Jeff Brushie is arguably one of the all time greats of snowboarding. He rode with a style years ahead of his time, pushed the levels of halfpipe riding to new heights, and one was on the first snowboarders to leave Burton by his own will. Who can blame him, when he was alledgedly offered a three-year, six-figure contract from Ride!
In the mid 90s, if you didn’t ride Terje’s board you rode Brushie’s, and these days a ’93 Burton Brushie 157 (with the trout on it) will fetch you a pretty penny online. With his token dreadlocks and ability to bone out tricks like no other, Jeff secured his place in snowboard history before Yobeat was even an idea. But in 1997, as Brushie’s career was shifting to a more “adult” status, we went to a American Snowboard Tour stop at Sugarbush to do some coverage. The conditions sucked, and no one could ride for shit, and Brushie, despite barely making it over the lip managed to land on the podium. My report included a line to the effect of “Jeff Brushie is still getting sympathy points from the judges because he’s old, fat, and washed up.” This was meant to be totally tounge-in-cheek, but of course when you’re a pro snowboarder in the golden hour of your career, and you just dealt with a 90s halfpipe full of snow where you were excepted to perform, it’s definitely the last thing you’d like to read about yourself. These are things that a 15-year-old with a website doesn’t think about, of course.
It wouldn’t have mattered, but in addition to being into snowboarding, Jeff was an internet early adopter and actually participated in the same AOL chatroom Yobeat got its start. His email was on the list I’d send a note to every time we dropped a new issue of Yobeat and accordingly he read this long-ago-deleted post and took to his keyboard in all caps. The rest, well, is history.