Brandon: Zee Burning Hobush

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Brandon Hobush, switch back lip. Photo: Bob Plumb

The best memory I have about Brandon Hobush was my first day on the job digging in rails for Brighton Resort’s Park Crew. He was the first person to show me how to build and ice over a snowboard lip out of nothing more than some shitty November dust and my ass. That was Brandon’s last winter working for the resort because, pretty quickly after that, he became a big-time movie star out there in the industry. Well, those years have passed, and the dude is still the same guy. We recently sat down to talk about the war and foreign policy, but all I got was this stupid interview—enjoy.

SLUG: No beating around the bush. How was Bear Mountain’s Hot Dawgs and Hand Rails competition a few months ago? What’s it like to snowboard in an ice rink?
Hobush: FAAAHHK [as he crashed his airplane on GTA 5] Hot Dawgs and Handrails was sweet. I’ve done three now, and this one for sure had the best set up. It was definitely ice-rinkey snow. Not being on your snowboard for a month or two and then stepping in your snowboard and onto pure ice … At least I was on my snowboard––it was a good time.
SLUG: How has HDHR changed over the years, and what was your favorite feature this year?
Hobush: Oh, Bear always kills that contest for sure, especially this year. First of all, they don’t do a scaffolding setup. So they spend a month going in with huge tractors, full-on digging out the mountain and building this stuff––they put in a whole bunch of work. The setup was insane—it had a lot more rails than two years ago. I guess my favorite thing was hitting a line. It was this flat rail over a closeout—you ride down for a bit and then you either hit a wall ride or a down rail.
SLUG: Which contest were you at before that?
Hobush: Colorado that weekend before. A couple of my friends and I did a rail jam in Denver for the Snowboard on the Block competition. It was their first year putting it on.
SLUG: What would be the ultimate place to do a contest?
Hobush: Unrealistically, if there was a contest held at the Temple in Salt Lake. There’s no possible way anyone will ever hit a rail there, but there’s some of the most insane rails there for sure. Nike did one at the Delta Center a few years back. That contest was fun how it was, but it would be so sick if they did it again.
SLUG: Philosophers have long argued that it’s either all about the size of the feature or its technique––thoughts?
Hobush: I like keeping my stuff to style and technical instead of hitting a flat rail for a few feet and then just dropping for 20 feet. I don’t really hit the biggest stuff, but I’d like to. The dudes like Bode [Merrill] and [Dan] Brisse––those guys are like animals on snowboards. I don’t even know how they still walk.
SLUG: You went from bussing tables at the Alpine Rose (cafeteria) at Brighton, to Brighton Park Crew, to taking Japan or Sweden trips when you feel like snowboarding in less than five years.
Hobush: It definitely started all from Brighton. Jared Winkler, Mouse and the Park Crew dudes helped me out so much. I started at Brighton when I was 18, working kitchen. I got to know everybody on Park Crew and got a job with those dudes the next year. Winkler introduced me to Brian Cook, the team manager for ThirtyTwo, and I ended up winning the first ThirtyTwo Day Contest in 2009––it just went from there.