Industry Profile: Bluebird Wax Kurt Wastell
13 Sep, 2012
Job Title: snowboarder/ landscaper
Employer: myself and bluebird wax/wine/snowboards
Years on snow: 21 years
Days on snow: Way to many to count
Currently Riding: Bluebird Wastell 155
Currently I am: Not in Utah anymore…Currently living in SoCal and sometimes in Jackson hole.
Shay:Tell us a little bit about yourself
Kurt: Born in Redding California, lived in Utah when I was little then moved back to Cali but Socal, been a pro snowboarder since 1994 and still love it as much as the first day I learned. Pretty much traveled the world for the last twenty years and it never gets old, especially when your with the right crew. Sold my house in Utah in January and have been bouncing around for the past year pretty much chillin with Willie Mcmillon working on Bluebird.
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Kurt: Snowboarding has allowed me to see the world, meet an insane amount of cool people, work with really insane companies, meet a bunch of insane doctors and always be on the newest products out there.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Kurt: I started snowboarding the season of 90/91 and it happened with the help of my brother Jeff who was also a pro snowboarder and Steve Mendelson who ran a shop in Simi Valley called surfin west. Steve got me competing in the USASA pretty much right away and things started happening from that point on. I owe a lot to my parents for letting me go down the path I chose.
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Kurt: Well high school was high school and I did a little college but mostly its been snowboarding related and or landscaping that has kept me going.
Shay: Tell us about your role as at Bluebird Wax and a description of the work you do?
Kurt: I think I’ve been on bluebird for like 15 years or something crazy but I just try to help Willie with as much as I can, little of everything I guess. Willie and I have known each other since were like 16/17 years old, he has so much dedication to the team and the company.
Shay: If you had to make up a job title that most accurately described what you REALLY do, what would it be?
Kurt: Marketing/riding/R&D/Design and watch rad things happen. I also build sprinkler systems and do a bunch of landscaping work to pay the bills.
Shay: Describe the craziest day/moment you’ve had at your job?
Kurt: The craziest moment was the day I jumped the berzerker at the 1999 superpark at Mammoth Mountain, got MVP and was with some of the best people on this planet. There are so many crazy moments other than that but that could take forever to list. Riding in Alaska is just one of the many.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Kurt: Riding for Solid back in the day along side my brother and so many great people, riding for vans for 16 years whom also sponsored Jeff and my little brother Van.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Kurt: The economy has definitely taken a toll on the industry, as well as a few bad winters to cause hard times but somehow we all do our best to press on. I think there are to many similarities in the industry and not enough individualism (companies). I think the cost to actually go snowboarding is completely out of control and is really making it hard for families and individuals to do something they love.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Kurt: First off snowboard so you actually know what you’re talking about when designing new products, listen to the riders who put all the time in and keep it fun and real.