Recently Jay Mandarino, Snowboard Canada’s Publisher & CEO (and huge Hardy Boys fan) conducted a Zoom interview with Snowboarder and Actor, Adam Swain…
Born in Southside Chicago to a musical family, Adam Swain never knew he would get into snowboarding and eventually, acting. But when he was eight years old, his family moved to Vancouver and among the mountains he found a passion to pour all his energy into. Before he knew it, Swain found himself competing as a part of the BC provincial team. As he started participating in more and more competitions, Swain decided to venture into the acting industry to cover the expenses that came with the sport. He started with a few commercials here and there but has since pivoted entirely to acting. He now stars as Chet Morton in the new TV adaptation of bestselling book series, The Hardy Boys, currently airing on YTV in Canada and available on Hulu in the U.S. Jay Mandarino, Publisher of SBC Snowboard Canada & CEO of SBC MEDIA, sat down with Adam to hear about his journey from the slopes to the screen:
JM: When did you start snowboarding?
AS: I started fairly late at 12 or 13, so I learned at a really accelerated rate. I started by just doing turns during my first couple years and then afterwards I was like, ‘Okay, let’s do park, let’s do some flips, let’s get into it.” After that, I began to take a real liking to the sport, I loved it.
JM: What sort of riding do you do?
AS: I did all slope because the half pipe terrified me. The fact that it was all ice walls was like nope, that’s not meant for me, so I grew up doing park. I always loved doing jumps and side hits on Mount Seymour.
JM: I saw some of the pictures of some of the tricks you’re doing, I mean, there’s a handful of people that really get there that fast. What do you think was the driving force?
AS: I really wanted to be different. Growing up, my family was really music based. My grandfather was part of a rock and roll group in the 70s. My siblings always took music. But my musical gifts started tapping in later, so I was done feeling like the odd one out. And then for me, I didn’t see many snowboarders that looked like me, I didn’t see many Black snowboarders out there. I was like I want to be the one of the first people to be able to go to the Olympics and represent Canada and be a Black snowboarder. Especially studying all the black snowboarders that came before me like Keir Dillon and Russel Winfield, that gave me that driving force that made me want to be the best I could be in the sport.
And the friends I was boarding with, we all pushed each other. So, it was a lot of doing an extra spin just to see what happens or trying an extra flip–all the times you get that adrenaline when you’re trying to chase a trick.
JM: What was your favorite trick?
AS: For jumps, nothing hits like a method. I love doing front three indy to stale fish and front seven chicken salad. For rails, I really liked doing cab two pulls and front lip twos and there’s just something about a nice nose press.
JM: What was your favourite setup?
AS: I went through so many boards but I’d say Capita DOA was my favorite. For bindings, it was definitely Unions, I broke a lot of other bindings. I didn’t want I didn’t want to fall into the hype of wearing unions but eventually I was like, okay, just give me your Unions. Then for boots, I really liked wearing 32 boots. But I was always the guy that wanted to look the best on the mountain as well, so I had the Nike Vapens in the neon green. That was my favorite kit.
JM: How did you transition from snowboarding to acting?
AS: Up until acting, snowboarding was the only thing I wanted to do. I wanted to go to competitions, I wanted to travel the world and go to Switzerland and Australia. Then after a while, I started hitting this point of it’s the year where I either have to really go for it, since sports are getting younger and younger, or I have to hang it up.
I was fortunate enough to have another thing to fall back on. A lot of the guys I was riding with, this was all they had, so it was survival for them. Also my coach retired the year I’d have to go for it, so to find a new coach when it’s your breaking year and having to build that chemistry again, I just felt my life was taking me into this new direction.
Snowboarding absolutely has helped me with acting in the sense of you do hours of training to do a run that’s like 30 seconds. And if you do good, you can do it twice. That’s really what auditioning was like. So, I started acting and went fully into it and a year later, I got the audition for The Hardy Boys.
When I got the audition, I was super excited to jump into a character who’s a lot like me. He’s a ride or die friend, he’s the guy that wants to see the best in people. The audition came at a great time and that was a turning point in my life.
JM: Adam it was great talking with you and hearing your impressive story. You must be so proud of what you have accomplished on the slope and in the studio. It’s great to have young men like you be a role model for others, so hats off to you. Equally as important is you are aspiring others and I hope you keep it up Adam!
The Hardy Boys airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on YTV and on STACKTV.