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An Incestual Hump Day with Yobeat CEO Brooke Geery

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Bitchin’ Boss Brooke Geery showing off her first cattoo.

Yobeat CEO and Publisher Brooke Geery would like to dedicate 2013 to herself. Or, that’s what I thought when I was asked to interview the boss on her own site. Apparently our staff blew it, the pros who were supposed to fill this spot blew it and the only interview we have is classified due to some sponsors requesting their rider not look like an asshole for like a minute or two. So, since you guys complain, bitch and moan whenever we don’t spoon feed you your precious Hump Day, here it is, a very incestual Hump Day with the Queen Bee herself, Brooke Geery.

What the fuck does Yobeat mean?

I started Yobeat when I was 15 with my friend Rachel, who I’d met in the Snowboarding Online Chat Room on AOL. This is when AOL cost $3 an hour and it wasn’t ok to meet people on the Internet yet. Anyway, Rachel lived in Boston, and I lived in Rutland, VT and we met inititally at a steakhouse in Woodstock while our parents nervously hovered over us. Fast forward a bit, we became really good friends and decided to start a zine. But since we didn’t have money, we used the 2GB — or maybe it was 2MB — of free space that AOL provided and it became a website. As for the name, it’s a joke based on trashy teen rags like Tiger Beat and Teen Beat. Since Rachel was from a real city, with actual black people, the joke was that they read “Yobeat” instead.

In the 15ish years of Yobeat glory, who are some of the most famed employees?

Employees is a bit of a misnomer and it’s always just kinda been friends helping out until now, but a short list of contributors people might give a shit about: Todd Richards, Danny Larsen, Colleen Quigley, Preston Strout, Seth Butler (who went on the start the Journal) and Sarah Morrison (who was famous on the Internet before being famous in the internet was a thing). Oh, and we were the first place to publish Tim Zimmerman‘s photos. I’m sure I’m missing some. Jeff Brushie wrote us a really angry email once. Does that count?

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Brooke Geery looking her absolute best.

How many angry emails have you gotten in your career?

I couldn’t count so I’ll just tell the Jeff Brushie story. We used to have a gossip column called “vilification” in which I would write all the stuff I knew/cared about (which was limited as it was 1998) and at one point I called out Jeff Brushie for getting sympathy points from the judges because he was, “Old, fat and washed up.” Little did I know, people actually read Yobeat, including Brushie and he wrote me an all-caps email telling me to, “Learn to go over the lip before I talk all my shit.” It’s still online, let me find the link… http://yobeat.com/issue5.htm

Speaking of making it over the lip, is it a prerequisite that to work for Yobeat you have to suck at snowboarding? Is that why the site is so bitter?

I think you might be projecting your own feelings on to the site. “Bitterness” was never the intention. Yobeat has always just been real, and if something is wack, we’re going to call it out. As for being good or bad at snowboarding to work at the site, that doesn’t matter. I don’t hire pro snowboarders to write because pro snowboarders get paid to do 720s, not blog. Or at least, they used to. I think the new crop of kids coming up with have to do both…

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Brooke looking her absolute worst, and possibly pooping her pants.

You once ran the wakeskate world, correct? What was that like?

Yes, the rumors are true. After college got a job working for Alliance Wake, where I started and ran a wakeskate website. It was awesome, I got to travel to warm places, ride around on boats with tan, in shape dudes and stay with rich people all the time. However, when Yobeat started to take off, I realized that my attention would be better focused on that, so I passed the torch on. I don’t really miss standing in knee deep muck taking photos, but other than that, I have fond memories of the places and people.

What have been the best and worst memories of your time at Yobeat?

I’d have to say the best memory was when you sold our first ad. I never really imagined that Yobeat could work and that was the moment that I was like holy shit, this could be a real thing. Another great moment was when we took a trip to Whitefish last year and got the media hook up — comped tickets, room etc etc. As for worst, probably the fact that I wake up at 5 am every morning and can’t get back to sleep because I am driven to update the internet. But then again, most people probably don’t jump out of bed because they want to do their jobs, do they?

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The highest Brooke has ever been off the ground.

How many enemies have you made along the way?

I used to make a lot more enemies when Yobeat was smaller and I was just freelancing. People didn’t understand why this loud mouthed little girl was calling them out for being stupid, had opinions, or was anywhere other than the kitchen. But a wise man once said to me, “They only hate you until they realize you have power. Then they’re scared of you.”

So you don’t take credit for ruining Josh Sherman’s career?

Ha, I forgot about Josh Sherman. Yeah, he was not a fan of mine after we went on a trip to Quebec together, but I think we both learned something from that one. I learned I have NO DESIRE to be a snowboard photographer and I can’t speak for him, but he is now running his own company, which is maybe a better place for him than in front of the camera.

Where do you want to take Yobeat? Would you quit in an instant if someone offered you the right price?

That’s something I ask myself a lot. Right now, no, I’m not trying to sell it to the highest bidder. The reason I love doing Yobeat is because I get to do anything and everything I want (including giving myself a damn interview) and having to answer to someone would change that. But like they say, money talks, so never say never.

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The Yobeat staff would like to apologize on behalf of Brooke’s hands.

What’s the worst part about being the boss?

Dealing with you. Next question.

Is it true you’re also a tattoo artist?

Yes. I gave Jerm his first tattoo. I was going for a charcoal look, which is why the lines were so squiggly. Either that, or it was because I was drunk and had never given a tattoo before.

You live in Portland, Oregon so you must have tattoos, chickens and a drinking problem right?
I have a tattoo – which I actually got in Chicago, two chickens – which are Jared’s, and I wouldn’t call it a problem.


Brooke is proud of this for some reason, so we included it. Comment away.

Why hasn’t Yobeat adopted Facebook commenting to cool down the anonymous hate like every other site?
Because Yobeat is a community and anonymous commenting is why it’s grown so much. And we deal with trolls the old-fashioned way — by tracking their IP addresses and calling them out publicly.

Where does Yobeat draw the line? How far is too far?

I just told our managing editor this actually. If it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, then it’s Internet gold. But everything is taken on a case-by-case basis and I abide by the old adage, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

Why aren’t there random drug tests at Yobeat?

There are. Next question

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Brooke plans on riding 100 days this year, at least. Her life is probably better than yours.

What’s the proudest moment of your snowboard career?

Beating Hannah Teter in a halfpipe contest at Okemo. She was 9, but whatever.

That beats owning Kyle Clancy’s virginity?

Definitely.

Do you think the kids that will read this even know who Kyle Clancy is?

I don’t care. I’m making you take that question out. I just got invited to a premiere in Austria; do you think they’ll fly me there?

No, you’re not that important.

Kyle’s Fucking Column: Take the Money

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What can I teach all our readers in a short space without boring you or sounding like a know it all? How about I tell you about the many, many mistakes I’ve made in my snowboard career and what I learned from them. To do this without it sounding like a lecture on the stupidity of action sports athletes: I’ll start with a true story (about the stupidity of action sports athletes)!

The first thing I’ll address is the issue of corporate vs “core” brands, since it’s all the rage right now. I once rode for a few large corporate brands, along with my friend Danny Kass. We had money coming in and no clue what to do with it. Grenade was still just a bumper sticker and we had time on our hands, perhaps too much.

One summer day in Mammoth, I was sitting in a apartment complex not fit for humans with 8 other guys and a pet rat named Master Splinter (who did not have a cage, he was free range.) By the way it wasn’t a condo, it was a hotel room converted to apartments.

The phone rings, it’s Danny. “What are you doing?”

It was weird because he usually only calls when he needs something (he’s too lazy to call for no reason.) “Nothing,” I say while watching two TV’s simultaniuosly, “I’m at Max and Lane’s place.”

“Meet me outside in 5 minutes.”

In six minutes I hear a commotion outside, like every Mexican family opening the doors to their apartments and walking down the halls to the parking lot and a loud roaring sound. Now remember this is also really weird because Danny said 5 minutes and he’s here in 6, which very out of character to be even close!

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Artist’s rendering. 

I step outside to see him sitting in the parking lot with an entire building complex and the rest of the neighborhood looking at him on a Trike. Not just any Trike, a Low Rider Trike with chopper handle Bars and a high-rise bench back seat. It’s deafeningly loud. I  determine I need my skateboard and run inside, and by now the whole fucking street is watching.

Danny throws me a Cappix helmet — these fake plastic baseball looking hats used to fake out skate park cops — “You’ll want this.”

I climb up onto the white upholstered bench seat behind him skate board in hand and the plastic hat on my head, no seat belt, as you’d imagine.  We reverse out of the complex parking lot and onto the side street. There is literally a crowd gathered on the road, like I said it’s fucking LOUD. Danny puts it in gear. Instantly we are in a wheelie. Now I have never seen Danny drive a motorcycle, so I’m impressed that he can do a wheelie. About the time this thought crosses my mind, I notice he’s trying to steer, yes steer, while in a wheelie. The tire is just flopping side to side and we are speeding up, faster and faster. Then I notice he is reaching with his left hand for a brake lever that doesn’t exist. Picture this all with handle bars that are so tall he can barely reach them in the first place.

Now I become concerned. We are going 35 miles an hour in a wheelie with the fucking exhaust pipe cutting a trench into the street behind us, and Danny has no fucking clue what he’s doing. This is one of those moments that happens in slow-motion, we’re now headed towards a set of apartments and  still accelerating. In the lot ahead is a lone Ford Explorer. We slam into it full force, the 8 foot long front forks and wheel fold over and what’s left punches into the Ford like a knife into a cardboard box. We are thrown god knows where, as the owners of said car stand on there porch, dumb founded. We are laying on the ground dazed as the engine is still screaming and pushing into the parked Explorer.

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As you might expect, the police and fire department show up, and they are wondering what the fuck happened. They are asking the usual questions, and a female officer says, “is the vehicle insured?”

“Absolutely” Danny says.

“How long have you had this policy?”

Danny asks the officer “well, what time is it?“

The cop gives him a dirty look and  looks at her watch, it’s 2:15”

“Well then about a 1/2 hour.” Danny replies.

See continues the questioning, “What do you guys do for work?

“Ma’am we are professional snowboarders” Danny says proudly.

“Well, what do you do in the summer then?” She asks.

“This summer we are learning to ride motorcycles” Danny says with a straight face.

The moral of this story is simple. Corporate companies were enabling us to spend time creating ridicules lifestyles, images and stories that later fueled the “hype” that helped us create our own brands. Brands that later shaped the industry we inhabited. As you might guess those same corporate companies all then rush to imitate the small trend setter brands or buy them out. My point is, when a brand like Nike comes in and hires riders, reps and designers, sells gear at shops and buys ads, it injects money into our little industry. Even if only for a short period of time. Shit the last time Nike did that, Rob Kingwell bought a house with those checks, and now he’s sitting in that house running his own brand Avalon7. So if they want to stop by and drop some money in our little circle, by all means, feel free. We are just going to take that cash and buy t-shirt screen printer, a die cut machine or a Lowrider Trike with no fucking brakes.

Find me on Instagram @Clancy_Kyle and tell me if you disagree.

Smokin in the UK

Wild in the streets!

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Smokin Snowboards took the team on a little UK tour. Stay tuned for some domes, some antics and some beautiful sights, coming soon.

Movie Memories: Scott Stevens

As it turns out, there’s a reason no one has done this before. Most of the best old parts are not online, and the people who made them want to keep it that way. Never fear! We have a plan for an even better movie memories feature, but in the meantime, we did track down Scott Stevens’ pick Kyle Clancy in the classic Grenade flick Full Metal Edges, sans music. If you want the full effect play Misfit’s “Scream” while you watch. Here’s why Scott picked it.

It’s pretty easy! Everyone in that video is my favorite! Especially because the Grenade team had a really big East Coast presence. I would watch Kyle’s part over and over. from his song to his jumps, grabs, rails, cab 3 to 5050, bs 3 fastplant and possibly the first 5050 bs 3 I can remember seeing when I was young. Kyle shuts the video down and did everything I wanted to see then and everything I still like to see now. The diversity and eye openers were huge. This part was ahead of its time!

If you really want the full effect, you can still purchase Full Metal Edges here.

Hump Day Finds Kyle Clancy

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Kyle Clancy lives outside the snowboard industry’s box.

Here’s a rider that bailed on Mack Dawg’s program to film on his own terms with Grenade until he took matters completely into his own hands and filmed “Who Cares” under his own production company, Mongo Pro.

Here’s a rider that won Red Bull’s Heavy Metal rail contest among the world’s best jibbers and then never hit another street rail again.

Here’s a rider that’s done what he needs to do to make sure he can shred as much as possible in any given season on his own terms.

He’s been called a lot of things:

“The next Jason Ford.”
“The expensive underground guy”
“The guy who’s survived career suicide.”
“That asshole that wouldn’t take me to Jackson the first year I had a snowmobile.” – (Okay, that’s just me.)

The truth is that Kyle is one of the few riders that’s been able to carve out a long term niche for himself that doesn’t require fashion accessories or overbearing team managers with your whole career planned for you by contract.

So, meet Kyle Clancy: one of my oldest friends in snowboarding and the one I respect the most for doing it on his own in the most unique way possible. – Tim Zimmerman

Do you think the nickname “panties” helped you land your Under Armor sponsorship?

Nobody knows Jenner Richard called me that. Now they do.

Is there a fun story behind said nickname?

It rhymes, and makes my sound like a pussy, so they like it.

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Everyone knows Colin Langlois was a rollerblader, but not sure a lot of people are aware of your sweet BMX skills. Why did you choose snowboarding over BMX?

Honestly, I started traveling for snowboarding all year round, it was to hard to bring my bike. I started skate boarding alot more, it was so easy to carry along. I miss the BMX scene though, nobody is too cool.

I feel like the YoBeat readership may be interested to know who you lost your virginity to… care to kiss and tell?

That’s easy, you.

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Any other fond memories from living in Vermont in the 90s?

Well let’s see, Stowe Mt. didn’t give a shit about snowboarding, so we had to travel to the mountains who did — Okemo, Killington, Stratton. It was fun because all my friends went to the snowboard schools, so it was like teenager vacation at all the events. Partying under the super vison of coaches, ha ha. Thats what coaches really do; they do the sober driving, pick up the bibs at the meetings, and keep you from getting yourself too wasted.

How’s the family life? How did your lady make an honest man out of you?

Family life rules, It’s a shit load of work. We both travel for our jobs, so it can be real tricky, but it’s way more rewarding that way. Being married doesn’t make you honest by default, that takes work too.

Where are you living and riding these days?

Alpine, Wyoming. I ride everywhere, but when it’s good here, it blows away most places. I still love to travel and explore, though.

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How many times have you tried to ruin your snowboard career? Why don’t you think it’s worked?

I have seen so many pros come and go in my time in snowboarding.  It only ends when you say it does, if you stop learning new tricks, that’s it.  People get really burnt in this industry too, and they take it personally.   I just like flying down the mountain, and some people just want to be pro, and when they lose a sponsor, they quit trying. I have made my share of mistakes too, my focus would shift to music or BMX or Skating and that didn’t help either.

Given the number of sponsors you’ve had in the recent past, how do you keep who you are riding for straight?

It’s not like skateboarding where pros build an image and a legacy at a company. Most companies in snowboarding have very little respect for the sport (maybe cuz that person was dropped by a sponsor in the past and their bitter). Everybody just wants to sponsor a new person every two years, so they can catch a Shaun White for cheap, early. And guys like Chad Otterstrom or JJ Thomas get fucked. We need to take care of our sport and build it’s personality and not just a revolving doors of “up and coming” riders.

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What is your longest standing sponsor?

At the moment Bluebird Wax and Liberty Boardshop. It would have been Grenade Gloves- but they ditched most everybody from the early days- don’t know why!

Obviously snowboarding is fun, and you are kind of good at it, but how do you stay motivated to be a “pro snowboarder”?

It’s a living thing, it’s different every year, the tricks, your favorite spots. It’s like surfing, meeting a challenge and overcoming it. Some years the snow sucks, so you ride pipe, and some years it’s all about powder.  It’s all about the lifestyle too, sleeping 4 hours a night and going out when it’s -40.  It can be more spirtual then like, high school. Look at Jeremy Jones, he didn’t burn out.  So many people in snowboarding hate the sport, we all have that friend who talks shit about snowboarding but they loved it at one point.

What’s more important to you than snowboarding?

Family. That doesnt just mean your aunt and uncle. It means people you can trust and love. Your circle of people you build in your little world.

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How do you feel about the current state of the world? Think Obama is doing a good job?

Who? I don’t talk politics in public anymore. Though it would be fun.

Do you ever get in fights at cowboy bars over politics?

I don’t go to bars really.  I go to skateparks, and there are no cowboys there.

What do you actually do with yourself during the season? Any projects in the works this year?

I have my hands in a bunch of cookie jars this time around. I’m making my own video part with the help of Under Armour. Then I’ll have shots in  Transworld’s new movie, the Bluebird movie, Commotion (Snow Rev), and a new T.V. show coming out soon.

What’s your favorite film crew you’ve worked with over the years?

I have spent some time with every crew, anybody who still likes to ride is best. A lot of filmers are stuck filming snowboarding even though they don’t love it. Just the motivated ones.

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What is it like being on a photoshoot with THE Tim Zimmerman? Does he ever blow the shot?

NEVER. Tim and I get into little fights here and there, but he is so talented, overqualified.

Most people I know agree, you are super underrated. So who do you think doesn’t get the respect they deserve in snowboarding?

A lot of people, the industry is so fixated on contests right now.  It’s destructive. It’s becoming like baseball: riders are just trying to go to as many contest as they can.  Who won the US open last year? I don’t know. Who was in That’s It, That’s All? Everybody knows that shit.  I want my riding to last and change things for the better, not just get TTR points. And thanks for the compliment!

Any other thanks, no thanks, sponsor plugs?

Under Armour Mountain sports, Gordini Goggles, Bluebird Wax, Liberty Boardshop, Masa accessories. Thanks for the interview, the best I can remember.

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Drama and Such

A few weeks ago I received a press release from Catamount Ski Area in New York. It came on a piece of paper in an envelope to the address on this website. It’s that kind of genius that will be behind their new park and pipe this season, and you want to know who it belongs to? None other than Matt Gormley, so you never know, while his internet skills may be a bit behind the times, his snow skill are right on. I will now take this opportunity to make fun of Eerik Ilves. He, along with Andrew Mutty have been added to this years Killington team. Now you may ask, didn’t he move to Vancouver? Well, yes, he did, but he’s actually going back east for the winter. Genius, pure genuis. Catherine Nieves, Zach Leach, Kyle Clancy, Lane Knack, Amber Stackhouse and two other people have all moved into a house in Mammoth.The drama level in this house should be extremely high this year, and we’ll keep you posted, especially since Lane has already claimed that Kyle is a drama queen.Okay, I’m peacing this gossip column out. late.