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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.

Hannah Teter Hoola Hoops!

People say snowboarders don’t have any “real world skills” but pretty sure this 138 second of Hannah Teter hula hooping proves that wrong.

Boarders Without Borders Needs Your Help

Hannah Teter is trying to save the world — this time with a goodwill trip to Iran. Read on to learn how you can say you helped.

Boarders Without Borders will follow four professional American snowboarders, two females (Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Teter & Pro-rider Gabi Viteri) and two male (TBD), as they journey to Iran to ride the world class uncharted Alborz mountains. When one thinks of Iran, it is typically the political strife and unrest that is widely represented in the American media. The last thing that comes to mind is 14,000-foot mountains covered in Utah-like powder, with densely populated resorts and chalets nestled at the base of the slopes. However, with over 75% of the population of Iran aged 35 and under, counter-cultures like snowboarding are hidden sanctuaries for the youth of Iran. We will explore this unknown world on and off the slopes through the eyes of these three American riders, and experience their journey as they discover a country that has been sealed off from the West for over 30 years.

In order to complete the film, we must successfully raise $125,000 by September the 16th to cover the remainder of the expenses. Kickstarter is all or nothing funding; meaning, if we do not raise our goal ($125,000) then we do not recieve anything. We are truly humbled if you would pledge your support to the project at any reward level to the right. There are numerous rewards for the snowboard fan and non-snowboard fan at many different levels.

Please have a look below for more detailed information on the film, including Trailers, Rider Bio’s and Budget or to pledge your support visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1393245118/boarders-without-borders-iran. We look forward to creating an amazing film that everyone can be proud to support and be a part of…

Mainstream Media Blitz!

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This whole Olympic thing is exhausting for the YoBeat staff — there’s just too much going on in snowboarding to make fun of right now! This morning Boardistan alerted us to a particularly disturbing/confusing phenomenon in the upcoming Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. That’s right: they’re featuring snowboard chicks! Now don’t get us wrong, Hannah Teter and Clair Bidez are both lovely ladies who rock those swimsuits with snowboard boots as well as anyone, but it’s still making us feel a little bit weird.

Then we we’re sent a link to the NYT’s attempt to create a “video library of tricks to document all the different spins, grabs and flips that will be on display at the Games.” Since times are tough for the Times, apparently the best way to do this is to request anyone who’s ever strapped on a snowboard to send in videos of themselves doing various tricks. User generated content, I believe they call it. And who wouldn’t want their sweet stunts featured on the NYT Trick Library? We’re going to go start filming our below the lip switch 3s today!

In a few weeks this will all be over and we can go back to being outcasts, right?

Help Hannah Save Seals

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Boardistan was reading my hometown paper, the Rutland Herald, this morning and found out Hannah Teter is up to more good. (I was busy doing the crossword puzzle.) This time Hannah is helping Peta Save the Seals in Canada. Apparently the Cannucks are still clubbing the cute little bastards for sport/industry, and that’s not cool damn it. Hopefully a little bit of Hannah’s gold will save the day. Read more

Olympic Women’s Halfpipe

Hannah Teter Superstar: US Women Claim HP Gold and Silver
Monday, February 13, 2006

Though the buzz surrounding another US men’s halfpipe sweep remained steady until the very final moments of yesterday’s competition, predictions of total domination by the US women have been at a loud, steady and seemingly unstoppable rumble all winter.

Kelly Clark, the fantastically conditioned work horse, has proven she means business in ’06, sticking out a win at X Games while her fellow countrywomen chose to withdraw and rest up for Torino. Gretchen Bleiler has been consistent, progressive and almost entirely unbeatable since coming back from a knee injury in ’04. Not to be discounted in any context is the wild energy of hyper, faithful Hannah Teter — who regularly soars heads above her competition when under pressure. Youngster Elena Hight should be credited with pushing the rest of the field to add stylish 9’s to their repertoire of winning tricks.

It could have been any US lady’s gold, silver and maybe even bronze in Italy, though Clark and Bleiler were the clear favorites this time around. Their only strong international competition came from the sassy Aussie, Torah Bright, the seasoned and decorated French veteran, Doriane Vidal, and Norwegian killer, Kjersti Buaas.

Sidenote: I know you’re here for the women’s scoop, but without even seeing the finals, how about knowing the ins and outs hours before they went down on NBC? 2006 is the year technology changed the face of Olympic broadcasting forever. Unable to make it over to Torino (or even your TV or computer)? Have the medal alerts SMSed to your cell the instant they are claimed. Interested in the drama of the games as it unfolds by the minute? Check your RSS aggregator, dawg. Hit up your regular bookmarks on a lazy Sunday or Monday morning, and you’ve likely spoiled a golden surprise for yourself 10 hours before the semi finals hit the big screen. I certainly did!

From the blogosphere and beyond, spin to win 10’s were expected to podium for the men, and the women weren’t far behind them, regularly pulling stylish, grabbed 9’s in competition these days. Today’s female pipe riders are performing leaps and bounds above the standards of even two years back. We mainly have our lady Olympians to thank for that.

As for how they fared tonight: Kelly Clark cruised her way through the semifinals, easily landing a decent run right off the bat, followed by Bleiler and Teter, who threw strong though conservative safety laps to advance. Torah Bright and Doriane Vidal made their way to the big show, along with Dutch freestyle ripper, Cheryl Maas, USA’s Elena Height and Swiss Miss Manuela Pesko. Japanese riders Yamaoka, Nakashima and Fushima joined a strong women’s field in the race for gold.

I’m not sure the judges had time to calibrate their minds before the women rightfully stepped it up in the finals; they were instantly wowed by a solid, though slightly sketchy, run from Teter that remained a golden benchmark throughout the event. Women’s USA was looking good to one up the men’s performance from the night before.

As predicted, Bleiler was almost unbeatable and proved it with a stylish, technical effort that earned her a silver medal. Going into round two, the US women seemed primed to pull off a sweep, especially when they held off a gutsy effort by Torah Bright, who consistently threw down the most technical combos of the contest. Only Kjersti Buaas, with her amplitude, flow and crippler 7, was able to upset the US spirit by riding her way to a bronze in her second run. In the end, Kelly Clark was unable to pull off the explosive winning formula she had dialed and landed all week, washing out on her final 9 and finishing an honorable, though personally disappointing, fourth overall. We will undoubtedly see great things to come from Elena Hight, who finished sixth this time around.

The booby trap was set early in the finals as gold fell through the hands of all but the top of five legitimate contenders. At Bardonecchia, Hannah claimed it after sticking her first run. Above all else, these Olympics have shown the huge potential of women’s halfpipe riding in general. I know I’m not alone in looking forward to what these female standouts will be throwing down for the remainder of the season and beyond. Well played, lady pipeheads. See you at Stratton.

-RC