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“Snowboarder or Pornstar” with Richard Kern


“There’s this thing about going to ski resorts where half the time you just stare at people. Sweaty athletic girls–they’re really good.”

Earlier in the week I went down to the Burton flagship store to do some Christmas shopping with photographer Richard Kern. We got to chatting about his show Shot By Kern and the board he co-designed with Burton. We also played a quick game of “Snowboarder or Pornstar.”

VICE: What’s coming up on Shot by Kern?
Richard Kern: I think the next Shot by Kern might be in LA because we’ve never done an LA version. This is speculation, but we’re trying to shoot some girls like normal and then contrast that by shooting some girls in the porn biz (like Pure Taboo or Brazzers). We just shot a whole new series over this past summer in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Copenhagen. That show will be out in March, and after that I think maybe the next one will be in Asia: Korea, China, Japan, Philippines.

Have you got plans to do a Shot by Kern at a ski resort? Somewhere like Whistler, Breckenridge, or Verbier?
Trips are planned months in advance, but I’d love to do something like that. A Shot By Kern in the mountains would be awesome because it’s the complete opposite of what we’ve done so far. We haven’t done anywhere cold—we’ve always done hot.

Anywhere in particular you’d like to go, somewhere ridiculously cold like Calgary or Edmonton?
Canada’s so great. The basis of the show has always been “we go to this country and shoot, then this country and shoot…”. Ideally it would be something like that, so we focus on where there’s snow.

It would be nice to do a bunch of countries known for their skiing and snowboarding because the models would be so hot. And because there’s this thing about going to ski resorts where half the time you just stare at people…. Sweaty athletic girls—they’re really good.

What’s the connection with Burton?
I have a personal connection. A girl I went out with that was in some of my old films from the 80s left New York to get her life together and moved to Vermont and made it onto the Burton team. And if I’m right, that’s when snowboarding started to come to prominence?

Yeah that’s about right.
She was traveling a lot for snowboarding and I think it was unusual for women snowboarders at the time to do that. So that’s where I first heard of Burton. Burton’s also a company based in Vermont.

But you’re from the South right?
Yeah, I’m from the South but the grandfather of one of my best friends opened Stowe Mountain. When you came down the slope their house was at the bottom, right by the parking lot. I spent a lot of time up there, and my grandmother is from up there too.

What went into designing the Joystick for Burton?
Burton asked me for about 40 photographs of women and party shots. So I sent that through and the result is that the board looks the way you might see things after partying all night—you’re seeing and remembering things through a haze.

Are you going to take the board out this season?
Yeah, but I think it’s going to be funny. I’ll be the guy in snowboard class dressed head-to-toe in brand new stuff and 30 years older than the next oldest person.

You’ve got a helmet so you’ll be fine. Let’s play a quick game of “Snowboarder or Pornstar”**—**out of these pairings you’ve got to pick who is the pornstar and who is the snowboarder. Pierre Woodman or Pierre Wikberg?
Pierre Woodman is the pornstar! I’ve jerked off to him plenty of times. Well, not “to him”—his porn. His old shit is incredible.

Correct, he’s a hero of mine. Pierre Wikberg’s videos are great too. Scotty Lago or Scott Nails?
Scotty Nails is going to be the pornstar.

**Right. Freddy Dalton or Fredi Kalbermatten? ** I’m going to guess and say that Freddy Dalton is a snowboarder.

No, Kalbermatten is actually on the Burton team. Mikkel Bang or Kenny Styles?
I’d say Mikkel’s the snowboarder because it sounds too much like a pornstar name (laughs).

Right call. Danny Delano or Danny Davis?
Danny Delano is porn. It’s easy to guess most porn names.

Shot By Kern will be back with new episodes in March and Powder & Rails will return in the first week of January.

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