Burton team rider, Dustbox member, and kinda famous on Tik Tok? (Editor’s Note: We don’t have that app) Rob Roethler is plenty more, but he is a lifelong boarder that has been on the rise the past few years, and if you haven’t seen his clips, you are missing out (and are a little out of touch). He seemed to be at every event this season, so we hit Rob up over text for the low down on the Mystery Series from Burton, as well as some other projects/events Rob popped up at this winter. – Mark Clavin
M: You at peace park right now or you home?
R: Haha I’m actually skating 3rd Lair in MN with Benny right now!
Go skate, hit me when later and we can do the interview!
You sure? I have no problem hittin’ you back. Keeps me from doing too much too fast lol.
Alright then, now that the season is over, what was the Burton mystery series all about? You helped plan one, what was the goal?
(30 minutes pass)
That’s honestly a great question. The Burton Mystery Series was an effort to bring a new contest/event tour back to snowboarding. With PBRJ and Qualifiers in the past, I was dying to recreate that vibe. Flow State at Woodward was my opportunity to try to do so… My b haha got into a kickflip battle Royale with Benny… He won.
No worry, flow state was the name of your stop?
Yeah, Flow State was the name for the event in Park City at Woodward. When talking with everyone about the park design, really all I was looking for was good transition with a bunch of rails. I made a small little sketch and the park crew made it something incredible. I was seriously blown away by how well the course came out.
So that had to be your favorite mystery stop, yeah?
It was pretty special. Getting to host that event and have a bunch of people throwing down was incredible. Loon Last Call was also an amazing event. It seemed liked Last Call was business as usual, they just had Burton as a sponsor. Which I thought was awesome. Last Call is too great of a tradition for anything to have changed much.
How many stops did you go to?
Just those two. Had Park City and Minneapolis been on different days, I would have been in Minnesota as well.
Talked to Nora and Zeb. It sounded like the Minnesota stop was pretty fun. How many stops were there total?
I’m honestly not sure haha maybe it’s a part of the mystery. I think there were like 8-12. Somewhere in there. (Editor’s Note: There were nine, with one more coming in AUS/NZ this Fall)
Oh yeah, there was some euro ones as well. How long did your sketch take? And how long was it from sketch to reality and you were riding it?
Haha probably like 5 minutes. It was really just enough to try to convey my ideas. They completely understood what I meant tho which was unreal. We started working on it in January and the contest was on March 19th. I didn’t ride the setup until the day of but got a walkthrough in the cat 😎. Sadly, didn’t really get to ride it too much though because I had just taken a pretty gnarly fall in Finland.
Where would you like to see the mystery series go in the future? We will come back to that fall.
More in the direction of the Minneapolis event for sure. I thought that the meet ups that SEEN snowboarding did were really cool, too. When you can have events with no real contests it completely changes the vibe. It also opens the floor to have cool rewards for most improved, biggest bails, most style, etc.
Yeah, was just talking to some people about that, feels like there are a ton more meet ups and events going on this winter. What else you hyped on right now in snowboarding?
I’m always the most stoked on street snowboarding, but I love that inclusivity and diversity are finally starting to find their way into snowboarding. At least it seems to be covered more which is a great start! I’m also really stoked on Fat Tire, they’ve done a lot for snowboarding this year and have some incredible things in the works. They supported the Dustbox jam, the Mystery Series at Park City, Culture Shifters with burton, Loon Last Call, and I’m sure plenty more than I’m missing…
That actually brings me to my next question, what else did you get into this winter?
Finland was crazy. Kinda tough with such a big squad but there’s nothing better than spending time with your best friends doin your thing in a foreign country. Before that though, I actually spent a bunch of time filming with Benny and Dan Tyler.
Before heavy metal, Benny, Dan myself, and a couple others here and there went to Duluth early to film. We had also been filming back in Minneapolis a bit too. After Heavy Metal though I went back to Duluth with Benny and the Capita team to help out/get some shots before leaving for Finland. All that footage will be in the next Dustbox video.
And then back to the slam, how bad of a slam we talking
I mean nothing broke so that’s good. I didn’t think I was going to walk away though. Got closed out. Definitely a legitimizer, spot wasn’t that cool even lol.
Glad you could walk away. Learn anything from it?
Pick better spots.
Go to meal while traveling?
Bacon egg and cheese. That’s breaky though. First thing I thought of.
Safe call. Let’s talk dinner. Local cuisine or just cooking in the Airbnb?
Definitely local if I can. I feel like that’s the coolest part about traveling. You never know how fire some random spot could be so you gotta be willing to try whatever.
How was the Dustbox Be Somebody event?
I think it was just an idea amongst the boys but I wasn’t a part of its inception. The event was flawless. I had so much fun and I think everyone who was there could say the same. Nobody in the box could believe that we pulled it off hahaha. Huge shout out to Jill and Jmo for driving the trucks of snow. That was so clutch.
What about Culture Shifters and Russell Winfield’s event at Bear? How were those?
Russell’s event, Ayee Esse, was the first time I had gotten to ride with that many people of color in my life. Waking up in a house where I wasn’t a minority was also crazy there. Kinda heavy haha. It was just great to meet everyone that was there.
Culture shifters was insane. Very special to see so many influential and incredible people of color bonding over snowboarding coming from varying walks of life. Especially when I idolize these people on a very real level… as musicians, skaters, and other successful black men and women.
What do you think the importance of events like Ayee Esse and Culture Shifters is for the general public and you personally?
First steps! Ayee Esse was huge in that regard. It was the biggest meet up like that since the National brotherhood.
Ever go to those when you were younger?
Never even heard of em when I was younger.
You from Minnesota originally, yeah?
St. Louis Park, baby. Started at Hyland hills at seven years old. Started skiing when I was three, though. I feel like a fake snowboarder sometimes because I never even really watched movies growing up. I watched a handful but nothing like Coop.
95% of people probably haven’t watched as many videos as Coop (Cooper Whittier). If someone that starts at seven has imposter syndrome and rides as much as you do, what hope does anyone have to be considered a “snowboarder”?
Hahaha well it’s great to hear that. Definitely is the one thing I would describe myself as. Was too busy boarding 🤷♂️.
What’s your other ways you’d describe yourself?
I fuck with chess super heavy hahah. Golf too, I’m not very good at chess but I love it. I play like 10 games a day.
Phone chess or on a board?
Phone, I’d play on a board if I could.
Better thing to watch: Dreamcastle or The Queen’s Gambit?
Hahahaha yeah that’s a tough one but we gotta go wit the homies.
I’ll send you a chess game some time this week.
You want the hands??
Editor’s Note: Mark did not send a chess game yet because upon further thought, he did in fact, not want the hands.
And once again, where should we be for the clips of you boarding this upcoming fall?
Dustbox! I think a couple here and there might also be in other projects though. Filmed with a few crews.
A great friend of mine and most likely anyone who has crossed his path, Tommy Towns, underwent emergency brain surgery recently. One surgery turned into 3 very quickly. The burden that is being put on him and his family is deserving of support from all of us. If you are able, anything and everything helps!