Words: Josh Ruggles
Photos: Michael Azevedo
It has been a busy year for Bode Merrill. He was invited to compete in ESPN Real Snow, claimed a double part in Absinthe Films twe12ve, and was second, only to Travis Rice in Snowboarder Magazine’s ‘Top 10 riders of the year.’ It’s safe to say he is blowing up.
As the gap grows between urban rail riders and the guys in avalanche country, Bode maintains dominance in both disciplines. Not to mention laying waste to parks, from Mt. Hood to Park City.
We caught up with Bode and managed to steal some time from his hectic schedule for a little Q&A. From blog controversy to super powers, Bode told all.
Where are you from, where are you now?
I'm originally from Santa Cruz, CA. and now I live in Salt Lake City.
What's your home Mountain?
You were busy this season, with filming for Real Snow et cetera. How did you feel about your video entry?
After seeing the other videos I didn't feel so good. Everyone really stepped it up this year. I was blown away at what everyone else put out. (Watch Bode's Real Snow part)
You had some heavy tricks in those 60 seconds; did you have any tricks that you didn't get done for the video?
Yeah, there were some things I didn't get done, that I would of liked to. That's how it always goes while filming though; sometimes you have to walk away defeated.
Who do you feel had the best part in Real Snow?
Everyone, all the videos were amazing.
Who is your riding crew when you aren't working on footage?
All the homies in SLC: Austen Granger, Scotty Stevens, Grendys, Scotty Arnold and Timmy Ronan. There are too many people to name. You can go up to Park City on any day and always find good friends to ride with. I usually go up there on days I'm not filming to mess around in the park.
What’s your favorite: powder, park or urban riding?
I like it all! Every part of snowboarding brings something different and it's all fun.
What trick or aspect of snowboarding are you working on right now?
I’m really focusing on getting a diverse video part together.
Congrats on taking Snowboarder Magazine’s number two spot for top riders. How was that for an ego boost?
It felt really good! I couldn't believe it actually. To be in between Travis and Nicolas was such an honor. They are the best in the world!
So you are a contributor to the blog “Harsh Zeach to Scorpion,” how did that start?
It's so dumb actually [laughs]. It started as just a joke to fuck with your friends and have a laugh when cruising around. It was really funny to make a blog out of it, for just our buddies to laugh at. I can't believe people actually went to it and started following it.
It's been put on the back burner now that we are working on "Change That Tape." And honestly if people think we are making fun of them that sucks. I know most people know it's all jokes but I don't want to bum anyone out you know? It's not our intention to make fun of anyone. We just believe if you get called out we're friends. Friends give each other shit. That's how you know your friends right?
But go check out changethattape.blogspot.com. It's Scotty Stevens, Mike Mo, Grendys and me; also, Scotty Arnold has a post every Sunday. We have tons of exclusive videos and funny shit!
So as far as making fun, the JP Walker beef, has it ended?
I think it has; I hope so. I wish all that never happened really. I looked up to him when I first started snowboarding and he influenced my riding a lot. I thought he crossed the line and said some fucked up shit and it really pissed me off, so I wrote some fucked up shit and it got blown out of proportion.
If I could go back I would of rather just let it go. But whatever, it is what it is. I still respect his snowboarding. He filmed one of his best parts in a while last year and I watch it a lot.
What happened to get that started, just a joke about his boardslide skills?
Yeah, it was just a joke. I think it was more him (JP) defending his buddies or that's what I was told. Simon was on Harsh Zeach a lot and that probably had something to do with it. But I think Simon is sick, all those dudes are great snowboarders. It was just jokes that got translated wrong.
On the Snowboarder top ten, there was a quote about you from Jeremy Jones. Did you read it?
Yeah I read it. My friends posted it on Instagram and called him out on it. There were a bunch of comments trying to stir up more beef. He called me after that to explain everything and told me he wasn't trying to start anything, which was cool.
I still think it's fucked up that he put that in print but I respect the fact he called me and explained himself. Everyone has their opinions but doesn't mean they need to be printed in Snowboarder. We're cool though, we’re actually going on a Heli trip together in a couple weeks so it's all good.
If you had chosen the top ten riders, what would it look like?
In no particular order: Nicolas (Muller), Pat Moore, Scott Stevens, E-Jack, Travis, Kazu (Kokubo), Gigi (Ruf), Jake Welch, and Halldor should have been on the list. All those guys killed it so hard last year. My personal favorite parts from last year were: Jonas Michalot, Jake OE, Cale Zima, Jake Welch, Lucas Debari and Blair, too many actually.
Does snowboarding ever lose its fun?
No, you can just take a break and then you get excited again.
What trick or tricks would you call your "safety" tricks?
Rolling down the windows is always a safe way to get to the landing. Cab 5's and back 7's are always a safe bet, and 5050's.
If you were able to have any super power what would it be and why?
I’d like to be indestructible and painless, or have the ability to fly.
Interviews always ask what music you are rockin' but instead, what music can you not stand?
Reggae, especially “way-gay” (white Reggae).
What is the biggest problem with the industry right now?