DARCY KELLER – WELCOME INTERVIEW
Darcy Keller has been on the scene for a while now, starring in some of the best independent snowboarding webisodes in the biz. It’s no mean feat to throw down such impressive lines and produce the footage to match on a relative shoe string budget in the far reaches of British Columbia, so naturally we wanted to be involved.
Darcy’s our first snowboard addition to the Le Bent CA Team, and about as core as they come, so we sat down with Darcy from Donald to pick his brains and see what he has cooking.
LB: Hey Darcy, thanks for chatting with us, how’ve you been man?
No sweat. Thanks for bringing me on board! I’ve been really good. I’m just coming off a really good winter season here at home in BC. We had what seemed like endless snowfall and I felt strong and healthy all winter.
LB: Is BC where you're hunkering down right now?
Yeah, I’m just at home in Donald, BC, which is roughly 25 kms outside of Golden to the North West. I usually spend a lot of time around the house at this time of year, generally just waiting for sunny days, so this hasn’t been all that different from my normal.
LB: Heck of a season in BC where you call home these days, not to mention the more than abrupt ending to the snow season in light of Covid-19. What had you been up to before the pandemic came and rained on everyone’s pow parade?
This year I had an opportunity to film with a bigger budget project than I had been in the past. My friend Dustin Craven is arguably one of the best pillow riders in the world and last fall he asked me to be a part of the production that he was putting together. We spent January through I guess half of March back and forth between my place in Donald here and his place in Revelstoke. Our main focus was riding pillows and natural terrain. Definitely a bummer that our season was cut short but everyone is in the same position. I feel like we’ll still have an enjoyable movie to watch. It’ll be coming out in the fall. We’re calling it Oh Boy. I hope that people like it. I feel like I had one of the best winters of my life, regardless of missing out on potentially a month of filming time due to this pandemic.
Darcy atop a pretty juicy looking pillow line. Pic cred: Dustin Craven
LB: Epic! We'll be stinging to watch some pillow shredding after so long in lockdown. Will we predominantly find you in the backcountry then? What sort of terrain really tickles your fancy out there?
I prefer the backcountry yeah. Come to think of it, I think I clocked less than 5 ski hill days this year. I like riding pillows a lot, anything natural really. Just more time strapped in and actually boarding. I feel like we only built a couple jumps this winter. In my opinion if it takes more than 20 minutes to set up for a shot it takes too much time away from the riding.
LB: For sure! Are you a split board or sled guy then? Word on the street is you put more than a few days per year on the latter…
I’m not opposed to either, but I genuinely love sledding and I sled a lot, quite often upwards of 80 days a winter. That said, I sled to snowboard. I always take my snowboard when I go out and very seldom do I go and not end up riding. It does happen sometimes, you get skunked on your objective or plans, or sometimes it is so deep out there you end up sledding all day just to put the trails in so you can then snowboard the following day. I understand that there’s a big battle between sled access versus touring access. I’ve had lots of people give me a hard time about how much time and how many days I spend on the sled regarding my carbon footprint and all. I try to justify it by not flying anywhere. I don’t go on exotic trips anywhere, nor do I have any plans or interest in it. I’ve also only spent 2 days ever heli skiing. Maybe sledding isn’t sustainable. But for now thats what I do and it seems like my best option to do what I want to accomplish in the back country. I would love to purchase an electric sled some day but the technology is just not there yet for them to be reliable and/or have the range that we need to access where we want to go.
The view from the steeds. Pic cred: Darcy
LB: Is snowboarding a full-time thing for you then or do you supplement all the shredding with some, dare we say, ‘real’ work during the off-season?
In the winter snowboarding has always been my full-time passion and commitment. I’ve always worked in the summer, sometimes as little as a few months, sometimes I’ll do six months. I usually quit work no later than December 1st. I operate heavy equipment. Lately I’ve been doing highway construction in the summers. I was fortunate enough to work for a guy when I was younger who gave me a chance to learn how to run all different kinds of machines. I prefer excavators but I’m proficient in dozers, skid steers, graders…almost anything you’d see on a highway or mining job.
LB: Right on. We can't imagine the excitement come December 1st!
Since getting into some, what Le Bent products have you particularly enjoyed?
I’ve been really impressed with everything I’ve received so far! If I had to narrow it down to one item though I’d have to say I like how soft Le Balaclava is on my face.
LB: So, what can we – and the folks reading along – expect next from you?
I personally don’t know what any of us can expect at the moment… I wish I had a better answer for you. I do know that you’ll be able to see our work from this winter in Oh Boy coming out online next fall. Hopefully by then the world will be back on it’s feet and we can potentially get after making a follow up video.
Pillows, pillows and more pillows. Pic cred: Timmy Nelson
ABOUT DARCY KELLER
Age: Let's say old enough to have experience, young enough to give'r hell.
Hometown: Grew up in Battleford, Saskatchewan. Now call Donald, BC home.
Home Resort: The backcountry of the Purcell and Selkirk Mountain ranges.
Sponsors: Le Bent, Nitro, Country Eyewear, RudeBoys Shop
Favourite Le Bent gear: Le Balaclava 200 Lightweight
Follow Darcy here: Instagram