The History of Internet Snowboarding: Part Two | The Rise, Flat-line, + Re-birth of YOBEAT

“Kickin it with the Dingo at SIA 2014 or 15.”

 

Yesterday we went long-form with Brooke Geery, the founder of Yobeat and pretty much the entire Internet as far as snowboarding is concerned. Click back to it for the real intro because we are jumping right back into it here. One thing that should be mentioned is the breeding ground for snowboard talent and industry talent that Yobeat became. From crews like the Yawgoons to Stan from Hateline to many on the current ‘TWSnow 30 Under 30′, Yobeat groomed them for greatness and then watched them get cherry picked by the industry. We’ll get more into that as well as the infamous ‘Burton Letter,’ Pat Bridges, women in snowboarding and much more including the future of Yobeat.

Just to re-cap the end of PART ONE: It’s now 2008 on the timeline, Yobeat had just sold its first ad, Nick Lipton had just come on board to join Jared and Brooke, and Yobeat was about to grew into the snowboard media juggernaut we came to love and loathe. Pour another drink because here we go……

 

 

Yobeat Interview Part Two

 

Board Rap:  In my mind Yobeat had already been large scale for some time. What was the industry response once it started gaining traction, was there much pushback? The whole place is pretty incestuous?

Brooke Geery: Honestly everyone was stoked. When it was Nick and I it was great- we have a lot of creative chemistry and he’s one smart mofo. I felt like we were doing a better job at the web than anyone else at that point. And sure, I had made some enemies, and I’m sure some people were threatened or nervous, but I don’t waste my time thinking about those people.

 

Do you remember how seriously TWS and Snowboarder were taking web at this point? 

Snowboarder were posting press releases mostly. There wasn’t a lot of good original content. TWS posted videos and had a decent commenting/message board community, but Snowboarder was basically non-existent online. They didn’t start to pick up any steam until they hired Laura Austin, honestly, and she moved on quickly as the most talented people in snowboarding usually do.

 

Crazy to think about.

Basically Yobeat worked because it was the right place, right time and right team and we had a unique voice that snowboarding was missing. And I like to think that by working hard at events and doing timely coverage etc, we would force everyone to do a better job.

 

You had a solid list of contributors from the pro community. Did this happen early on or take a bit to build up?

Obviously I’d met a lot of people over the years, so I had a lot of friends to call on. Todd Richards has always been a huge help and Pat Fenelon started making a weekly series called “Terrible Tuesdays” because he told me I needed more video. I also searched the annals of the web for solid crews from all the different regions who were already making videos, something no one else really did yet. I would contact the filmers and offer them regular features, such as Feldman Fridays or Magic Mondays. I had a pretty stacked rolodex of contributors. Once it started to really pop, people came to me. Colleen Quigley, Preston Strout, Kyle Clancy, pretty much all the kids on ‘TWS’s 30 under 30’ list, the list of superstar contribs goes on and on.

 

“That time I ran into Danny Kass at Mt. Hood when he was shooting an episode of the Real World, Portland.”

 

 

I remember someone telling me you were pretty crazy about keeping the site updated immediately after shit happened. Which is a given now days, but not back then.

Yeah people thought I was nuts. I mean, I am nuts, but that’s just the whole point of the Internet. I always wanted to post things first.

 

And now media people are editing contest content till 3am so it’s out hours afterwards.

Yeah, try doing that for 12 years straight. It’s taxing, to say the least. Although I’ve always been very quick and I would just skip the party and get it done usually. It’s actually pretty easy to do if you’re not wasted, as it turns out. But that is a skill you definitely can’t teach, which it made it hard to delegate that stuff when I need to concentrate on bigger picture things.

 

Ok, so Yobeat is up and running. What was the motivation during this whole time? Like to make some money or change the face of snowboard media, etc.?

It was never about the money for me. I barely even paid myself, and during times when I was making other money (ie. the year and a half I worked for Nike running digital for Nike snow) I didn’t even pay myself at all.

I guess my motivation was to make a cool site for snowboarding – do the stuff I thought the other guys should be doing, but weren’t. The fact that people wanted to pay us for it was a bonus. I also really like the travel and free gear that came with it. Yobeat didn’t actually “make” any money until I hired a full time sales guy, Justin Parkhurst. But you know what they say, mo’ money, mo’ problems.

 

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“Once it started to really pop, people came to me. Colleen Quigley, Preston Strout, Kyle Clancy, pretty much all the kids on ‘TWS’s 30 under 30’ list, the list of superstar contribs goes on and on.”

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He is still in snowboarding, right?

Yeah, he quit to go work for Snowboard Mag.

 

So what were the mo’ problems mostly?

Well, when there’s money coming in, there’s money going out. You start hiring and paying more people. And then your expenses are way higher and it just spirals. But as a freelancer myself, I always wanted to pay for good content when I could. It just complicates things.

Making enough money to hire people, but not really enough to pay them well upped the stress levels a lot and took away a lot of the fun. Sometimes it was fine but other times I would get super overwhelmed and depressed and when that happened no one could really do their jobs.

 

So eventually this led to less original content and more posting of the flood of kids and crews web edits that starting coming out? Or are we skipping over too much?

Well, the natural evolution of the Internet led to less original content, I think. With so many edits and stuff coming out daily it’s almost hard to justify the cost/energy to make as much stuff yourself. So that was a big part of it. More so I lacked the personal motivation to create because I was so over dealing with the business side. So, last spring I just stopped updating the site.

 

The motivation was gone?

Yeah, for the winter of 15/16, I moved to Boise to basically be closer to snowboarding. Mt Hood is amazing in the summer, but in the winter the drive gets way longer and the days get way shorter so living in Portland and trying to be an adult snowboarder with responsibilities is actually pretty tough. Also it rains here. A lot. I thought Boise, with Bogus Basin 30-40 min away and a fresh scene might get me hyped and inspired to write about snowboarding again.

Unfortunately it had quite the opposite effect. Displacing myself from my life didn’t really help, so shortly after I got back from Boise is when I stopped updating. Essentially as soon as I figured out another income source I was done. But when I left there was still some money in the bank and Jared still wanted to do the site. He kept it updated for almost another year based just on submissions he was getting.

Then this spring he was over it too. The Instagram had grown to the point where it alone was enough marketing for the apparel brand and updating a webpage in a world where people no longer really bother with homepages just didn’t really make sense for him anymore.

That’s when I stepped back in and brought back up a bunch of old stuff. My thinking was that I might as well spotlight some of my favorite things up front if it was just going to sit there.

 

Crazy. So it was pretty much coasting by you just putting up all the Internet edits. Were you screening these at all for quality or just dumping everything on there?

You’d have to ask Jared. Like I said, I didn’t really look at the Internet for months, but I assume he was only posting the decent stuff. Whatever that means.

 

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“LOL. Pro snowboarding, now that’s dead.”

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Got it. Wouldn’t mind swinging back quick. The Yobeat magazine. You did just one issue?

Yes. We decided to do a print issue in Spring of 2014. Basically just a fun side-project and more logical than trying to make another movie because well, everyone makes movies. I didn’t know if we’d get support but people were actually hyped to advertise in it. We sold out the ads quickly. But then Jared and I broke up.

 

Ahh. Yeah I thought it was amazing you guys made a mag. Thought it was the beginning of the media takeover.

I think a lot of people did. We probably would have just scrapped that issue, but we already had all these ad commitments, so we had to work together to make it happen. Jared doesn’t get nearly as much credit as he deserves for making Yobeat a thing. He helped with all the design and feel for the whole thing, designed and printed all the gear and any cool piece of marketing we handed out, made videos and had to listen to all my ideas, good and bad. And that summer he laid out and produced the entire magazine after I put all the content together. He also shot the cover photo, which was sick! Timberline Lodge let us set up a quarterpipe against the pool and have a shoot in the hot tub. PBR sponsored it and we got pizza. In short, it was awesome. But obviously there were a lot of emotions going on, and putting that issue together was a challenge, to say the least.

 

Rad. Sounds like a ‘Blunt‘ photo shoot or something.

It was the best. I kind of wanted to do it again anyway, but the next winter the industry’s extra cash had dried up, thanks mostly to the California drought and Nike pulling out of snowboarding. We also no longer had a sales guy, which didn’t help things. I am a horrible salesperson and I make Jared look good at sales.

 

So it wasn’t really a ‘print is dead’ thing that stopped more issues, more just personal Yobeat stuff? Or a combo.

Not ‘print is dead’ at all. I think the industry would have supported it again with the right formula, but the timing was bad and the motivation was low. Making a print magazine is a very different animal than running a website.

 

That’s good to know.

There are still a lot of old people out there running things who want things to go back to the way they were in the late 90s, so…

 

90’s are so in right now. Maybe a good thing for snowboarding in general.

Maybe, although it would do snowboarding a lot of good to evolve and embrace the new media landscape instead of putting out two year projects and trying to keep things the same.

 

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“… it would do snowboarding a lot of good to evolve and embrace the new media landscape instead of putting out two year projects and trying to keep things the same.”

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Yeah. Skateboarding seems to be doing well at that. Skaters have like 25x the social followings and interactions of snowboarders.

Snowboarding is also 25x smaller than skateboarding. I think a lot of people forget that and want to just copy everything the skate industry does. But while skateboarding is big enough to create its own culture within a culture, snowboarding really isn’t, unfortunately.

 

Ok so a few months ago you put up a bunch of the greatest Yobeat hits. Which confused some people that didn’t realize they were reading articles from years back.

Yeah, that was sort of the plan. I like to keep people guessing.

 

One thing that got huge traction was the whole Burton letter. and I always wanted to ask,
did the Burton letter arrive at your house with Portland postage on it because you wrote it?

lol. I didn’t write that letter and I honestly don’t know who did.

 

Damn. It seems too crazy that it just showed up like that. What were your thoughts on the whole situation?

If I’d written it, it would have been way funnier and had my name on the end. But I don’t care enough about Burton to spell it out like that. It had to be a real insider. At first it was awesome. Like I felt everyone who’s been wronged by Burton in the past breathe a sigh of relief. Finally the bullshit was getting called out and it seemed like maybe it would change. But then they responded, by attempting to sweep it under the rug, as usual. They just made the whole situation worse with their response and no one ever responded to me when I tried to contact Burton PR about the situation. However, I did receive an angry phone call and a couple gnarly texts from Mrs. Carpenter herself.

 

Did you hit them up before publishing it?

No, only after shit hit the fan. I guess I knew it would blow up, but I didn’t realize quite how traumatic it would be for the people inside at Burton. They have a very passionate fan base and being based on the East Coast makes for some more animated debate I think.

 

Even VICE wrote an article on it right? It spread way beyond the snow industry.

Yeah, I got called by Seven Days and Vice Sports about it. Burton is big time.

Seven Days, the Burlington weekly paper, was concerned because Burton is a MAJOR employer in Burlington. Like top 3 big. So if they were having trouble that’s a real story for that community. Not just industry gossip.

 

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“If I’d written it (the “Burton Letter”), it would have been way funnier and had my name on the end. But I don’t care enough about Burton to spell it out like that. It had to be a real insider.”

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Wild. And now Greg D’s been removed, which was one of the main points of ‘the letter.’

Yeah, who knows what’s going on there now. Most of my “insiders” don’t work there anymore and I assume I am blackballed for life so no sense worrying about it!

 

Were people trying to pin the Burton thing on you as it was breaking?

Yeah, I mean, I guess I seemed like the obvious purveyor, but I was happy to be able to say it definitely wasn’t me. And I really didn’t look into it that hard because I like not knowing. But I was getting calls from so many people about it. I think we can just credit Timmy Shredhead and move on with our lives.

 

“With Shaun White at the US Open, the first year it was in Vail.”

 

 

Maybe this is a good time to talk about “Snowboard journalism.” Does such a thing exist? or is the whole industry/media just a circle jerk of advertising and not wanting to hurt people’s feelings?

There’s a great George Orwell quote about this:

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

Snowboarding has a lot of public relations, not a lot of journalism. Every time I’ve posted things that are unflattering, the backlash has almost made me consider not doing it anymore.

Almost.

 

I heard Brushie wrote you guys a letter all pissed off once, but has any rider come up to you in person to complain or whatever?

True story. He was mad cause I said he old, fat and washed up and getting sympathy points from the judges at an American Snowboard Tour. (In hindsight it was a terrible thing to say about someone, but I was 15!) Not only did he send me a hilarious all-caps email, he yelled “shittalker” at me across the Killington halfpipe.

And actually when I went to Camp of Champions a couple summers back Mark McMorris was there. I asked him if he’d be down to do a quick interview and he was like, “only if it’s positive.” He then bitched because I had posted some docudrama he did for one of his corporate sponsors and everyone talked shit in the comments. Please note there is not one word of negativity on that post from me. That’s the same day JP walker threw my phone cause I tried to Snapchat him.

 

“With my boy JP Walker at Mt. Snow XGames, 1997 (or 8).”

 

 

I’ll check that. It seems like magazines were more willing to say non-positive things, almost like real world media, back in the day. Like those Washed Up Snowboarder articles in TWS I think it was.

Oh man, TWS used to have a column called Pipe Down. They would essentially just rip someone a new one. I got one once, but it was shared with Allison Berkeley, which was bullshit. They only did it for a year or two though so I feel pretty special.

 

Yobeat has been accused of having a negative angle on snowboarding.
gree/disagree? Or is this just the whole ‘journalism’ thing or even the comments contributing to the overall feeling?

I don’t think Yobeat is negative. It’s honest, sarcastic and snarky as fuck, which can easily be misinterpreted as negativity, especially online. But all of what we did was in good fun… I think the majority of the hate and negativity was not from me or other contributors, but the commenters. The Internet brings out the worst in people, myself included, and talking shit is a lot more interesting than talking about how great everything is.

At times the hate comments would get to me, and so when someone else (an advertiser or rider) bitched about it, it was especially frustrating. But at the same time, it was in a lot of ways the discussion is what set Yobeat apart. We toyed with making people log in to comment but it just didn’t work.

But it turns out, the truth (and occasionally innuendo) is the oldest trick in the book for getting people to click on something.

 

Let’s touch on something positive quick then. What’s your favorite part about snowboarding? Like in snowboarding right now?

Going snowboarding. Jumping over a rock and landing on my feet. Seeing all my friends when I go up to the mountain, Getting exercise and getting outside. I honestly haven’t been paying attention to the industry beyond what pops up in my Facebook feed, but I will say I’ve actually been reading ‘30 under 30,’ patiently waiting to see how many people they actually profile. I feel like they may be over-booked because pretty much everyone in snowboarding is under 30.

 

Did you feel a certain responsibility to snowboarding, companies, and the people that dedicate their lives to it as a media source? I think part of why snowboard media is so circular is because it is a small community and most people are friends. Between brands, photogs, media, and riders. There’s not a lot of separation.

Yes and no. Obviously I wanted to create quality media and help my friends’ companies out, and give the smaller crews a platform. For example, the Yawgoons exist in part because I encouraged Brendan to film and make videos because they were getting a great response on the site. They came up with the name Yawgoons to enter our crew video competition, which they won twice before I made them judge the next year. I love that part of it – basically helping people get out there and live their dreams through my platform.

But it was frustrating when I would discover a crew or video and then all the other media vultures would dangle big numbers and promises of fame and people would blow me off. At the same time I get it, everyone wants to be in with the in-crowd.

That said, I’m friends with people like Mary Walsh. I grew up snowboarding with Bridges. So while there’s definitely competition between the outlets, and my desire to “win the internet” is a lot of what fueled Yobeat, at the end of the day, it’s just snowboarding.

 

There is a lot of talk out there that ‘snowboarding is dying.’ What’s your thoughts? Who should be putting in the work to get more people on the mountain? 

Snowboarding isn’t dying, it’s having a rebirth. Like Sean Genovese predicted, the dinosaurs are dying and the new kids are moving. There is definitely a lot less money in snowboarding these days, losing Nike was a huge blow, etc, but people are still as passionate and stoked on it as they ever were.

Aside from the budgets, we’re in the middle of a huge societal/generational transition and to think you’re going to be able to shift the habits of a society where young people are moving to the city vs the mountains and living without cars, kids play video games instead of going outside, everything is getting more and more expensive and the middle class is rapidly shrinking with a marketing campaign or something is ridiculous. In the 90s, snowboarding was the “middle class” answer to the rich elitist sport of skiing. But fast forward 20 years and snowboarding has become the same rich elitist sport. So I think we can start tackling snowboarding’s issues as soon as we get this climate change thing under wraps.

That said, the industry could definitely be less concerned about stroking each other’s egos and be more interesting, as well as do a better job adapting to a new generation’s habits and desires. Like everything else, I think we can blame millennials for killing snowboarding. Lol.

 

Do you see any similarities in the industry over the last couple years as you saw in the wake scene before the bottom fell out of it?

The wake scene’s bottom didn’t fall out because of anything wakeboarding did. It was the economic downturn, and while I don’t pay super close attention, it seems to me that wakeboardng is popping again at the level it was when I started at Alliance. There’s a wakeskate tour, riders are still getting paid good money, etc. It’s back in the X Games even! But I mean, if you think snowboarding is small, wakeboarding is about a quarter the size of that.

 

I always found it interesting that many snowboarders were willing to shit on Burton for being the big gorilla, when meanwhile they are one of the only snowboarder-owned hardgoods brands that is big enough to make a difference and seem to be doing more than anyone to get small kids into riding? 

Oh Burton. They did a lot and were the first brand to realize, hey, we should make more than one kids board! They also do cool learn to ride programs and provide most of the rental gear for resorts. I can pretty much guarantee anyone who talks shit on Burton now started on their boards. I know I spent my first day on hill on a Mystery Air 158 and would be lying if I didn’t credit Burton for at least some of my success in snowboarding. But they’ve also been distancing themselves from the scene they built as of late, which is sort of sad to watch from a snowboarder’s standpoint. At the same time, it’s a big company that needs to make money and selling bags and T-shirts is a lot more lucrative than hardgoods, so it’s basically what they need to do to stay in business.

 

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“I can pretty much guarantee anyone who talks shit on Burton now started on their boards.”

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Let’s generaly discus the current state of snow media: Grindmedia owns Snowboarder and TWS and there’s not really much else out there with any substantial reach (in North America), is there? Are magazines in the pocket of advertisers? What’s the effect on media as a result?

I think the idea of dedicated media in snowboarding is sort of laughable at this point. With the mags having the same owner, the justification is, oh we can work together and do a better job for snowboarding but are they actually working together? Nah. When you’re in that corpo media world it really becomes about the numbers and keeping your job, not about what’s best for snowboarding culture.

Not to say that the people at the mags aren’t great, but there are definitely bigger forces and work at the end of the day, the reason they make snowboard content is to bring in revenue. Giving advertisers blow jobs is a much easier way to do that. But that’s nothing new. The difference now is brands don’t actually NEED the media to get their message out anymore.

But this is seriously a topic I could ramble on about for hours, so I’ll just leave it at that.

 

I’d like to kinda tie-in how social media is influencing everything now. Like you said Yobeat was getting enough traffic through Insta, etc. to make it worthwhile to keep it going. It’s interesting that many brands now have Insta followings far bigger than the media sources they are paying to advertise in. Is this whole thing spiraling out of control? Like if brands think their own followings are as important as those that follow snowboard media, they stop advertising, then all media goes to shit, then the culture behind snowboarding starts to suffer. Know what I’m getting at? Is this happening already?

It definitely seems like Facebook has more or less given the media a death sentence, but on a positive note, social media has made it so that everyone is now their own media and there isn’t as much of an oligarchy as there used to be. I guess it’s all in how you look at it.

The thing about Grind Network’s is I don’t think they aren’t really making their money as an ad-driven media source anymore – pretty sure they’re using the mag and sites mainly to promote their content production services at this point. If they aren’t, they should be. And I guess that’s a solution for how to stay in business, but not necessarily for saving the media/culture. That part is up to the kids who are into it. The information and entertainment is all still there, you just have to work a little harder to find the good stuff these days. That might change soon though.

 

Yeah I think that’s cool. But part of me wonders if it’s good that now Insta/FB owns the outlet. As opposed to people going to a snowboard website you know. It’s one of the things I focus on with Board Rap. Even if it’s still small, there is an emphasis for people to go direct and not rely on being owned by social media that can kill you with one algorithm change.

Facebook is evil. I hate it and blame it for the demise of the world wide web as we know it. And I fought against it for years, but you know what? It’s been my window to the Internet. Without it I would have never seen anything snowboard related.

So is it a good thing? No. But it’s just where we’re at as a society. It won’t last forever and hopefully whatever comes around next will be less awful, but I wouldn’t count on it, especially given the current state of the world.

I have a real love/hate relationship with Instagram, but at least it encourages people to create and filter their own content more so than Facebook.

That said, I have started posting the stuff I see and am stoked on to the site again because I want there to be some historical archive of it, I guess.

 

The FB shit is crazy. The way the algorithms work to curate your feed. If you ever break out of it and see the ‘other’ side it’s fucked. Seeing there are actual hate spewing Trump supporters in real life. And you’re always shielded from that living in your own world.

Right… It’s a little scary. But mostly, it’s just the way things are. Trying to fight against that machine is not something I’m worried about doing anymore. I’d rather ride the wave than get tossed by it. That’s a surfing reference even though I don’t surf.

 

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“I don’t think Yobeat is negative. It’s honest, sarcastic and snarky as fuck, which can easily be misinterpreted as negativity, especially online.”

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Let’s talk about Pat Bridges for a min. You guys both came from a similar East Coast scene and he went on to do Snowboarder and you did Yobeat. What’s the relationship like now and is he really our Jake Phelps? Or are you?

haha ok, let me tell you my favorite Pat Bridges story

When I was probably 16, Bridges lived in this apartment in Rutland above Gil’s Sandwich shop. Over the years it was a who’s who of VT snowboarding – Jamie Macleod and Kyla Duffy lived there, and it’s where everyone stayed and partied when they would come through town.

Bridges was a contributor to Snowboarder at this point and may have still been doing East Infection – I can’t remember.

Anyway, one day he calls me up at like 1 pm and is like, Brooke, let’s go get breakfast.

I was like, um, well I ate breakfast 5 hours ago, but I’ll come get lunch.

So I show up at his house 20 minutes later and he’s sitting there playing Cool Boarders (1, not 2) in his underwear.

I was like dude, you knew I was coming over. You couldn’t have put on pants?

haha I’ll never forget that image

These days I don’t really talk to Bridges much. We are friendly and sometimes we’ll ride a chairlift together and he’ll keep me cracking up the whole time. He’s a true character. But is he snowboarding’s Jake Phelps? I don’t know if I would go that far. He pulls a lot of the strings though! As for me, I’m a chick. A female will probably never garner that kind of respect in snowboarding, sad to say…

 

Let’s talk about that more.

ok.

 

Do you notice that lack of respect a lot? Has it started to even out after 20 years or not?

I don’t wanna get all Rodney Dangerfield on you, but yeah, of course I notice it. Snowboarding is a boys club and as much as I act the part, I’ll never been one of the boys. That said, being female has afforded me different opportunities and helped to set me apart. It definitely saved me some ass kickings for talking shit as well. Plus, women are better at multitasking so when it comes to running a business like a website with so many moving pieces, I think my estrogen has been a real help!

 

I’ve never noticed a real slant towards covering a lot of female snowboarding on Yobeat, but I may have just missed it. Did you put an emphasis to cover women’s riding?

Not at all. I cover the women’s riding that I am stoked on. I love Danyale Patterson and the Too Hard thing. Leanne Pelosi and Hana Beaman have been huge inspirations and super supportive. But I’ve also taken heat for being “anti” women’s snowboarding. I remember Tricia Byrnes sitting me down and talking to me about it, trying to encourage me to be more pro-female. But I’m sorry, watching women’s snowboarding in the 90s was painful.

These days it’s a different story. Chicks are legitimately good.

 

So you were never for covering women just because they were women. They had to earn it in some way still.

Exactly. We did a cool girls video contest with Amber Stackhouse at Roxy. That’s actually how Dangy kinda burst onto the scene. And Corrine Pasela too. It’s kinda crazy when I think about it, how many people got their start on Yobeat.

Should make a whole list. haha. What are your thoughts on the place of pro snowboarders in general in the grand scheme of snowboarding right now? Is it as important as 10-years ago?

LOL. Pro snowboarding, now that’s dead.

 

“Hanging with the cool kids at Mt. Hood. Left to right Joe Sexton, Jake Kuzyk and Jed Anderson.”

 

 

Seems like everyone is good, like thousands of people, and yet it’s harder for personalities to stand out.

There are 5 people who get paid. 30 people who scrape by and make it happen. And probably like 500 who are sponsoring their own “pro careers.”

But the value of a single athlete is negligible these days. You have to be Travis Rice or Shaun White to matter beyond our incestuous little bubble.

 

Remembering how much riders were getting in the late 90’s and early 00’s is crazy. People who were unknown beyond their local mountain were getting paid enough to live on. At least in Canada/Whistler.

Oh yeah, the gravy days, early 2000’s baby.

 

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“Snowboarding isn’t dying, it’s having a rebirth. Like Sean Genovese predicted, the dinosaurs are dying and the new kids are moving.”

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What is your relationship like with past contributors like Justin aka Stan? Don’t know the whole history but he kind of got his start in the industry with Yobeat didn’t he? Now he’s doing something similar?

Stan 100% got his start at Yobeat. He showed up at my office an eager new Portland resident, we made him rap in his interview and he was hired. But to say he was green would be the understatement of a lifetime. Over the next several years I taught him how to be a media person and he started to hit his stride with Hateline. But it was impossible to get sponsors for what was essentially a Skate line rip off with hate in the name, which is when it transitioned to the “New Show.” Sadly, it was still a challenge to get support, especially without a sales guy, and Stan never quite embraced social at the level he needed to to justify the expense. Jared and I decided to go in another direction essentially, and so I let Stan go. It was a bummer. I’m stoked to see he’s back at it though! I always encouraged him to make his own content and manage his own thing when he was working for me. It was time for him to leave the nest and fly and it seems like he’s doing alright at it! I actually just saw him when I was in Vermont.

 

“That time that Pam Rand (the Yawgoon’s mom) sent Stan and I some sweet new outfits.”

 

 

Was wondering if you ever had pro snowboarders sucking up to you to get coverage.

I don’t know about sucking up, but more people definitely wanted to be friends with me when Yobeat was popping. More often I had random kids showing up at my house or office asking for jobs. I still get emails from kids who want to intern.

 

What do you think pro snowboarders think about you? Do you care?

The ones that actually know me think I’m great, although maybe they’re a little scared. The ones I don’t like probably hate me. But I’ve never really cared what anyone thinks, which is what has enabled me to do as much as I have. Some people are threatened and intimidated by me. I’m ok with that. A wise man once told me, people only hate you until they realize you have power- then they’re scared. But my basic philosophy is this: if you’re shitty to me (or shitty in general), I’m shitty to you. And I can be really shitty, so proceed with caution.

 

What about global warming and snowboarding. Pretty hot topic right now.

Yeah, we’re fucked.

 

Are riders doing enough? other than P.O.W?

What can you do? The “leader” of the free world doesn’t believe in Climate Change, so what’s a snowboarder starting a GoFundMe about it really going to accomplish? Hate to be defeatist but… I do think the most is important thing you can do is vote, preferably with your heart and not your wallet. And since we as snowboarders have an especially huge carbon footprint (chairlifts and snow guns don’t run on good vibes, sadly) everyone should try and do their part to reduce their impact. As for me, I bought a hybrid.

 

Alright so what about this Yobeat comeback?

Don’t call it a comeback! Basically I’m going back to doing the Yobeat site on my terms, which is of course an ever changing thing. Let’s just say I’m feeling inspired and I plan to start updating again with a new strategy for both content and business, and I think it’s gonna be pretty cool. We will see if brands want to be part of it or not and that’s always something to explore, but I’m mostly just in it for the travel and free gear! What can I say, I love this shit and snowboarding is way expensive.

 

“OMG bet ya didn’t know I won the LBS. Psyche! Can’t remember who, but someone let me hold their trophy.”

 

 

Nice. Well it’d be nice to have that voice back. Anything else we need to touch on?

Yeah, I just wanted to say thank you. Mostly to snowboarding. Thanks for all the exotic travel, crazy parties, near-death experiences, amazing people, and everything else that I definitely never would have experienced had I not strapped in however many years ago. Also thanks to my parents for paying my $300 AOL bills, among ya know, everything else. Huge thanks to Burton Snowboards circa 1979-2013, and everyone’s who’s job I’ve made harder over the years. And of course thanks to Jared, Nick, Stan, Jerm, Kevin, Sarah, B-rad, Schiff, Preston, Colleen, Todd, Pat, Justin, Chas, Party Time Nate, Timbro, AJ, RJ, RC, Paul, Jim, Ricky, Kc Kyle, Upstate Mike, A-man, Alpal, Keaton, Noah, Will and Dale, Connor Brown, gohardangel, Austin, Greg, Lee, Shanti, Wendy, Dave, Hunter, Paul, Clancy, Geno, Jodie, Bud, Melissa, Sullivan, Campbell, Zimmerman, Monty, all the interns, advertisers and everyone else who’s done anything for Yobeat over the years. And finally thank you for the kind words and doing this interview! I appreciate the new opportunity. Kinda fun being on the other end for a change.

 

Yeah I’m siked to get it out there. Strictly for the snowboard nerds.

 

 

Click back to Yobeat + the History of Internet Snowboarding PART ONE if you missed it.

 

 

 

 

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