Rappin’ with Chuck G
Truckee’s Chas Guldemond just might be the hardest-working man in the sport of snowboarding. Raised in New Hampshire and a graduate of Waterville Ski/Board Academy, the 21-year-old snowboarding phenom has paved his way to the top of the competitive snowboard scene one long work day at a time. Whether washing dishes, ripping out bathrooms or lapping the terrain park until he can hardly stand, Guldemond has been dead serious about getting ahead by simply getting ‘er done.
One of the most powerful riders in the game, Guldemond’s stoic work ethic translates directly to his riding style. He charges and he stomps it when it counts. In his 2007-’08 season he won six major pro contests in three different disciplines and graced the podium in just about every other comp he entered. When not competing, the head-to-toe sponsored athlete racked up another starring role in Standard Film’s next release, Aesthetica.
After three years of commuting back East for the summer, Guldemond turned his snowy success into a full-time Truckee lifestyle with the purchase of a home in Glenshire, where he now lives with his girlfriend Drea and his dogs Lucy and Tucker. With an afternoon off from home projects and a couple weeks before heading off to compete down south, Guldemond took time out to talk shop about riding, roofing and his life and times in Truckee.
Here’s Guldemond in his own words:
… on what growing up in New Hampshire taught him:
“Living out East taught me a good work ethic ” toward everything. I learned it from my dad. I had to work really hard to get where I’m at. I worked at four different diners and did remodeling to pay back my parents for the ski/board academy they put me through.”
… on his first proud trick:
“I used to do backflips in the half pipe. That was my thing. I used to call ’em ‘The Spazzer.’ I would just huck my body back. Sometimes I would land, sometimes I wouldn’t. I’d end all my runs with it.”
… on why he moved to Tahoe:
“I saw Tahoe in all the videos and it really had it going on. I knew I was either going to be working 7 to 6 everyday or I was going to move out and try to make it in snowboarding. I had to go to a place with opportunity. Tahoe was it.”
… on his first two winters in Tahoe:
“I worked my ass off back East in the summer to come out here those first two winters. I rented a place in Kings Beach and I was pretty much living off selling Red Bull in the Northstar lift lines and exchanging my cans at the Safeway. That’s how I ate. I was so broke. Hitchhiking to Northstar everyday. Eating quesadillas and PBJs for like two years straight.”
… on getting robbed of first place by Shawn White at the 2006 U.S. Open Slopestyle:
“I won every early round. I was beating everybody by over 10 points. I was in a good space, having fun, landing everything. The semis came along and that’s when athletes like Shawn jumped in to qualify for finals. And I beat him in the semis. I was the only one that beat him his whole perfect season.
In the finals I stomped a perfect run. I thought I had it. Everyone knows I should have won … Pretty ridiculous. But in the end, it worked out better for me. Because if I would have won, I might not have gotten so much buzz and media coverage. Everything happens for a reason. I think I got screwed that day for a reason. That was a turning point in my life.”
… on why he loves Northstar:
“Northstar’s got a good group of people riding there everyday. Lapping the park I get support from both friends and people who don’t even know me. I’m stoked to ride there because the park is always great and there’s always nice weather. Perfect place for me to train and get really good, really fast.”
… on joining Standard Film’s elite film crew:
“I was always itching to somehow get in with those guys. They’re so exclusive you kinda got to let them come to you. So that was my plan. Spring of 2006 they called me and asked if I wanted to join a spring shoot at Alpine. They built a massive jump on the backside, something like 90 feet. They were like, ‘Be here at 6 a.m.’ I was there two hours early, waiting, just waiting for my chance to get in front of those guys. It went super well. On the third day of filming I did my first backside 1260 on film. People were really stoked to see the 1260 done smoothly, grabbed the whole way. A lot of people had never seen anything like it.”
… on the 2007-’08 filming season:
“I racked up a ton of footage this season. Seventy-five percent of the filming I did this year was organized by me. I would call the filmers and tell them to meet me here, I got it all set up, just bring your camera. I would wake up at 5 a.m., head out and build something, then call them at 9, let’s go. I hit every riding style this year ” backcountry, halfpipe, slopestyle, street rails, log rides, everything. I’m not necessarily wicked gnarly good at any specific thing but I like to think I’m a very well-rounded rider. I can ride anything you put it in front of me. That’s what I like to bring to the table in my video part.”
… on starting the 2007-’08 season at Boreal’s Jibassic Pro Rail Jam:
“Good local comp. What I remember about that night was that it was the last time I saw my good friend Coogan. Off of that, I’ve been wearing a ‘Remember Coogan’ sweatshirt all season. Pretty tight. I’ve worn it in every single contest I entered. Represents a good snowboarder that never really got his chance to make it. He was down for the cause and pushing the sport without any regrets. That’s what I loved about him.”
… on sticking the first-ever contest 1440 at the 2008 Honda Session in Vail:
“I’d been trying to do it all season. I would usually throw it my last run after I had stuck a good run. At the Honda Session, I was the last rider to drop in the jam. I botched my first trick, so I did two straight airs then went for it over the last hit. Stuck it. The crowd was unbelievable. Unreal feeling. I had never landed a 1440 in my life before. It was pretty clean for what the trick was, but I was a little back seat. I was stoked to land it in front of people so they couldn’t tell me I didn’t do it. The next is a 1620. I rotated that a couple times this year.”
… on owning a home in Glenshire:
“I love it. It’s so good to come home and relax. I was super nervous and scared about the decision to buy the house in the beginning, but once we settled in I realized how good of a decision it was. Everyday that goes by I appreciate it more and more, how stoked I am to be here now.”
… on undertaking the refinishing of his roof:
“The roof is definitely the biggest project that I’ve ever undertaken in my life. I’ve been real lucky to be able to call friends who have helped me out with it. I wouldn’t be doing it without them, and I’m really grateful for the help.”
… on why he loves Truckee:
“Truckee is great ” the most beautiful place in California. All the things I like to do are right in my backyard. What I like the most is how active the community is. People really get after it. I’m also stoked to be in a town where people will help you whether they know you or not.”
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Students from North Tahoe and Truckee recently made the trip to Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley to compete in the annual Kays Ostrom Invitational.