Personalities: Marc Frank Montoya
Whats the first thing that comes to mind when a snowboarder thinks of MFM? Is it the smoothest nollies and the biggest spins with no grabs? Is it a motivated businessman, family man, and hustler? Is it an outspoken king of style and certified legend? Is it style that spawned countless imitators and a handful of prodogies? Yes, yes, and yes, but the truth is, Marc Frank Montoya is all of this and more.
Growing up in Denver, CO, as a kid, Marco’s main focus was his next dollar, and his next meal, he wasn’t even introduced to skateboarding until age 15 and snowboarding at age 17. After that it was, as Marco puts it "nothing else." When you take the motivation of an aimless, albeit, hungry hustler, and apply it to something at which said individual has a newly discovered passion and natural born talent, well the rest comes natural.
Interview & photos: Sean Kerrick Sullivan
I found an interesting quote the other day, and it said:
“Although it is important to set goals, we will never be happy if we depend on the achievement of these goals. We need to find happiness along our journeys, not assume it will be at our destinations.”
Consider the length of your career as a pro snowboarder, and the places it has taken you, and elaborate on that quote and what it means to you.
There's way too many details and subjects you could get into with this quote. The first couple that came to me are:
That it's not the destination (like being a pro athlete, a millionaire, or a world leader), it's the person you have to become in order to achieve it. I have already achieved the pro snowboarder thing, and yep, I'm not satisfied. I'm not saying I'm not happy because I totally am. I'm just saying there's way more to life than snowboarding. There must always be new goals. One of the reasons why people are unhappy is because they are stagnant, falling into their daily routines, being closed-minded, focusing on themselves instead of others. Your personal growth must be constant. If you're grateful for what you have, then you will be happy, and damn I'm so grateful!
You’ve recently upped the ante by partnering heavily with FODT for the production of Hard 2 Earn, The Arena, and now Familia 2. What's the reasoning behind that move?
It's just a super sick-ass hobby, helping my friends do what they love to do and still be able to hang out and ride. I don't really have to snowboard for money anymore, but I just love it! I don't make that much money off of the movie, but I love to be able to pay my friends a salary to do what they love to do. It's sick to build riders up and watch 'em shine too. I like to show "city" kids that this snowboarding shit really is accessible. Most of our stuff is in the streets, and we're looking' for the hungry fools like I was. Come get it!
Theres a new website on the internet, MFMandFAM.com. Whats the strategy behind bringing your whole crew’s blog under one umbrella?
We thought it would be a good for the riders to have their own blog, because they probably wouldn't do it for themselves. Plus, we have a sick-ass core following, so it's good to have a community type deal. It takes some pushing and prodding for most of them, but it's getting dope! People love to know what we're all up to, it's crazy fun and we want to share.
Whats the main thing that brings you back day after day, year after year, to the mountains to strap into a snowboard?
Powder I guess. And these dudes still like to film me, so I go and film sometimes and get to watch myself on video 'n junk [laughs]! More now though, I've been looking for ways to give back to snowboarding and skateboarding, because of what it's done for my life. I'm gonna be 80 years old, in this game 4 life, heard! I don't have to ride for money any more, I make mad money. I still ride because I just love it and all my friends do it.
What is it that separated you from other equally talented riders and brought you to where you are today?
Snowboarding was my only way out. There were no other options, once I started believing in myself. From my first check, I knew where I would get my money from.
You’ve inspired a lot of riders who’ve risen through the ranks and already made a mark in snowboarding. Why do that?
Why share and teach stuff you had to learn the hard way? I want to show every single kid that it's possible. Most kids don't even have a chance to "get out," because they don't have HELP from anybody, or even any good mentors or influences. I'm here to change that.
As a mentor, what are some of the proudest moments you’ve had watching the youngsters come up?
Every time one of the homies comes up and asks me for advice. It feels good to be able to help them demand what they're worth. I love to help them shine, and teach them things that'll help them in the future too, so they don't end up getting "used up" and thrown out when they're done, like what happens to most athletes. It doesn't last forever, and when they stop snowboarding, they stop getting paid. Most have tunnel vision their entire career and end up with nothing when they're done because they didn't have a plan B. Sucks to have to watch them go back to work like everybody else.
What's the hardest lesson you've learned from snowboarding?
So many good lessons, but one that sticks out is that if you don't have a plan for you life and your money, someone else will. If you don't train and educate yourself for something else, you're hating it like Mike Tyson. 95% of athletes are bankrupt within 5 years after they're done being an athlete.
People say that today’s youth are spoiled, soft, or worse. What do you think of kids these days?
Oh hell yeah, they're spoiled fo' sho'. All these airbags, trampolines, training facilities, and stuff, it's nuts! They have parents that pay for that. I feel bad for the kids in the city like me, that have way less of a chance just because they have no money. That's why I like to show heads that anything is possible. You just gotta do whatever it takes. W.I.T. No excuses.
Whats is style on a snowboard? How can I improve mine?
You just gotta be yourself and get comfortable on your shit. Go a lot. Try a lot. Ride different things all the time, wherever you look.
How do you overcome fear when snowboarding?
Take little steps toward it. Start small, it makes it easier and gradual.
What is lack of style on a snowboard?
When it becomes a job and it gets too serious.
What do you think of skiers?
I used to clown it. Now I respect it. You have to give respect to get respect.
What do you think of surfers?
Shit is dope. They picked a good sport. I wish I was a sick surfer. That's my next hobby!
What do you think of skateboarders?
I'm a skater for life. I thank God for bringing the skateboard into my life and showing me a way out of the traditional corporate 9 to 5 nightmare!
What do you think of parents who push their children to shred?
I think that parents should show their kids how to be open-minded to everything, trying everything, until a kids finds what they truly love. Then support them to the fullest.
Parents need to stop pushing old ideas onto their kids and killing their dreams. Like making them go to school and get an education so they can get a stable job and make somebody else rich! It's a shame that they unintentionally and ignorantly crush dreams of having an extraordinary life. Most program their kids for the ordinary life.
Who are three of the most og, hardcore, loc riders of all time?
Jay Nelson, Peter Line, Devun Walsh, Snotty Shitcakes,
What are the three gnarliest things you’ve seen go down in person on a snowboard?
Kurt Wastell switch B/S 3 in Sweden off a huge cornice going 50mph. Axel Pauporte in Alaska going down a life-threatening line. Johnnie Paxson or Dan Brisse doing anything.
What are three of the best snowboard movies of all time?
All three MFMandFAM movies [laughs]! But really, I'm not sure.
Who are three of the sickest up-and-coming riders today?
Johnnie Paxson, Dan Brisse, Dylan Thompson.
What are three of the coolest things you can hit on a snowboard?
That front side, that back side, and them titties! Was that out loud?
What are three of the sickest resorts in the country?
Mt. High because it's close and you stay warm. Snowbird on powder days and Whistler when you want to party with Canadians!
Where are your favorite places to party?
Whistler, Tahoe, Tokyo, Rio
What are three rules of business?
First don't ever take any business advice from middle-class or broke friends or family if you want to be wealthy. Secondly, never quit by letting someone talk you out of your visions or ideas and always believe in yourself. Lastly, don't expect to be in the money until you're highly trained and have specialized skills. The difference between amateurs and pros is the money they make, from the training and coaching they've done. This refers to businesses and not snowboarding [laughs].
What are three ways to keep ladies happy?
Listen, but don't give them the solution. They just want to talk about it. Ask the right questions that will allow them to blabber on and they'll be happy.
What are three ways I can improve my life today?
Go to a seminar. Invest in yourself. Read a self-development or wealth book, not a school book.
People wonder why they can't get ahead and why they're always busy and not successful, but then they never invest in themselves. Instead they buy cars, houses, movies, games, weed, TVs, etc… and then they have the nerve to whine, complain, and wonder why they're not successful [laughs]. It doesn't make sense!
What are three things I can do to improve the world today?
Get educated and train for success. Then think of how to help another person, but take action instead of just wishing you could. But the hard truth is: you can only improve the world by improving yourself first!
What are three things shredders would never know about you?
That I secretly live another life in the self-development and financial freedom world, helping thousands of people build automated home-based businesses and retire very early like I've done.
What are three things shredders should know about you?
That I'll probably ride any kind of board till I die.
How do you start your days? First hour breakdown?
I wake up when I'm done sleeping. That's my rule. Then I sit in bed and thank God for my wonderful life. Then think about how I can help others. It gives me energy for the day. I get up slow, look at the weather for a while, wait until I'm hungry or thirsty, make a healthy shake, try to learn something, and then figure it out from there!
What do you think of Alta?
It's for uptight crybaby whiner mamas boys and girls that can't handle pressure from the outside world. I love the sticker that says "nobody cares you ski alta."
What makes a good sponsor?
A company that gets it and is real and true to their vision – like DVS or Technine. Seems like boxes of free product isn’t good enough for some 11 year olds these days, they want to sign contracts right away. It's kinda ruining the soul of snowboarding. When this happens you'll see something cooler and more underground come up that's not so mainstream. I liked it better when we weren't so accepted It was so FUN!
What makes a bad sponsor?
A company that comes into action sports and uses our "cool" industry and the "cool" athletes to brand and push nasty toxic consumable products on kids, causing bad health. (ie: most toxic "energy" drinks)
What do you think of corporate sponsors?
I think they exploit our sports to brand for "coolness" and we ignorantly let them in. The athletes now "floss" off of the crumbs that these companies drop for them. We could do so much better with some business education. One of my next ventures…
What's the most fun trick in snowboarding?
Ollie and nollie.
What trick were you most stoked to learn as a youngster?
What trick were you most stoked to learn as a pro?
How to turn pure streaming automated profit with no overhead.
If you could have one mulligan, take back one mistake, what would it be?
Being closed-minded to new and futuristic ideas and things that wealthy friends tried to tell me. I lost out on a lot of opportunity.
What do you think of excuses?
Excuses are things people tell themselves to feel better about where they are, so they don't have to take responsibility for their own actions. They're the reason people aren't living every dream they ever had. It's sad to watch. What do you think of luck? There is no such thing. I make luck happen. Most wish for it.
What is motivation?
Having discipline. Serving others. Being grateful. Creating joy.
What is hunger?
Not wanting anybody to struggle any more.
Is there a difference?
Lastly, how can I ride like you?
All you gotta do is love it like I do.
Sponsors and Thank Yous?
I thank God for everything I have. I thank and appreciate everybody who believes in me. I also thank the haters and cynics, they make me laugh, they're so cute, Bless their hearts! Remember: You've never seen a statue made for a skeptic or a cynic! Poor things, they'll still be there talking shit whether you make it or you don't. So just learn to love 'em for the entertainment they give!