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It takes a special person to rollerblade, jump out of a stretch SUV limousine, have a board caddy, wear a doo rag on his head, stylishly ride a lowrider bike in their video part and oh, shred the shit out of a snow dome like a demonic snowboard maniac. Denis Leontyev is such person. The Russian tornado is a rail wizard afficianado. Your urban spots are not safe. Lock up the vodka. Close the snow domes. The Cold War may have ended but “Bonus” is just warming up for snowboard armageddon.
How old were you when you got into snowboarding and what was your first day like?
I was 16 years old when I started snowboarding. I went to my hometown hill with my friends, and as i remember, it was late evening. They kinda pushed me a few times saying something like ‘Go straight’, so i had just a couple “runs” and then i went back home after spending just half an hour on the slope.
Where did you grow up?
In Russia, Saint-Petersburg.
Growing up, whose style did you most try to emulate when snowboarding?
I wouldn’t say I emulated someone’s style, but I really liked watching Lucas Magoon, Chris Bradshaw, Scott Stevens and Jed Anderson.
You drop some huge bomb drops. Do you have huge Russian testicles?
To be honest, I’m a pussy. But apparently, when camera starts recording, they get bigger.
In your latest and greatest video endeavor, “Hustlin’” you show up to the snow dome in a Ford Expedition Limousine. Is this how you normally get to the hill? Is there normally someone there to carry your backpack?
No. I just randomly showed up at right place at right time. Some VIP dude came there for a birthday party. And fuck, never ask someone to carry your backpack, until you have a hard bail or something.. I don’t know. That’s gay.
Hustlin’ was really fucking funny! Do you care if people on the internet love and respect you?
Thanks! I don’t really care, but sometimes I get pissed when people just don’t get it.
Do you spend a lot of time riding snow domes. They aren’t common here in the States and all. What’s the good and bad when riding snow domes?
I used to spend a lot of time riding snow domes back in the days, because i didn’t have an opportunity to travel anywhere. The good thing is that you can ride it any time of the year, it’s always good weather inside the fridge. Bad thing is just that it’s not a real mountain.
Do you rollerblade? Or do you just rollerblade strictly in your video parts?
I don’t. I just filmed that for the video wearing size 11’s when I normally wear 7’s.
How much vodka can you drink in one sitting?
How did you get the nickname “Bonus”?
Yeah, well, that’s a pretty funny story. First time i was called Bonus happened when i went to a kids party at the age of 6. I found a token and put it into a slot machine and accidentally won some good bonus money but i couldn’t take them cuz i was just 6 years old. Then, second time happened one year after when i was playing soccer with neighbor guys who were twice older than me. Each team had 7 players but they always took me as the 8th ‘bonus’ player. Finally, third time happened when i found a slot machine in a new supermarket (they were allowed back in the years), asked my mom to put a token in it for me, and i won bonus money first try again. Since then, my friends decided to call me bonus.
Do you have a dashboard cam? Are all Russians required to have dashboard cams for insurance purposes? Are Russians just bad drivers in general or just hammered behind the wheel?
I don’t have a car. As I know, you’re only required to have dashboard cams in Moscow. And yeah, Russians are some really crazy drivers.
Do security guards trip out in Russia when you guys are sessioning a spot like they do in the states. What’s your worst security experience?
Usually just some random people in the streets turn out to be a pain in the ass. Once I got shot with an air pistol by a redneck. Oh, and also I, my girlfriend and my homie got attacked at the spot a couple years ago, so we had to bite them. Can’t remember any real bad experience with the cops in Russia.
You spent sometime at Bear Mountain last year ending up in 4 of their “sunday in the park” series. How was that experience and how is snowboarding in So Cal different than snowboarding in Russia?
I fell in love with Bear Mountain so bad that i came back here a few days ago. Filming goes down easy, Adam aka Beef is a good filmer and a nice guy. As for difference, you can’t even compare American snowboarding to Russian.
What’s your favorite thing about the States?
Who is a better arm wrestler – you or Vladimir Putin?
I feel like Vladimir Putin can kick everyone’s ass in this world.
You aren’t on the Russian National team. Are you still going to go to Sochi to rage and shred? What’s Sochi all about?
I’ve never been a part of national team. I’ve never been to Sochi, either. In short words, I don’t give a shit.
You are in a new Nike ad campaign where you jib an old ass Russian Helicopter. At the end, we see Kobe Bryant poolside watching on a tablet all stoked on you. Did you get to meet Kobe Bryant? Were you really snowboarding an old helicopter? Give us the details.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Kobe. I was filming in a huge studio which looked more like a hangar with real snow inside. I really slide the helicopter, but I didn’t jump onto it. I was kinda tied with a rope to the ceiling.
We got a pretty good glimpse of Denis Leontyev’s day to day in, “Hustlin” But what would the perfect hump day be like for Bonus? How much shredding and sex would be involved?
I guess it would look like a normal day – snowboarding, hanging out with friends, and i have a girlfriend.
There are no bears walking in the streets. And it’s not -60C degrees. Such cities as Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and many other are not village types but megapolis like NYC etc. And Russian people always need to get a special visa for visiting any country (it’s not that regular stamp which you get at the arrivals).
What is the Denis Leontyev secret to success?
Many snowboarders say it’s their passion for snowboarding. I couldn’t agree more.
Look into your Crystal Ball. How is 2014 going to shape up for you?
I can see lots of shreddin’ and chillin’ in 2014. And filming a street video part of course.
Nike, Red Bull, Salomon, G-Shock, Bonus Gloves, The Los Angeles River, Ema Neckwear, Cti Brace