Old Guys Rip Too™ recently had the honor of speaking with Mike Broeker. A native of Carlsbad, California, Mike has had an extensive career in action sports; he started riding snowboards in 1985-86′ at Park West in Park City, Utah. He has ridden in USASA, USSA, Swatch Boardercross, and Grand Prix events for a number of sponsors in Utah as well as other states, including Utah’s Winter Games Tour series from 1998-2002. Brain surgery prevented him from riding boardercross in exhibition at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics; however, he was hired by Mountain Dew to perform in the Olympic Ice Village show for the duration of the Games. Shortly after the Olympics, he had to take a break from snowboarding due to a second brain injury. Mike’s action-sport career also includes riding dirt bikes freestyle with the Crusty Demons, part of the Demons of Dirt “Flesh Wound” crew, with Dana Nicholson. In 2015, Chad Ottenbreit and the EEKOE guys invited him to the Tom Sims Retro World Championships.
OGRT: Mike, I greatly appreciate you taking to the time to speak with us. Looks like you had a great time at the Sims Retro World Championships, fill us in man.
MB: Worlds was a freaking blast. It was so nice and great to see so many old friends and to be able to meet new ones. We are one big family and it is nice to be able to hang out and help each other in the industry.
OGRT: Being your first time on a snowboard in 12 years, tell us what that was like? How’d the body hold up?
MB: It was such a blast and brought such a smile to my face to be able to be a part and be involved with the industry marketing for sponsors and having fun mentally seeing and being a part of an awesome radical movement!!!
OGRT: What is it about snowboarding that you love? How’ve you kept the stoke alive all these years?
MB: I love the peace and solitude from the mountains to the snow and riding.[pullquote]I love the peace and solitude from the mountains to the snow and riding.[/pullquote] I have been able to keep the stoke alive through being an athlete and working in and for the industry. There is nothing more that puts a smile on my face then to make fresh turns with vertical underneath your feet and to be able to help others out.
OGRT: Give us your favorite snowboarding memory.
MB: One of my most memorable snowboard trips was with Electric Inc. magazine on the helicopters in the middle of northern Utah or maybe the trip to Cordova, Alaska…
OGRT: You’ve had a pretty extensive injury list over the years. 17 broken bones, 13 surgeries including a total knee replacement, back fusion and PTSD due to brain injuries. Why do you keep going man?
MB: Don’t get me wrong it is a struggle and painful for one in my condition. I keep going because of the love of the sport the camaraderie and companionship with sponsors and riders[pullquote]I keep going because of the love of the sport the camaraderie and companionship with sponsors and riders.[/pullquote] Over the years snowboarding has brought me nothing but smiles to my heart, soul and mind.
OGRT: Do you do anything for injury prevention? (ie: yoga, stretching, etc)
MB: Yoga and stretching are a must, as well as a steady fitness program for a core strengthening and conditioning. Paul Hiniker at “SurfFit” has a very good program, always be sure to wear your helmet!!!
OGRT: We started riding right around the same time as you; snowboards, bindings, boots, etc. have come a long way. What are your thoughts on today’s equipment?
MB: Today’s equipment as opposed to the old days is black and white. Flow Snowboarding, 686 snowboarding gear and Dragon Alliance are at the top of the game and have pure technology in their product and make the best product out there.
OGRT: What do you think of the progression of snowboarding/skateboarding?
MB: The progression of snowboarding since I started has come around 1260°. Early days we were drilling our own bolt patterns where today you have multiple options. We had a handful of tricks back in the day as to now the tricks are almost speechless and will make the hair stand up on the back your neck.
OGRT: Who are some old guys that rip, that you still like to watch?
MB: Scott “upside” Downey, Mark Partain, Jason Brown, Chris Gentry, Dave Duncan, Don Szabo, Tex Devenport, Steve Graham, Chad Ottenbreit, Kris Markovich and Julie “meltdown “, Tom Sims and Chuck Barfoot!!!
OGRT: What about the young guns? Any favorites?
MB: Seth Dreidel Hill, he is a very talented rider with A big bag of tricks rather switch or regular. This guy will make your jaw drop and mind twist.
OGRT: Any shout outs you’d like to give?
OGRT: Again we greatly appreciate the time Mike. Time to let em’ know…
MB: Old Guys Rip Too™, please do not ever give up and keep the shred alive!!!
For more on the Tom Sims Retro World Championships please visit Snowboarder Mag