The Brian Lavoie Interview
Colin Wallace | On 24, Mar 2016
Brian Lavoie is easily one of the most interesting, intelligent and eccentric people in Golden, BC.
From the hempcrete Earthship in Goonieland to his successful entrepreneurial venture, Knight Rider snowmobile racks: when Brian talks, people listen. He is matched by his fiancée Nicole ‘Betty’ DuVent and her successful business: Eat Pure Mountain Market.
CW: Tell me about Knight Rider Racks
BL: KRR is a snowmoboarding company founded in 2004, focused on riding powder accessed by sled. My rack designs are custom to each model of sled, I have 5 designs plus a new ski rack just released this season. It allows the skiers to get out there too and when they’re done skiing they can simply fold down the ski bracket and put in a snowboard or noboard and go shred. Studies show that skiers drink red bull and drinking red bull leads to skiing, so I’m giving away a free red bull holder with the first 30 ski-wedges sold. All of my snowboard and ski racks come with a beer holder that will hold your beer while you shred your line, it’s really cool! My racks are compatible with many types of shred sticks, noboards, pow surfers, fat, coffin shapes, chain saws and ice augers, they are fully customizable and I carry a series of standard parts that can be configured to do pretty much anything.
CW: How can I buy one?
BL: You can’t, we are sold out. But if you go to the website you can reserve one for when we get stock, get on that list asap because there’s a good chance they’ll be gone before I get them.
CW: Why don’t you stock more dummy?
BL: I have a low overhead and try to keep the price competitive. If I stock more I will have to get a bigger facility and probably hire someone, this doesn’t make more money as there is a limited amount of new riders entering the market each season. I see slow growth and no real major pump up of the market. Also, I am able to make changes to designs resulting in constant improvements and perfection of the product. Eventually I’ll get there, but I refuse to let it cut into my shredding time, that’s the most important thing. I don’t want to loose the stoke on snowboarding by letting busy-ness get in the way.
CW: Why do you use metal and not plastic?
BL: Metal is my life, I’ve always worked with the stuff, but the parts now are all CNC machined for max production and low cost. I used to make the parts myself for friends and word of mouth sales, but now source just about everything out. Plastic molds are expensive and to make any changes is a huge cost. Plastic will deteriorate in the sun and crack, that’s not cool when you have expensive boards falling off your sled and getting lost in the Kootenay pow, or whipping past your head going down the trail, I’ve seen it happen too many times. Aluminum is not the most environmentally friendly material but it is the most recycled material, up to 95% and most of that is beer cans so it’s kind of a full circle with my beer can holders being made from the product that its used for. Some plastic is necessary of course but I do try to use the recycled stuff, I am a bit of a hipneck that way and I try to take responsibility for my products and always ask my suppliers about the source of their materials and processes.
CW: Tell me about Goonieland and hempcrete
BL: Goonieland is a magical place full of treasures that I have collected over the years. I handbuilt a small Earthship that incorporates hempcrete throughout. This has not been done anywhere as far as I know so it’s a bit experimental. The benefits of hempcrete are insane and too many to list, but the main reason I wanted to apply it to the Earthship structure was to control humidity, which is one of the biggest problem with these types of buildings. My life at Goonieland is outside every day working with volunteers that come to learn about natural buildings, permaculture, gardening and of course gettin’ Goonie 😉 I probably look forward to summer as much as I do to winter, it’s a good life.
CW: Tell me how you feel about people parking on the approach to your driveway off the highway
BL: Doesn’t bother me unless they poop, then it bothers me. However, I don’t live there anymore, I just use the shop and every once in a while I’ll stop there and poop.
CW: What do you call an empty jar of Cheez Whiz?
BL: Window duh…
CW: Tell me about Eat Pure
BL: Eat Pure Market is my fiancée Betty’s organic grocery store/smoothie bar, she opened last year and makes the best smoothies and muff pot meals in town. The products she stocks are primarily local, organic or equivalent and high quality. For a small store she has it stocked full of everything you could need including ice cream, cookies, bulk maple syrup, meat, and fish. You can be sure she has checked every ingredient on every product and constantly analyzes the supply and pricing so as to bring Golden the best bang for their health and dollar. On her days off she shreds powder and walks up most of her runs via split-board or Verts snowshoes. She really likes it when I drive the sled and take her to the top.
CW: YOU POSTED A VIDEO OF “THE BRAAAMP” NOT TOO LONG AGO AND ITS GONE VIRAL. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT.
The BRAAAMP is an invention of my friends Dean and Donny that I grew up with in Saskatchewan, they’ve been working on the design for a few years and are releasing it for sale this winter. It’s an aluminum tilting deck for small trucks that attaches to the tailgate mounts. Its light and easy to install. The tailgate is removed and saves it from getting damaged by loading and unloading. You can haul sleds, ATV’s, golf carts, boats and it even works for extending the box to haul lumber.
I’m a dealer for them and will be handling all western Canada and NW US sales. The page is up on the site for pre-orders and they are working 24-7 to get them built.
CW: You’re part of the Masters class of sledding/snowboarding dirtbags, how do you maintain your youthful appearance?
BL: Damn right! I eat Hemp and drink Chaga tea everyday. No Coca-Cola, 7/11, Tim Ho’s, Subway, Petro-Can, McDics and every shitty fast food joint on the strip, I don’t eat that crap anymore, it’s not real food. I grow my own veggies and herbs and soon will be growing year-round, not to be judgmental, but for real, it’s the only way to live and be sustainable. The more we do it the more secure our food supply is and prosperous we will be. It’s kind of important if we want to survive.
CW: Any advice for up and coming dirtbag master hopefuls?
BL: Grow your own food and learn to live like a true dirtbag master.
CW: Who do you think would win in a fight? Smurfette or Gary Coleman?
BL: Neither of these people exist… movin’ on.
CW: Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
BL: I prefer the rainforest nut butter from Betty’s store, yum mix it up with ice cream and punkin pie. Bang!
CW: What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
BL: My Bladder
CW: Who’s the best cook in Donald?
BL: Well… they don’t call me bread makin’ Brian for nothing, ha! But Betty can take that title now, she is the best in the business. Until she opened her store, she was a backcountry chef for many of the lodges and ski huts in the area. She knows how to source the best food with the purest ingredients and never stops learning about new recipes, nutrition and always goes for local whenever possible. She even invented a new type of potato if you can believe that! It’s fuchsia colored and it should be available at the store next fall.
CW: Who’s dog has the worst farts in Golden?
BL: Catherine Cathcart 😉
Thank you for your time Mr Brian.
Eat Pure Mountain Market has muff pot sized meals available in the freezer, perfect for lunch on the mountain. They are also available at Mountain Motorsports.
To check out ski and snowboard racks designed in Golden BC, as well as other accessories for your sled. Coming soon the BRAAAMP! Tilting Sled Deck
– C Dialer