T.J. Schneider is probably know best for his amazing ability to ride a snowboard but what many may not know is the fact he is an incredible artist, visionary in the world of snowboarding, entrepreneur, and has a very keen eye for classic choppers. I had the good fortune to hook up with TJ to ask him a few questions.
50: Thanks for your time TJ! I really appreciate it. TJ can you give us a bit of background on yourself… where you from, how long have you been riding.
TJ: I was born and raised in Red Deer Alberta , Started Snowboarding on New Years eve 1994 when I was 13 .. I finished High School a little early and was living the dream shortly after. I’ve been living in Vancouver for almost 4 years now. It’s the longest Ive stayed in one place since I was 16. I love it. The Ocean, the mountains , the summer. It’s a great place
50: I have to admit I am a fan of your artwork. I have seen it in person and never get tired of looking at it. What is your preferred medium to work in? Where do you get your inspiration?
TJ I really like to use water color, I just like how it looks, It doesn’t take too long to dry so it lets me work pretty quick . I also really like using the pilot .04 pens , fine lines and scribbles .. Wonderful. Inspiration comes from pretty much everything , Music , movies , my own as well as other peoples experiences .. The models I use inspire a lot too, they help me with a lot of the work.
50: On your list of links I saw the www.thesnowboardrealms.com . What is that about? How did it get started?
TJ: The snowboard realms is a video series I started to show kids what its like to be a professional snowboarder . After filming the First capita video I knew I didn’t want to go back to filming with another company , so I thought I would start my own little thing , Its been pretty rad experience so far.
50: I have been a big fan of artist/rider inspired board graphics forever (well damn near since the start of time). Can you tell us about the work you do with Capita?
TJ: Capita is rad like that , I don’t know too many other board companies that have riders so involved in the company . Ive been doing a board called the Mid life for them for the last 9 seasons , I remember drawing board graphics when I was in high school , so its always a bit of a trip to look down now and see a board that I designed under my feet .
Originally built by a guy named Rob Adams .... I guess it was in a few shows before the owner I bought it from ( Murray ) changed a few things and made it more of a rider than a show bike.
50: Where did you find it? Any future plans for the bike?
TJ: I was looking for a bike for a while , For years Ive been telling Joel ( CAPIta Team photog ) and he kept saying call Dean Wadella ( dean used to build the Og capita decks back in the day . )…. My Father Passed away in 2002 and my My grandma in 07 , so I got a bit of an inheritance, , I thought about doing something “ smart “ like paying down my mortgage but fuck it .. Thanks Grandma and dad , I think this is a better way to remember them , Pretty much every cent of it has went into the bike
I thought about my options
1 – pay someone to build me a bike , learn nothing until it breaks .
2 – buy a piece and do a total re build , search out everything from top to bottom and see how long it takes
3 – find a bike that had the right guts and change it to what I want
I went with number 3 , A home boy and I were always looking at craigslist , trading images of what we would find , We both watched one auction out on the island .. It took over a year but I took a trip out to the island in August and pulled the trigger .
When I got it home I rode it around a little then put it in the basement and over the course of a few days stripped it bare, powder coated the wishbone frame black , and had the fender chromed. I found an early canadian military Harley 45" springer on craigslist. Ordered a few other pieces here and there off ebay . With the help Dean, We Replaced the bushings in the rockers and cleaned up the springer , put in new cups to install the 45". Dean also did some nice welding and grindin for me on the old Paughco mustang tank I bought off ebay to make it fit without drilling any new holes in the frame,
When It came to the paint, I worked for a couple of hours on a design and Handed that off to Myk Rock. Sea foam green and white with some flake, and Gold leaf boarder. I'm Really stoked on how Myk took my basic idea and changed it .. same basic composition , few minor design changes with a few really light scales in the green on this side of the bike and a bit of a burst on the other.
It took me a few days of hangin in the basement listening to music to put it back together. My Ghetto notes and Iphone photos served me well in the absence of any manuals.. A ton of little fuck ups later and some help from Torys little hands ( my fingers are fat which makes some of the bolts really tough to get together ) this is it.
50: Who do you wrench with at the shop?
TJ: Dean has been my Harley Encyclopedia , tory has helped me with a bit of lifting and some small bolts , and my home girl Theresa has sat in on a few sessions for moral support .
50: What chop builders do you draw inspiration from?
TJ: I don’t really know any aside from the typical internet scour , the 4Q knuck , Born loser guys , White Knights … But the first bike I saw that I was super stoked on was off the love site , the “fucker” bike , I had that on my phone and computer for a while , it helped keep the little spark alive .
50: Are you planning on hitting any events this summer?
TJ: I’d really like to roll down to the Born Free event , It’s the day after my birthday , make it a bit of a gift to myself , that’s about as far as I can see into the future , we will see what happens from there
50: So cool man! Thanks for your time here. Any final words, shouts, props, thanks, ect?
Aint no thing …