Behind The Scenes: Pine Valley Projects - Todd and Rebecca Spalding
The Crew - Simon, Cameron, JP, Rebecca, Todd, and Blair
JP Nose Press
Getting some classic Cameron sound bits
The whole family shreds!
Dad/Park Builder/Shredder/Surprise accomplice
What made you decide to build your son a park in your backyard?
I never really had to decide. It’s just evolved from a few rails that my friends and I would session before Cameron could walk. It started as a couple of jibs I moved around the yard and each year I would add something new and fun. It began to take on a life of its own when Cameron really took an interest in snowboarding.
How did you design and build the park?
Because we rely on natural snowfall and groom by hand, I’ve tried to size and design our features to not require a ton of snow to hit. I get inspired by stuff that’s fun to hit at our local resorts and by stuff we see in videos. Now I try to incorporate features that will help Cameron’s progression.
At what age was Cameron when you started making jibs for him in his backyard?
I think I started to “Cameron size” stuff when he was 4. He was confident hitting boxes and stuff at our local resort, so I started building stuff he could hit at home. Now our 5-year-old daughter, Avery, is hitting some of the little stuff too. My Gramps and I built a bunch of skate ramps when I was a kid, so I guess that experience helped me make features that work.
How long has Pine Valley Projects been running for?
Pine Valley Projects is Cameron’s creation. He wanted a name for our backyard and came up with the name from our address and some inspiration from a wakeboard facility in Florida called “The Projects”. It’s home to some of the sickest rails in wakeboarding. I guess our history is about 7 years deep.
When you had Cameron did you ever think you were going to have a sick snowboard park in your yard one day for him and yourself to shred?
It’s hard to say. I grew up skateboarding and playing lots of sports but wakeboarding (I know people hate on it, but there’s no surf in Ontario) and snowboarding were my passion. Luckily Cameron, Avery and Wyatt love it and we all get to hang out and shred year round. It’s awesome and keeps me young.
We know you are down for shredding and you charge as hard as your son. Do you think he is better than you yet?
Man, I’m pretty sure I have to concede that now but I don’t want to…. It fires him up. I remember a year or so ago thinking in a couple of years he’ll be 10 and he’ll probably be better than me. Now I’m thinking he’s 7 and he would beat me in a slopestyle contest. Kids change your perspective, you want them to be better but I’m still on the grind for sure! So stoked on everything my kids do.
How long does your backyard park season last? Is it longer or shorter than the resorts around you?
Most years we can ride early in December, sometimes we may have snow for a couple of days in November if we’re lucky! As long as we get an inch or so I can get a rain in place to ride. It may not be perfect but it gets us going. Our seasons normally last until late March. May have to eye up that “Snow At Home” system soon.
You collaborated with JP to surprise your son, was it hard to pull off?
Yup, real hard. I was so pumped about it but was also worried that weather or scheduling could mess it up. Cameron’s always grabbing my phone to look up videos, so I had to be careful keeping him away from JP’s emails and texts.
What was it like watching your son ride and hang out with his hero’s?
It was awesome! He loves snowboarding so much and he’s into the sport, from knowing who everyone rides for to knowing the songs they used in their video parts. I knew it meant a lot to him to have the guys over, and it was special to see how much he was loving every minute. JP, Simon and Blair are true professionals, great role modes and amazing ambassadors for snowboarding. The interest they show in Cameron and the time they took to visit is really special. We love you guys!
What did you think when you heard a crew of professional snowboarders were going to be coming to your house for the day?
I had heard about how awesome the guys were from both Cameron and Todd after his trips out west so I knew we were in for an amazing day. Cameron has had the picture that Todd took of JP, Simon and Joe and himself on the fridge at the cottage since his first year at camp. The day exceeded my expectations, in that the guys were so good to all of us and stayed to not only shred, but also have lunch with us, “tech deck” with Cameron and play a little hockey in the basement.
What was your impression of professional snowboarders before that day?
We are always watching snowboard movies and reading snowboard related magazines so we I had a pretty diverse impression of professional snowboarders. There are so many great guys who are excellent role models, most of whom I’d want Cameron to aspire to be like. No matter what kind of rider they are, or what company they ride for (despite some of the guy’s lifestyle choices. I know spoken like a true Mom) I think they all share the same passion for riding as Cameron has.
What is your impression now?
JP, Simon and Blair are three of the nicest guys I have ever met. They are such great role models and amazing ambassadors for the sport. The time they spent with Cameron, and the interest they have shown in him truly made a dream come true. They were encouraging, funny and made Cameron feel as though he was part of the crew. It was a pleasure to spend the day with them. They are welcome back anytime!
How many muffins does Cameron eat after a backyard jib session? How about Todd? Ha-ha
Ha-ha. If they are my banana chocolate chip ones…. a dozen mini ones… Todd, definitely not as many. Cameron shreds pretty hard, both at home and when we are at one of our local resorts, so sometimes I’ll have to make him stop riding to have something to eat. Some nights he’ll ask if he can have dinner out on the deck so that he doesn’t have to take all of his gear off to come in to eat.
That Chili you made the crew was amazing, is that something you do regularly after your boys shred, you feed them?
Thanks! I’m glad they loved it. After everyone is done riding for the day they are always starving. They are out there having way too much fun to stop to eat, so yes, I do always feed them when they come in.
How does it make you feel, that you can all snowboard as a family? Is that a dream come true?
It is a dream come true, for sure. We all love to shred and it’s a great way to spend time together as a family. Whether we’re in the backyard shredding, at a resort cheering Cameron and Avery on at a contest, or at a resort all riding together we get to spend time together making lots of great memories.
I know they are both your boys, but who is better at snowboarding Todd or Cameron?
Oh that’s a tough one…and one I’ll get in trouble for no matter how I answer. I think that I’d have to go with Cameron. He’s improved a lot this season, with all of the riding he has done in our backyard and the training he has done with the Simple Snowboard Team. As much as Todd won’t want to admit it, out loud anyway, I think Cameron has finally surpassed his Dad. He charges some jumps and rails that I’m not sure Todd could hit! I’m sure that there will come a time when all three of our kids will be able to outride us! I’m sure that even then we’ll still be out there shredding with our kids, having a ton of fun together.