A quick scroll through Brandon DesJarlais’ Instagram feed might give you everything you think you should know about the guy. He’s a professional longboarder for Moonshine Mfg. who has a keen eye for mixing picturesque landscape photography with some of the highest quality downhill longboarding footage in the game. He travels the world hopping between contests and PR opportunities, documenting his journey every step of the way.
To truly get to know DesJarlais, however, you would have to take a look into his background as a college student and his stance on the current state of longboarding. Luckily, we caught the newest member of the Stoked Ride Shop team before his next big Euro Trip to talk skating, academia and everything in between.
Brandon, welcome to Stoked. Glad to have you with us.
Well I’m STOKED to be aboard! I’ve always admired the Stoked brand for offering so many infographics and knowledge for new riders. I remember coming across articles back when I first started learning about the differences in wheels, trucks, boards, etc. I’m happy to be on the team and creating similar content to help push more new riders into the sport.
What big things can we expect from you in the coming months?
I just landed in Berlin 2 days ago to kick off my third Euro Tour in a row. I’ll be around for the next 3 months competing in events, teaching at the Woodwings Camp in France, and of course taking some time off to explore new and interesting places. Full schedule on my website.
What’s your take on the scene today?
I don’t think it’s as bad as most people want to believe it is. Sure, less gear is being sold, riders are getting paid less, and event participation (as a whole) has been dropping. One thing to keep in mind is that everything comes in waves and the people you see in it now are more passionate than the droves that rushed into the sport 5-10 years ago. The American scene has been struggling, but I see a turn-around in the near future with more emphasis being put on building locally.
DesJarlais taking full advantage of his RipTide PSD FootStop.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that most people don’t know?
One of the most interesting things is that I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable. I haven’t always been this way, but it’s really helped me to grow over these past few years. It all started back at the beginning of college when a few people close to me got pretty heavy into drugs and alcohol. During this time I questioned why people smoke, drink, etc and embraced sobriety for awhile.. I soon realized that many people use intoxicants to open up and avoid feeling sad, scared, or embarrassed. I then challenged myself to embrace uncomfortable situations and be the most sober and/or most open guy in every room. My first challenge was sitting by someone new every day in class and really getting to know them. Not only did this significantly increase my confidence but it also made all my classes so much easier and more enjoyable.
What were you like in high school?
My friends describe me as goofy, sharp-witted, and very ambitious. At the beginning of high school I was a pretty typical student athlete. I focused most my time into varsity wrestling and studies while my passion for longboarding grew organically on the sidelines. Slowly but surely skating began to consume me, and by halfway into my junior year I quit the wrestling team and boarding became my full-time passion.
We finish this interview and you step outside and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Without a doubt I’d be building a downhill skatepark with some of that money. Nothing too crazy big, but the general idea would be to have a beginner, intermediate, and advanced course with ramps, rollers, steep corners and variety. Basically a bigger version of Kamloops with pumptrack and skatepark elements. The one thing that’s really lacking for me in downhill skating is the three-dimensional element that snowboarding has.
To Moonshine MFG for believing in me since the beginning. Much love guys! And Don DesJarlais for being the best secretary, cook, maid, dad, and friend a guy could ask for <3