Archives
PUBLISHED: 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Reaching the Pinnacle
Movie deals, corporate sponsors, world tours - snowboarder Mark Landvik has come a long way since his Eaglecrest days
For six months out of the year, Mark Landvik wakes up at 5 a.m. and works 14-hour days. Yet many young snowboarders aspire to have a work schedule just like his.

Landvik, 29, may very well be the most famous snowboarder to come out of Juneau - and one of the most famous snowboarders riding today, period.


  photo courtesy of Tim Zimmerman | cover illustration by Anna Millard
Many professional riders spend their days participating in contests - Mark spends his riding in front of cameras, including the high-definition cameras used to film his latest movie, "That's It That's All," said to be the highest-quality snowboarding movie ever made.

"Even in the world, he's pretty much at the pinnacle," said Johnny Bressette, who grew up snowboarding in Juneau with Landivk. "To be in that movie... it's pretty much the best of the best."

The CCW caught up with Landvik in between filming a show for Fuel TV and heading to Europe for a 17-day movie tour. He said being a part of "That's It That's All" is probably the accomplishment he's most proud of.

"It's such a different snowboard movie compared to other films," Landvik said. "The average person can watch it and be just as much into it as a snowboarder would."

Landvik has numerous sponsors, including Lib Tech, Volcom, Vans and Borderline. He has been in half a dozen films made by Standard, one of the top snowboarding film studios.

Yet he is quick to credit much of his success to his friends he grew up riding with in Juneau. And he can't say enough good things about Alaskan mountains, including Eaglecrest, which he calls the "best little resort in the world."


  photo courtesy of Tim Zimmerman
Making it big

Alaska's terrain is a rider's dream and Landvik couldn't imagine a better place to have grown up. He can name dozens of Alaskans whose skill he admires. But when it comes to getting noticed, Alaska turns out to be just too remote. Few other Alaskans have made it as big as Landvik has.

"There's definitely people who could be (professionals)," Landvik said. "The thing is, if you're up there you're not getting the same type of coverage. Usually if someone's filming in Alaska they're just doing a trip there."

Recognizing this, Landvik moved to Bellingham when he graduated from high school in 1998. Nearby Mt. Baker is "like Eaglecrest on steroids," Bressette said.

It took about five years of trying to get noticed before Landvik started making films. Just as he was thinking about calling it quits, everything clicked.

"I figured I'd give myself one more year and then everything fell into place," Landvik said. "It's been good - and getting better ever since."


Tim Zimmerman
Landvik's breakthrough came about six years ago when he started filming with Standard films, one of the top snowboarding film companies. He said he'd always admired Standard so he asked his team manager at Lib Tech "if she could try to weasel me in there."

She tried - and it worked.

Over the past six years, Landvik has been a regular rider in Standard snowboarding films like "Paradox" and "Catch the Vapors."

Filming has taken him all around the world from New Zealand to Europe. For his next two films, he'll be heading to Russia and South America.

A day in the life

For half of the year, Landvik is focused on riding from sunrise to sunset, and it's no resort riding.

"Everything I'm involved in is backcountry stuff," Landvik said. "We're going out there on snowmobiles and treacherous conditions. We test the snow, see how stability is."

Once filming begins, the crew chases the light around, Landvik said, so that as many shots as possible can be filmed in sunlight.

"There's a lot more that goes into it than people would think," Landvik said. "A lot of times it's 12 (or) 14 hour days. We don't get home till late. Eat some dinner, try to stretch out a bit, hope you're not too sore to do it again the next day."

The rest of the year is filled with movie tours - though he gets a little time to relax, golf and work on his Bellingham home.

Landvik has some ideas for life after snowboarding, but he's not sharing all his plans. He did say he was "into real estate."

One thing he wishes he had more time for is returning to Alaska.


  photo courtesy of Tim Zimmerman
"I miss all my friend there, for sure," Landvik said. "I just miss being in Alaska because I don't get a chance to go up there as much any more. I try to come back at least one a year, at least."

Some of his friends from when he was younger are still riding, like Bressette, who says he rides about 100 days a year, but many have given it up.

"A lot of (my) friends got hurt - blown knees, stuff like that - and never fully recovered," Landvik said.

His advice to young riders is clear, though: take care of yourself and keep at it.

"Take care of your body, take care of your injuries and don't ever give up if that's what you want," Landvik said.

Among friends

Growing up, Landvik spent most of his winters on the slopes of Eaglecrest and the backcountry around Juneau. He skied as a child but switched to snowboarding when he was 11.

"I was on my skis, and my buddy had a snowboard and I asked if I could try it," Landvik said. "I haven't really put skis on since."

Bressette, who has known Landvik since second grade, saw his friend take to riding instantly.

"He's just a natural athlete," Bressette said. "He always lands on his feet. Mark was definitely tops. He was always a really naturally gifted snowboarder (but) he also definitely worked really hard."

When Landvik was 15 years old, he and his friends started heli-riding, getting dropped off on remote peaks by helicopter.

"Growing up... all my friends who were snowboarders before me, they were a little older than me," Landvik said. "I learned tons about riding the mountain and being in the backcountry (from them). "I don't know where I'd be without those guys."

As teenagers, Landvik and his friends idolized professional rider Jamie Lynn, Bressette said. Now Landvik and Lynn ride together on the Lib Tech team.

Bressette is not at all surprised by what Landvik has accomplished.

"He's got pretty much the ideal career now," Bressette said. "A lot of times guys really have to hit the contests hard to make a name for themselves."

But "Lando," as Landvik is known in the snowboarding industry, is out doing what any snowboarder likes best: exploring new terrain, trying new tricks and developing a unique style.

"He's got a real distinctive lean," Bressette said. "Everything he does makes you want to be there."

"That's It That's All" is now available on DVD and can be downloaded from iTunes. Other snowboarding films featuring Mark Landvik available on DVD include "Catch the Vapors," "Paradox," and "White Balance."

snowboarding film companies. He said he'd always admired Standard so he asked his team manager at Lib Tech "if she could try to weasel me in there."

She tried - and it worked.

During the past six years, Landvik has been a regular rider in Standard snowboarding films like "Paradox" and "Catch the Vapors."

Filming has taken him all around the world from New Zealand to Europe. For his next two films, he'll be heading to Russia and South America.

A day in the life

For half of the year, Landvik is focused on riding from sunrise to sunset, and it's no resort riding.

"Everything I'm involved in is backcountry stuff," Landvik said. "We're going out there on snowmobiles and treacherous conditions. We test the snow, see how stability is."

Once filming begins, the crew chases the light around, Landvik said, so that as many shots as possible can be filmed in sunlight.

"There's a lot more that goes into it than people would think," Landvik said. "A lot of times it's 12 (or) 14 hour days. We don't get home till late. Eat some dinner, try to stretch out a bit, hope you're not too sore to do it again the next day."

The rest of the year is filled with movie tours - though he gets a little time to relax, golf and work on his Bellingham home.

Landvik has some ideas for life after snowboarding, but he's not sharing all his plans. He did say he was "into real estate."

One thing he wishes he had more time for is returning to Alaska.

"I miss all my friend there, for sure," Landvik said. "I just miss being in Alaska because I don't get a chance to go up there as much any more. I try to come back at least one a year, at least."

Some of his friends from when he was younger are still riding, like Bressette, who says he rides about 100 days a year, but many have given it up.

"A lot of (my) friends got hurt - blown knees, stuff like that - and never fully recovered," Landvik said.

His advice to young riders is clear, though: take care of yourself and keep at it.

"Take care of your body, take care of your injuries and don't ever give up if that's what you want," Landvik said.

Among friends

Growing up, Landvik spent most of his winters on the slopes of Eaglecrest and the backcountry around Juneau. He skied as a child but switched to snowboarding when he was 11.

"I was on my skis, and my buddy had a snowboard and I asked if I could try it," Landvik said. "I haven't really put skis on since."

Bressette, who has known Landvik since second grade, saw his friend take to riding instantly.

"He's just a natural athlete," Bressette said. "He always lands on his feet. Mark was definitely tops. He was always a really naturally gifted snowboarder (but) he also definitely worked really hard."

When Landvik was 15 years old, he and his friends started heli-riding, getting dropped off on remote peaks by helicopter.

"Growing up... all my friends who were snowboarders before me, they were a little older than me," Landvik said. "I learned tons about riding the mountain and being in the backcountry (from them). "I don't know where I'd be without those guys."

As teenagers, Landvik and his friends idolized professional rider Jamie Lynn, Bressette said. Now Landvik and Lynn ride together on the Lib Tech team.

Bressette is not at all surprised by what Landvik has accomplished.

"He's got pretty much the ideal career now," Bressette said. "A lot of times guys really have to hit the contests hard to make a name for themselves."

But "Lando," as Landvik is known in the snowboarding industry, is out doing what any snowboarder likes best: exploring new terrain, trying new tricks and developing a unique style.

"He's got a real distinctive lean," Bressette said. "Everything he does makes you want to be there."

"That's It That's All" is now available on DVD and can be downloaded from iTunes. Other snowboarding films featuring Mark Landvik available on DVD include "Catch the Vapors," "Paradox," and "White Balance."


Loading...