In 1997, SNOWBOARDER held its first Superpark at an overlooked resort outside of Kelowna, BC known as Big White. Around that same time, an elevenyear-old local named Mark Sollars first strapped in on those same slopes. Thirteen years later, I invited Mark to our latest Superpark. He promptly sent a simple reply: “Thanks for the heads up. I’ll for sure be there. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.” That offer was a first. Make no mistake, riding is what earned Mark this On Deck, but his attitude earned him an invitation to Superpark for life. Ironically, most Canadians have to do something really sketchy to receive the latter honor…
Pat Bridges ––
When did you realize that being born on 4/20 was something special?
Probably in middle school, when I saw a lot of people celebrating my birthday that I didn’t even know.
How old were you when you first watched a Whiskey movie?
I was around eleven. Whiskey 2 is kinda like our town’s claim to fame.
Who do you ride with the most?
Steve Cartwright, Jody Wachniak, and Matt Belzile. There’s a good Whistler crew up here.
Is there another changing of the guard going on in Canada?
There are always new people that pop up; maybe we are starting to get more recognized. That’s cool, but we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. When the French guys stepped in they brought a whole new aspect to jibbing, and that was a huge change! Everything is getting more well-rounded—contests are starting to get more popular, rails are still just as popular, and backcountry is getting recognized more again.
Is there pressure to compete?
Yes and no. Companies are getting more focused on contests because video sales are obviously going down. So what’s next? I am going to keep filming, because that is what I love to do. I went to the US Open a few times, and I think that really helped with Burton. I got to meet the team managers and ride in front of them. When you see a video, it’s two minutes from a whole year. A contest is two runs down a park and you can get just as much recognition. I have so much fun filming and snowmobiling that contests aren’t something I want to get fully involved in.
Why don’t you grab your filmer, drop your sleds in the parking lot, and shoot at a contest?
Just film right next to the contest so the team managers can still see me? Perfect!
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This content was originally published in SNOWBOARDER’s September 2009 issue.