It’s Kyle Miller Hump Day Time

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On the way to Tailgate AK in 2011. Photos: Jeff Hawe

Maybe you’ve never heard of Kyle Miller. That’s ok, we’ll fill you in. Montana born and bred and now calling Tahoe home, Kyle is a soul boarder if there ever was one. So why should you care? Well, ask any of his friends and they tell you the same thing: he is easily most well-rounded, solid and stylish riders on a silent come up in snowboarding at the moment. Add to that, Kyle is always positive, always stoked and always smiling. And at Yobeat, that’s good enough for us, so guess what, it’s Miller time!

Brooke: First question. Why do they call you Scooter?

Kyle: haha, I am not sure. My friend Tyrel just gave that one to me one day when I was 15. I thought it was appropriate because I was way younger than the rest of those dudes, so I went with it.

Brooke: How old are you these days?

Kyle: twenty-three

Brooke: So old in the grand scheme of snowboarding. How have your priorities changed, or have they?

Kyle: In snowboarding I am almost ready for the nursing home. My priorities have not changed too much, I have always boarded cause it is a blast and it makes me happy. When I was younger I use to hit a bunch of rails and ride park a bunch while I waited for the pow to come. As the years went I slowly was hitting less rails and getting more into the mountains hunting pow. Rails are sick just not so much for me anymore. For me snowboarding is something you do in the mountains, I hated driving around a city to find rail spots then probably just get kicked out of them. Then if we managed to get a session on something I was so panicked and stressed to get a shot that it made it a not so fun time.

Brooke: I heard you were the kid that was down to hit any rail, anytime back in the day. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever hit a rail on?

Kyle: I use to be gung ho on hitting anything really. I was pumped on rails growing up cause they didn’t have many in parks in Montana and I looked up to all the jibbers and had a huge craving for them cause unless you built them or set them up yourself rail riding was hard to come by. When I got to high school they started popping up all over then. Strangest thing hit a rail on… hmmm there was a demo for these huge boards at Kirkwood one day, I used a 220cm board. Board slid a rail in the park, pretty wild when ya got 4 feet of nose in front of you but man that thing turned like a boat! Slow and steady.
 
Brooke: Ok, let’s get serious for a minute. Would you say you like puppies as much as, or more than, your average person?

Kyle: Haha! I would have to say a bit more than the average. Not just puppies but dogs as well. They are such good buddies!


Powder boarding on Thompson Pass, AK.

Brooke: Are you able to have your own dog with your busy travel schedule?

Kyle: Fortunately yes because my girlfriend, Brook,e watches after him while I am gone. Technically it is her dog but we share ownership of the rascal.

Brooke: How much of the season do you spend on the road?

Kyle: It kind of varies. I usually spend most Decembers in Montana cause they often have a good preseason snowpack and I go there for the holidays. I try to stay in Tahoe as much as I can but sometimes that isn’t always and option. Especially this season, not so good if you like powder boardin’. Probably half the time on the road.

Brooke: How do you support your shred habit? Who foots the bill?

Kyle: I work on a forest fire crew in Montana during the summer, and some love from the sponsors too.

Brooke: That’s so manly. Would you say your tougher than most snowboarders?

Kyle: More like the tougher than everyone in this country or planet.


Glacial handplant, Thompson Pass.

Brooke: What’s the most baddass thing you’ve ever done?

Kyle: hmmm I’m not sure. Probably something stupid whatever it was.

Brooke: Bad answer. What about driving to Alaska? When did you do that?

Kyle: Oh that was a badass trip! I went last spring with Jeff Hawe, We took his old little Dodge Dakota that was packed to the brim pulling two sleds, it took a bit of time but we managed to get there. We drove all day and most of the night, crashed for a few hours in the back and then woke up an rallied so more. Going over the passes we had to put it in 2nd and creep over usually going about 25mph, made it a bit longer but we got there. Driving through the Yukon Territories was insane, so desolate you would not see anything but truckers for the longest stretches. Some beautiful country, I tell you what. Then the boarding in AK was not so bad either, I guess.

Brooke: What do you think it’s like to spend 9 days in a car with you?

Kyle: Oh man probably not the best experience he ever had. Around day 3 or so you run out of stuff to talk about so you just start talking about the weirdest shit, I am sure a lot of people have been to that phase. I felt like I was a pretty good road buddy, stayed awake a lot, drove my share, paid my share and knowing not to push hit buttons to hard so he wouldn’t leave me in the Yukon to get eaten by wild animals.


Kyle and Iris Lazz sharing a powder wave on Thompson Pass.

Brooke: How long do you think you could survive in the woods on your own?

Kyle: I think I could make it a few weeks….or a few days.

Brooke: Don’t they teach you survival skills in the Forest Service?

Kyle: Not really, but I use to watch Bear Grills “Man vs Wild” all the time.

Brooke: Cool, same thing really. Was this your first winter living in Tahoe?

Kyle: No this is my fifth winter out here. I like it, shit ton of snow, lots of sunshine, and the backcountry is endless. However, it is a bit warm for my taste. After storms you have usually only a few days til snow turns bad but they are some epic days!


Floaty frontside 180 on the Pass Road Gap, Jackson WY.

Brooke: Why did you decide to leave Montana for the winters? Is it hard to pursue a snowboard career from Big Sky country?

Kyle: Montana is awesome, I just wanted to try something else for awhile. My family had a place here in Truckee I could stay at too which was huge. I had been here before when I was 16 or so and loved it so I went with it. Might have been tough before to pursue snowboarding from there but all I really ever do is travel or go out and film pow so not really sure if it would have mattered so much.

Brooke: Where in MT are you from originally?

Kyle: The capital city, Helena. To ride there is only one close mountain called Great Divide. A small mom and pop place that doesn’t get too much snow but when it does it is a blast. Big Sky was only few hours away and that became my second home during high school. I would go up Friday night and stay with Liam Gallagher and Shane Stalling up near the mountain. They would help me get tickets, clip, or sneak me on the lifts. Passes were crazy expensive so I never bought one.

Brooke: I won’t tell anyone, promise! So, what’s your goal with snowboarding? Think you’ll ever get to a point where you can just chase the white wave year round?

Kyle: To rip powder on my board as much as possible. Maybe one day I can just surf pow all winter and summer but I like taking some time off the board. It’s good to build up a little stoke and get into other thing for a bit. I sure wouldn’t mind going back down to Chile every summer though.


Kyle is not timid in big mountains, airing into a line in Valdez.

Brooke: Did you go on that trip to finish up filming for Manifest last year? What was it like for you working on that project?

Kyle: Yeah we all made it down it was a really great to see everyone dropping what they had going and flying halfway around the world to finish what Aaron started. Working on that project was so much fun, every time we went out we had a great time. It was hard to have a bad time with Arob or any of those dudes. We just bashed so much pow all year it was the best winter I had ever had. When I think back on it I am so thankful to have spent so much of one of the biggest winters shredding with him and everyone.

Brooke: There’s a follow up project in the works, right? Are you filming for that as well?

Kyle: Yes we are making “Of Life and Love,” this was the original project name last year. The teaser should be dropping here pretty soon. It had been a tough year to get out all the time, but we have been able to get after it quite a bit. This crew is so much fun to board with, we just try to spread the love like Arob had always done, shredding, laughing, joking and just always having a blast doing what we are doing. Really stoked to go see those dudes soon and rip it some more.

Brooke: Awesome. Another random factoid I learned about you: Is it true you can’t snowboard with anything in your pockets?

Kyle: It is true I hate riding with shit in my pockets. I have been getting better though, I can ride with my phone and wallet but nothing in my jacket pockets. That is the worst.
 

Dog lover.

Brooke: Alright, let’s wrap this up and talk current events real quick. As a snowboarder you’re probably supposed to care about the FIS and other Olympic bullshit, but as someone who definitely fits the soul shredder mold, I’m wondering, do you care? Do you think the Olympics matter in snowboarding?

Kyle: Ahhh, the ol’ Olympics question. Well first off I believe Tahoe and Montana have put a bid on on the 2022 Games, I think it is. It looks like those two are the only ones really likely to get it. If it happens I am going to be so bummed, chances are it is going to happen at one of the two but I would prefer if they did all the shit elsewhere. As far as snowboarding, I kinda care, but I think that judging snowboarding in general is stupid. It seems to be just a huck fest now days anyways and not being judged with style in mind. If style played a big role in judging than Lago should have won the last one cause he had the sickest style by far. But that is just me and if they are only going to judge on how many corks or spinny doo-das someone does than does it really matter who judges? As long as you can count up to 1260 you should be all ready to go!

Sponsors?

K2 Snowboarding, Sessions, Spy Optics, and fourOsix boardshop


Ripping it in his home turf, Backcountry, MT.

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