Mountain dads: Five famous patriarchs of snowboarding

In honor of Father’s Day, we reached out to five famous shred dads and fired them the set of questions we asked of five iconic mountain mommas back in May. When you’re ready to step up to the role, here are some perfectly awesome models for you to look up to: with guys like Bryan Iguchi, Seth Huot, Frederik Kalbermatten, Todd Richards, and Sammy Luebke leading the way, the next generation of snowboarders appears to be in very good hands.

My own son was seven and my daughter five when I first got them on the mountain, skipping over both skiing (against the family religion) and ski school lessons in favor of teaching them myself. I saw it as a fatherly duty of utmost importance, one I was relieved to be supremely qualified for after lots of other things about parenting had made me realize just how little I knew about anything. Watching them learn and progress has come to be the most rewarding experience of parenthood for me, not least because I now have capable riding partners and ready-made family vacations for life.

This season, five years after we made our first forays onto surface lifts and bunny slopes, I found myself riding at top speed in deep late-season powder at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. Glancing over my left shoulder to see how far behind I’d left them, I was surprised and exhilarated to see my son at the edge of my peripheral vision, holding his own in the fresh snow. To my other side was my daughter, riding just as fast, then hitting a 180 off a little jump and cruising on, switch, without losing any speed. They haven’t surpassed me yet on the open slopes, but on certain terrain park features they’re both already there. “How does it feel, old man?” a friend asked me on the chairlift, duly impressed. I grinned. “It feels like… winning.”

guch-fathers-day-web
Bryan with his wife Lily, oldest son Mylo and youngest Silas.

Bryan Iguchi

We don’t throw the word legend around lightly, and in this case we don’t need to bother: “Guch” will suffice. The freestyle pioneer is now just as well known for his prowess in big-mountain backcountry. He moved to Jackson Hole 20 years ago and his name has become synonymous with the place for a lot of snowboarders around the world. It was and still is the perfect spot to carve out his own niche in snowboarding history; now he finds it’s also a pretty dreamy place to raise a couple of rough-and-tumble boys.

Tell us about your family.
I met my wife Lily shortly after I moved to Jackson. We got married a few years later and now we have two boys, Mylo, who is five years old and Silas, who is two.

How has fatherhood changed your life?
It’s changed my life in so many ways it’s hard to explain, but it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

How has snowboarding influenced the way you raise your kids?
Snowboarding is such a big part of my life and I love nothing more than going out in the mountains with friends. I want to be able to spend time as a family riding and living in the mountains.

A video posted by Bryan Iguchi (@bryaniguchi) on

Have you you taught your kids to snowboard?
I tried to teach Mylo myself and it wasn’t going so well so my wife Lily and I decided to put him in a lesson. I reached out to Matt Floyd, the director of snowboarding at Jackson Hole’s Mountain Sports School. He asked a lot of questions about my son—riding level, personality, etc.—and recommended an instructor, Tristan Clegg. It was the best thing I could have done because he had a lot fun hanging out with Tristan and other kids and he progressed quickly after that. I waited to put him into lessons until he was really stoked to go ride. I knew he was ready when he’d wake up before me and already have his gear on, boots, gloves, helmet, goggles and board in hand, excited to head out to the mountain.

Guch continues to inspires us on and off the mountain.

What kinds of choices have you had to make between being a father & having a career in snowboarding?
All kinds but it really comes down to trying to find balance in work, riding, and family time.

Do you have some words of wisdom that you can pass on to families looking to raise their kids in the mountains? I don’t know if I can offer any words of wisdom, but it sure has been a lot of fun.

Page 2: Seth Huot
Page 3: Sammy Luebke
Page 4: Fredi Kalbermatten
Page 5: Todd Richards

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