Keir Dillon’s Hot Seat Answers

You want to know and Keir Dillon isn’t afraid to tell like it is. At 23, Keir’s living the dream—traveling around the globe, competing, filming, and spreading love for the sport. Look for him in next year’s Mack Dawg production or almost any snowboarding magazine. Keir rides for Burton, Gravis, Electric, and Sobe Beverages.

Q. Hey, Keir. Are you at all scared when hitting jumps? What goes through your mind before, during, and after a huge air? Is it normal to be a little freaked out when going big? I think you’re the coolest.—Kyle F.

A. Hey, Kyle. Everyday I ride, I’m scared. It’s part of snowboarding and getting better. If you’re not scared then you aren’t trying new things. Being scared is just your body’s way of telling you to settle down. If you want to work on it, every time you ride, try going just a little faster. It takes time, but after a while you start getting more confident.

Q. Hey, Keir. Your riding is great. Quick question though … as a young boarder from New Jersey, I was just wondering what it takes to really stand out coming from these mostly unknown mountains with an environment that is not usually high quality. How did you progress and become the kick ass rider you are today? Thanks.—New Jersey Blues

A. Hey, NJB. That’s what’s good about snowboarding. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s all about just getting the basics dialed on the terrain you have, and then once you get it dialed you can take it anywhere. Since most of the filmers and photographers live out west, it’s usually easier to get noticed through contests like everyone that grew up on the east did—Jeff Brushie, Todd Richards, Danny Kass, and a bunch more. Just keep on doing what you’re doing and you’ll get it—just be yourself.

Q. Hey, what’s up, Keir? I ride at Mt. Hood year-round. Earlier this season I saw you sanding the nose of your board on the concrete at the Magic Mile lift. I was just wondering why? I think you got bigger McTs than Trevor now. What do you think? Keep on Poppin’. Lots of Respect.—Yan Riga

A. What’s up, Yan? I had just gotten a new board and I forgot to de-tune the edges, so I was just trying to take the tune off the top edge. Stoked that you like my mickeys—thanks.

Q. Yo, KD. Props to you on being a successful black rider. I know we are a minority nowadays. In all mags and pics I see you in, you always tweak out your grabs so solid. I was wondering if you could give me some tips with getting started with freestyle riding. Mainly grabs and little spins. I appreciate it! Keep doin’ watcha doin’, dogg. Peace.—Gael Hagen, Colorado

A. What’s up, Gael? Thanks. Some tips are: first start slow. It’s better to do smaller jumps, get those dialed, be able to judge your speed, and learn how to hit the sweet spots of the landing. After you get all that dialed, just start progressing to bigger ones. All you have to do when hitting big jumps is slow down what you’re doing in your head and stay relaxed. To get good grabs in when you go off the jump, suck up your legs to make it easier. When spinning, make sure you can make the landing and that you always keep your head looking towards where you want to land.

Q. Yeah, I wanna know if this cow smoke dope before going on the pipes.—Ftel

A. No smoking here. It’s definitely a de-motivator and even thought it seems easy to just travel around snowboarding, it’s super easy to get over it. So, I’m trying to keep clean—plus they test us anyway, so no dice.

Q. Hey Keir. It’s good to see you competing a lot this year. Where do you stand on the Olympics? Are you down with it or do you take the stance against the whole scene like Terje? Thanks and Good Luck for the rest of the season.—E in Seattle

A. What’s up, E? Well, as far as the Olympics go, it’s just another contest competing against your friends. As for me, it would be cool but nothing too special. I would just want to go for my family—they would be so stoked and all I want is to make my parents proud, because it was because of them that I was able to shred in the first place.

Q. Hey, Keir. What was going through your head when they shot those Gravis Shoe ads? And how come you ride only for Burton and Electric? You’ve got a lot of talent, why don’t you shop around?—Warren Haas, Toronto, Ontario

A. Hey, Warren. The Gravis shots are just like cruising around cities hanging out, so it’s just whatever they take and then whatever they use. We just cruise and shop around. As far a sponsors, I just want to make sure that all of my sponsor are companies that I believe in and are people who are cool.

Q. The trip to Argentina looked pretty fun. The snow conditions looked very nice, too. Can you tell me more about it? Thanks—Frank

A. Hey, Frank. The trip to Argentina was pretty sick, mainly because it was a team trip, so all of us got to hang out and shred together. The snow was sick, too. It was just turning spring and we stumbled upon that frontside quarterpipe, which turned out to be really good. I had to leave early because of family problems, so I was only there for three days but they were a good three days, for sure.

Q. Hey. I saw you on Bluetorch TV a while back and you said it’s super hard to come up out of the East Coast. Try coming up out of South Dakota! Well, I better get to the question. Have you ever been to South Dakota (I don’t mean the Black Hills, where they actually have some terrain)?—S.Chardina

A. What’s up, S. Chardina? No, I’ve never been to South Dakota but maybe some day I’ll be able to check out your spot. It doesn’t mater where you’re from, just the dedication that you have to the sport.

Q. Keir, how much of your input goes into actual Burton snowboard products? The 2000-2001 Burton catalog espouses that team riders have a significant amount of influence on both the hardgoods and softgoods created for the consumer market. Do you actually get very involved in product development? If you do … in what ways? Thanks.—Midas

A. Hey, Midas. That’s a good question, I used top wonder the same thing. You’d be surprised—we have like four major round tables, where Jake and all the heads attend to see how things are progressing and then there are mini round tables between the designers and riders. Although some things get lost in the process, mostly the team decides everything. I’ve seen people lose their jobs because of riders, so, yes, Burton takes rider feedback serious—which is why the company is so rad.

Q. Hi, Kier. I want to say that I really like your style of riding. What are the some best pipes or quarterpipes you’ve ever ridden? And can you give me some tips about doing backside 720—like you do very well?—Lemelin

A. Hey, Lemelin. Some of the best pipes I’ve ridden are the ones that Pat Malendowski cuts—he’s the man, for sure. Mammoth usually has a sick pipe year-round, and as far as quarterpipes go, normally there are only ones at contests, so they’re hard to come by. To do a backside seven, just make sure you lead with your head and try working on getting fives super solid. Then hold on for one more rotation.

Q. Do you ever go back to PA and ride at Shawnee?—Mike Kijewski, Douglassville, PA

A. Hey, Mike. I go back to PA all the time but usually to see my family and friends. When I come home I just like to hang out and not ride but I do try to go at least once a year to remind myself were I grew up and how fun it was.

Q. Does Burton put pressure on you to be successful for the company?—N.D.

A. Hey, N.D. Well, it depends on what you want out of a company. The more you want then the more pressure there will be. You have to remember that it’s a business. I mean, it’s sick, because you’re getting to do what you love and want to do, but if you want to make money at it, you’re going to have to work like you would at any job. So, the pressure is what you make of it and how you invite it into your career.

Q. How did you become so good? I mean, my parents always say practice and keep going, but I’ve been snowboarding for six straight years and I can only do 360’s and I can almost do a backflip.—John

A. Hey, John. Your parents are right. It’s all about practice and staying with it. You don’t know how many people I know that had the skills but for various reasons—money, girls etc.—gave it up. People progress at different rates, so it just depends on when it clicks, which it will sometime. Everyone I know can recall when it clicked for them, so if you really want it, hang in there and you’ll get it. Even Michael Jordan got cut once.

Q. Hey bro, do you lift weights and train?—Norman

A. Hey, Norman. What’s up? I try to train in the summer, but it’s hard to find time or at least, that’s the lie I tell myself. But anyway, any lifting or training will help. The sport’s changing a lot recently and bodies need to be more fit and able to take the pain that will be received from bigger airs and flat landings.

Q. I think that you and other top pro snowboarders should come to the mid-west. Just because the resorts are small that doesn’t mean we all suck. some of the snowboarders around here are the most hardcore people I have ever meant. If you do ever come to the mid west, make sure you check out Tyrol basin and Ragin’ Buffalo.

A. Hey, Eric. Don’t think people don’t go to places because they don’t want to. It’s just that schedules are tight and the seasons get shorter every year. I know that there are rippers out there just like the east. You have to be hardcore—that’s what gets you so good. I know a lot of riders that kill it who are from the midwest. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s just what you make out of what you’re given.

Q. Hi Keir. My friend and I are sitting here in Spanish class trying to find information on Baja California through use of the Internet. We “accidentally” ended up at Do you know anything about the History of Baja? We really want to ask you a real question, but we fear our teacher will castrate us if it doesn’t involve Spanish. If you don’t know anything about Baja, you can just send us a letter rambling on about how much better it is to be snowboarding than sitting in Spanish class, but that’s obvious, so here’s a real pregunta (That means question in Spanish). Who was that chick sittin’ on your shoulders at the end of your part in Amp? She’s pretty cute. Does she know anything about Baja? Oh well, we gotta be out, hope you write us back. Stay dope.—Zach Andrews and Ben Ballentine

A. Hey, Zack and Ben, what’s up? That was my girlfriend. She says that she doesn’t now anything about Baja, except that it’s a kind of shirt. Anyway, you should pay attention. I took French for three years and now if I would of only paid attention my trips to Europe would be that much more sweet, So, sorry I couldn’t help you out any.

Q. Hey, Kier. I was just wondering how you stay cool in comps and video shoots. Your style is super gnarly. I was also wondering how you stay focused on one trick or on learning a new trick. Thanks—Paul

A. Hey, Paul, What’s up? Staying cool in comps doesn’t happen over night, and if it happens at all, you’re stoked. For me, this is the first year that I just stopped caring and it seems to be working. About learning new tricks, just remember that it doesn’t happen over night. Just stick with them and it will happen.

Q. I was just wondering if you ever come back and ride at Shawnee anymore? Just because every year we ride there all the time, and I always thought it would be cool to see you ride where your roots are. Thanks—Alex Gartelmann and the rest of the Vigilante Sidekicks crew

A. Hey, Alex. I usually only ride there like once a year, but it would be cool to see some of the new kids that have taken Shawnee over. Just remember to make the best out of that place—there are a bunch of little misty fun lines there.

Q. What’s going on, Keir? Damn, dude, I gotta say your pipe riding gets me sooo damn stoked. I was just wondering what kinda music you blare, what gets you amped for comps?—Anonymous

A. Hey, what’s going on? I normally listen to trance for everyday listening, but now I listen to Eminem. He’s always pissed and it keeps me stoked to try to go big and try new things.

Q. Hi, Keir. I just want to say that I think you rip and every time I see you ride I get totally amped cause you’re always having fun and pushing others! Anyway, I was just wondering what it’s like to be one of the few non-white, non-Japanese, riders out there. I’m not being racist at all, I’m just curious as to what obstacles you may have overcome or any bad experiences you may have encountered as a result of your different race. Thanks for your time.—Faye Pang, Mississauga, Ontario

A. Hey, Faye. Well, I’ve been pretty lucky, plus it doesn’t really bother me. People can think what they want and I’m just going to do what I want and need to do, anyway.