Hello Severin. This is supposed to be an interview about you joining the Vans team. I think it’s quite funny that you have ‘van’ in your name, so I went on a Scrabble website and found a bunch of other words that have ‘van’ in them and have used them to build my questions. The questions don’t have much to do with snowboarding and the play on words is pretty terrible, but I think they’re funny, so I’m going to ask them.
Ok, I’m down.
Before we start, what does the ‘van’ in ‘van der Meer’ mean?
It’s a Dutch name, my dad is Dutch. It means ‘von See’ which is ‘from the lake’ in Swiss German. But in German Meer means ocean. So every time I say ‘van der Meer’ people say ‘oh, from the Ocean?’ But it actually means ‘from the lake’, so it’s the opposite, which is a bit confusing.
Have you ever committed an act of VANdalism?
I’ve definitely vandalised a bunch of jumps, and quite a few lips while riding them.
Have you ever stayed in a caraVAN?
No, but I’ve stayed in a normal van for the last four summers. Really good times, it’s the best thing you can do in summer. Just pack your surfboard and your sleeping things and drive away. You just follow the waves and the flow.
Do you like VANilla ice cream?
I’m more of a stracciatella guy, but I also like vanilla.
Do you think your name gave you an adVANtage at getting on the Vans team?
Definitely, I think that’s the main reason why I got on Vans. They also probably knew that you would have the genius idea of doing an interview like this where we talk about it.
Do you like VANishing into powder sprays?
I love it, but I also like surfing underneath the sprays.
How adVANced is your knowledge of the backcountry?
Maybe 3, out of… what? I don’t know. I’ve spent a lot of time there so I definitely know how to get around. But I’d love to get more knowledge from BC guides every year and learn more and more. The courses I do every year are quite basic, so I’d love to do a two or three day thing, following a guide in the backcountry and learning directly from them.
What do you think about eVANgelical Christians?
They should think what they want to think, but they should leave other people to have their own vision of the world.
Do you like the band NirVANa?
Love them. I missed the last concert though. Fuck. When was the last one? Maybe ten years ago?
I think it was a long time before that. Around ’94.
Ah yeah, I mixed them up with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Because when I got on Ride, the TM told me to come to a Chilli Peppers concert, but I didn’t go. But I like Nirvana too.
Do you ever worry about becoming irreleVANt?
I don’t really worry too much… and maybe at some point I won’t care if people worry about me. But right now I want to be someone that people care about. At least my friends.
Do you think you’d like having a man-serVANt?
What about a maid-serVANt?
Will you ever do a web series with Vans called VANS der Meer?
CHROMA was a cool name, but maybe ‘VANS Der Meer’ should be the name of your next project. Or the name of your signature boot, if you ever get one?
It does sound so funny! Or maybe ‘The Vans from van der Meer’.
That’s also great. Lot of options here. Do you think this interview is going to be adVANtageous to your career?
Oh for sure! It’s like the springboard for my career. Or maybe the springboard that leads to the nosedive.
How about it being adVANtageous to my career?
It’s going to be the springboard for your double backflip.
I’m down for that. I guess I should ask you at least one real question. So you are now officially on Vans, how are you feeling about joining the family?
I always loved their stuff, and especially now with what they’re doing with the team. Last year I spent pretty much the whole season with Arthur [Longo]. We were both looking for a buddy to ride with, and it always helps if you have the same sponsors. We love hanging and shredding together, and the whole vibe was really good. So he kind of got me on Vans so we could do more stuff together! We like hitting similar spots and also paragliding. It’s so nice to keep going with this flow, and I’m looking forward to many more days up on the hill with him and the rest of the Vans family!