Tyler Chorlton: Addicted to Powder
Tyler Chorlton is a legendary rider from the UK, who lives and rides in Andorra, where he also runs his snowboard shop called Slidewayz. Tyler is far from being a legend by age, it’s more about his style, tricks and his way of snowboarding and leading a good life. We are stoked to have him on the Horsefeathers crew and the following interview opens up Tyler’s world so you can take a peek and get inspired.
Hi, Tyler. We want to do the interview a bit unconventionally and focus primarily on Andorra, your lifestyle and backcountry riding. Most riders know you, but if there is someone who doesn‘t, please introduce yourself.
Whaterp!! I‘m Tyler Chorlton, born 29 years ago in Brighton UK, grew up in the middle of nowhere in South of France and ended up in Andorra where I found snowboarding and started getting busy with ma life!
England is not a snowboarding superpower, but it does have some big names. Who‘s your favorite UK rider and how did you start snowboarding in the UK?
I wouldn’t really say I have a favorite UK rider, or EU rider or Global rider for that matter. I like many different riders for many different aspects of their riding. I‘m just stoked for the progress of all my friends and for see how far everyone has come.
I came into the British scene by taking part in the British champs held in Mayrhofen back in the early 2000’s.
You moved to Andorra, where you are a part-owner of Slidewayz snowboard/skateshop. How did this happen and why Andorra?
I decided early in my snowboard career that I was gonna need something on the side to generate income and to have something after snowboarding. For the first 5 years, I was a partner in a shop called Loaded (same place) but business was, let’s say, a bit loose… so with my homie Merlin we salvaged what we could after an eventful summer and opened Slidewayz 5 years ago!
As for why Andorra, why not? ;)
I see that you are quite interested in politics and generally with what is happening in the world. How do you see the current situation in Europe? Everyone knows about what’s going on in Greece, but Spain also has its problems.
Let´s just say there are two ways to enslave people. One is by force, the other is by debt.
You are into a healthy lifestyle, healthy food, etc. Have you always lived this way or is it has something new?
Yes indeed, during my years filming with Pirate Movie Production, I put my body through hell!! Between injuries, not recovering and partying like a pirate, and constantly being on the road pretty much all year round….so I had to get healthy!
Through the WhatWeWantFilms years I stopped all alcohol, stopped eating meat, stopped eating processed chemical food and started to eat more organic. The change I felt and continue to feel is indescribable. You only notice you feel shitty when you start to get better. All my life I was fed meat but only when I stopped at 25 years of age did I realize my body functioned better without it. But its not for everyone, our bodies need different things.
I have you associated with the frontflip, especially with the triple in the backcountry and then frontflip highfive from Bataleon edit. Is the frontflip your favorite trick? There weren’t many people doing it but now a lot of riders just throw frontflips to landings and it seems to be a crazy and funny trick.
Yea I love frontflips, I experimented a lot with them back in the day as you point out, but when everyone started doing them I decided to play in other areas. I still do them, just not on every feature for the sake of it.
Speaking of Bataleon, you rode for them for a long time, then changed to Apo and now you’re back after a few years. Because we also ride 3BT, what do you like most about it?
I just love the precision that only exists riding 3BT. I‘m sorry, people can say what they want, flat boards do their thing, but I am more precise and I just feel a lot more connected to what I‘m doing on Bataleon boards. So stoked to be back.
You ride a lot of powder and backcountry, that’s because you are an ambassador of our new top 20K series #addictedtopowder. Let’s spend some time on it, because riding big mountains is not easy. You were not riding backcountry from the beginning. How did it come about?
Yes I am addicted to powder, it’s summer time and it’s been in my dreams a lot lately…
Like most kids when they learn to snowboard, I was park addicted, I wanted to learn all the tricks and wanted people to see me doing said tricks because I thought that was coooool.. then I grew some and realized that doing all these tricks on an unchanging jump over and over got pretty boring and also pretty sore impacts on the body, so I set out to do those tricks on various features of all different shapes and sizes and most importantly: out of the way of the crowds, total silence and harmony with the mountain before drop in, into deeeep pow :)
Do you have any basic plans for backcountry trips? What’s a typical backcountry day like?
Not really, we will usually start with a scope day, then always make a plan for the next day until a day off, or end of trip… Always on the look out for spots!
What would you say are the most important rules when riding in the backcountry and when building backcountry kickers?
Safety, know your settings/environment, know your way out, be observant of the changing condition throughout the day, keep an whereabout of your crew at all time, teamwork and communication.
Describe the backcountry etiquette that knowledgeable riders respect..
Well first off, the early bird catches the worm! In the backcountry, you need to think in terms of you are a team with a goal of everyone getting shots, not just you… So in the morning when someone is slow, they are slowing the rest of the crew down. Efficiency is key! Hurry the fuck up. Safety at all times. Hiking is your best friend, it conditions you and keeps you heathy and fit. Everyone shovels equally when building the kicker until the smoothing stage when the medias fuck off to find “the perfect angle“. Rock, paper, scissors for who drops first (or last in some cases), hits go in rotation between riders hiking back up, if you slam be considerate and try not to leave massive death bomb holes for your homie to do his ACL in next hit… And never drop in on a kicker you didn’t help build unless you have the OK from everyone who built the fucker!
Do you have some good advice on how to build a larger backcountry kicker? How much time can it take?
First is location, you need a sick big open steep landing, but that is useless without a bit of a flat preceded by a long in-run to get lots of speed to go to the moon!
Once you have a spot, become an eskimo: build blocks. Best tool is a saw but you can chop out blocks with your shovel like a tourist, but it will you will save you hours! But still if you are a crew of 3 riders, a filmer and a photographer, building a big booter that will send you 20 meters or so on a horizontal plane can easily take 4 hours, and it all depends of the feature and how much snow is needed to be moved. Do all final shaping with your boards and always use snowshoes because snowboard boots leave holes everywhere. But my word of advice is: BLOCKS!
What’s your favorite powder destination? And what about some really unusual place, where you rode pow?
I think my favorite would be Japan only because I love the texture of the snow there.
I’m always excited to go snowboarding in new places, after all these years I realize that the greatest gift from snowboarding and in life is getting the opportunity to see the world and the perspective one gets from it.
We absolutely agree and we are looking forward to going somewhere in the powder! Thanks for the interview and useful hints. See you soon and if you would like to say thanks to someone or just send word to someone…go for it!
Thanks to my family and loved ones, my sponsors, my homies, the people who respect what I do and to the laws of nature that allow this existence for me to fly through the air doin‘ ma ting…
Read Tyler Chorlton’s Horsefeathers Patrol Jacket story on Onboardmag.com.