With all the talk about snowboarding being a dying sport these days it’s almost hard to remember that professional snowboarders used to be treated like rockstars. Especially if you were on the Forum team in the heydays of the 00’s and traveled to Japan. Justin Bieber never even had it so good as Peter Line’s hand selected team of JP Walker, Jeremy Jones, Chris Dufficy, Wille Yli-Luoma, Devun Walsh, Bjorn Leines, and Joni Malmi. Crazy to think this was 16-years ago and a few of these guys are still playing the pro snow game into their 40’s.

Rob Mathis was the photographer to these snowboarding megastars and remembers Those Days fondly. Without looking back at the roots it’s hard to keep riding on track to a respectful future.


“It’s the first time I witnessed snowboarders being treated like full rock stars. Since everybody was posted up in the same hotel, it was full of fans looking for autographs, photos or any product they could get. While filming earlier in the day, Joni Malmi had cracked one of his boards. Normally this board would just get thrown away and a new one would be set up. Instead he took the board up the stairs that overlooked the lobby level at the hotel. Once the crowd noticed what was going on the whole floor filled to beyond capacity and looked like a sea of ants from our perspective. Joni let the board go and the frenzy ensued.

Later that night the lucky recipient came up to the room to have Joni autograph the board and could hardly hide the excitement. This was a trip I’ll never forget. I still remember the moment like it was yesterday, despite the fact it was 16 years ago.”

— Rob Mathis


Click over to the SNOWBOARD MAG to remember the glory days of the Forum 8.