Tuesday Rider Spotlight - Josh Edwards

We are lucky enough to sit down with team rider Josh Edwards and get some solid advice from a seasoned veteran of the snowboarding industry.


Ltd. Optics

What originally got you into snowboarding? Has that original drive changed ? 

Josh Edwards: 

I wanted to try it because it was different than skiing. The first time I went, I rented some equipment that ended up being broken, I had a terrible time, and I hated it. I vowed to never go again. For some reason I don't remember, I decided to go one more time and was instantly hooked. Now my drive is to progress and have fun. I'm sure many people look at me and think I do what I'm doing solely for sponsors, and while it is amazing to have great companies backing me, I would be doing the exact same things either way. I snowboard because I love it.

Ltd. Optics:

You have been on the snowboarding scene for a little bit now, tell us what you think the biggest problem with snowboarding is right now?

Josh Edwards:

There's a lot of politics that go on behind the scenes that people don't know about that can make it sometimes less fun to deal with. I'm stoked on all my sponsors right now and really appreciate all their support and allowing me to pursue snowboarding in my own way. It's pretty pressure-free right now which is awesome. On a larger scale, because of the recent surge in progression over the past few years, it seems like snowboarding could be heading for a dangerous place. It's getting to the point where you literally have to risk your life to get a shot or win a contest, and it makes me wonder when it's going to slow down. I was stoked to see Sage Kotsenburg take home the Olympic gold in slopestyle, showing that style took the win over the old adage of "spin to win." Don't get me wrong, I love seeing double and triple corks, but at some point its like, where can it go from here?

Ltd. Optics:

Last year you were able to get a season pass and put out a lot of footage, this year you have been doing things a little differently, tell us about the changes and how its been.

Josh Edwards:

Last year was definitely an amazing season for me. I progressed in many ways and was able to put out several edits and I was very pleased with my overall season edit. It was great to lap the park frequently at PCMR. This season without a pass has been very different. I met some great new friends this year (Mike Meru and Tanner Crow) and was able to get to a lot of new spots and terrain with them. I spent the first half of the season following them around and loving it. Mike is a backcountry guru and I rode my first chute this season with him, which was a blast. We got to lots of fun new urban spots and I got some shots I'm really proud of. It's been different, but a blast! I just wish that the snow had stuck around in the valley longer for more urban.

Ltd. Optics:

How long have you been a “sponsored” rider? What recommendations would you make to those that are trying to get sponsored?

Josh Edwards: 

I guess it depends on what you mean by "sponsored"... I believe the first time I ever got anything free from a sponsor was about 6-7 years ago. That somewhat inadvertently led to many of my other sponsors, which I'm thankful of. My best advice to give to anyone looking to get sponsored? Love what you do. If you're doing it solely to get sponsored, it probably won't happen. It's a good idea to reach out to companies and send in videos and everything, but companies want people on their team who are passionate about their sport. Talk to people, be friendly. You never know what might open a door. Above all, be a nice guy. You can be the best rider in the entire world, but if you're a jerk, no one is going to want you on their team. Be ready for rejection. I can't tell you how many "no" replies I got before I finally got a "yes" instead. When you get a rejection, understand and be cool about it. Don't burn bridges for the future. Work hard and love what you do.



Ltd. Optics:

How long have you been snowboarding in Utah? Have you been able to ride outside the state? 

Josh Edwards:

I started snowboarding at about 16 and I've been riding for about 14 years, minus a two year hiatus. I love riding in Utah and living here, it's great. When I was 19, I took a small trip to Mt. Hood and rode there for a couple days. I also spent about two hours riding at Northstar-at-Tahoe, a session which was cut very short after I caught my edge on a wooden rail and went straight to my head and a concussion. Luckily I had a helmet on. Wear your helmet kids!

Ltd. Optics:

Tell us the best spot to go to and why for riding.

Josh Edwards:

PCMR builds the best park in Utah, hands down. The park crew does amazing work at keeping the features groomed all day and everything is always perfect. Canyons is a blast to ride as well, their park is great to cruise through. Brighton always has a fun park and great snow. You also can't beat a fun session at Rail Gardens with good friends!

Ltd. Optics:

Tell us about the group that you ride with, do you have a specific crew you like to ride with?

Josh Edwards:

My group is an interesting one filled with fun people with very different backgrounds in riding. Scott Hansen has been my riding buddy for several years now and I've learned so much from him over the years. He's probably the most skilled overall rider I know. Mike Meru is my backcountry guide and teacher. Our riding style are so different that I'm well out of my comfort zone when we're on his terrain. And he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Tanner Crow is such a fun guy to ride with and kills every type of terrain. I love watching him go huge! Shawn Talbot is one of my buddies that I don't get out with a ton, but every time I do is a blast. He just loves snowboarding and especially rocks any powder scenario.

Ltd. Optics:

Are you filming for a video part right now? What is your preferred riding location: street, resort, backcountry?

Josh Edwards: 

I am always filming during the winter. Last year, my part was mostly park with a little street. This year will be very different, some street, a little backcountry, and very little resort. It may not have quite the bang of my part last year, but it will show a very diverse type of terrain and I'm excited about it!

Ltd. Optics:

A lot of people may not know but you are a school teacher, tell us about juggling a full time job and snowboarding for all of your sponsors.

Josh Edwards: 

Yes, many people are surprised to find out I'm a teacher. I teach high school English and I love my job! Because I work every day Monday-Friday, my only option to ride is really Saturdays, when that works out. Like I said earlier, my sponsors are all very understanding and supportive, so I'm very lucky in that way. Some things that many people don't understand about sponsorship is that it's a responsibility. Yeah, it's cool to get free stuff, but it's up to you to produce and get content for your sponsors to use, and to rep the brand and spread the word. I try to do my best to be a good ambassador for the companies that support me. I'm an investment to them and I want to get them a solid return. I do my best to send photos and edits as often as I can to keep the content coming.

Ltd. Optics:

Some interesting news coming out of Utah recently that snowboarders have banded together to try and open Alta to snowboarders. What is your take on that?

Josh Edwards:

As I'm admittedly mostly a park rat, I personally don't care much if we are allowed at Alta or not. However, on principle alone, I would love it if it got opened. I just find it ridiculous that there are still resorts that are so old fashioned they are trying to segregate two great sports from being in the same place together. I have no animosity against skiers and think everyone should get to ride wherever they want. It's especially ridiculous that there are only three resorts in the US that are this old-fashioned, and two of them are in Utah. I think it would be funny if Alta lost, and I hope they do. Then they could quit living in the '60s. 

Ltd. Optics:

Anything else you want to tell people?

Josh Edwards:

I'd like to thank all my sponsors. LTD. Optics makes awesome sunglasses that I love to put on my face! They're comfortable, look good, are good quality, and even stay on during riding. Follett Boarding Co. makes amazing boards that are built crazy tough. I've been on one board all season for everything from backcountry cliffs and chutes to the streets, and it's an awesome board! Discrete Headwear has been supporting me for years and I really appreciate them sticking with me. Bald guys need beanies like no one else, and theirs are the best! Rockwell Watches keeps me dialed in with the best watches that look good and work great. Check them out if you haven't! Coastal Boarding is one of my newer sponsors and they have been amazing to work with this season. So supportive of everything I do and all about supporting riding and a community of athletes. Kaeps Sports recently started helping me out with wax products and I've been loving it. It keeps my board gliding smooth over all terrain. And finally, my newest sponsor Waxd laces. A new company with a solid idea to improve boot laces that works great and is run by great guys!

My season edit from last year:
http://vimeo.com/67349906