A Hump Day Check up with Dr. BBy Brooke Geery • Sep 25th, 2013 • Category: Features, Hump Day Interviews, Latest
Going to the dentist is rarely on people’s list of fun things to do, but if your dentist was Dr. Brendan, you might feel differently. If nothing else, you could at talk about snowboarding instead of the standard small talk you normally attempt with your mouth propped open. Unless you live in Rhode Island though, you are more likely to know Brendan as the filmer for the Yawgoons. Over the past few years, his videos have gained internet acclaim and Yawgoons are now known as one the best working-class crews in snowboarding. We figured it was finally time to check in with the Doctor and get the full story.
Who has the nicest teeth in snowboarding?
Ahhh god let me think, probably Mary Rand. Scotty Wittlake definitely has the coolest teeth.
How long have you been a dentist? How’d you get into it?
Its been four years. So after high school I started college with an engineering scholarship. After the first two years and some internships, I lost interest in the engineering field. It wasn’t right for me. I started looking into career options in the health care field. Dentistry really clicked with me and I began to focus on that. I switched to a Biology/ Pre-med path, applied to dental school my senior year, and enrolled the following fall. I graduated in 2009 and have been working ever since.
Do you ever look at footage or photos and say, “that’s a nice set of teeth” or on the flip side, “man, that guy needs some work”?
I’ve been asked this before. For some reason people think that because of my line of work I am constantly judging smiles and noticing dental problems. Truth is I don’t give it much thought unless its something outrageous. I notice things like missing or severely chipped teeth, decay on anterior teeth, all things that you or anyone would see. From what I have seen snowboarders have decent teeth.
When you were graduating from dental school, did you ever think you’d get involved with snowboarding to the level you are now?
Definitely not. I never had intentions to stop snowboarding once I began my career. In fact my plan was the opposite. I wanted to be able to support my snowboarding and even help support my friends’ if possible. I love snowboarding, I am thankful I can afford to do it and that I have time to do it. I always knew my friends and I would be riding together but never thought we would be filming.
Why don’t you just quit and make videos full time? Maybe move somewhere with a little more vertical?
I truly love being a dentist so I’ll stick with it, and southern Rhode Island is a good spot for me. The surfing is here is low key and super fun year round. I find it easy to get up north to the mountains in VT and NH from here. Boston and NYC are near as well.
What’s the draw for you to filming and editing snowboarding? It’s not easy and you’re obviously not doing it for the money…
I really like watching my friends snowboard. I have always been the guy cheering for my friends and freaking out when they land tricks. At some point a few years ago I decided to film them and share it with others.
Do you think your edits would come out differently if you did have a commercial interest, like a lot of the videos coming out these days?
I’m not too familiar with how that works but my guess is with commercial interest comes expectations and limitations. If so, it would have a negative affect on my process. The logos I now put at the end of my videos are there because I was compelled to do so, on a personal level, in response to the product support we receive. I get the feeling from each of our sponsors that they genuinely appreciate and back what we are doing. We couldn’t be more thankful.
Have you encountered any dental emergencies while filming or on hill?
I wish I had a wild on snow dental trauma story for you but I don’t. Last year we were filming on a patch of snow at Yawgoo with the new winch. Dylan built this bizarre high speed step up gap to a banked carve section. He ate shit and had an anteriorly dislocated shoulder which I reset on hill. I watched Marcus shatter his humerous the year before while filming. Those guys know I’ve got their back, especially if they mess up their teeth.
What’s the best part of being a dentist?
So as a general dentist I do a lot of different procedures and surgeries on any given day. My favorite thing is to extract a tooth with a massive infection. Typically, a patient with a tooth in that condition is both swollen and in excruciating pain. A lot of care and energy goes into making sure the patient is numb. You work on the tooth get it loosened up and when it is pulled all this puss and blood drains out. I liken it to removing a giant, infected splinter. The procedure provides incredible pain relief for the patient and I like being responsible for that.
For the fellow video nerds, where did you learn to make videos?
I’ve been learning these past few years through experimentation, practice and great advice from my friend Pat Fenelon. The process started my senior year at dental school. I got a tiny sony camera for shooting stills as a gift. I started messing around with the video mode and with editing in imovie. I graduated, moved to back to RI, and reconnected with the guys. It had been years since we had ridden together and it was inspiring for me to see their progression. Things have been evolving ever since. I owe a big thank you to Pat Fenelon. Pat is one of the best dudes I know and he helps me so much.
Did growing up with Pat Fenelon have any effect on your movie making?
Pat and I have been friends since we were kids. We both learned to snowboard at Yawgoo and have spent hundreds of days and nights there over the years. Pat worked at Yawgoo all through high school which was rad. Early on, I was always stoked to shred with him but we never filmed or considered it. Only recently did he get me into filming. He saw a few of my first videos and talked me into taking it more seriously. I hope we can collaborate on something snowboard related soon. Pat ‘s in RI now and the waves are good so we may break out the cameras.
For a tiny state, the skate and snow scene seems pretty strong in Rhode Island. Is it? How does it compare to the scenes in New Hampshire or VT?
My impression is that the scene is pretty good and well rounded. A lot of people I hang with surf, skate and snowboard as much as they possibly can. During the winter, Yawgoo is busy with beginners, locals, and die hards. It is only five miles from the ocean so the season can be super short but people shred hard for it. I think the scene in NH and VT is amazing. Our friends at Loon Mt.Snow, Sugarbush, and Killington all ride so hard and have the greatest energy. It’s a different setting for us at the big resorts but everyone is really fun to ride with.
You travel around some too, where are your favorite places to ride?
Killington is my favorite spot to ride on the east. I rode there in college when I had the time. I’m going to get a pass there this season. The Rand’s have a sweet cabin at Loon so we are there a lot too. I do not make it to Mt. Snow and Sugarbush as often but those spots are so sick.
There’s a ton of talent coming out of the East these days, especially in the video realm, why do you think East Coasters make such good filmers?
I agree, the talent out there is insane. I don’t really have any insight into why East Coasters make good filmers. I think anyone who puts their mind to it can excel no matter where they are from.
So you basically put Yawgoo Valley on the snowboard map. Are they stoked? Has it gotten any more crowded since you guys made them Internet famous?
The people running Yawgoo are amazing and they are definitely stoked. It seemed very busy last year but I don’t think we were responsible. There are a lot of young rippers who all buy seasons passes like we do. Future Yawgoons for sure.
Is Internet fame really all it’s cracked up to be?
I think it is. We have been lucky and had some rad opportunities recently all stemming from our videos online. That Yobeat Crew Clash trip we won to Mt. Bachelor was the sickest thing.
The ‘Goons enjoy Mt. Baker.
How did you meet the other Yawgoons?
We all learned to ride there and met over the years. Marcus and I go way back. When I met him I was 14 and he was 9 and was the best rider at the place. I was just learning to snowboard and he had been riding a few years. Dylan and I met two years after that when he was probably 6. I don’t think we had a conversation until 5 years later but we rode together all the time and were friends. In college My roommates and I always had rails set up in our yards. When the snow was good, Dylan’s parents would drop him off and he would snowboard with us. Brian was the most hyper kid at Yawgoo. Initially, I couldn’t stand him but we grew to become good friends. It was so rad watching Mary come up. She has been ripping Yawgoo since she was five.
Tell me your favorite Marcus Rand story.
Wow. Ahh okay so in 2002 I was sophomore in college. The snowboard club was having its legendary bus trip to Mt Saint Anne, Quebec. A three night four day blow out. Myself and some friends had our hands in the planning so we saved spots on the bus for our close friends. Pat drove down from VT for it. The Hero and Guido were there. Marcus demanded a spot, he was 15. By that time, Marcus had already seen and done more than your average 21 year old. The riding was insane the first day and right after we all went to this big bar near the base lodge. Marcus used my drivers license to get in and I used my student ID. Marcus and Guido began hustling at the pool tables. They were playing for pitchers of beer and were unstoppable. I got caught with hip flask and thrown out. I bribed my way back in with $10 and found Marcus on the dance floor killing it. The night went late and we all headed back to the condo. At the condo, we realized Marcus wasn’t with us so we started backtracking and we spotted him coming down the street with blood all over his hands and face. He had slipped on ice and face-planted himself. So the party continued at the condo for a bit and eventually faded. I woke up the next morning and went to take a piss and found Marcus slumped over, sleeping on the toilet with his pants around his ankles and dried blood on his face. He had fallen asleep mid shit. We all gathered and woke him up together. I vividly remember him trying to wrap his head around what had happened. It dawned on him and he said, sitting there, “wow, I feel asleep taking a shit.”
The people keep asking for the Dylan Gamache Hump Day, think it’ll ever happen?
I don’t think it will. Dylan is very reserved and keeps his thoughts to himself. He imagine he would say no if you asked him. Its his nature to be quiet and thats why I like the kid so much. He is the exact opposite of annoying. He never complains or talks shit. He is incredibly wise and when he speaks, you listen.
Is Brendan Rego a Yawgoon? he’s from Rhode Island and all.
Rego! Brendon is a solid dude and unofficial Yawgoon. Its been fun linking up with him to film. He lives an hour from Yawgoo in northern Rhode Island and grew up riding other spots. A Yawgoon is someone who learned and grew up snowboarding at Yawgoo Valley like Dylan, Marcus, Brian and Mary.
You are basically those kids dads so I have to ask, who’s your favorite?
Marcus. He is like my little brother.
How long do you usually film for a Yawgoons edit? How do you know when it’s ready?
This past season it took us about five sessions at Yawgoo to make one edit. Lately, it seems we spend more time on snow building features than we do filming. Marcus gets me hyped to make the edits. After a few days of filming, I’ll start getting calls from him at work wondering were the edit is. Thats when I know its time.
Do your day jobs make it harder to get stuff done? Or do you think it’s positive that you have other stuff going on besides snowboarding. Are you glad you’ve taken the path you did?
I think our jobs and responsibilities keep us grounded. Snowboarding is our escape, our collective passion. We all seem to have found balance between our respective jobs, careers, classes and our snowboarding. It feels good and, personally, I wouldn’t change a thing in my life right now. I feel so lucky to be where I am.
Shout outs and thanks?
Dylan, Marcus, Brian, and Mary you guys are amazing and to everyone else I have filmed with lets do it again soon! Pat thanks for all the help, Thank you Brooke and Yobeat for supporting us from beginning. Thanks to everyone at Yawgoo Valley, CiViL, CAPiTA, Union, Coal, 32, Von Zipper, Beaver Wax, RVCA, Rad Gloves, ICKS, Loon, Mount Snow, Sugarbush, and Killington. Thank you Andrew Racine, Guido Silvestri, Rob Asselin, Paul Danchak, Hans Åhlund, Stephen Drake, Scott Stevens, Erik Hoffman, Angrysnowboarder, Upstate Mike, Sam Cornwall, Erik Hoffman, Hondo, Keri, and Kevin Susienka.
Check out all the Yawgoons edits here and follow them on instagram @yawgoons
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