Photographer: Scott Serfas
Athlete: John Jackson
Location: Aniak, AK, USA
Camera Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Shutter Speed 1/1000
I was in the middle seat of a helicopter with Travis Rice, Mark Landvik and John Jackson, circling around in the Tordrillo Mountains in Alaska when the three of them started talking about a jump they wanted to build below us. I had no idea what they were looking at, but after about 10 minutes of discussing it in the air we landed and got the shovels out.
I was in charge of shaping the in-run along with the other media team members on this particular “The Art of FLIGHT” trip. We shoveled for hours without even knowing what this feature looked like. From where we were working, all we could see was where the riders were shaping the take-off and the Alaskan valley in the background.
When it was time to shoot, I hiked up a few hundred meters and then traversed over to the side, trying not to disturb the snow in the foreground. When I got to the side, I was able to see what it was these guys planned to jump over and how big it really was!
I hiked up and down the slope I was on until I found the perfect angle. I held my breath and the boys dropped in. John Jackson made history that day by landing the largest backside double cork ever!
I was one of the few people snowboarding in the late 80s in Vancouver, Canada. I would bring my camera along with me to document my friends riding and as they became better at the sport my photography grew alongside them. At one point I remember someone telling me that if I had shot a particular photo on slide film they would have bought it from me. That's how it all started. I bought some slide film and kept on shooting. I was surprised, but people started buying my photos and my hobby transformed into a career.
Now, over 20 years later, I work full time and shoot all over the world. I shoot snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing and a handful of other action sports for dozens of magazines and brands worldwide. I have dedicated my life to photography and being involved within the action sports industry. Along with a few long-time friends, we have started a snowboard design and manufacturing company called Endeavor Snowboards and also a face mask company called Airhole.