In one short season, Bobby Brown has gone from a promising freshman phenom to being the man to beat in slopestyle or big air competition. Brown and vets TJ Schiller and Jossi Wells revitalized an entire discipline at Winter X Ski Big Air when they unveiled four unprecedented tricks including the Colorado native's winners, the switch double misty 1260 and the switch double misty 1440. The very next day, Brown made history once again when took gold in Slopestyle to become the first skier to win two events at a single Winter X contest.
ESPN Action Sports: Many would call winter 2008-2009 your breakout season. After having that winter, how did you feel going into the 2009-2010 season, before any of the year's contests had started?
Bobby Brown: It was good. I had a good off season down in New Zealand. The contests went well there and I was having a lot of fun skiing. Then I had a good time in Breckenridge in the early winter. So I came into this year very ready for all the contests.
If a person knows only one thing about Bobby Brown, it is that you won Winter X Ski Big Air with two brand-new tricks: the switch double misty 1260, and the switch double misty 1440. What was going through your head that night? And where did you find the fortitude to bring out new tricks in such a high-pressure situation?
I was just going off the jump, doing my tricks. And when I stomped the switch double misty 12, everybody else in the contest was really going at it. Since it was a jam session, everybody else was throwing down, bringing their very best tricks. Then TJ [Schiller] landed a cork 1620. I remember seeing that on my way up top on a snowmobile and I thought to myself, "What the hell was that!?!?"
I freaked out. And I knew after seeing TJ's trick that I needed to do something I hadn't ever done before. So I went to the top, took the switch double misty to 14, and I somehow landed on my feet and, yeah, it felt pretty amazing.
At this Winter X Big Air, we saw a new trick from TJ Schiller, a new trick from Jossi Wells, and two new tricks from you. Where did all that spontaneity come from? What made Winter X Big Air so different?
The format gave us a lot of time and a lot of attempts on the jump, which made for a good show. We didn't have to wait at all. Unlike a normal contest, you just dropped in, did a trick, and then got back up to the top to do the same exact thing again. That made it so we could really get on a roll with our tricks.
Do you think that we're likely to see another big air as wild as that in the near future?
It's hard to tell because tricks are only going to get gnarlier and gnarlier. I feel like there will be a lot of new tricks coming out over the next few years. Given that, the crazy big airs are probably going to keep happening from time to time.
In the middle of a brilliant streak of contest domination, your season got cut short by an unexpected injury. What happened?
I was going 100 percent at that point in the season. There was a little break between contests and I went to Idaho to film with Matchstick Productions. I made a bad judgment call there and hit a jump that I probably shouldn't have hit, overshot the entire landing, and hurt my back.
Ultimately, it was kind of a good break two months to chill out and mentally digest everything that had happened during the winter.
Two months after the injury, you're in Mammoth Mountain, CA, back on skis for the first time. Your skiing makes you look like an injury-free Bobby Brown. What did you do to make a full recovery so quickly?
Once I was cleared to go to the gym, I started working daily with an athletic trainer. I played golf that first week, which was kind of a mistake. Apparently that sport is hard on your back I didn't really think about it. But besides that minor error, I just kept working out a bunch, trying to get ready again. My doctor was a little bit surprised at how fast I healed, when he reviewed the X-rays taken the day before I left for Mammoth. He told me I was good to go, so now I'm back at it.
At this point, you have about six months until the next North American contest season starts. What are your goals for that upcoming season? And how are you going to use the intervening six months to prepare for it?
Now that my body is ready to go, I'll be busy skiing as much as I can in Mammoth and Mt. Hood this spring and summer. Then in July I'll travel to Whistler for more skiing. I'll travel to New Zealand for some training during the last half of August and the first half of September. Then I hope to compete in all the city big airs to kick off the 2010-2011 contest season.
I feel really good about next season. I'm excited to take my skiing in several different directions. I'd like to do a lot more filming, and a lot more backcountry, while still participating in all the contests, and trying to do well in all of those. We'll see how it goes.