Successful snowboarding careers, check. Successful endeavors in music, video and clothing, check, check.
I had the opportunity to interview pro snowboarders/entrepreneurs, JJ Thomas and Josh Sherman and discuss everything from the competitive snowboarding circuit, Winter Dew Tour, “A Day in the Life,” with Josh, JJ’s music, “Pee Wee Sherman Rail Jam,” and YEA.NICE their clothing company that just saw its official launch in October of this year. Check it out below and see how these guys are not just wicked boarders, but also guys that effortlessly embody our generation and have fun while doing it. We should all be so lucky!
JJ, they say with big risk comes big reward, do you feel like your decision to step away from the competitive circuit in favor of movies was just that, or would you quantify it more as a growing experience?
JJ: It was definitely a growing experience I had to go through. At the time that’s where my heart was. Now its back in competitive snowboarding.
JJ and Josh, what are you two looking forward to most about the Winter Dew Tour? Do you guys still get the same thrill from riding as you did when you first started competing?
JJ: I am very much looking forward to competing this year. I never thought I’d be as into competitive snowboarding as I am right now. I think I’m making up for all the time I half assed it in my past due to my addiction to riding powder.
Josh: I’m looking forward to watching the YEA.NICE crew handle business. Our entire snow team is in the Dew Tour this year so it’s gonna be a hell of a show. As for me… I don’t have any plans to compete. I’ve had a great last 6 years competing and filming as a pro… but I see a light in pursuing other dreams of mine such as my clothing brand YEA.NICE, and using that as my creative outlet. I’ll be at each Dew Tour stop and I’ll definitely be partying just as hard as I did when I started competing – maybe even harder since I’m not trying to make the finals… does that count?YEA.NICE founders Josh Sherman and JJ Thomas
JJ, having been around the block so to speak, do you feel pressure to keep up? What about riding today differs from when you first started?
JJ: Well there’s always pressure, but for me there is probably a little more then most due to my age, but to be honest I seem to thrive under pressure so in the end it’s a win/win for me.
What inspired MileHi? Do you find yourself more satisfied through music, or is it more of a combination of all of your experiences that truly satiate your ambitions and fulfillment?
JJ: MileHi is just something my friend Jeff and I decided to do and kind of see what we could come up with. It’s really just good fun and good way to challenge ourselves. As far as fulfillment goes nothing competes with snowboarding, yet.
Josh and JJ, you guys describe your clothing company, YEA.NICE as “embodying the youth of our generation.” What sets you apart as a company, as a brand?
Josh: Perhaps your looking into that quote a bit too much. JJ and I are both in our 20’s, we live and breathe the values we put out through our brand. We’re not just selling some gimmick, or making another clothing brand… like we really live this lifestyle. Since we are YEA.NICE, we are the youth… does that makes sense?
How did it feel for you two to “officially” launch YEA.NICE in October of this year?
JJ: Felt great but also was a reality check. By that I mean deadlines and all of the business stuff became a lot more real at that point, but that’s what we wanted and now it’s here. So far so good.
Josh: I felt proud, we’d all worked to deliver unique designs so to be able to have people wearing our clothes felt good.Chris Miedenar, JJ Thomas, Josh Sherman at YEA.NICE Launch Party
With both of you having your hands in various forms of “art” whether it is snowboarding, designing, film/television, or musically what inspires or drives your creative juices?
JJ: I seem to get most inspired by all the talented people I’m lucky enough to be around and know. I feel fortunate to know so many driven people. It helps push me.
Josh: For me, my creativity is inspired through my life experiences. Maybe it came from a song that day, or a joke someone said, a random moment, a shitty date… really it can come from anywhere with me. In a nut shell my life is a train wreck with inspiration coming from all walks and experiences I have.
Josh, what inspired “A Day in the Life?” There is no denying that your episodes are entertaining. How often do you film? Is it completely random, or is there a method to your mayhem?
Josh: I was inspired to create short stories that would make people laugh. I made those to portray my sense of humor to the public and I used my snowboarding as a platform to reach them. They are completely random, no scripts, no schedule… I made them with an inexpensive camera that I ended up losing, and I haven’t made one since I lost it! Active Ride Shop hired Neil Goss to film one with me to see if any networks were interested in it, but I don’t think Neil ever showed it to anyone. Each episode was getting around 20,000-25,000 views so people seem to be into it. I’ll release the next one whenever I get inspired! Or buy a new camera…
Tell me about “Pee Wee Sherman Rail Jam.” How fulfilling is it for you to give back to the kids?
Josh: I created the Pee Wee Sherman Rail Jam to give back to a place that gave so much to me. It gives me the biggest smile to see kids having a great time at my event, and just doing what snowboarding is all about… having fun. So it’s very fulfilling…I’m excited for this upcoming Pee Wee Jam in March at Tyrol Basin!
I think people relate to each other through experiences, what about your experiences through “A Day in the Life” do you think will affect people. Do you do it for entertainment, expression or is there a bigger picture out there that you want to get across?
Josh: For me, life is never about the destination, it’s about the journey… as cliche as that saying is it rings true with me. I put a message in each episode whether people get it or not. The overall point I try to convey is to just have fun with life… as general as that is to say, my message is simple. Have fun.
What can we look out for from Josh and JJ in the future?
Josh: You’ll see a new clothing line from YEA.NICE dropping next year, and were collaborating with some crazy good artists. More of my webisodes and signature events being released. You can probably be looking out for JJ to knock off a couple podiums like last year… and I’ve been taking a lot of vitamins lately so you might see me grow from 5’4 to 5’5 this year….anything is possible.
What is your MaleStandard?
Josh: Treat people how you want to be treated.
JJ: Go hard at whatever it is your doing, and if you find yourself doing something you don’t want to do day in and out then change it because life seems to fly by, so you might as well do things you love while you are here.
Check this out
Make sure to check out JJ Thomas and Josh Sherman’s clothing line YEA.NICE