The Jake Koia Interview

December 23rd, 2009


You can’t teach style, you can encourage it and help it along, but you can never teach someone true style. In snowboarding, many believe style to be more important than the number of times you can spin around. Jake Koia understands the importance of style, whether that is in the form of hitting a backcountry kicker or trying to stuff 3 snowboard outfits into a bag, Jake knows the cut of his pants must match the trick.

Don’t think Mr Koia is all show with no go, this Kiwi has certainly put his mark on the international map with numerous magazines covers, double page photos, video parts and impressive competition results, it is no surprise that his name appears on more than a few international team rosters.

Jake is not that loud guy all up in your face that is unless he is battling you in NBA2K10. He is one of those professional snowboarders that understands hard work, and what needs to be done to make it happen on and off the snow. In the midst of travelling to his second home of Vancouver, Canada Jake took some time out from the all to familiar LAX layover to explain why the internet is a must for modern day pros, why he’s not really welcome with the Video Grass Crew and other trivial musings.


Age: Turned 25 the other day
Stance: On the reg
Sponsors: Oakley, Redbull, YES, Grenade, Flux, Neff, Mons Royale, Axis, Snowpark NZ
Websites: ,{
Hometown: Arrowtown New Zealand
Home Resort: Snowpark

Favorite overseas destination?

I love Canada I spend a lot of time in BC Vancouver, Whistler/Squamish area. I’ve been going there since I was 17 so it is sort of a second home for me.

Back to your second home Canada, what is the plan this season? Comps, filming?

Yeah actually in LAX right now on the way back, stoked to get back and start riding again. As for plans I’m going to be doing a few events like Dew Tour some of the Opens and a couple other TTR events. I was looking forward to getting back to Norway for the Arctic Challenge but I was just informed that there’s only slopestyle this time so I have to do well in a couple events or get a wildcard to make it back I think. Other than that I’m going to do some filming with the YES team.

At least this year the exchange rate might help, especially with your track record with sleds what is the biggest single sled bill you have had?

Hmmm that’s hard there has been so many cause their always raping me everywhere I’m at! But I guess when my sled got stolen a couple years back, I had just paid $6500 CAD. It got taken so I brought another one for the same price. Enough on that I’m getting pissed off thinking about it.


You parted ways with a long time sponsor this past season, was it a matter of you had out grown them or you wanted to check out other options?

Hmmm yeah that was a weird one in a way you could say a bit of both because I did sign a 3-year deal with those guys then it went a little pear shaped after the first year was almost up. Lets just say I went as far as I could with Endeavor.

What boards are you riding this season?


What do you have planned with these guys?

I’m stoked to be riding for YES and all my other sponsors seem happy about the change. DCP, JPS, Romain and now Tadashi these guys are an amazing group of riders and all guys that I’ve looked up to so I looking forward to learning from them. We are going to be doing some film trips for sure.


With the help of Red Bull you just launched do you see the Internet as the next step pro riders are having to take to market their image.

Sure anything helps right, I basically just want to keep people up dated with what I’m doing as much as possible and also help people get to know my personality. I try to keep it pretty personal on there and let people in as much as possible and people have been checking it out so I’m stoked.

Have you always been aware of having to market your self to keep the dollars coming in and the sponsors happy?

I guess, I mean I’ve just been learning as I go. You have to hustle a little harder these days to try and separate yourself from the rest.



You suffered a broken ankle last year that meant a lot of couch time, however it allowed you to focus a new hobby of making music, how is the “Beat Lab” going?

Honestly I got into it hard when my ankle was busted but when I healed up I’ve just been super busy with other stuff, I don’t really like sitting in the house all day I’d rather get out so its hard because logic is a tough program to learn and when you stop for a bit its hard to remember everything you learned. Shit I might just get some better recording shit and start laying some more vocals ha ha ha.

Is music a serious post snowboarding path or still just a hobby?

Oh it’s a hobby if that.

Have you sorted out your rapper name yet?

I like “Whiskey dick” but that’s Jan’s name, but maybe I could do what 50 cent did and kill him and take his name.

This is the second season in Canada that you have lived with Australian snowboard film guy and party guy Jan Snarski, is living with Jan like the Step Brother movie? Or worse?

It’s worse because we seem to spend so much money when we hang out but it works in a sense that I really like cleaning and he likes making a mess and is kind of a slob. I also like wining and he’s really good at losing so it kinda works, and he is hardly a party guy, he likes to talk about all the ciggs he smokes but really has one drag gets a head spin and pukes on himself.


Will you guys be working on any project together this season? Or is it each to their own?

Each to there own, we are both going sledding tomorrow but we are mostly just going for a scope. He’s obviously doing the VG thing again and even though I have tattoo’s and wear tight jeans I’m pretty sure I’m not welcome.

You have started to collect some new ink in the past year including a Mr 4 Square piece what is going to be the next addition to the collection?

Yeah I’ve always loved tattoo’s I got my first piece when I was 16, a friend of a friend just rolled round to my house and did it- bad idea but I got it fixed up pretty good. I have 5 tattoos now 1 on my back and the rest on my arms so there’s plenty of room left, I want to get some work from a Vancouver artist and hopefully one day something done from ‘Cartoon’ he’s done a lot of rap guys and other celebs.


The Jake Koia Mixtape will happen as soon as they finish NBA2K10 – Movie by Jan Snarski

Jake Koia’s top 5 tracks on your ipod right now

  1. Lil Wayne ft Drake & Birdman – For my town
  2. Jay z ft swizzbeatz – On to the next one
  3. Soulja boy – turn my swag onnnnnnn
  4. Gucci mane – Rediculous
  5. 50 – Flight 187

Top 5 What’s Hot & What’s Not


  1. NBA 2k 10
  2. My Girlfriend
  3. Seaco coffee machines
  4. Snus
  5. Jerky


  1. Gareth off the UK office
  2. Autotune
  3. Whistlers ‘peak season’ TV show
  4. Carbs
  5. New Zealand Internet

Words:: Paul Colby
Images by:: Vaughan Brookfield