “Hindsight”

An eventful year for Brendon Hupp and Salomon squad as they filmed for “Hindsight”.

November 16, 2021
Words By Ian Boll Interviews
Harrison, Hupp, Riley | Photo Mike Nauman

Ian Boll: What up Hupp. You on a skate trip? 

Yeah kinda. We’re in Los Osos. It’s just like a little skate trip with my buddy. Hitting some parks and soaking in the ocean. It’s been nice. 

Ian: Heard you ran into Scott [Blum] and Stefi [Luxton] and all those guys? 

Yeah. Just small world shit, ya know. Farmer like popped up on the ramp and was like, “Oh yeah, Scott and Stefi are here.” Scott skated over to the parking lot like thirty minutes later. Pretty crazy, but sick to see them. 

Ian: So how did it feel to wrap up this Salomon project? 

Yeah, I think with every project it feels good to finish something, ya know? It definitely turned out a lot different than I think we all anticipated it being. But I feel good about it. 

Emma | Photo by Hupp

Jon: How did this winter compare to past winters? 

It was definitely a lot different because it was a full team. And then I moved to Salt Lake for it, to try and be closer. The initial idea was to film everyone in Utah, but obviously it didn’t snow in Utah at all. So it ended up being a little different than we imagined. 

Ian Boll: Where did you all end up going? 

We went to Reno and Baker. Riley [Nickerson], Des [Melancon], Zak [Hale] and Pat [Fava] went to New York for a trip. What else…oh, we did Minnesota, and then we did end up filming some in the Brighton backcountry. 

Harrison | Photo Mike Nauman

Ian: What was the best and worst part of the past year? 

Maybe they’re the same answer, which is being so restricted with the current state of the world. It’s nice because it focuses you in on places if you get bogged down by these grandiose ideas. Like “ok, what can we do with what we have in front of us?” But then, it is also a little stifling because you're stuck with what you have. You get fomo when you see another country get a bunch of snow and you’re like, “Yup, I can’t go there right now.”

Ian: What was the funniest moment that happened this year? 

Harrison is pretty funny. Watching him eat coconut strips in his bed in Baker. Oh, we ended up at an Airbnb with the guy like living in the house. He was lookin’ for friends. 

Ian: What was up with him? 

I think he was not doing it so much for monetary gain but friendship. Just interacting with other people, considering it is pretty cut off up there. [Both laughing] Definitely an interesting couple of days, like Emma [Crosby], Harrison [Gordon] and I trying to cook around this guy. We didn’t know what the fuck was going on. It was kind of a weird situation, but it was fun. 

Ian: That’s hilarious. Do you still get excited when you film a dope clip?  

Yeah, definitely. That’s the best feeling—like when everything’s working out. Sometimes you have to force it a little, but when you find a cool spot and everyone is excited—like a spot where everyone can snowboard and have fun, that’s the best. 

Ian: When did that happen this year? 

It was sick with Riley because he knows every spot everywhere. Especially in Minnesota and Reno. He could direct us to a place that would work for someone. That was really cool. Baker was sick because Harrison had been there before. It was cool goin’ around with [Pat] McCarthy because he obviously knows everything. That just worked out really well. I think Reno was really sick also because I’ve just always wanted to film there. 

Jon: What is your favorite clip that you filmed this year?

Probably Riley’s last clip because it happened pretty quickly. It was like the first trip, and it was just some fuckin’ heavy shit. You’re like, “Oh, ok. This is not just us riding around Brighton, this is really real.” It’s sick to see someone be like, “I wanna do this.” And then they do it. Oh, and actually Harrison did this cool line. He jumped into a rock and it was sick because I think maybe some people had boarded on it before, but the line was dope.

Ian: I like his style a lot. Watching him do anything is great. 

Yeah, he’s got it figured out. 

Ian: Rumor has it you sustained an injury this year. 

Yup. My knee just like locked up. I just think it’s been through a lot. I was living with Sam [Taxwood] actually, and we both tore our MCL’s and they healed, but then we had residual damage. He ended up getting meniscus surgery in the middle of the winter when mine was working just fine. Then all of a sudden it just seized up at Brighton and that was definitely pretty fuckin’ annoying. 

Jon: How long were you out for? 

I was out for like a month. It was a pretty quick recovery. Shane [Charlebois] picked up my slack. Appreciated that. 

Ian: Were there a lot of Hupp laughs this year?

There were definitely some laughs. It was a good crew. We pretty much hung out with Harrison, Emma, Zak [Hale], Riley and Des for most of the winter and just had good energy for the majority of the trip. 

Ian: What’s it like filming with Emma? She is so rad.

Yeah, Emma is the shit. She has a really good attitude, is down to learn, and has a good idea of things. She doesn’t force it. Certainly not her best winter, injury-wise. I know that when she has a fully healthy year it is gonna be some really sick shit. 

Jon: Do you still have your flip phone?

Uh, yep. I’m on it right now. 

Jon: [Both laugh] Probably why it sounds terrible. What do you think about the state of snowboarding videos right now? 

I think all things considered, it is pretty damn good. Think about this year, so many fuckin’ videos. It’s all working out. You’ve got Dustbox doin’ their thing, and then you’ve got Sims doin’ their thing, which is sick. Then you have Colton [Feldman] and those guys who are fuckin’ nailing it. It seems like companies are approving these budgets for cool things. 

Harrison | Photo Mike Nauman

Ian: You have brands putting up dollars to make short videos. Then there’s so many other individual crews too. I mean Dustbox is the most notable, but you have the Bruners, you have WOP, 18smooth18, Upper Management, Bookclub. There are more than ever right now. 

Snowboarding felt like it maybe slipped away from being accessible and kids are taking it back now. Dude, also Mount Mountain, Colt and all those guys, those dudes are fucking nailing it. They work so hard all summer like painting houses and then like rip around Canada. And they’re doing the fuckin’ craziest shit, like really down with all those guys. It’s cool, there’s like little pockets everywhere in the world and people are doing it. 

Ian: People supporting people. What was the first video you ever made?

I made some funny ones with my friends when I was really young, like 2002. We were in middle school and would make skateboard/snowboard videos. We didn’t know that there was a distinction between the two. Because Burtner, Geno, and Pika would make videos which were sick snowboard and skateboard videos in Alaska. It was always like that's what you do because we all did everything.

Ian: You were living in Anchorage?

Yeah, that was in Anchorage. Luckily, I had a really good group of friends there that were really into doing stuff. Like still, I’m on a trip with a buddy who is my really good friend that has a part in my first video. It’s sick everyone’s still into doin’ that shit. Brewster’s still hiking stuff, Garrett’s still ripping around—they’re keeping it going in anchorage. It’s the shit. 

Jon: What is the best video part that has ever come out by an Alaskan rider? 

There’s probably like three, honestly. I can’t narrow it down to one. Kooley has insane video parts. The Burning Bridges part was really fucked up. Sick jumping and rails. And then this dude Mark Thompson, he was fuckin’ so sick and still is. He has a part in an old Think Thank video where he would be like, “Oh yeah, I want to do a double cork.” But he would really rip on rails. Then, Larson obviously filmed so many fucked up video parts. Those three, that’s like a Mount Rushmore of Alaskan snowboarding.

Jon: What do you think Larson’s best part is?

Probably the Dino video, that was good. But then that Right Brain Left Brain video was really sick too. I wish we would have filmed more jumps because he was a fucked up good. It was crazy just to watch him ride Alyeska. Like, “Oh, that’s how you ride this place.” I think he got some of that from following Gus. But that guy Mark, I think we all looked up to, he would just snowboard on everything. Yeah, sorry, I am sort of getting off topic. 

Ian: Nah off topic is good.

Oh, Gus [Engle] filmed some cool video parts too—and [Chris] Brewster. Also [Jon] Kooley would just like help us out when he came up to Alaska. He would buy us food and drive us around. Everyone was just cool about everything. Burtner obviously. You name it. 

Zak | Photo Mike Nauman

Jon: You recently moved to SF, right? What inspired that decision?  

I’ve been going to this house for like ten years and my buddy moved out into a van. The room is super cheap. It’s in Oakland so it’s maybe not as glamorous. I’ve always wanted to try it and the opportunity presented itself. It’s been nice to mix it up. We’ll see how long I’ll last. Times are uncertain. 

Ian: Everything is uncertain right now. Anything else you want to mention from this year? 

I appreciate everyone putting in effort, ya know? That makes my life easier. Not just easier, but it makes the whole process more fun. The fact that everyone was down to be around so much was sick. Emma was keen to get stuff going. Everyone played a good role. Kevin and Mike were so open to everything and being flexible. Very thankful for everyone being honest. Also Desiree for getting me the job. Haha. 

Ian: What are you up to for the rest of the day? 

Not much. Just hangin’ at a skatepark. Maybe go swim in the ocean, relax.

Ian: Jealous of that. Hope to catch you soon.