This rad snowboarder supports “jock” sports on his skin.
Growing up in Massachusetts, Chris Grenier wanted nothing more than to be a snowboarder, and there was no way he was going to let his state’s flat topography deter him from that dream. Grenier and his friends built jumps in their backyard and rode any size hill they could find. They took things a step further by visiting their favorite skate spots that were now covered in snow and doing tricks on the handrails.
Over the years Grenier has mastered the art of taking an urban environment and turning it into his own personal mountain, a skill that sometimes forces him to resort to a bit of deviousness. “Nowadays, our street spots sometimes turn into elaborate builds where we will shovel for hours to build a jump and a landing,” Grenier says. “We wear these orange construction vests—it tricks people into thinking that we are construction workers. We are able to build jumps off of roofs, parking garages, and places where you would otherwise get kicked out of.”
While he may have gotten his start by having to create his own mountains, Grenier has been able to travel all over the world as a professional snowboarder, hitting locales from Japan to Lithuania. “It’s funny to think about—snowboarding is basically glorified sledding,” Grenier says. “It’s just sliding down a hill, and we are blessed to be able to travel the world doing it. I am very thankful. I would rather go snowboarding and just crash all day than work a job that I didn’t enjoy.”
Following the allure of big mountains, Grenier left his home state behind to relocate to Utah. While he may be thousands of miles away from the Bay State, he need only look at his skin to be reminded of home. “I have a lot of Massachusetts pride,” Grenier says. “I live in Utah now but I still think of Massachusetts as home. I have a few typical ‘Masshole’ tattoos. I have the state outline, a Celtics tattoo, a Bruins tattoo, and a Red Sox tattoo.”
When it came time to design a signature hoodie for snowboarding apparel line ThirtyTwo, Grenier was inspired by the sweaters worn by the Bruins, a decision that could be seen as two worlds colliding. “It’s funny because snowboarding is a kind of ‘anti-jock’ type of counterculture sport,” Grenier says. “Being from the Boston area, sports are just a part of the culture. Play- off hockey is my favorite time of the year because snowboard season is winding down and hockey season is heating up.”
Trying to come up with new tricks, Grenier and his friends use a collaborative process where they try to push and feed off of each other. Using the same mind-set, Grenier likes to throw around ideas with his tattoo artist—Gailon Justus from Yellow Rose Tattoo in Salt Lake City—before he goes under the needle. “I have a lot of Massachusetts pride tattoos, skate tattoos, shitty tattoos, homie tattoos, traditional sailor tattoos,” Grenier says. “It’s kind of a blend of random shit. I like that style.”