Gratitude: A Bryan Iguchi interview
Bryan Iguchi’s blueprint for snowboarding is about as elementary as it gets—set yourself up in a mountain town, make the sacrifices, meet the obligations and do whatever it takes to snowboard everyday. Like all elegant equations, it’s simple, it makes perfect sense and damn near anyone can solve it. To make it even more inspiring, turns out all you really need to succeed in cracking the code are a few key ingredients, with an undying love for shredding and gratitude of paramount importance.
With much of professional snowboarding perpetuated as stunts of unexplainable talent and high mathematics, the easy-style awesomeness of Guch riding powder appears to solve any problems snowboarding might present, further proving the long held theory that life doesn’t need to be so complicated.
I look at you and I see someone who is genuinely stoked to be a part of snowboarding. And I’m not talking about the kind of excitement we see after someone just had a sick powder run but a real appreciation towards the whole package.
It’s hard to put my finger on one thing in particular but simply getting to experience the mountains as I do teaches me a lot. Because it’s so varied from season to season it allows me to constantly look at snowboarding in different ways. In turn, I have deep appreciation of snowboarding. This year it was snowboarding with my son Milo. He’s five now and watching him learn how to ride and observing the process of discovery through his eyes was definitely the most rewarding thing for me this season.
Every chance I have to be in the mountains when things come together, I just appreciate that time so much. Some years are harder than others in this respect and some seasons it snows all the time. When I look at what has happened out West the past few years I think a lot about climate change affecting our sport. I don’t want to think negatively about it but in one way it does give me added perspective on the issue and makes me really appreciate those good days.
Without your riding community snowboarding wouldn’t be what it is. It just wouldn’t be the same.
Have your personal goals changed over the years?
I just try and find balance. I have this intense desire to ride all the time and want to physically be there when it is time to go. You know we only have so many of these days and periods where it’s really good and I obviously want to make the most of those, but at my age and with a family it is a different thing than it used to be. Then with these long approaches splitboarding or just riding the hill as well, I have to pick my battles a bit more carefully as opposed to my younger years where it was just all day every day.
What do you do mentally and physically to maintain this balance?
Honestly the key thing for me is just getting enough rest. In the past I’ve gotten hurt when I’ve overworked myself and you learn from those experiences. Of course I make time to stretch and take days off when sometimes I don’t necessarily want to.
We all come up at different times and with different crews and it seems to me that amidst everything else these friendships and group dynamics are the biggest influencers of snowboarding. What does your community mean to you?
I think it’s everything. Without your riding community snowboarding wouldn’t be what it is. It just wouldn’t be the same. You feed off of each other and get inspired by one another. Locally, I have guys like Travis Rice and Mark Carter—enough said. Those guys have been a huge part of my snowboarding. Riding with Pat Moore has been amazing as well. He came up in a different generation so I got so see him kind of rise to where he is now. He’s a great person to be around and incredibly talented. And then old friends like Jamie Lynn. He has always been my favorite snowboarder as well as one of my favorite people in life—his creativity and his style are just the best. We have a long friendship that started in the early nineties and at this point he’s like a brother. Every chance we get to ride together like that recent trip to Alaska is a total dream trip.
That Blueprint was in my opinion the edit of the season. You guys made the otherworldly experience of riding AK totally relatable by showing a certain amount of humility and gratitude towards it.
We went there with intentions to have maximum fun, not to prove anything, and to experience the pinnacle of snowboarding—Alaska. Those runs have the best terrain of your life and when they happen over and over it feels like the universe opens up to you. When you have good weather, good snow, good stability and good people… that kind of energy is what makes those trips of a lifetime.