Welcome to the Team Geoff Brown!
Interview by Colin Rivers
For many young people (especially in Aus) the snow seems like a fantasy, an unattainable exotic past time for the rich and famous. Fortunately, if you’re willing to take a minimum paying job, bunk up with some hygienic deficient strangers, and throw all inhibitions to the wind, you can have a slice of this fantasy. The roommates you initially thought were strange and stinky, quickly turn to family, as you spend every moment for the next 4 months together. The common-room of the staff accom is the heartbeat of the house, a sacred place where almost anything can happen. A place where the smell of mi-goreng noodles, ski boots and stale beer lingers, you can always rely on a bunch of stoned, hungover resort workers unwinding to a never ending stream of snowboard and ski movies. It is in this setting that I first saw Geoff Brown’s happy go lucky style in the Sandbox movie Time Well Wasted. From the early days of bright and baggy to now, after over a decade of professional riding Geoff is still pushing the limits in the BC backcountry and it doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down!
Welcome to the team Geoff!!!!
Thank you, so stoked to join.
We’re pumped to have you join the team! How did you first hear about Yuki? What attracted you to the brand?
I’m so pumped to join Yuki! I’ve heard about the Yuki hoodies through Olliepop and Mint Tours years ago, then Brendan (a guide from Mint) told me about your outerwear. I went to the website and instantly fell in love with the style, then when I found out about how environmentally conscious and ethical the brand was, I was sold and really wanted to get involved.
For me your name has always been synonymous with the Whis scene? Where did you grow up and what made you first head up to Whis?
That’s really cool that you think of me as synonymous with Whistler. It was always my dream to move to Whistler when I was a kid. I moved here after school with $300 to my name and the moment I arrived here, I knew I was home. I grew up in the Atlantic provinces of Canada where there’s no mountains. Whistler is where I’m meant to be.
Can you tell us a bit about those early days? What were the living arrangements? Who were you riding with?
My first year I rode with my brother who moved to Whistler the summer before. Then I quickly became friends with Robjn and Andre who I still ride with. It was all about riding park and progressing our tricks from the ground up. When we started riding together all we could do was 360s, but we pushed each other to progress.
I remember seeing the Crapneto clips, it always seemed like you guys were having a ball…
Holy shit!!! That takes me back. The Crapneto days feel like forever ago. Mikee HK was the mastermind behind that. He edited all the videos and eventually got Robjn involved in the creative side of things. All I wanted to do was ride and have fun and be goofy. Crapneto was the perfect crew to do that with.
Can you tell us about where the iconic tail tap boardslide came from?
The tap actually didn’t come in until the Sandbox days. I was filming with them and I wanted to add something to my jibbing tricks that was unique and fun. It was a cool trick to do but I quickly realized that it was a board wrecker. I smashed so many edges, which wasn’t a huge deal as I was getting boards from K2, but I felt bad for anyone who was imitating me. It only lasted a few years, then I guess I kinda moved on and focused more on backcountry riding. I see people doing it once in a blue moon and it stokes me out.
How did you first hook up with the Sandbox crew?
The Sandbox crew was a collaboration of two crews, Crapneto, which I was already a part of and Skids. Kevin Sansalone and Mikee HK put it together and then Sansalone turned it into a massive film company and later a helmet company. I was just a lucky kid who was along for the ride.
There has always been a strong connection between Australia and Canada. You have ridden for Aussie brands and filmed with Aussies in the past, what do you think it’s all about?
Ya, I love my Aussie and Kiwi friends. It’s a similar culture and vibe. We all have a joie de vivre that I like being around and working with. I’ve spent 8 or 9 seasons in New Zealand and I’ve been a guide for Mint Tours for a while and I spent two seasons filming with Olliepop films. I got nothing but great things to say about my friends from down under.
Over the years you have been featured in a bunch of different mags from full page photo features, to curating articles. How do you feel about the decline of print and the rise of the internet age and its impact on snowboarding?
I won’t deny that there’s something really special about having a printed snowboarding photo, and even owning DVDs was cool. I got a big box in storage with all that stuff. Unfortunately that’s something that a lot of the new up and coming boarders won’t experience. But I’m not complaining, I was lucky to get on the social media train early and built up my following. It’s opened up a lot of doors that wouldn’t have been possible without the rise of the internet age. So for me, it’s been a positive thing. I had a teacher who used to say, what isn’t moving forward is going backwards. We either join em or we fall behind, except I probably won’t be joining tik tok anytime soon, I’m just not a good dancer. Haha!
You have had the opportunity to ride some of the classic backcountry spots in snowboarding, can you tell us about one of the stand out sessions you’ve had?
Ya it’s a rad feeling standing on top of a backcountry jump that I used to watch pros hitting and think I’d never be brave enough or good enough to hit those jumps. Linking up with the right people who pushed me everyday got me doing things I never dreamed possible. I’d say it’s more than a dream come true.
1080 gap will probably go down as my biggest career accomplishment which was a moment I’ll never forget. The story’s been told many times, how about if I talk about my second most memorable session? The Baker road gap. I was terrified cause we didn’t know how fast to go and I had to go first. Right away I realized that the snow was sticky and the conditions were super dangerous. It felt like a roll of the dice every time I was hitting it. Midway through the session, we got evacuated because of avi risk. Then when we got back the snowplow had thrown salt and sand into the landing making conditions even worse. I still have no idea how I landed anything in that snow. And the fact that a truck was driving underneath me at that very instant feels like a miracle.
If someone was to watch just one of your parts, which one would it be? Why?
I used to be kinda shy about my parts and was always insecure about them, but over time I’ve become quite proud of my entire journey. So it’s hard for me to choose just one, how about my top 3? Time well wasted by Sandbox was my first time doing a 1080 and a double tamedog. Then the next one would be Olliepops part in 2014. It was my first time hitting Forum Step Down and I landed the back double cork 1080 on the infamous 1080 gap. That season changed everything for me. I then started the webseries Out of Service with Vanessa Chan who’s still my primary filmer and Ryan Kenny. I’m really proud of both my videoparts from that series. Ok so I guess that’s 4, sorry about that.
The Voleurz Kill Your Boredom intro, with the graphic battle between boarders and skiers (check it on vimeo if you haven't) is one of the most memorable intros of all time. It was cool to see the lines blurred between, an often divided community. Were you all riding together as skiers and boarders at the time? And did anyone actually get stabbed in the making haha?
Wow! You’ve got my whole career here. The Voleurz days were so fun! It’s different riding with skiers cause they approach the terrain quite differently, but it was good to push me out of my comfort zone. Darren Rayner and KC Deane actually had a big influence on me. And ya that intro was so much fun to film and be a part of. No one got stabbed, but it did show who would win in a battle between snowboarders and skiers… girls making out! Enough said.
As a long serving member of the snowboarding community you have seen a lot of trends, tricks and styles come and go. What’s your take on the scene at the moment and where do you feel we are heading?
Ya, I guess when I think about it, I have seen a few trends come and go… I’ve been a part of some ridiculous ones that I look back and think, what the hell were we doing. But we don’t need to talk about that, haha! As far as outerwear style, I’m a huge fan of the bibs. Honestly I can’t believe it took me so long to get on that train. I’m also kinda digging the one colour full outerwear set. I don’t know if it’s for me, but I like seeing it.
And as far as boarding trends, I was really stoked to see the knuckle tricks make it into the X-Games. I don’t expect to see it in the Olympics anytime soon but it’s so fun to watch. Snowboarding is more fun when everyone can try and follow the new trends. Please don’t take it as if I’m shitting on the triple and quad corks, those are impressive, I just think snowboarding should always keep that element of fun and unique creativity.
Exploring the backcountry, have you noticed any change in the environment and snow patterns?
Oh my God yes! The Blackcomb glacier has seriously receded and shrunk hundreds of feet. It’s really sad. I used to ride there in the summer and it was a massive glacier, and now it’s tiny with a small amount of space to ride.
The weather in the backcountry is a lot more aggressive in the winters. The winds are always so punishing and in the last few years I’ve been in wind storms that feel like life or death situations. Avi risks seem to be getting worse, features that used to be there are totally gone or changed and there’s tons more crevasses opening up. It’s kinda scary.
From your instagram it looks like you’ve been having a great start to the season!? Have you got any projects in the works at the moment that we should keep an eye out for?
Haha! Instagram is not so insta, it can be a liar that only shows the good and edits out the bad. We had a great start, but then ya, the winds hit and now we’re waiting for more snow. Hence why I’ve been riding so much park lately.
As far as projects go, we’re doing Out of Service again this year so that’s my main focus. I never really go into the season with a set plan, I kinda let mother nature lead the way and I follow.
Any last words?
If the world gives you lemons, make lemonade… with a little bit of bitter in it.
Cheers for taking the time, Geoff!
Looking forward to seeing your next backcountry adventure! For those who want to check out Geoff’s backcountry hammers head over to @geoffbrownsnow
"Ya it’s a rad feeling standing on top of a backcountry jump that I used to watch pros hitting and think I’d never be brave enough or good enough to hit those jumps. Linking up with the right people who pushed me everyday got me doing things I never dreamed possible. I’d say it’s more than a dream come true..."
- Geoff Brown -
Sandbox - Time Well Wasted - Geoff Brown Full Part
Out Of Service 2019 - Geoff Brown Full Part
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