We have been hyped on Andrew Burns here at Homeschool for a long time. So it was a pleasure when we had the opportunity to start working with him on a team level. He charges hard in the backcountry, and travels a bunch, allowing for a wide variety of product testing in all conditions. They don't call him "Workhorse" for nothing.
HS: First off, your Canadian eh?
Damn straight! Born and raised in the east coast, transplant to the west coast. My mom is actually from Chicago though so I have a US passport as well… very handy.
Photo: Ben Girardi
HS: Where do you live and ride mostly?
I live in Whistler, BC, and probably spend half the year here shredding in the backcountry and on the mountain. It’s definitely my home and I love the mountains and forests here, and I have the raddest friends ever! It’s a super fun place, sometimes too much fun haha.
HS: It seems like you do quite a lot of backcountry up there? What’s the backcountry scene like in Canada?
The backcountry here is insane. We have so much accessible terrain, and crazy diverse. Some the valley bottom pillow zones are some of the most fun boarding I’ve ever done, like a few miles from my house. Then everything up to our high alpine glaciated spots are unbelievable as well, and particularly the backcountry freestyle spots have to be some of the best in the world. Theres epic heli of course, but our bread and butter is the snowmobile access. That being said, a lot of our zones are super spicy to get in to, so your sleds skill have to be on point to get stuff done and not spend all day dealing with epics and not boarding.
HS: You recently got #MethodOfTheMonth on snowboardermag. That was such a sick photo, tell us about that trip to Baker?
Thanks!! I was pretty stoked on that… nothing quite like cranking a method through some pillows! I joined up with some of the D Day crew in Idaho because it was dumping and we had E Stone with us as well shooting some product stuff, and then that storm made its way to the coast so we jumped in Kix and Dash’s truck and B lined it to Baker. It actually was snowing almost a meter a night for a bunch of days to the point of it being “too much” snow. On our way up to the hill the first day I saw these tasty looking pillows off the road and instead of offing around with nipple deep snow searching, we just decided to punt off the low hanging fruit! Making an in run to that thing with enough speed to clear out the 40 feet to the landing pillow actually took a silly amount of effort because of how much snow there was, but when we were set, the sun popped out, shinning all magically on the trees and fresh blanket of snow, I didn’t blow the method and hit my landing spot… made for a really great feeling method! Stone actually said about a minute after, just from looking on the LCD, that we got his favorite method shot of the year by far, and then boom: method of the month! So hyped on that!
HS: Was that a 720 over the Baker road gap?
Another epic part of that trip! Obviously I’ve always wanted to hit the Baker Road Gap but I’ve never had the chance until that trip! It was pretty much dumping the whole time, and the landing was mediocre, but it was fun as hell to hit that thing! Only got to hit it twice because the snow was making the in run slower and slower, and we could barely see haha, but I got a back 7 indy and a switch back 1, super fun to check that off the bucket list!
HS: You also just spent some time in Japan as well. How was that trip? Photos looked amazing!
Ive spent the last three Januarys in Hokkaido, the north island of Japan. I split my time between shooting and simply enjoying epically deep snow, as well as guiding with SASS Global Travel. I don’t want to beat the dead horse of how sick Japan is… but straight up: the hype is beyond real haha.
HS: That double back flip on the swallow tail was insane.
That was one of the funnest tricks I’ve ever done i think. I had hit that pillow the previous year with a wildcat and after I got home I though that doing a double wildcat on a swallow tail would be so sick. I thought about it for literally 11 months until the next season… it’s funny how you can obsess over a trick like that, but also unbelievably satisfying to go do it after that long.
HS: Tell us about SASS Global Travel?
SASS is pretty much my second family, as well as a super badass guiding operation. We have programs in South America for summer POW, Japan in Januarys, and now snowmobile access shred guiding in Whistler. Also, wen and operate the Rincon Surf School and Resort in Rincon, Puerto Rico… beautiful place and epic surfing… and rum.
I started guiding and coaching with them in Las Lenas, Argentina about 13 years ago, and have been rolling heavy with them ever since. We have such a sick crew of guides and staff, and our clients are equally epic. We do a ton more than just daily guiding, we package everything together and get an epic crew of like minded, ripping mountain people, and have the best times both on and off hill. The SASS family is really something special! We kind of have the best times everywhere we are hahaha!
HS: You have a board with D-Day snowboards. Tell us about the board for this year?
Jason Brown has been a hero of mine since I was a kid, then became my first real board sponsor when Capita started as well as influencing me to move out to BC and quickly becoming a very close friend and an enormous influence not only on my snowboarding, but me as a person. Fast forward a million years and Jason has been gone from Capita for a while, and I make the move to D Day. I’m hanging out with Brocklebank and trying to figure out what to do for graphics, and he asks me why I haven’t hit up JB… i was kind of disappointed in myself for not thinking about that myself, but we hadn’t really been in contact and it just didn’t occur to me. It was amazing, thanks to Brockle, JB and I linked up again and he was stoked to help me out and work with me on my ideas. I love Jason's art so much, and he was able to take my concepts or ideas, and create them with his interpretation and style, and they have been better than perfect… it’s amazing to be working with my friend on this big part of my shred life, i’m extremely lucky to have friends like JB!
Photo: Ben Girardi
HS: What was the thought behind the graphics?
Jason lives outside of Nelson with his girl, and he wanted to use the stone arch from the BURNS building thats in town. So thats the middle of the board, little Burns/Canada pride in there. Then, I asked him if he could try out a bunch of skulls for me, JB style, and then we’d do black and white with only the red accent. He painted the sickest skulls haha they’re so sick! Finally, and ironically, we both shared a nickname that TM’s had for us, more because were so hyper and stoked and frothy on shoots and trips than anything else… workhorse. So that's what the horse is all about… but its a crazy horse haha.
HS: Who are your other sponsors?
I proudly represent Homeschool, Zeal Optics, FIX Binding Co, D-Day Snowboards, BN3TH, Salmon Arms, Crab Grab, and Top of the World.
HS: We have been super stoked to have you wearing Homeschool the last two seasons. What’s been your favorite stuff from the Homeschool collection this year?
For most of the season I’ve been rocking the Universe Jacket with the Heavier Days Pants. I really like the cut and tech features on the jacket, and it actually has the perfect amount of pockets and in the right places, while keeping it clean and high performance. Same with the pants, great fit, vents and pockets in the right spots… ideal! That kit rides great in waist deep Japan, Coastal Mountains sledding, or sunny park laps.
Photo: Ben Girardi
HS: Any specific features that stand out the most?
Absolutely: the overall quality and the 37.5 technology make life in deep snow so much better. Any time I’m out sledding, hiking valley pillows in cakey snow, touring in japow, i never have snow stuck to my stuff, or giant weird ice patches sledding, and am literally always dry underneath those layers. It makes such a huge difference on long deep days.
HS: What are your plans for the remainder of this season?
We’ve still got a ton of snow up here, and looks like more in the forecast! Hopefully ill get another coupe three weeks of good sled shred weather in the Alpine, and then some super fun spring boarding with the homeys! As much as I love powder and backcountry, sunny warm soft park days with the boys are so dam fun!
HS: What other things are you interested in off the MTN?
Well i spend about 10 months a year shredding haha but the times i’m not I like to enjoy some non winter stuff and get some sun. Since SASS is based out of PR and we have the Surf Resort, I usually head there in the spring and fall for a bit to do some shoulder season work with the boys, but that also includes a bunch of surfing, beautiful beaches and rad people in town to hang and party with, its awesome. I also really love golf. Really. Haha I like playing with all my homies of course but i actually really like just walking 18 by myself and enjoying the summer mountains. I listen to a lot of Metal… I don’t get to enough shows anymore but thats gonna change. Friends, family, BBQs good times!
HS: What is your favorite metal band?
Probably Lamb of God... or Pantera.
HS: Oh bitchin. What Pantera album?
Vulgar Display of Power!
HS: Rad, mine too.
And also 101 proof. That live album is epic.