Last week I covered Mikey LeBlanc’s beginnings. The plan this week was to unleash part two and detail Mikey’s current life, projects, and companies. The folks over at Transworld beat me to it though. The day after part one was released, a little Q&A with Mikey was released on Transworld’s snowboarding site. Don’t get it confused with Transworld Motocross, Quad, BMX, Surf, or Skateboarding sites, to find out about Mikey’s current situation you need to visit their snowboarding site. Anyways, I found myself in a bind, with no story, no idea what country Mikey was in, and nothing to say that hadn’t been said I put my thinking cap on. Good thing the press love stress, so here is week two, where I ask, “Why do we even like Mikey?”
To really get a feel for why people like Mikey I contacted long time Ride Team Manager, Matt Sickles. Sickles has been with Ride for eight years, and was in charge of getting Mikey back on the Ride team after Mike dropped ship in the mid 90’s. Sickles didn’t see being Mikey’s team manager as a tough position though because they go all the way back to the mid 80’s, “…being Mikey’s TM is very simple, he understands the game and is a TM in his own right. It’s pretty easy when it comes to getting things done (with Mike).” Their longtime friendship has had a strong impact on that relationship as well, “Mikey was one of the first kids I ever went snowboarding with, it’s been a life long journey and I have a hard time believing we have ever ended up where we are.”
Recently Mikey has become more than just a snowboarder, launching Holden outerwear and multiple video projects has Mikey’s business resume looking rather swell. This winter Mikey will be working with Ashbury Eyewear on a video project titledÂ “Videograss”. Lance Hakker, a founding member of Ashbury, had this to say, “Working with Mikey on Videograss is awesome. He made Love/Hate. He knows what’s up and is open minded.” Lance’s only complaint, “He can be a little hard to get a hold of.” something which I agree with, but then again, when you are as busy as Mike, it’s not something you can really complain about. Even as a business partner, Mikey still has the ability to hold a special place in the rider inside of all of us, Lance remembers, “He had the opener in Brown Trout. He has staying power, he’s been relevant for as long as I’ve been snowboarding.”
Being a business partner is one thing, but having the ability to mentor others is a much greater talent. Holden rider Desiree Melancon has been supported by Mikey for years, and she knows it, “He’s not really like a boss, he’s more like a Dad because he takes care of me and supports me. I can ask him for help with anything and he is always willing to tell me the truth. It’s really cheeseballish, but I dunno, he’s just down for the riders he supports and I’m pretty sure he would do anything for us, he’ll back us ‘till we die.”
As if being a friend, a savvy businessman, and a mentor weren’t enough, Mikey obviously has the ability to just wow folks with his personality. Ride rider Harrison Gordon remembers Brainstorm and the famous triple backflip as major moments in his development as a rider. “Mikey pretty much won me over with his personality before I had ever met him.” Likewise, Nick Dirks, one of the kids pushing this whole urban snowboarding thing said, “Well, I have really only met him once, but he was great, and about his snowboarding, I love what he chooses to snowboard on and the projects he chooses to be to be involved in.” It would seem Mikey has the golden touch.
Nima Jalali even had kind words for Mikey, “When I was coming up, he was this little guy, like me, fucking doing it. Huge jumps, huge rails, it was amazing.” These people and many more are still hyped on Mikey, excited to be involved in his projects, and are inspired by his riding even after 20+ years on the hill. So it’s no wonder Mikey is still a legitimate force in our little snowboarding community. This Mikey LeBlanc character has been inspiring us and making us laugh for years.
With an outerwear company under his belt, a video project in the works, and the normal pressures associated with being a pro snowboarder all piled up on him, Mikey can be a tough guy to get a hold of. What he could say for us this week was, “I am being smothered by crap these days.” Regardless of that, I promised three parts, past, present, and future, and next week, you will hear all about the future plans of Mr. Mikey LeBlanc.