Forrest Shearer - Interview
– Snowboarder Forrest Shearer on the joy of earning his own lines
Born and raised by the swell of the Pacific Ocean, pro-surfer Forrest Shearer switched the waves of California for the mountains of Utah – and his surfboard for a snowboard – more than ten years ago, and he hasn’t looked back since. An avid splitboard enthusiast, Forrest is fond of climbing up the mountains to earn his own altitude.
“What I love about the splitboard is how it’s the best of two worlds. You walk up on skins like an alpinist and then you just shralp down – I call myself a “shralpinist”. It’s all under your own power and you’re in total control. But I also really like big mountain snow surfing, on a long board with a swallow tail that gives these breezy, smooth turns”, says Forrest.
Forrest has been riding in Hestra gloves, since 2014, drawn to the brand because of the story, and staying because of the quality.
“I really appreciate how Hestra makes things that last, how they are not just trying to sell more stuff all the time. The range is just amazing. When I walk up, I use a liner like Touch Point Active paired with a shell such as the Nimbus Mitt, and then I switch to heavier gloves when riding down. The Army Leather Extreme Mitt is my go-to-model for descents, but I also really like the retro-inspired Wakayama, especially with the Ecocuir leather. It’s a really interesting material with a cool story: a chrome free leather treatment that gives a lighter look. They age super nice with the patina giving them a personal look. A lot like the Fält Guide Gloves which are also some of my favorites, true classics.”
Well known in the snowboarding community for being an outspoken nature activist, Forrest’s trying to raise awareness about climate change and advocate for action among his peers, living and leading by example.
“It’s an amazing planet, and it’s obvious that we have a responsibility to take care of it. With all the extraordinary things that went on in the world last season, the pace slowed down in ways that I could somehow really appreciate. I explored my backyard of Utah and Wyoming and it gave me a new outlook on things, that you needn’t always go far.”
Forrest’s biggest snowboarding adventure yet was an expedition on Denali, Alaska, the highest peak in North America. In 2019, snow conditions were exceptional, so you could start out at the summit and surf or ski down all sides of the peak. Forrest is often joined on his backcountry adventures by both snowboarders and skiers.
“There used to be a difference in mindset, but that gap has closed. Skiers have become more laid-back and come closer to the relaxed snowboarder approach, while snowboarders might have become a little less of outcasts. Also, with the evolution of the gear – particularly the splitboards – it’s easier to do things together. It’s all about experiencing the outdoors with friends.”